The Raiders' new head coach may not have any head coaching to look back on. But he is not free of experience and success. He certainly had something that impressed Reggie McKenzie, and it is likely to be the same thing that had him rising in the coaching ranks as quickly as he has.
Allen is just 39 years of age, but football is in his blood and has always been part of his life. His father Grady was a football star, playing linebacker at Texas A&M and later in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons.
Dennis was also recruited by Texas A&M and played four years at defensive back for the Aggies. While he was at Texas A&M, the team went to three straight Cotton Bowls. Allen had the game clinching interception in 1993 over Texas to punch their ticket to the Cotton Bowl.
Unlike his father, Dennis never played a down in the NFL. He was in Bills camp in 1994 but never made the team. After his playing days were over, he went back to Texas A&M as a graduate assistant working with the Aggies' secondary for four seasons. In his final three seasons as part of the Aggies' coaching staff, the team went to the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Alamo Bowl.
He moved on after that to become the secondary coach at Tulsa University. He spent just two seasons at Tulsa before the NFL came calling, and it was the team for which his father had played — the Atlanta Falcons.
Allen served as a defensive assistant with the Falcons for four seasons. His first full season was spent under head coach Dan Reeves as the Falcons made the playoffs with a 9-6-1 record. In Allen's first season with the team, the defense rose from being ranked 24th the previous season to 8th in points allowed and from 30th to 19th in yards allowed.
In 2006, Allen was asked to join Sean Payton's staff with the New Orleans Saints as their assistant defensive line coach. And again, in Allen's first year with the team, the defense jumped from a 28th ranked squad to 13th in points allowed and from 14th to 11th in yards allowed. The Saints would also make the playoffs for the first time in seven years.
In 2008 Allen was promoted to secondary coach for the Saints. The following season, the Saints won the Super Bowl. That season the Saints gave up over 300 yards passing just three times. They also forced 39 turnovers that season with another eight turnovers in the playoffs.
In 2010, Allen's final season with the Saints, the defense was ranked seventh in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed. They allowed a 300 yard passing performance just twice all season and nine other times held their opponent to under 200 yards passing. They would go 11-5 that season and be upset by the Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs.
Here is what Sean Payton had to say about his former secondary coach when Allen was in line for the Broncos job after the 2010 season:
"It's a small league, and there aren't many secrets," said Payton. "His reputation has grown, and the word has gotten around. You can see it on film. He's extremely talented, and another thing about him, he's an extremely hard working guy. He's a guy that's gonna have more of these opportunities down the line... He's done a very good job. He's extremely well thought of within this building."
Last season John Fox was hired in Denver to try and revive a struggling Broncos team. The Broncos were dead last in the NFL on defense in both points allowed and yards allowed. Fox is known for being a defensive minded coach and his choice to run the Broncos' defense was Dennis Allen. Under Allen, the Broncos' defense rebounded to 24th in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed. Sure, that isn't spectacular but as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Even so, the Broncos' defense was instantly formidable after being the NFL's whipping post in 2010. Allen's players and coaches respect him greatly.
Most notably is Broncos veteran safety Champ Bailey who didn't mince any words in letting everyone know what kind of team he predicts the Raiders will have under their new head man.
"He knew how to get us ready," said Bailey. "I give him a lot of credit for the success we had this year... He's one of the most intense coaches I've had. It was a pleasure working with him. You knew what he was going to bring you every day... I know what type of team he's going to have. Very intense, hard-nosed, tough. That's the way he is. That's what I expect his team to be."
Broncos linebacker Von Miller also spoke highly of his now former defensive coordinator and had a similar prediction for Allen's Raiders.
"First and foremost, they're getting a guy that's going to come in right away, and he's going to get it done," Miller said. "That's what he did for us. He came in, he laid out a plan for us, he told us, 'This is how we're going to do it, and this will work,' and that's what happened. We improved our defense an incredible amount. It was a night and day team from a year before... I think he'll do the same thing with the Oakland Raiders."
Allen comes in as a bit of an unknown but the Raiders are well versed in hiring young unknowns with no previous head coaching experience. Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan, John Madden, and even Al Davis himself all were young upstart head coaches. Allen joins that illustrious group, and if his previous stops are any indication, the Raiders should have early success on his watch.
