ALAMEDA, Calif. — Reggie McKenzie started researching Dennis Allen as a potential coaching candidate this season when he first heard the Raiders might hire him as a general manager.
He talked to some of Allen's former players and coaching colleagues and only got rave reviews. When McKenzie sat down with Allen two weeks ago in Denver for his first interview, he knew he had found his man,
"The bottom line, he was what the doctor ordered," McKenzie said Monday. "He understood the big picture as far as putting a plan together, how to do this, this and this."
Allen, 39, got more stability than his predecessors with a four-year contract as opposed to the two guaranteed years given under late owner Al Davis. Allen also will have more say in putting together his staff and roster than Oakland coaches previously had. He replaces Hue Jackson, who was fired after one season in which the Raiders finished 8-8.
"At the end of the day, what I was really concerned with was, who are the people that are leading the organization now? The people who are leading the organization now are Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie, and when I looked across the table at Reggie McKenzie, I knew that was a man that I believed in and that I trusted in," Allen said.
Oakland set an NFL record last season with 163 penalties for 1,358 yards so it came as little surprise that Allen used a version of the word "discipline" more than a half-dozen times in his news conference.
"The only way that you create habits is through consistency, doing the same things over and over and over," Allen said. "Well, if you're committing penalties, that becomes a habit. We've got to change those habits, all right?"
Irsay shuts down Manning talk for week
Colts owner Jim Irsay tried to deflect attention away from the question of whether his team will retain quarterback Peyton Manning.
At least for this week.
"I'm not talking about Peyton this week," Irsay said as more than a dozen reporters followed him Monday. "When Peyton and I talked (last week), we both thought the focus should be on the Super Bowl. We want to focus on the Super Bowl."
Also, the Associated Press reported that the Colts hired Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator. Arians held the same post with the Steelers.
BENGALS: Wide receiver Jerome Simpson pleaded not guilty to marijuana trafficking at a court in Covington, Ky.
CHIEFS: Tom McMahon was named special teams coach.
DOLPHINS: George Edwards was named linebackers coach and assistants Dan Campbell (tight ends), Darren Krein (strength) and Darren Rizzi (special teams) were retained.
EAGLES: Former Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles was named secondary coach.
RAVENS: Jim Caldwell, fired as Colts coach on the heels of a 2-14 season, was named Baltimore's quarterbacks coach.
STUN GUN CASE: A man accused of using a stun gun on other fans during a fight at a Jets-Cowboys game last year pleaded not guilty to several criminal charges. A lawyer for Leroy McKelvey of Moncks Corner, S.C., entered the plea in state court in Hackensack, N.J. McKelvey didn't speak during the brief proceeding or after, except to tell reporters that Monday was his 60th birthday.