By Rich Kurtzman
Big news broke late Monday night; the Oakland Raiders fired Dennis Allen.
Denver Broncos fans will remember him both as a head coach for the remarkably bad Raiders, and also as a one-year defensive coordinator in the Mile High City. Allen has been coaching in the NFL since 2002 with the Atlanta Falcons, was with the Broncos in 2011, and from 2012 until Monday was the Raiders head coach.
But with Oakland starting 0-4, including their blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, it was time for Allen to hit the bricks.
In two and one-quarter seasons, Allen’s Oakland teams went a combined 8-28, for a dreadful .222 winning percentage. Compare that to the AFC West leading Broncos’ 28-7 record (.800), and it’s nearly an opposite result. While Denver’s won the West the last two seasons, Oakland finished third and fourth of four teams.
Following Allen’s firing, Tony Sporano was named interim head coach. Sporano was head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2011 with a record of 29-32.
Danny Trevathan Returns
For Denver Broncos fans wanting to watch the team’s best linebacker from last year, the wait is over.
Danny Trevathan was nothing short of tremendous in 2013, easily leading the Broncos in total tackles with 129. He’s the all-around kind of linebacker, though, not a one-trick pony.
Sure, Trevathan lays terrifying hits – forcing three fumbles – but he’s also a great cover linebacker, especially on tight ends. Last season alone he picked off three passes – including the game-clincher against the Dallas Cowboys – and defended 10 more.
But this year was derailed in training camp, where the third-year pro broke a bone in his lower leg. The bright side is this: while doctors thought it could take as long as eight weeks to heal originally, it’s only been six and Trevathan is planning on starting against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday.
The starting weakside linebacker’s return comes at a great time considering the Cardinals are one of only two teams to remain unbeaten, bringing that perfect 3-0 record to the Mile High City.
Backup Brandon Marshall was filling in for Trevathan and did a solid job, and now Marshall will move to nickel packages more exclusively.
Denver’s defense is now complete, with Von Miller, Chris Harris and Derek Wolfe all returning from 2013 injuries, as well as the additions of T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib.
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Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.