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Need to Know: Redskins’ Allen does little to inspire confidence

Jan 1, 2015, 5:24 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 1, 119 days before the Redskins make their pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.

Three and out—Happy New Year edition

1. Before I could ask Bruce Allen my planned question about why season ticket holders should expect things to be any different, someone else asked a similar question. Here is Allen’s response: “I think there is going to be changes. I know Jay mentioned that he’s going to make some changes and there’s going to be some other changes. But that’s part of the evaluation process right now. We’re looking for the solutions to get the team back on track. It seems like a long time ago when we won the division, and in football I guess it’s sort of like those dog years, it does multiply with each year. But, I’ve seen different people perform, I’ve seen the way people have evaluated talent, I’ve seen the way they’ve worked together, and I know this group will do it again.”

2. Like many answers yesterday, it was sadly lacking in meat on the bone. You certainly don’t expect Allen to lay out his offseason plan in front of the world. But you do expect him to give answers that provide confidence that he has a plan that will work. He failed. There are plenty of reasons to be distrustful of his ability to guide the franchise out of the wilderness. I always say to judge by what they do and not by what they say so we will see what happens. Based on what we’ve heard, there are grounds to be skeptical of every move we see. (Here is the transcript of Allen’s news conference)

3. The first major move that Allen and Jay Gruden will make is hiring a defensive coordinator to replace Jim Haslett, who parted ways with the Redskins yesterday. The only potential candidate to surface is an internal one, secondary coach Raheem Morris. We’ll flesh out that possibility in the next day or two but there has to be some hesitation there due to the fact that the defensive backfield frequently was a mess. There also is the matter of Morris being in the building already and a different set of eyes from the outside to fix the struggling defense might be a better option. Morris would be a popular choice among the players but that right there may be a good reason to find an outside hire.

Out: Happy New Year! Thanks for your support and reading and discussing my posts. As far as the Redskins go, there’s no place to go but up in 2015 (well, almost).


—It’s been 4 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 256 days until they play another one

Days until: NFL free agency starts 69; 2015 NFL Draft 119

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I’ll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. maxpower65 - Jan 1, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    I think Allen’s news conference is all the evidence needed that Allen himself is a huge part of this team’s problem. And until Allen is replaced, I can’t see anything changing for the better. :(

    • hitmeimopen - Jan 1, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Got to take that one step further. Until Snyder goes…

      • deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:47 AM

        Snyder is the big problem He dropped 2 TD passes in the Cowboys game and couldn’t block anyone.

        • gasngo14 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:54 AM

          The only thing Snyder dropped was his prices on jerseys from his Big splash free agent failures!

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 1, 2015 at 4:03 PM

        maxpower65 has it dead on. However, no owner is going to fire himself. Snyder biggest issue is hiring poor front office men like Vinny and Bruce. However, get over the idea that the owner is going anywhere. If you waiting for that to happen then you might as well look for another team to cheer on.

    • deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      This was painful to watch I can’t wait until next years Press Conference. Because Allen is going to get the SAME questions for the 3rd year in a row. Did anybody else notice that some of the questions were the same ones as last year?

      Allen was not happy up there answering questions. It felt like an interrogation. Clearly he was extremely uncomfortable and simply avoided answering some direct questions and other times he gave confusing answers. This is a man who has no plan and no answers….and he as much admitted that with answers like “we going to be searching” “we;ll be meeting and looking for solutions” and “its an evaluation process” etc etc…

      Bruce Allen is a man without a plan but he has a title and a big salary. Must be nice.

  2. gonavybeatarmy - Jan 1, 2015 at 7:37 AM


    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    You do a fine job providing great analysis and content unmatched in the market. You do it with a rarely seen level of modesty and a high degree of professionalism.

    Unfortunately, the team you cover and the team we all love has a majority owner that either isn’t really that bright or refuses to grow up despite being old enough to now know better. It’s clear that Allen has no clue what he’s doing, and so he’s the perfect mouthpiece for Snyder.

    Unfortunately, I believe the team is unaware that they are at a very dangerous place that’s almost unthinkable: they are losing the fan base.

    I spoke or e-mailed with several people I know in our section of the stadium and honestly none of them planning on returning. And there will be no offseason move (new defensive coordinator, new overpriced 30 year old free agent) apparently that will alter their decision. In fact, that may compound the problem even more as it reinforces a long-standing perception of this horrible operation.

    Snyder and Allen had one chip to play with the fans yesterday: hire the late 1970’s version of the next Bobby Beathard. That will not happen as Snyder and Allen are too arrogant or just too stupid.

    • skinsgame - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      So, who would that be? Do you believe that there is an amazing GM out there that is unemployed and waiting for their call?

      • gonavybeatarmy - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:52 AM

        Ummm…Chris Ballard, Nick Casserio, Eric DeCosta, Brian Gaines, Tom Gamble (out of work as of yesterday), Scott McCloughan (out of work), Scott Pioli, Brian Xanders, Will McClay, Terry McDonough, Rick Mueller, Ryan Pace, Jon Robinson, Duke Tobin (worked successfully for three years and turned around a franchise that was a joke like the Skins) and Eliot Wolf.

