LD Bell's Allen ready for new challenges with Raiders




Posted on February 6, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 6 at 5:13 PM

Grady Allen was in Miami for the Super Bowl three years ago when his son was the secondary coach with the New Orleans Saints.

"I was sitting right there when it all happened, and I can't describe the feeling when Tracy Porter intercepted it," said the elder Allen.

Grady's son Dennis had been an assistant in the NFL since 2002, but his mom saw his coaching tendencies long before then.

"When he started playing football in second grade, he was probably one of the taller kids on the team, and Grady still coached," Kay Allen said. "Dennis would line everyone up. It was really funny because at that age, they don't really know. They're just having fun. But Dennis actually knew, and he knew where everybody was supposed to be."

Grady Allen saw his son's success coming from miles away.

"Of course, I'm very biased. But I think he has the attributes it takes to be a winner. I think if you were to hear what some of his former players - now former players have said about him, is he has the ability to communicate with them in a manner in which they can understand exactly what he wants."

Recent history suggests Dennis Allen won't last — he becomes the Raiders' eighth head coach since 2002. But Tim Edwards, Allen's old high school coach at L.D. Bell, thinks history is changing.

"They got rid of their Jerry Jones out there, so they have an operation where the coaches are allowed to run things. I think he can be very successful."

Tim Edwards and Jack Gibson coached together at LD Bell for 19 seasons, including Allen's senior year, when he was the defensive player of the year for the state of Texas. Edwards' praise for Allen knows no bounds.

"Dennis not only knew his assignments, he knew everybody's assignment on the team."

Gibson is similarly optimistic about his former pupil's chances. "You didn't realize it was going to come this quick, but he had all the potential, all the characteristics of a great leader, great coach."

As a player, Dennis Allen followed his father to Texas A&M and was a four-year letter winner at safety, in the early 90s. After four more years in college station as a graduate assistant, Allen was hired by another Bell alumnus, Keith Burns, to coach the secondary at Tulsa.

After two seasons in Tulsa, Allen spent four years in Atlanta as a defensive assistant before going to New Orleans — first as an assistant defensive line coach, then as the secondary coach. He spent this past season as Denver's defensive coordinator.

There's no firmer advocate of Dennis Allen's commitment than his mother.

"I think he's driven, I think he's very driven. I think he knows what he wants and I think he's willing to put in the work to get there, to achieve what he wants." said Kay.

Dennis' father knows what his son's career will be defined by.

"I know there's a lot of passionate fans out there. And, you know, they, as Mr. Davis used to say, 'Just win, baby. Win.' That's what they want to do — is win. And that's the only way he can survive and stay there is to win," Grady said.

That's exactly what Dennis Allen plans to do.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com