Jan 1, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
“The control will be mine.”
With those five words, Bruce Allen notified us of a seismic shift in the power structure of the Washington Redskins. Mike Shanahan’s departure left a power vacuum in the personnel decisions department and Allen stepped right into it.
Was it a good idea for Daniel Snyder to give this power to Allen, who has not demonstrated great personnel acumen in the past?
Washington Post columnists Jason Reid and Mike Wise certainly don’t think so. Reid said that Allen “doesn’t possess the player evaluation chops to overhaul a roster in disrepair”. Wise summed up Allen’s recent experience as a GM saying that “his last nine years in football have helped get two Super Bowl champion coaches canned, resulted in a 62-82 record, not one playoff win and no Hall of Famers to date in training.”
It’s difficult to argue with Reid, Wise, or anyone who is skeptical that elevating Allen into Shanahan’s duties rather than brining some fresh blood into the organization to rebuild the roster is the right move for the Redskins to make. After all, Allen didn’t just drop onto the scene from Mars; he has been the team’s GM during their span of three seasons of double-digit losses in four years. As he said, “We’re all 3-13”.
This doesn’t mean that this power structure is doomed to failure. They keys are Scott Campbell and Morocco Brown. Campbell has been in charge of college scouting and Brown scouts pro personnel.
“I see some people who have to be given an opportunity to succeed,” said Allen. “I think Scott Campbell running a college draft will be as capable as any personnel director in the NFL. I know what Morocco Brown can do in free agency. I’ve seen the grades of the players he’s given in free agency. To blame them, I think, would be unfair to not giving them an opportunity to succeed.”
You don’t have to be very adept at reading between the lines to believe that Allen thinks that Campbell and Brown gave Shanahan sound advice that the coach, in many cases, chose to disregard. Word is that Shanahan relied heavily on people he knew from outside the organization to make his
If Allen’s role is to oversee what Campbell and Brown do, ask questions and challenge their assumptions but to ultimately abide by the recommendations there is some hope of building a strong roster.
However, if Allen decides to make it his show and do what Shanahan did by going his own way and perhaps letting Snyder have a degree of influence what we could end up with is a more of the same.
Given the recent history of the team, it’s easy to see why many believe that the odds are that latter scenario will play out are. Time will tell.