        It’s not that hard. But Snyder and Allen are unwilling or just not smart enough to find the right person and empower him to re-build this mess of an organization that has become the laughingstock of pro sports.

        • gonavybeatarmy - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:57 AM

          Duke Tobin worked successfully for three years with Jay Gruden and identified top notch talent up and down their draft boards over multiple years.

  3. murphsman - Jan 1, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Happy New Year’s Rich. A lot of fans on here say we don’t have the players to run the 3-4, but in your honest opinion, how much do you think the roster would be affected if Snyder hired someone that wanted to go back to a 4-3? And how much input do you think Bruce and Dan will have if they hire a DC that wants to do that?

  4. kenlinkins - Jan 1, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    Rich: IMO GM’s Allen’s interview was filled with weasel words and a lot of self forgiving statements. I have said for years one of this teams main problems is players allowing themselves a “my bad” or “that’s on me” statement without any real down side. It seems that the GM is also allowing himself a pass on another poor performance. How can you hold players accountable if the GM will not step up and lead. IMO GM Allen could have said he is now looking for a “football” GM and he will move to having the President title only. Add that to Haslett being allowed to leave (was he fired, did he quit, offered a settlement to move on) only 3 days after the seasons end would have shown at lease a small commitment to “win or be gone”! When things get this bad and the most loyal fan base in the NFL starts talking about leaving a GM can not be wishy washy, he should take firm action. GM Allen only offered a basic outline on how to move forward. While business buzz words may work in the board room, they hold no meaning to the fans in the stands who understand what it is like to be fired if you fail at your job. I for one was very disappointed in GM Allen’s answers, and I thank you for calling him out on it. Happy New Year to one and ALL!

  5. vcuramsfan - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Hope and Change – I think I’ve heard that somewhere before….

    • Skulb - Jan 1, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      May it sustain you, both on the unemployment line and at Redskins home games.

  6. ideabook2014 - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Time for the Skins to go all in and get Cutler from the Bears for Garcon. The could probably get Marshall as well for some serious draft picks. I think the Bears will be doing a major house cleaning in 2015.

    • deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

      Vinnie……is that you?

  7. brucealmty - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    When does Redskin leadership give the annual “State of the Redskin” news conference? That, I suspect, will be more informative than yesterday’s babbling Bruce.

  8. mr.moneylover - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    You can tell he dont know what hes doing he doesnt look confident at all I can read a person face…he put on that fake smurk and skip over questions he dont even have the answers to…ppl going to stop buying them season tickets watch…bruce allen digging this team deeper and deeper into the ground and dan synder just sitting back letting it happen…I respect raheem morris for convincing everybody to get breeland in the draft but thats only one…the media should’ve ask bruce allen about the tracy porter signing…he barely played he signed with the redskins and bruce allen already knew tracy porter banged up his sholder and he still signed him that shows bruce allen dont know what hes really doing to build a solid team…until he step down redskins not going no were no time soon
    dont know what hes doing

  9. brucealmty - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    It’s hard to see guys like Ryan Kerrigan wanting to re-sign with the Redskins. He’s going to get good money wherever he goes, why would he want to stay with a loser organization?

    • deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:43 AM

      Kerrigan likes it here. He has already said he wants to stay….and oh by the way…he is not going anywhere because he will get a new contract with the skins.

  10. gasngo14 - Jan 1, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Happy New Year! It could get much happier if Dan relieves Allen of his duties, the guy who informed us Hawaii had telephones and he could mow the grass and would be happy to do it daily. I have been saying for years Dan won’t change until the fans demand one… by sending him a strong message, giving up season tickets, stop buying merchandise and even sending him a letter or two.

    Allen’s record speaks for itself and who really cares what his Daddy has done? Allen is clearly clueless and wants to tell us how Washington is winning “off the field” and how we are better because we won a division game this season. Dan and Allen have force fed us loyal fans more false hope once again and will continue until us fans stop chewing. Allen’s specialty is clearly a money man who can fit the big contracts under the cap and not on player development or scouting.

    Nothing will change until Dan and Allen step aside and hire a young GM to put the people / players in place. Maybe a guy like Nick Caserio, director of player personnel, New England Patriots. Nick interviewed with the Dolphins last year so it’s likely he wants the new challenge. Chris Ballard would be another great fit as he has a very strong scouting background.

    “We the People” have the power! Let’s all take a stand in 2015. HTTR!

  11. deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    there is a lack of honesty whenever Allen speaks. He dances around everything. He didn’t speak directly about Haslett’s failure to develop young players or about the Tampa mafia and this hiring practice of hiring all his friends who have been fired somewhere else.

    He said that he wished he could show us the draft grades given out by Scott Campbell, but who was stopping him? Instead he praised the scouting department and defended anybody and everybody who was responsible for cutting 2 of last years draft picks…Hocker the kicker and the tight end Ted Bolser…who by the way caught a TD pass in preseason….both were CUT right after the skins wasted TWO draft picks.

