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Bruce Allen takes control of the Redskins


Even with coach Mike Shanahan finally out, the overall atmosphere with the Redskins remains a bit on the bizarre side.

From the media availability (non-availability) of quarterback Robert Griffin III (who initially wasn’t going to speak at all until conducting a conference call in which he read from a prepared statement and took no questions) and owner Daniel Snyder (who was nowhere to be seen on day critical to the franchise’s present and future) to P.R. chief Tony Wyllie’s reported game of microphone tug-of-war with WUSA-TV’s David Owens during G.M. Bruce Allen’s press conference, it was yet another strange day for a strange team at a strange time.

Meanwhile, the guy who was hired to set the table for the fired head coach has emerged with more power than ever.  Allen, a former agent and cap specialist with no specific scouting background or expertise, told reporters he now holds the authority that Shanahan previously possessed.

“The control will be mine,” Allen said, channeling the late Al Haig, “and it will be working with our personnel department.  The personnel department of [director of player personnel] Scott Campbell and [director of pro personnel] Morocco Brown actually do a very good job at what they do.  We are going to redefine some of the characteristics that we’re looking for in players.  Obviously when we have a new head coach there will be some schematic adjustments that we will make, but that power will be with me.”

The placement of the power with Allen removes from the list of potential head coaches anyone who would want the power that Allen has now inherited from Shanahan.  For example, Bill Cowher’s name already has been mentioned in some circles, but he’d want final say.  Ditto for other big-name, big-brand coaches who would immediately restore some of the credibility the franchise has squandered in recent years.

Then again, Snyder may prefer to hire a lower-profile (and in turn lower priced) coach who will be happy to defer to Allen and even happier to be the head coach of an NFL team.  While the pendulum likely won’t fully swing to the Jim Zorn end of the spectrum, the Redskins have created an environment in which they’ll necessarily be searching for a head coach in a specific band of lesser-known options who are willing to submit to the authority of Allen and, perhaps more importantly, to fully embrace the team’s franchise quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Whether that’s Baylor coach Art Briles, who wouldn’t be considered for any NFL job other than the one with the team quarterbacked by his former pupil, or an up-and-coming assistant whose ambition will cloud his judgment or a recycled head coach who can’t otherwise get a sniff, the Redskins seem to have realized that, while the demand “A” list coaches far outweighs the supply, the supply of second-tier options dramatically exceeds the demand.

Even if they don’t get the guy they want, they’ll eventually get a guy who desperately wants the job — and then Allen, whose primary skills arguably flow more from politics than from pigskins, can act like the man they hire was the first choice.

It may not work, but for a team that just went 3-13 with a $7 million-per-year head coach who commanded full control, hiring a cheaper and less powerful option can’t create much worse results.

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51 Responses to “Bruce Allen takes control of the Redskins”
  1. bugorfeature says: Dec 30, 2013 10:39 PM

    What a soap opera,

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 30, 2013 10:40 PM

    Well at least they are starting to form a systematic distribution of powers. Whoever they get as a coach just needs to understand the role and the niche that is custom carved out for that person. If the scouting people are as good as Bruce Allen believes, then this could work out nicely, and there’s no rule that says you have to spend many millions to find a great football coach that knows how to get the job done. And sounds like this job is going to be very straight forward.

  3. stevejjones says: Dec 30, 2013 10:53 PM

    I love the media snark because Snyder won’t feed the beast. He doesn’t have to talk to reporters. They hate it. I love it. Leave em wanting more Dan!

  4. footballfan58 says: Dec 30, 2013 10:56 PM

    What a mess. And a waste of an NFL team.

  5. niquebchillin says: Dec 30, 2013 10:59 PM

    We saw what a coach picking players can do, time for the scouts to do their jobs … But yall took the sucker approach on tjis article … Allen won Executive of the Year 02 .. Playing down Allen like he a water boy lol. .

  6. hitmeimopen says: Dec 30, 2013 10:59 PM

    Maybe. But it’s more likely a way for Snyder to continue the madness…he is the source.

  7. vbe2 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:01 PM

    Is that something that you really want to take control of?

