Former Green Bay Packers director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie looked outside of his former employer to find his first head coach as general manager of the Oakland Raiders.
FoxSports.com’s Jay Glazer was the first to report that McKenzie chose Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. McKenzie met with Allen on Tuesday night at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Packers assistant head coach/inside linebackers Winston Moss and Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers had interviewed for the post. Given McKenzie’s ties to the Packers and Moss’ ties to the Raiders — he played linebacker for the team from 1991 through 1994 — Moss emerged as a logical top contender after McKenzie made the firing of Hue Jackson his first order of business after being hired as general manager on Jan. 10.
Meanwhile, according to the Tampa Tribune, former Packers coach Mike Sherman appears to be the front-runner to fill the Buccaneers’ vacancy. He is the only known candidate to be contacted for a second interview.
Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements interviewed for the Tampa Bay post last week. According to the Tribune, none of the candidates have been notified that they’re out of the running. If Clements isn’t hired by Tampa Bay, he’s the logical front-runner to replace Joe Philbin as Green Bay’s offensive coordinator.
If the Packers can get through this offseason only having lost Philbin, they’ll be lucky for the second consecutive year. But teams have a long way to go toward filling their staffs, and the Indianapolis Colts still need a head coach, though neither Moss nor Capers have been mentioned for that opening.
Teams needing an offensive coordinator include Philbin’s Dolphins, as well as Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Teams needing a defensive coordinator are Indianapolis, Miami, Oakland and Tampa Bay.
Packers receivers coach Edgar Bennett certainly could be a target of Philbin for offensive coordinator. Bennett grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., and played collegiately at Florida State.
Moss could be a target of any of the teams seeking a defensive coordinator, though with the title of assistant head coach, Packers coach Mike McCarthy can block Moss from making the move. Safeties coach Darren Perry just completed his 10th season as a coach and is primed to take the next step in his career. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac was Carolina’s defensive coordinator from 2003 through 2008, with three top-10 rankings in points allowed during those six seasons.
As for Oakland, Allen is the first defensive-minded coach to get the job since John Madden was hired before the 1969 season.
McKenzie interviewed Allen, Marty Mornhinweg, former Miami interim coach Todd Bowles, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., Moss and Capers.
In his first season as coordinator in Denver, Allen helped the Broncos improve from allowing a league-worst 29.4 points and 390.8 yards per game to rank 20th in yards (357.8) and 24th in points (24.4) this season on the way to an AFC West title.
The Broncos increased their sack total from 23 to 41 as they were tied for the sixth most blitzes on pass plays in the league this season, according to STATS LLC.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.