    Allen is carrying on a family tradition to be sure. THE FUTURE IS NOW!…….If you want to know what the future holds for the Redskins…’re seeing it NOW. Dead Last in the NFC East.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 1, 2015 at 4:21 PM

      “He said that he wished he could show us the draft grades given out by Scott Campbell, but who was stopping him?”

      I love this statement and was standing the same thing about who is stopping you while listening to the press conference.

  12. jscx3 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    First step was made, no more Haz. Now just need to get new ol coach. new voices and faces needed to lead. Keep both lb coaches. When new dc comes in let go of Morris. I think he was just as guilty as Haz. They have always been tough on run but against the pass horrible! I really believe we have just enough to compete in east. If lucky maybe two fa runs and drafts could get us stronger. Develop players, and key signings. As for the qb, Gruden was hired to develop Griffin, he bailed on him to win. I know that’s his ultimate goal, but a quality starting qb will get you more wins. Have a compitition, chose a winner. Then let him play. Don’t be so quick with the hook. All three qbs will have a hard time because there is no support from their d. They can’t make one mistake. Makes them play tighter. Be patient we have seen success come in this league and be sustained. I would take a three year run in the playoffs! Last, get rid of the snitches. Model after the patriot way. Keep it in house, keep your mouth shut do your job. Seems like that formula works.

    • deepball1 - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:54 AM

      Morris should have been let go immediately with Haslett. This shows a spineless and confused organization.

      Once Morris is fired by the New Defensive Coordinator….Morris will have been fired 2 times in a row and by 2 teams finishing in the bottom 5. Enuff said. This is like trying to clean out a filthy room by keeping some of the mold on the walls. WHY NOT JUST CLEAN THE WHOLE DAMN ROOM AND SANITIZE IT?

      The reason? because this is the Washington Redskins and this is the way to finish last 6 out of 7 years.

  13. gurnblanstonreturns - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Bruce Allen: Hey, we are winning off the field, and we once had a real GM before Danny fired Charley Casserly. And you say we can’t find good players, well, Sammy Baugh once led the league in passing, punting and interceptions – so there!

  14. goback2rfk - Jan 1, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Looks like the Redskins make a change at def. coordinator and keep the rest of the dis-function in place.

  15. oaklandred - Jan 1, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Bruce Allen knows that his job is to be a fig leaf for Dan Snyder. He isn’t accountable for the team’s performance, success isn’t his goal. There can be no strong general manager for this team, since that would take authority and attention away from Dan Snyder. Snyder just needs Allen there to make it look like a real football organization, and to insulate Snyder from criticism.

    Allen says Jay Gruden has authority, and that is what he was told when he was hired. Allen is there every day however to telegraph to Gruden what Snyder wants, and that is to play Robert Griffin.

    Griffin is Snyder’s alter ego, the socially glib personality that Snyder is not, but who he identifies with. Griffin is not a good NFL quarterback, and Gruden knows it. Gruden hoped he could get Cousins or McCoy to play well enough that there would be no turning back to Griffin. But Cousins had a hurdle to overcome in terms of learning better game presence under pressure, and McCoy got hurt.

    Gruden said that if he were told to play just one quarterback (of course that means Griffin, because he’s Snyder’s pet) he would do it. Gruden knew what he had to say when he could have been fired at the end of the season. Although the game is that Snyder/Allen don’t tell Gruden who to play, Gruden in reality has only so much room to maneuver.

    Robert Griffin doesn’t have to be accountable either, so far, since he knows he is the owner’s pet, and knew that if it came down to choosing between Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin, the owner would choose his alter ego, Griffin, and will do it again – until it is politically impossible due to fan and media outrage.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 1, 2015 at 4:13 PM

      Another nonsense assumption that Snyder is making personnel decisions. It’s just not the case and hasn’t been for a very long time.

  16. rtcwon - Jan 1, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Guess I’m on an island here finding nothing wrong with anything he said. Or liking the direction of the team. Could change depending on the new DC but think they’ll get that right also.

    Surprised all you fair weather fans are still around but now that we’ve turned the corner, you want to jump ship now? Go ahead!

    • gasngo14 - Jan 1, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      may i asked……what corner?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 1, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      rtcwon, how about provide what you liked from Bruce Allen’s answers? I’d be happy to then respond to why very little had any substance and insurance that this organization is going to improve.

  17. redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 1, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Until we find a credible GM, there is little chance this organization can improve. From coaches to players; few will be willing to come here until there is a quality front office. Even Snyder’s money has it’s limit.

    Who here would have loved to replace Gruden for the likes of Jim Harbaugh? However, a coach of that caliber wouldn’t even answer a phone call from the likes of Bruce.

    • mr.moneylover - Jan 2, 2015 at 7:46 AM

      I wouldnt …cause you will get the same results …they coaching style is the same yea they might handle the media different but its all about having players who play for the love of the game and not just the money and sad to say but redskins got players on the team who just there for the money and darrell young spoke on that when they interview him on his exit interview he was pissed that they ended the season that way Archives

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