SBD/December 30, 2013/Franchises

AFC Franchise Notes: Do Raiders' Allen, McKenzie Deserve More Time To Build Team?

Raiders Owner Mark Davis, coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie on Monday will have meetings "to discuss the future" of the team, which is "completely up in the air," according to Ann Killion of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The Raiders fan base "is frustrated" and Allen is "under fire." The team's chances of "being competitive soon seem extremely remote." Killion: "You wanted continuity? You've got it. In all the worst ways" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/30). In San Jose, Tim Kawakami writes the Raiders' loss to the Broncos was "yet another bad and boo-filled Coliseum end to yet another horrible Raiders season, and Allen's tenure has to be in some jeopardy because of it." It sounds like McKenzie and Allen "will plot out an aggressive plan for the offseason in the next few days ... then McKenzie will present that plan to Davis." If Davis "still has faith in McKenzie -- and I believe he does -- then McKenzie's faith in Allen will present Davis with a reason to pick stability over disruption." Kawakami: "I think it's also the correct decision, understanding the bleak situation these two men inherited." Allen and McKenzie have "shepherded the Raiders through the barren times and probably deserve to see what they can do with money to spend and draft picks to use" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/30). NFL Network’s Michael Silver said McKenzie and Allen are "getting signals" from Davis that he is "leaning towards keeping both.” However, Davis and former Raiders coach Jon Gruden “remain in touch.” If Gruden would come back, Davis would “turn it all over to him and blow everybody out,” but that is “not likely to happen” (“NFL GameDay Morning,” NFL Network, 12/29).

LEADER OF THE PACK: In Newark, Dom Cosentino notes Jets Owner Woody Johnson after making it known that coach Rex Ryan will be back next season has "taken the extra step of emailing a letter to season-ticket holders to personally explain the organization's decision." The e-mail was sent Sunday around 7:00pm ET. It read in part, "Like any NFL Head Coach, he's had ups and downs, but Rex has been a tremendous leader of this football team" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/30).

REMEMBER THE TITANS: In Nashville, Jim Wyatt notes Titans President & CEO Tommy Smith yesterday "was in attendance for his fourth straight home game since taking over for the late Bud Adams." He saw the team "fight until the end even though it was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago." But Smith "also saw plenty of empty seats." He "declined to comment when approached in the tunnel underneath the stadium after the game." All indications are "it could be several days before a decision" about coach Mike Munchak is announced (TENNESSEAN, 12/30). Also in Nashville, David Climer writes, "Personally, I can't see records of 6-10 and 7-9 in the past two seasons as an indication that better days are ahead." It is "time for a change" (TENNESSEAN, 12/30).

TEXAS TWO-STEP: NFL Network’s Silver, on the Texans' head coaching search: “There is a reason that they fired Gary Kubiak during the season, so they can get a jump on people like (Penn State coach) Bill O’Brien. I’m told that Owner Bob McNair is very much spearheading this process and that they are telling people they would like to be done by Tuesday” (“NFL GameDay Morning,” NFL Network, 12/29).
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