Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen agreed Tuesday night to become the head coach of the Raiders, according to multiple media reports, and has informed the Broncos of his decision.
Fox Sports, ESPN and the NFL Network were all reporting Allen was the choice of general manager Reggie McKenzie to replace Hue Jackson, fired after one season with an 8-8 record.
Allen met with McKenzie for a second interview in Mobile, Ala., and expressed hope in an interview with CSN Bay Area that things would go well.
"I'm looking forward to getting a chance to talk to Reggie and see how it goes. I want to be a head coach in the National Football League, and hopefully, I'll get that opportunity," Allen said.
Neither McKenzie nor Raiders officials would confirm the hiring. Allen has never been a head coach on any level, and 2011 was his first as a coordinator.
When Jackson was fired Jan. 10 on McKenzie's first day on the job, the new general manager said he wanted to hire his "own guy."
It turns out McKenzie's guy is someone he had no prior relationship with. Speculation centered on Packers assistant coaches Winston Moss, Joe Philbin and Dom Capers, all of whom worked with McKenzie in Green Bay.
The last time the Raiders hired a head coach with a defensive background was 1969, when Al Davis selected John Madden to replace John Rauch.
Allen started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, where he played as a defensive back. He was the secondary coach at Tulsa in 2000-01, served as a defensive assistant with emphasis on the defensive line and quality control with the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-05 and was hired as the assistant defensive line coach by the New Orleans Saints in 2006 before being promoted to secondary coach.
He was the secondary coach on the New Orleans team that won the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts in 2010.
In terms of defensive philosophy, Allen told the Broncos website heading into the 2011 season: "We're going to be built off speed and athleticism. We want to be a very fast, violent, aggressive type of defense."
Defensive collapses against Buffalo, Denver and San Diego in the season finale helped keep the Raiders out of the playoffs.
In describing Allen's style, perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey told the Denver Post, "You know how you get a teacher that's real stern but not over the top? That's how he is."
Allen will take aim at the Raiders' record-setting penalty total with a firm hand.
"Listen, I don't believe in berating guys. Don't believe in talking down to them. We work together. They don't work for me or us as coaches," Allen told the Post. "But at the end of the day, we're going to point out problems and we're going to get them corrected, because if you don't get them corrected, they're going to fester, and eventually they're going to get you beat.
"We point out if there is an issue with effort. If there is an issue with an assignment, we make sure we bring it to their attention, and make sure we get it corrected."
With Allen's expertise coming on the defensive side, he likely will take the lead in rebuilding the Oakland defense and will hire an offensive coordinator.
McKenzie said the new coach would have complete control over his staff, and chances are Allen will look hard at offensive coordinator Al Saunders, who still has a year left on his contract, to maintain continuity on that side of the ball.
THE DENNIS ALLEN FILE
NFL experience: Denver defensive coordinator, 2011; New Orleans assistant, 2006-10; Atlanta assistant, 2002-05.
Quotable: "We're going to point out problems and we're going to get them corrected, because if you don't get them corrected, they're going to fester, and eventually they're going to get you beat."
How the Denver defense improved in 2011 under coordinator Dennis Allen:
Total defense 357.8 20th 390.8 32nd
Scoring defense 24.4 24th 29.4 32nd
Sacks 41 tie, 10th 23 32nd