All of the NFL's coaching vacancies were officially filled Thursday except for one.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirmed the hiring of former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as their new head coach, the Raiders were the only team left that hadn't declared its coach for the 2012 season.
But make no mistake: The job belongs to former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, even though Oakland has yet to make an announcement either through a news release, its Twitter account or its website.
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reported Allen had signed a four-year contract and that the news conference to make the announcement would be Monday.
Allen met with new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie for a second interview Tuesday in Mobile, Ala., where they were scouting players gathered for the Senior Bowl, and confirmed a "handshake agreement" between the two.
According to a former coach, Allen should have no trouble making the adjustment from NFL assistant to head coach.
Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum remembers the ease with which Allen went from player to coach. A standout free safety for the Aggies, Allen failed to stick with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 1996. Slocum brought him back as a graduate assistant.
"There wasn't any doubt about what he wanted to do," Slocum said. "He was going to coach, and he stepped right into it. It's kind of hard sometimes for guys who just finished playing to make the transition of being a coach and part of the staff. A lot of them think they're still kids. Dennis never had that problem."
Allen has the reputation of being intense, cerebral and wise beyond his 39 years.
While contract details are being completed, Allen has been busy talking to prospective assistant coaches, and the Broncos were looking for a new defensive coordinator to replace Allen.
"He's trying to put together his staff, and the first goal is to hire his offensive and defensive coordinators," said Grady Allen, Dennis' father and a former NFL player with the Atlanta Falcons. "It's been so hectic, he hasn't had time to talk."
While McKenzie and Dennis Allen have not worked together, McKenzie apparently had been watching from afar as Allen went from Texas A&M to Tulsa, then to the Falcons, the New Orleans Saints and Denver.
"I heard Reggie had been following him for a few years, watching his progression through the coaching ranks," Grady Allen said. "Evidently, he's been on somebody's radar."
As a player at Texas A&M, Dennis Allen used instinct and know-how to offset a lack of physical skill, according to college teammate Ray Mickens, a 10-year NFL player with the Jets, Browns and Patriots.
"He wasn't great at any one thing, but he was good at a lot of things," Mickens said. "He was very consistent and confident. If I didn't know one of the coverages, he'd remind me what it was. He was a guy who studied and knew not only his job but everyone else's job."
Hunter Goodwin, another college teammate who played eight years with the Vikings and Dolphins, believes Allen will "instill a culture of accountability" that will be crucial for a team that set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage this season.
"The Raiders have a history of recklessness, and in my opinion, you've got to change the culture," Goodwin said. "They've tended to go after lower-character, lower-integrity, high-skill-level guys, but if you don't have a good moral compass and some integrity to buy into the team concept, they're ultimately going to fail you.
"He's got to go in and overhaul that culture, and I think he'll go about it in a workmanlike manner. I think he'll make a great head coach. I'd love to play for him."