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A few good things about the coach:
1. I yet have to hear complains about him from the team's players. I mean, last year i heard a lot of complains about Hue's promotion and the Cable Guy's firing from Shane Lechler, Zach Miller and some other guys. Zach is no longer with the team, but I actually read a comment from Lechler who said "I think it will be a good fit for us. He's a young, energetic guy. Smart guy. Been through a lot with Atlanta, then a lot with New Orleans, over to Denver and that defense. We'll take all the help we can get right now". That's an upgrade already.
2. He's an agressive coach. ALright, 41 sacks from Denver might not be the most impressive stat, but they had only 23 on 2010 and this was their first year under a 4-3scheme. Our defense played so much better when blitzing /you know, when Marshall was the DC) so I think this might be a really good sign.
3. Discipline. He's a really disciplined coach and I hope that discipline sticks to the team. Some of his former players call him "militaristic" and for a team that just broke the league records in penalties/game and penalty yards/game this could be a blessing.
If you want to read more about him here's an interesting article: http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/raiders-talk/post/Dennis-Allen----what-theyre-saying?blockID=639210&feedID=2801
Regarding Lechler I saw that they are friends already as played college ball together! Shows Lechler's age! I also like the fact that the Broncos hate the fact he is leaving so much.
i guess it was a better higher than some of the names out their floating, marty, tice, and some others. i guess reggie liked his passion and what he says he can bring to the table. we dont know too much about him but i guess we will find out in the upcoming weeks once we here from him. is he definitely hired or not. the colts are holding a press conference tomorrow to announce their new head coach, and we dont have anything planned. guess im just impatient, but i would like to hear what he has to say. as far as carson goes, hopefully he stays. the guy is a professional and just cause his "personal hype man" hues not around doesn't mean he should want to call it quits like he did in cincinnatti, unless coach tells him their going in another direction. give him an offseason, get dmac back healthy (yea right) and clean up the penaltys along with an improved defensive strategy, we should be alright heading into next season. its not like we gotta climb far in our division to get to the top.
my biggest issue (worry) is reggie said the new coach will pick his staff, doies allen have the credentials to go out and get some good coordinators (well mainly d cause saunders should still be the o coordinator) to come here with him? who does he have in his corner. i will say one thing, all i heard today from different people on sportstalk say this guy is a bigger higher than we know just cause he isn't the sexy name everyone (including me) wants, he will do wonders for this team.
I have seen rumors that he could bring the Emmitt Thomas the Chiefs secondary coach in as the DC. I am hoping also Darren Sharper is bought in to team up with Rod Woodson as the secondary coaches. This is purely me throwing this out there and I have seen nothing to support this is remotely correct but Sharper tweeted how great a coach Allen is and Sharper also has links to McKenzie from his Packers days.
@massillonraider He's actually been a lot of years in this league so he must know plenty of good coaches. e's been through some very good defenses just like the one in NO a few years ago. Most probably Reggie McKenzie will suggest some names, even if Allen will have freedom to hire whoever he wants. So I'm not worried about this.
It's an interesting choice imho. We need help on the D side - that's where we failed this season. At the same time we take a nice chunk out of Denver's success. The man is obviously respected by the right people... Sean Payton, Champ Bailey, John Fox and - most importantly - Reggie McKenzie. Compared to Marty M? Please folks - did you guys see what he did to the Lions and Eagles? Let's not even go there.
Also can't believe people are still ragging on Palmer. We had a middle of the league QB who never played at even the COMPETENT level - much less an elite level. A guy who MIGHT... ONE DAY... EVENTUALLY turn into an okay game manager. Now we have a certified Pro Bowl veteran with a huge arm who was on course to throw for 4400 yards last year with no preseason, no familiarity with the offense and WRs cycling in and out every game due to injuries. People are STILL whining about a couple picks for a FRANCHISE QB? Simply unbelievable to me. If you want to play it safe - you should be Dolphin fans. They've been searching for a QB ever since Marino retired. They're too scared to make the big pick or trade something of value and look where they are - 15 years without a QB and their record bears that out. Man up people - Carson was a bold, necessary move.
