After his team closed out its second consecutive late-season hard fade into 4-12 with an effort at home against the Broncos best described as sad, Raiders coach Dennis Allen said, “I expect to be back.” Multiple sources apparently legitimized his confidence.
That brings the grand total of confident people residing in Raider Nation to one.
Look, we all know Allen was hired with the deck stacked largely against him. We all knew he was being charged with heading up a significant rebuilding project, and while the Raiders’ co-tenants at The Coliseum consistently provide exceptions to the rule, the rule remains: rebuilding is rarely pretty in Years One and Two.
A’s general manager Billy Beane doesn’t rebuild, Nick Swisher once said. “He reloads.” The Raiders can’t do that, of course, because reloading suggests you had caps in the chamber to start, and it’s been quite some time since the Raiders have had that on a meaningful level.
Perhaps that’s why Allen distanced himself from the notion that he took over a rebuilding project at all. He regarded his first two seasons on the job as a “deconstruction,” suggesting that the rebuilding begins now.
So back to that rule. Rebuilding is never pretty. Raiders fans are supposed to swallow the notion that the same man who just turned in two seasons during which virtually nothing positive of team-wide consequence came to the fore is just now embarking on that ugly two-year (minimum) rebuild?
Good lord. It’s clearly a passionate and moderately patient fan base, but that’s Stretch Armstrong. Change for the sake of it isn’t always the best idea, but in this case it is.
Had anything – seriously, anything at all – provided a glimmer of hope that Allen was the right man, fine. But, nothing. Turn the page again, Nation. If what we’ve been seeing for the past two seasons was a “deconstruction,” then Allen was part of a crew that swung a pretty mean wrecking ball.
Someone with a better tool box needs to be put in charge for the real work to be done.