The Raiders certainly have made some big mistakes over the past 10 years.
Firing offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave after the 2016 season was one. Taking Rolando McClain, Darrius Heyward-Bey and D.J. Hayden in the first round also rank high. Trading two high picks for quarterback Carson Palmer – and then trading Palmer to the Cardinals for next to nothing – also was a brutal 1-2 punch.
Yet they weren’t as bad as hiring Dennis Allen as head coach in 2012, says Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report.
Gagnon, in identifying every NFL team’s biggest mistake of the past decade, points to the hiring of Allen by general manager Reggie McKenzie as a huge, costly mistake. He’s also not kind to McKenzie.
Gagnon said McKenzie’s decision to let go of Hue Jackson after the 2011 season and go with Allen in 2012 set the franchise back. Under Allen, hired away from the Denver Broncos, Oakland went 8-28. Allen was fired just four games into his third season.
“The offense fell off a cliff with the defensive-minded Allen in control, and replacing offensive coordinator Greg Knapp with Greg Olson after the 2012 season didn’t help,” wrote Gagnon.
“Allen’s Raiders were blown out time and again throughout his tenure, with a 38-14 loss in London at the hands of a mediocre Dolphins team serving as the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was fired during the team’s Week 5 bye.
“Three head coaches and several bad prime draft picks later, McKenzie somehow still has a job. He should have given Jackson one more season to put it together with Palmer under center, but instead he shot from the hip and extended the Raiders’ rebuild.”
Following Allen came Tony Sparano (as interim head coach), Jack Del Rio and now Jon Gruden. It’s been a revolving door of head coaches for the franchise for many years.
The Raiders will open training camp under Gruden in mid-July, following last week’s full-roster minicamp.