How a Change in Leadership Will Return Redskins to Relevance #FireBruceAllen
Is Bruce Allen still really the President/GM in Washington? As hard as that might be to believe, the answer is yes. However, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network might have some good news for Skins fans, reporting that Allen could be an offseason casualty. After the loss to Green Bay, dropping the redskins to 3-10, the likelihood of change is more probable.
It’s also been mentioned by multiple media outlets to keep an eye on this week’s NFL annual league meeting for any possible front office changes. 10 years ago during the owners’ meeting former Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato was fired and Bruce Allen was hired by Daniel Snyder.
Allen’s track record with the Redskins is cringe worthy and the #FireBruceAllen hashtag has been a familiar fan response on anything the Redskins PR team posts on social media. With only two playoff appearances in 10 years and an overall team record of 62-96-1 (.395 winning %) one must wonder how long Allen can survive with such a horrible track record and an even worse image around the league.
Dropping the Ball on Trent Williams
It’s all but certain that All Pro and future Hall of Famer Trent Williams will never suit up for the Redskins again and many believe Allen’s missteps during the process is at the center of the Williams disaster. As reported, the issues started with the Redskins medical staff, but per Williams comments, he doesn’t want to name specific individuals or have any of them relieved of their duties. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case when Bruce Allen is mentioned.
Per a November 8, 2019 interview with Mike Jones of USA Today, Williams had the following to say about Allen and the team.
“I feel like everything has run its course. I mean, I do want to play football still and I’m not a free agent until after the 2020 season, so who knows. But the bridge has definitely been burned, and any efforts now, basically are, in my opinion, pretty much just CYA (cover your ass).”
The bigger story here though is how Snyder continues to entrust, arguably, the most hated front office personnel in professional sports in President and acting GM Bruce Allen, who has shown little growth for the organization as a whole since Cerrato was fired a decade ago.
Fans are divided on the Williams situation, but in the end, another potential HOF player will walk out the door with little to no compensation. Allen reportedly had multiple opportunities to trade Trent Williams, but it was reported that Allen refused to take any calls from teams interested in Williams until the final 48 hours before the October 29th trade deadline.
Allen’s Role as President/GM
Daniel Snyder has continued to be criticized for letting Allen be the face of the organization. Snyder was nowhere to be found at the press conference when it was announced Asst HC Bill Callahan would be named the Interim HC after the firing of Jay Gruden, which is unusual for a professional sports organization. The most disturbing statement from the Callahan press conference occurred when Allen was asked to give his thoughts on the declining culture issues within the organization.
“The culture is actually damn good.”
Allen’s response deeply disturbed many fans and social media was buzzing with their displeasure and frustration with the team president.
Allen is widely believed to be at the core of the disconnect among players, coaches and staff within the organization. It’s a mystery to many why Snyder continues to allow Allen to micromanage his franchise. He is involved in every facet of the Redskins’ organization, including, ticket sales, player personnel decisions, PR and more. This is unusual for a President and possibly plays a role in his failures. Some feel a potential stadium deal and move back to Washington D.C. could be what’s keeping Allen in power. Although the latest incident with Williams is a black eye for the organization, will it be enough to fire Allen or, at a minimum, possibly be reassigned?
Next Redskins General Manager?
Many believe Snyder trusts and values the insight of former Head Coach, Joe Gibbs and Gibbs hasn’t been shy about his fondness for one particular football mind who previously worked in Washington. That would be former Redskins’ employee Louis Riddick. The current ESPN NFL analyst is one of the most respected in the industry. Riddick served as Washington’s pro scout from 2001-2004 and was promoted to Director of Pro Personnel and held that position from 2005-2007.
Although some believe that Riddick could become another Snyder “yes man”, he earned his stripes with Gibbs, which should mean something to ownership and fans, alike. Riddick provides an impressive background in college and pro scouting that could return a once-proud organization to relevance. Unlike Allen, Riddick is well respected among NFL circles and many believe he’s up to the task of the GM role. The ESPN analyst could start to repair a franchise in peril, which has fallen from grace since Snyder’s acquisition of the team in 1999.
As far as finding a team President, others within the organization could be considered. Mainstays Eric Schaffer, who serves as the Senior VP of football operations and Doug Williams, who is the Senior VP of player personnel should be on the short list. It would make a ton of sense for one of these to get the promotion, which in turn would make the GM position more attractive for the likes of Riddick or even fan favorite, Kyle Smith, who has done good things in building the roster as the Director of College Scouting.
It is widely believed that Smith has the most upside of anybody in the organization. Many around the league feel that if Allen remains in power, Smith will take a higher organizational role with another NFL franchise. Riddick and Smith are two viable options for GM, but if Allen is stripped of his GM duties and left in his current position as team President, will anything really change in Washington?
The question remains whether Snyder will continue to put his trust in Bruce Allen or seek council outside the organization with the likes of Joe Gibbs, which Snyder has done in the past. Also, is he willing to step back and let football people have full control over the roster and let them pick the next coaching staff when the season concludes?
All this will play out within the coming days and weeks, but a scenario in which Riddick is brought aboard to run the team’s football operations as the General Manager could be just what this young roster needs to take the next step in returning to relevance.
By Adam Aniba
Follow on Twitter @TheBandGreport
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