Oakland Raiders - TeamReport
NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - INSIDE SLANT
When the process was complete and the smoke cleared, Dennis Allen stayed in place as coach of the Oakland Raiders following a second consecutive 4-12 season.
The next step was Davis meeting with Allen. The two rarely speak during the regular season, with Davis opting a chain-of-command which McKenzie serves as the conduit for his information from the football field.
More than a week passed following the season, with Allen and Davis finally meeting during a late Monday evening. Davis put an end to any speculation Allen's job was an issue with several phone calls to reporters who regularly cover the team and said the only place Allen's job was in question was in the media.
Besides a sense of continuity the team has lacked because of repeated changing of coaches, the reasons for keeping Allen were clear enough.
Allen was McKenzie's hand-picked choice, and Davis said McKenzie is still in charge of hiring coaches.
Firing Allen would put McKenzie on the hook for the two more years of the coach's contract, plus whatever it would cost to hire a new head coach.
There was no clear successor in place if Allen were sent packing.
Davis has a fondness for former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, but it never was a practical idea. Gruden would cost huge money and also be uninterested in working for McKenzie, wanting authority on the 53-man roster.
It's also doubtful Gruden, as much as he liked being head coach of the Raiders, likes the makeup of the roster -- particularly at quarterback -- and he isn't expected to return unless he can win right away.
While Davis said changing coaches was never discussed, it's worth noting he let Allen twist in the wind.
The content of the conversation between Davis and Allen is not known, but rest assured the owner was curious at why the Raiders were playing their worst football at the end of the season despite getting back to relative health.
In a related development Tuesday, the Raiders re-signed defensive coordinator Jason Tarver on the day his contract expired, the team announced Tuesday.
The Raiders ranked 22nd in total defense this past season after finishing 18th the season before in his first two years on the job.
The Raiders had confirmed Dennis Allen's return as head coach last week.
The Raiders also signed a two-year contract extension for assistant head coach-offensive line coach Tony Sparano after the season.
According to ESPN.com, three assistants from last year's staff are not being retained -- defensive backs coaches Clayton Lopez and Johnnie Lynn and assistant special teams coach Keith Burns.