@Indy! Actually, to be fair to the Dolphins, they traded a second round pick to get AJ Feeley, grabbed Chad Pennington as a free agent but he was derailed by injuries, and have made three other second round selections on John Beck, Pat White, and Chad Henne. And before you turn your nose up at second round picks, I give you Andy Dalton: Pro Bowler. I know that's not the point, just throwing that out there.
@LDizzle You're actually making my point - the Fins have been afraid to pull the trigger on a first round pick - either picking the QB themselves or trading the pick(s) for a decent QB. Look where it's got them... Feeley, Beck, White, Henne.... Chad Pennington's number were good, but he played an incredibly soft schedule that year and was totally exposed in the playoffs vs the Ravens as a guy who's arm was no longer NFL caliber (if it ever was). That's exactly what I DON'T want the Raiders doing - floundering around with the Gradkowskis, Brooks and yes - Campbells of the league. I want a player at QB and you have to be willing to pay for it. Again - the comparison is not trading for a back-up like Kolb or Cassell (who have both flopped imho) - the comparison is Jay Cutler. In that regard - we STOLE Palmer for a one and a two.
@Indy! @LDizzle I completely agree, your completely gambling on picks no matter which round it is, especially 1st rd which brings big contracts to unproven players, with Palmer and McFadden both, we know where they stand talent wise. Personally I would franchise Bush for this year only and split the carries 60/40. Next season well have a better D no doubt, at the very least a very good quality QB, and a potent running game, the play offs are right there and it's not just a birth, I believe we can get to the championship.
Personally I think a ransom was paid for Palmer and one that could really set this team back. Yes we needed help at QB when Campbell when down but I really don't think Palmer was the answer. He has always been an erratic passing known for making bad decisions and turning the ball over. He's had 2 good years and the rest have all been nothing more than above average. I would much rather see this team with a "Game Manager" at QB who doesn't turn the ball over.
Nilbymouth, a ransom is going to be paid for any superstar quarterback in this league. Imagine what teams are going to have to give up to get a 36 year old Peyton Manning who is on the downside of his career. Quality QB's are expensive. The Raiders did what they were supposed to do in order to make the playoffs. It really surprises me that a football guy of your intelligence keeps dogging Palmer. If you were a Darkkush I could understand, but you are way better than that....Most of Campbell's supporters were ready to throw him under the bus for Bruce Gradkowski...Now, people are overwhelmingly glad we kept Campbell and let Gradkowski go. Campbell was the beneficiary of two training camps and 1 and a half years with the team. Carson has had no training camp and only a half a season and you criticize him like he has been on this team a long time. Give him a break...The guy needs to have at least one training camp and a full year of play before you judge the guy like you are doing. Remember, Carson Palmer is a probowl caliber quarterback who is a Heisman winner. The guy is a very good quarterback, Nilbymouth, and if you have followed his career like I have, I know you would not be as hard on him as you are. I like Campbell too, but the guy in not in Carson's league... Give Palmer time and at least one training camp before you write this off as a bad deal for the Raiders...
@nilbymouth pretty much exactly how how I feel !
I am willingly to give Palmer a full off season and I really hope he proves me wrong and wil be the first to admit if he does. I just think though potentially two firsts is to much to pay for any player who only has probably 3-4 years left in him.
Take it as a complement. You are right on with about 90% of the points you make, however, I thoroughly disagree with you on Palmer, as I am a huge fan of his and know what he is capable of doing. Just remember, football is a very tough game, both physically and mentally, and to be out of the game as long as Palmer was, and to have missed all of training camp and be thrown into the starting lineup on a new team after a week of practice, is not an easy thing to do for anyone...Peyton Manning would even have a tough time on that one. The fact that Palmer had the numbers he did considering the circumstance he was thrown into, was amazing, and I think you should give him a training camp and a full year with the team before you write him off as a bad investment....
@nilbymouth It wasn't Palmer's fault. He didn't have a healthy offense when he became the starter. Also, the defense ruined some of his good games. After the Bills game, I had said that if we miss the playoffs, it would be cuz of the defense and I was right. Palmer did all he could considering the circumstances of no training, injuries, and having not played since last year.
@Spartacus Not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not! But honestly, I will be surprised if the Colts get two firsts for Manning and I wouldn't call Palmer a superstar QB.
