Chicago Bears fans are getting anxious. They can’t remember a head coaching search ever lasting this long in the past. Already they’ve interviewed several candidates but only one of them, Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, is expected to get a second meeting. All this while their list seems to continue expanding. Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog made yet another revelation, stating that Dennis Allen would soon get a look from the organization as well.
Most football fans should know the name. Allen is the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. He took over the unit in 2015 at a time when it had an argument for being one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Within three seasons, Allen had them in the top 10. A place they have pretty much stayed ever since. They are consistently among the best defenses in the league and Allen deserves all the credit for making that turnaround happen.
This success was enough to draw interest from the Bears.
That’s me, “high and mighty”. I wouldn’t have done any of this if Wiederer didn’t start a public fight.
(Bears will interview Dennis Allen.) https://t.co/FARGcE5TAO
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) January 19, 2022
There is no doubt Allen has earned this opportunity. There hasn’t been anybody overseeing what he does in New Orleans. He is in complete control of that defense. Their success is because of their talent and his coaching. When this happens, it is usually a good sign that a guy is ready to take that next step up to the big headset. However, this is where things get a lot more complicated. Allen has been here before.
After a rousing success in 2011 with Denver, the Oakland Raiders hired him as their head coach in 2012. Things did not go well. The team went just 8-28 under his direction. Allen was fired four games into his third season. An ugly stretch with few bright spots. To be fair the Raiders were an absolute wreck at the time and devoid of talent in many areas. By the time they finally started adding top-tier talents like Khalil Mack and Derek Carr, it was too late.
Dennis Allen at least deserves a conversation
It is important to remember something about his rough time in Oakland. He inherited a bad team but also he was quite young. Only 40-years old and he’d also only been a coordinator for one season. He wasn’t ready. This time around feels like it could be different. Allen has coordinated the Saints defense for seven seasons now. He turns 50 this year and has had a chance to learn under an excellent head coach in Sean Payton.
There are reasons to think he’ll be far better prepared this time around. He’ll also take over a much better roster than what he had 10 years ago. One added level of intrigue also exists here. The Bears have interviewed or will interview multiple GM candidates that have ties to Dennis Allen. There is Reggie McKenzie, the Dolphins’ senior personnel executive. He was the GM who hired him in Oakland. Then there is Jeff Ireland, the Saints assistant GM.
So the team has options in place if Allen ends up impressing them.
Either way, it remains apparent the organization is determined to meet with as many top candidates as possible. They don’t want to overlook anybody. This is where the benefit of Zoom comes into play. Set up a video chat for a couple of hours. If the candidate does well, then set up an in-person meeting for later. Allen will have his chance in the coming days.