Broncos deny Raiders from talking to Smith

The nice play is over in the AFC West. It didn’t last long.

When Dennis Allen was hired to be the Oakland Raiders’ head coach last week, his former boss John Fox wished Allen well. And, now, Allen is on his own.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos have denied the Raiders permission to speak to linebackers coach Richard Smith for the Oakland defensive job.

Previously, Kansas City defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas and New Orleans defensive line coach Bill Johnson were dropped off as candidates. It’s not a surprise Fox denied Allen permission. He wants to keep as much stability on his defensive coaching staff as possible. It seems more and more teams are denying permission these days and it’s no shock this intra-division hard stance was made.

Potential coordinator candidates may now include former San Diego defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and San Francisco defensive backs coach Ed Donatell.

UPDATE: CSN Bay Area reports Oakland special teams coach John Fassel has reported to St. Louis. The Raiders have had one of the best special teams in the NFL in recent years. Fassel was a strong coach, but the talent remains for Oakland in this area.

Meanwhile, NFL.com is reporting that Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin is considering pursuing former Kansas City coach Todd Haley as offensive coordinator.

That would be an interesting pairing. Haley is known for being high strung and vocal in his coaching. Tomlin is intense, but he’s not much of a screamer and a yeller. Also, Haley is known for getting on his players often during games. It would be interesting to see an established quarterback such as Ben Roethlisberger adjust to playing for Haley.

I’m sure Haley would love the job. He is from Pittsburgh and his father, Dick, is a former legendary Steelers’ personnel man.