Oakland, CA - Dennis Allen was asked by a reporter after the loss in London, if he thought he would return after the bye week as the head coach. He replied,"Yeah. That's not my concern right now." After an eleven-hour flight from London, Allen got a phone call late Monday night from General Manager Reggie McKenzie relieving him of his duties as head coach.
The Raiders are 0-4 and currently in their bye week. Why did it take losing four games to start the season before any kind of action was done. If Oakland's motto is to just win than why not react sooner than later to avoid the process of hiring and firing coaches, especially during the season.
"Now going 0-4, the way we went 0-4, it was time to make a change," said McKenzie. "Whether it was in London, it doesn't matter. It was time. To answer your question, the thoughts started to come at that point."
Yesterday McKenzie and new interim head coach Tony Sparano held a press conference, both addressing that drastic changes will be made to their system. While there's been no time to adjust to the latest events that took place just one day after an embarrassing loss at Wembley Stadium. The Raiders will move quickly in notifying the players today and prepare a new game plan to finish the season.
"Obviously we haven't had any time to sit down since we returned from London and talk with our team," Sparano said. "You can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That's got a different definition in my book."
Oakland came close to winning one game since the season started and that was two weeks ago against the New England Patriots. Other than that, the Raiders have just looked bad. Veteran cornerback Charles Woodson blatantly said, "We suck! We're just not good.'" Many others have shared the same views throughout the season.
So, what about Allen's staff still being on payroll despite horrible play calling last week. McKenzie, Sparano and owner Mark Davis (who watched silently in the back of the press conference) feel that there's still hope left to this season. However, the goal remains in finding a head coach that can help this team win games. But the priority right now is to focus on winning and turning things around.
"Step back or step forward, you never know," said Davis. "Results are what is going to be the determining factor of everything. Like I said, I think the organization itself is in a very good position to move forward whether Tony Sparano brings us wins this year and becomes the permanent head coach of the Raiders or if we bring in another head coach. I believe we're going to have another 60-65 million in space next year and so it's quite an encouraging and enticing thing for a new head coach if in fact we go out to find one."
McKenzie takes full responsibility on Allen being his guy. He explained that the goal was to win championships. He made the decision to release Allen from his duties after the loss in London. Davis wanted to look more into what the problem could be and left it up to his GM to make the call. However, they all take responsibility for the teams "doom and gloom" season.
"The start of this season was not the way we wanted to go," McKenzie said. "Now, regrets? Not at all. Going into the offseason, we had a plan and after these first four games, that plan did not materialize. That falls on me, I brought Dennis Allen in to win championships here and to win, period."
"I want to win some games... It's time to get this thing right and start moving into the direction we should be," explained McKenzie.