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Moving Towards Getting a GM?

Dec 2, 2004, 12:55 PM EST

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A good article by Len Shapiro in this morning’s Post takes a look at what’s wrong with the Redskins. I particularly liked it because one of the themes presented is that the team needs a strong general manager.

“To me, their big issue is player acquisition,’ said a longtime AFC personnel executive who is assigned to follow the Redskins, among other teams. ‘I’ve never been able to figure out who’s in charge there.”

A defensive coordinator from another team agreed:

“And in this league, anytime you think you individually are the main reason they’ll succeed, you’re wrong,” said the official, who like others, spoke on condition of anonymity. “Back when they were successful, Joe had Bobby Beathard getting the players, then Casserly. Joe needs help. Every head coach needs help, and I’m not sure the way they’re set up that he’s getting all the help he needs.”

I don’t remember if Gibbs himself has ever commented on the possiblility of the team getting a real GM, but he indicated that he wouldn’t have a problem with it.

(Gibbs) said he is open to the idea of hiring a general manager.

“I kind of look at it as I have no problem with that. I’ve worked with GMs before who were really good. I don’t know if it’s as much the title and everything as it is the working relationship,” Gibbs said. “Our working relationship here is very similar to what we had here before with Bobby responsible for the talent and I was responsible for saying, ‘Okay, these are the guys that will stay.’ There is no change in that really.

Now, that doesn’t make it seem like he’s going to take my advice, which is to march in to Snyder’s office the day after the season ends and demand that Snyder hire the best general manager that money can buy. He is, however, moving in the right direction and there is a month left to convince him.

Snyder himself would not comment for the story but his spokesman Karl Swanson had something slightly disconcerting to say about the situation:

“Joe is the president. He sets the direction of the team. If he’s satisfied with the way things are working, then that’s the way they’ll stay.”

Let’s parse this statement. Now, if Joe thinks everything’s OK, then that’s fine. But what if he wants to make major structural changes such as hire a GM with full control over personnel? As team president, does he have the option to change the organizational structure just by wanting to make it so? Or would that have to go through Snyder, who has been reluctant to cede such control in the past? Stay tuned.

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