Forgive me for posting these thoughts in a tardy fashion. I’ve done a lot of sleeping after my big adventure last weekend. But I have two lingering thoughts about Dennis Allen and the Raiders opener.
1. Of course Allen and his special teams staff should have had a properly trained backup long snapper. Travis Goethel didn’t fail. The coaches did. That’s obvious.
2. This second point maybe isn’t as obvious, but it’s important. With 7 seconds left in the first half the Raiders were at the Chargers’ one yard line. Allen went for the field goal. It was the normal thing to do. Get the 3 points. Go with the percentages. Except it wasn’t a normal time. The Raiders had sold out. They were on Monday Night Football. Allen was making his debut as coach as the “new” Raiders organization was making its debut.
He should have seized the moment boldly. He should have made a statement about who the Raiders are, a statement to the fans, the league, his own players. He should have gone for the touchdown. If he failed, no big deal. The Raiders would be down 10-3 with a half to play. They made the field goal and still were down 10-6. He had so much to gain by being adventurous. His failure to go for it made him seem, well, young.
I am not knocking him as a coach. He will learn. He needs to learn from this one opportunity which never will return to him in his lifetime.