But my biggest knock I have for Palmer (along with his gunslinger attitude which is why I have always hated Favre!) is I just don't think he is a good leader. I will be the first to admit Palmer has the better arm than Campbell but I do really think Campbell is by far the better leader! When he went, the team went down with him also. Acquiring Palmer should have risen them out of that hole but it never did. The team just never seemed to rally around him!
Well said Indy. Carson Palmer is a great quarterback and I will always support the Raider decision to trade for him. The guy has taken a lot of heat from some fans, but considering he did not play football for as long as he did, and missed an entire training camp, he put up some great numbers. Palmer is truely a gifted quarterback, and with a full camp under his belt, he should have a great season, and hopefully our new coach will hire a great offensive coordinator to work with him...
@SpartacusI've always liked Palmer and always thought his talents were wasted in Cincinnati - a team with a history of mismanagement. Just look at what happened to those WRs when they didn't have Carson throwing to them... TJ disappeared in Baltimore and Seattle. Ochocinco? Did he even get on the field for New England this year? Those guys looked good for one reason - Carson Palmer. Anybody who thinks he can't play needs to review that first San Diego game. The first half was a flawless half of football - the best the Raiders have played since the Super Bowl season. I expect us to have a lot of games like that now that he's more familiar with the team and his WRs.
@Indy! Thing about Palmer's trade isn't that he couldn't play. I really like the guy and God knows he can throw. The thing was we already had given a second round pick to NE to move up and get Demarcus van Dyke, we already had given 3rd round pick for Terrelle Pryor, the 4th round pick for Jason Campbell and that's a lot for bold moves. I don't mean the guy isn't worth som value, but the team had already compromised a lot of the future in some other players so this was more than a bold move, it was reckless. Hue made that decisiion because he thought he had a Superbowl contender team who was just a few pieces from going to the big game. Thing is he hadn't and now we don't know if Carson will be the QB he was back in 2006 or if he will be the guy who let Cincy down by not comming back last year... Hue's not here anymore so I doubt he will play the same level he did last year. And now we have a new GM, a new Head Coach and most probably a whole new direction and we need more than a 3, maybe 4 year QB but a true franchise QB for many years to come (since we don't know how long exactly will this team take to become a true Superbowl contender). We need a lot of players to build a whole team under a new philosphy and losing so many draft picks (not just the ones on the plamer trade) is hurting that idea. That's why I think, if the can get another younger QB in the free agency, the will probably try to trade Palmer to get some draft picks back.
@Black_Nightmare @Black_Nightmare I'd rather have the QB than the picks. The team is built - you only have a certain shelf-life in today's NFL. We need to win now or it's not going to happen - a couple picks that won't mature for 2 or 3 years are not going to help because in the meantime we'll lose Bush, or DMC or DHB or Seymour and they'll have to be replaced too. That's the problem with always building - sooner or later you have to win. It's not like the old days when you had the players locked up and they could never leave. This is the team - these are the players we have to win with. This team is starting to remind me of the Gruden years - we're wasting our best talent's best years jacking around. We won't have these guys forever - we need to win NOW.
Also think there is way too much emphasis put on Carson's "retirement". The guy had no intention of retiring - he just got tired of playing for a team with terrible management. It happens all the time in sports - in the NBA the players just refuse to report to teams all the time. I have no doubt Palmer is re-energized now that he's on a new team - I believe his best years are in FRONT of him - not behind him. Remember Rich Gannon kicked around the league forever before he became MVP and took the Raiders to the Super Bowl.
@Black_Nightmare We can go in circles on that one all day. Personally, I don't think New England has been drafting particularly well - they're famous for taking cast-offs like Welker and turning them around - not for making good picks. The Raiders have been to the big game more recently than Baltimore (and I'd take Carson over Flacco any day), Green Bay essentially rebuilt their team in the post-Favre era so you're really talking about two different rosters - not one. One thing you also have to consider is success breeds success - when you're close to the title, guys will play for you for less money. Randy Moss in NE would be one example.
We should have been in the playoffs this year, but we had some huge setbacks with Campbell, Al dying, losing Nnamdi, the injuries, etc... It's not easy being golden in the NFL. If you sit around and compare the team to the best teams in the league you're always going to be unsatisfied because usually your team (whoever that is) will NOT be in the elite category. That goes for all leagues and all teams. All those teams you mentioned above were wandering in the desert a lot longer than the Raiders ever have. It might not be much consolation next Sunday when the Pats/Giants are playing in the big game - but that's the reality.
