Dennis Allen will coach with heavy heart

There was no greater influence for Dennis Allen than his father, in life and in football.

Thursday, Allen will coach his Oakland Raiders two days after saying goodbye to his father. The Raiders announced Tuesday morning that former NFL player Grady Allen has died. Dennis Allen plans to travel from the family home in the Dallas area and return to California on Wednesday to coach the team Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.

Dennis Allen returned to Dallas immediately after the Raiders’ loss to Cleveland on Sunday. Grady Allen was in grave condition in a hospital for a few days before Dennis returned home. Dennis Allen coached the game against Cleveland knowing his he was likely going home to say his final goodbyes to his father.

Grady Allen was 66. He was a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons from 1968-72.

The two shared a close bond. Both played at Texas A&M and Grady Allen often mentioned his father as an influence in his career. My thoughts go out to Allen and his family in this difficult time.