The Oakland Raiders were one of the teams everyone was looking at on black Monday. After back to back 4-12 seasons, there were a lot of rumors swirling around the future of head coach Dennis Allen. The first time head coach in his second year with the team had not shown much but was also saddled with some of the worst rosters in the NFL.
But as it turned out, most in the Raiders said Allen’s job was never in question. It was understandable that those on the outside questioned whether or not his job was in jeopardy, but by the talking points coming out of the Raiders Alameda facilities were that the risk of Allen losing his job was one that existed only in the heads of the media.
Now, it appears as though Allen is not only receiving votes of confidence from the front office but also from the locker room. In an ESPN poll to determine who the most popular coach in the NFL was, Allen received votes from the Raiders locker room. The voting is anonymous so we do not know who voted for Allen, how many people voted for him or even which ten players on the Raiders were polled.
This is not Earth shaking news, but it is worth noting. Since the poll was anonymous, the players had no pressure to vote for their own head coach. In fact, three head coaches did not receive a single vote. Considering the Raiders had the third worst record in the NFL, it would not have been surprising to see them as among the teams who received no votes in the poll.
Again, it does not mean anything. But it may be a sign that Allen still has the support of the locker room which is no small deal. If the Raiders want to compete in 2014, they will need to buy into what Allen is selling. Hopefully this is a sign that at least some are doing just that.