@Indy! I really hope you're right about Palmer's attitude. It'd be nice to se him (here or elsewhere) playing at his best level again. Seriously, so many interceptions doesn't fit well in such a nice career.
Now, when we talk about the draft picks, I respectfully disagree. I've seen many of the best teams keep competitive and having consistent success by replacing their key free agents with solid draft picks. And I mean Green Bay, Baltimore, New England, New York Giants, Pittsburgh (even if the time is already expiring for that defense). A good draft class and some solid free agents has kept those teams contending every year. Ok... New England has sucked drafting defensive players for a couple of years and yet that ofensive squad compensates quite well. You know something else about those temas? Their bad seasons are just as bad as our good seasons
I think Carson Palmer is still a pretty decent QB in this league, but this team was much more than a pretty decent QB away from being a contender.
Also, last 2 seasons improving in Oakland has come with the 2010 draft class: Ok Rolando hasn't been the monster we expected but he, Houston, Veldheer, and Jacoby Ford are all starters. Damn! Last year's draft class sucked and it still brought us the Wiz Kis and Denarius Moore! That's a few starters in just 2 drafts.
Anyway, I'm not saying Palmer sucks. I'd be glad to have him back. I just say it makes sense te trade him for some picks if you can get another decent QB at free agency.
Alright, sometimes I just go epic when I speak about the Raiders. I hope this is not the case. I love this team and I have to say this: We can't struggle more than we did when Norv Turner, Art Shell, Lane Kiffin and the Cable Guy were here. If anything cast a little doubt over this hire is that the guy who probably was the best coach in Hue's staff, Mike Wauffle had already departed by the time Allen was hired and I only can hope he can find that kind of talent anywhere. I had enough years of anguish because of the Oakland's coach but this year I have a pretty good feeling about Denis Allen. He's a disciplined guy who will come and work hard for the team and hopefully will spend must of the time correcting this team's discipline rather than going around, bragging about what a great team he's building. Again, everything we say today isn't gonna change anything, he's the coach and we better have a little confidence on him cause he will keep being the coach for a while (a long long time, I wish). Let's just hope for the best.
I have the same uneasy feeling about Allen because 1- we don't know much about the guy 2- The Donkeys D wasn't really impressive statistacly 3- He is a 4-3 coach when I am only the 3-4 bandwagon. I do however have to point out that Ron Wolf and John Madden both told Mark that Reggie was the guy to hire. They have had nothing but success in their careers and I wouldn't trust any opinion in Raiderland more that those two guys. They picked Reggie and Reggie was so blown away by Allens interview that he didn't hire one of his own guys in Moss. That has to speak to the volume of his ability, in my mind anyway. The only puzzling aspect to me is why did we let Wafle walk if we were going to run a 4-3. I've always heard that he is the best 4-3 D-line coach in the NFL.
@DylanAlexander Good write! In Reggie (Madden and Wolf) we trust!
Allen ran a 3-4 back in Atlanta, so who knows - perhaps he intend to use the 3-4 here as well! ...
At least i hope so! Time will tell!
@Harder2000@DylanAlexander I think we're a great NT and a decent ILB form succesfully going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 Defense. Also, one of our best defensive players, Matt Shaugnessy wouldn't be an easy fit in a 3-4 defense (I don't se him as a good OLB and he totally lacks the size to be a 3-4 DE). I'm not sure if a year virtually without draft picks would be the best for trying that transition. Anyway, I also trust our beloved leaders to make the best choices so I won't be complaining about anything this year.
@nilbymouth I am not familiar with Travis Ivey at all.
@LDizzle Sounds good! Hopefully he can stay healthy this offseason then, another late rd gem would definately be appreciated!
@LDizzle Have you seen much of Travis Ivey? I have heard bits about him but that is all.
@Harder2000 Yes. He has impressed since his first camp. He has been slated to be a starter on the weakside as well as the primary backup to McClain but has gotten injured both times. He is a smart guy with great instincts. The organization sees Biekert kind of potential from him. Of course, his injuries are a big concern at this point.
@Black_Nightmare Yeah, that's true! I would love to see Tulloch being brought in then! That is my #1 priority for LB! He could take over the MLB spot and be a strong presence from the start!
