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Bucs hire Allen
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Old 09 Jan 2004, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bucs hire Allen

In a move anticipated for more than a week, the Tampa Bay Bucs have hired former Oakland Raiders senior assistant Bruce Allen as their highest-ranking football executive, and a formal announcement will be made Friday at the club's complex.


Allen had interviewed with Tampa Bay at owner Malcolm Glazer's home in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 30 and since then it has seemed just a formality that the former Raiders administrator would fill the Bucs' front-office void. Details of Allen's contract with the Bucs were not immediately available.


Longtime general manager Rich McKay departed the Bucs last month to assume the same post with the Atlanta Falcons. It is not known if Allen will inherit the GM title but his responsibilities certainly will be commensurate with that level. The addition of Allen, who formally resigned from the Raiders earlier this week, likely will signal the revamping of the Tampa Bay front office.


Whatever shakeup occurs, it almost certainly will be in line with the wishes of head coach Jon Gruden and, no doubt, will extend his control over personnel issues.


Some of the current Tampa Bay personnel staffers and management officials are likely to join McKay in Atlanta soon. Allen will have to determine how to shape the front office and scouting staffs, which will fall under his purview, and he probably will need to hire a new personnel director. There have been rumors that Oakland personnel man Michael Lombardi, who worked with Allen and Gruden in the past, could land with the Bucs.


Allen, 46, won the job over several worthy candidates, the list including current Bucs personnel director Tim Ruskell, Jets assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum and Denver pro personnel director Rick Smith. There is little doubt, though, that Gruden pushed hard for Allen to get the job.


At least initially, ownership preferred keeping some of the current officials who worked under McKay, and considered promoting Ruskell to the general manager post. Gruden clearly wants a staff, though, with which he is more compatible.


A onetime player agent, Allen is the son of Hall of Fame coach George Allen and the brother of U.S. Senator George Allen of Virginia.


He has been both an assistant and head coach at the college level and has served in a variety of personnel department posts. His crafty management of the salary cap for the Raiders, a franchise that perennially requires much maneuvering in the spring to get into compliance with the spending limit, has been remarkable at times. While he does have scouting experience, it isn't likely Allen will take a hands-on role in personnel.

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