... And if Death Ro should stay and we change to a 3-4 - you could (as you suggest) keep Curry at OLB and have Tulloch and Death Ro in the middle! Dream scenario!
@JarrodRollins EJ is a solid MLB, no doubt! Erin (i actually think he is related to EJ) is an upcoming OLB - great size/speed/athleticism and he seems solid in both run and pass defense! Perhaps not a megastar, but he has great potential from those games I have seen, and he is really young (25) - so a cheap investment with great potential imo!
@nilbymouth@Harder2000 You're right, Curry never played a 3-4 defense before, he played 4-3 both in Seattle and Wake Forest (he was a classic Sam LB there). Yet I see him much more as an OLB than an ILB in case we go 3-4 next year. Larry Grant had escaped my radar, he could be interesting indeed. And Fletcher? I'd love to see him wearing Silver and Black, I just don't think Washingtons is letting him leave so easily. I'd bet their putting the franchise tag on him
@JarrodRollins Forgot about Jarret, he's a really solid player! But it would take a lot for him to move on - he is valued in Baltimmore and they will do a lot to keep him i would assume!
EJ Henderson (their MLB?)? You mean Erin Henderson their young OLB, right?
Erin Henderson would be a great addition - he is young, fast and promising from what i have seen and read, and wouldn't command top dollars because he is not as established as other strong players!
Getting Henderson AND Tulloch (have 5 good LBs) would be possible and create a great competition in the group, as well as it would allow for versatility, rotation and flexibility when injuries occurs!
More a dream scenario, i know, but imo those two paried with Death Ro, Curry, Wimbley and whomever should be kept for depth and ST, would make it a really strong group (for a 3-4) that would be a force of the team!
@Harder2000 There is an underrated OLB that is a free agent in Baltimore's Jarrett Johnson. He has not missed a game in his career so far, I believe. Plus he is on a defense with Suggs and Lewis. It would be easy to be overshadowed by those two. I like Tulloch also. If we play Curry at OLB, then we should get Tulloch. If we move Curry to ILB, then we should get like Jarrett Johnson or maybe EJ Henderson.
@LDizzle Do you see Goethel as a better ILB prospect than Curry? And do you think (having been around the organization and players) that Goethel has the ability and trust of the organization to be a full time starting ILB in the NFL right now?
An you're definately right, the OLB FA market is kind of slow, Ahmad Brooks and perhaps Erin Henderson are the best possibilities imo! But let's not forget that Groves and Scott has the size and speed to at least hold the fort down for a season if nothing is attainable in FA and draft! Especially Scott who should be on top after returning fully from torn ACL (which takes a lot of time)!
The NT has several options although they will be expensive, and whether we would be willing to pay what it takes i don't know - but Soliai from the Phins would be my top priority!
The decision we go in, especially if we decide to change to a 3-4 imo is more than just for a season or a coach - it is the future, so imo Reggie (Mark, Madden and Wolf) needs to decide the direction of the franchise so that all players will be drafted and signed with that scheme in thoughts!
... Now, i wouldn't think it was bad to stay in the 4-3 (although losing Waufle would then imo be a stupid mistake)! But i would see it requiring some clear changes in the LB corps and an addition of a solid DT for the future as well!
No matter what direction we go, i will support it as i think we can succeed in both, but personally i prefer the 3-4! We'll see how the wind blows when a DC is hired!
@Black_Nightmare The main concern i have with the 4-3 is our LB corps as i really don't think it is best fit for that scheme! I see them all being best fittet in the 3-4 where they are larger and don't have to bee just as fast sideline to sideline LB as they need to in the 4-3!
When Curry came into the leage most analysts thought that he would fit best inside, and especially in the 3-4.
In the 3-4 you usually have a really strong, fast, violent thumper who often has a simple read and just goes hard, takes out blocks and tries to clog whatever whole is in front of him - that is pretty much what Curry did in the 4-3 Wake Forest system he played in College! He is a really good and physically gifted player, but he needs to be put in a situation where he has a simple responsibility and can unleash his wild natured play, and that would be possible in the 3-4 imo! Also, in the 3-4 it is not necessarily the ILB that does the most coverage, often it is the OLB on the other side of the main rushing OLB (Wimbley perhaps unless he is traded), but no matter what it would naturally be up to the DC to decide who should cover in our scheme.
The other 3-4 ILB is then the one that reads and reacts, is what the 4-3 MLB is in term of a player/general who knows the schemes, has the overview and can adjust and clean up - that is what Death Ro does best imo, why i think he would fit very well there! His biggest issues, as i see it at least, is that he is too slow to play sideline to sideline in the 4-3 (which wouldn't be needed in the 3-4 where he also came from) and that he has issues shedding blocks while making the tackle! I really think that the 3-4 that he has played his entire college period is what fits him best, and especially being the leading ILB that reads and reacts and keeps the overview!
Therefore i think that Curry and Death Ro would make a great duo in the middle!
But as i pointed out - imo Stephen Tulloch would be an incredible addition as well, he is truly a strong MLB and would be perfect in a 3-4 as well i think! Really a strong presence on the field!
I would love to see London Fletcher in the Silver and Black! Also I am pretty sure Curry has no experience playing a 3-4 ILB role so it could go either way. I think Larry Grant could be a good low key cheapish signing to play ILB if the defense switches to a 3-4. He played well when Patrick Willis went down.
@Harder2000 About the Linebacker thing... You think Aaron Curry could play ILB at good level? I mean, a lot of coverage is demanded from an ILB and God knows that's his biggest weakness. I see him more like a good OLB chasing the QB's head. Anyway, even if I like Travis Goethel as much as I do, dude can't play a whole season without breaking, so we still need a good ILB who can replace either him or Curry. Watching the free agents list for NT, ILB and OLB, neither position Free Agent Class has too much potential. I mean OLB does have Mario Williams, but hes gonna be quite expensive and I don't think Texans are letting him go. The same goes for London Fletcher who would be my top pick at ILB. When it comes to NT I think ther are even fewer prospects out there. I've read we have a nice NT at the future/reserve list and maybe Tommy Kelly and John Henderson could play NT but I dont think neither of them will be a Vince Wilfork kind of player. I think we could just tweek a little our 4-3 Defense and be good but once again just as John and Paul used to say (the Beatles, not the apostles) "Let it be".
@Black_Nightmare There's several NT prospects out there in FA, but they will be expensive! And a strong NT is crucial to a succesful 3-4 as everyone is saying, so it would definately be a priority!!
I think however, that Curry and Death Ro will be a great duo in the middle of a 3-4! Both are best fitted for the inside of a 3-4 and they really compliment eachother well - one is a wild, powerful, fast brute (Curry), the other is an analytical, knowledgable read and react kind of player (Death Ro), so considering the needs of the duo inside, i think they could really fit well! A back up would then still be needed (unless Goethel is healthy and considered a viable backup by the coach)! Would really love to add Tulloch though, he is a beast and a leader, and he is the kind of player that can really bring the heart to a Defense!
So imo another OLB would be needed - who would then depend on how they would be used, but there is a couple of viable options in FA, or the draft could be scouted and used to try and get a player!
Would also consider to add another DE, primary target being Calais Campbell!
One of my biggest concern is Shaughnessey as well - really like him and think he can be special, but because he was injured his trade value is down, and if he doesnt fit in the 3-4 (which he really doesn't project well into), he would get lost in translation!
Don't think we will be missing too many draft picks this year - will probably get a 3, 4, 5 and 7 in compensatory, together with what we have! And it wouldn't surprise me to see a trade or two adding more picks (just hope it is not my favourites that will be leaving)!
Well, anyhow, you said it best - " I also trust our beloved leaders to make the best choices so I won't be complaining about anything this year. " .
... in Reggie (Madden and Wolf) i trust!
I was hoping for more of this tbh: http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/07/30/sp_onnfl.jpg
@oaklandraider Think everyone was! ... But wasn't he just a really young LB coach when he was promoted to HC? Let's hope that Coach Allen can be our new Madden!
@LDizzle I wouldn't mind Allen being like Madden 2.0 for us. Just hope he'd coach for longer then the 9 years or so that Madden coached for, only if Allen has the same success that Madden had.
@JarrodRollins You're right Jarrod, seven years younger. Further proving what I was saying.
@LDizzle I thought Madden was 32 when he was promoted from LBer coach to HC? Isn't Allen 39? So it'd be seven years then, right?