  8. cguy7 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:01 PM

    The Al Haig reference is laughable. The Skins are a laughingstock. They’ll need 10 defenders, 4 OL, and 2 WR for starters…

  9. redskinfansince82 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:05 PM

    If they hire another retread who made their bones with another team i’m going to tell my son it’s ok to root for the Ravens. When are they going to seriously consider hiring a qualified black head coach? They have tried everything else and it hasn’t worked. Look at the guy at Stanford,Doug Williams or the Texas A&M coach? They are light years better than Jim Zorn and Spurrier. You have nothing else to lose!

  10. petehemlock says: Dec 30, 2013 11:07 PM

    It never ceases to amaze. Only 32 positions like these and half of them are filled with average Joes.

  11. eagleseagleseagles says: Dec 30, 2013 11:13 PM

    It’s not going to matter because Snyder will probably fire the guy within 2 years.

  12. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 30, 2013 11:27 PM

    Look at all the haters mad that RGIII isn’t their QB and the Washington Redskins are better then your favorite team in every way. #HowdoesthatHateradetaste

  13. rodvmunchiii says: Dec 30, 2013 11:28 PM

    Uh yeah, good luck with that DC.

    -A Bucs Fan

  14. snakesmileyface says: Dec 30, 2013 11:35 PM

    Bruce Allen is probably one of the few NFL people that could work with someone like Snyder and get anything done. It’s not widely reported, but Allen was a very valuable resource for Al Davis during the late ’90s and early 2000’s. The Raiders haven’t been the same since he left. Allen did good things for the Raiders; I hope he has success in DC with his new role.

  15. rodvmunchiii says: Dec 30, 2013 11:35 PM

    Allen’s FA signings in Tampa…

    Various 35-year old offensive linemen and running backs.

    Various 40-year old WR’s.

    Allen’s drafting in TB…

    Needing a QB he skips on Aaron Rodgers and the team relies on Chris Simms…

    Produced I believe one Pro-Bowler in his 5 years in Tampa (OG Joesph).

    For those that say he cleaned up the cap space – well letting Sapp walk and cutting Lynch and using that cap space to sign Charlie Garner and some 35-year old offensive linemen – well the results speak for themselves. Yeah he cleared up the cap space by letting stars walk and wasting money on players that spent all year on IR.

    Again, good luck DC, you’re badly badly going to need it.

  16. bmacwillconn says: Dec 30, 2013 11:37 PM

    This situation is a perfect fit for Lane Kiffan to step in and restore order.

  17. MichaelEdits says: Dec 30, 2013 11:43 PM

    I hear Ray Handley’s free.

  18. subzero05 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:45 PM

    Shanahan has blamed everyone but himself for his failures. What has he accomplished in 15 years? He’s a coach with a diva/power complex. McNabb was right

  19. croghan1919 says: Dec 30, 2013 11:53 PM

    I am so happy that the alleged drunken drug addict Jim Irsay is supposed to be is the owner of my favorite team.
    Say what you want, but it all starts at the TOP with the owners.
    Irsy started out picking up and cleaning towels and jock straps in the Colts locker room.
    And with all of this NFL experience Irsay still has the common sense to hire a GM that actually runs the operation and keeps his hands off MOST of the time.
    Theres much to be said for earning the respect of peers within your profession. Which Irsay has done and Snyder has apparently not. Just ask those within NFL circles which franchise is more appealing to work for.

  20. 25cuts says: Dec 31, 2013 12:03 AM

    Team is in shambles. Haha they’ll stink for years to come just like the past 20 years

  21. mysonzdad says: Dec 31, 2013 12:10 AM

    Being completely objective here but the PERFECT hire for the Redskins would be Tony Dungy or Lovie. Not because they’re black but they need a polar opposite to Shanahan. Snyder bent over backwards and likely forwards for Shanahan.

  22. ttommytom says: Dec 31, 2013 12:22 AM

    Snyderville has always been a landmine. As a Giant fan it is the ONE East team I respect because of the Gibbs/Hoggs era and a fan base that were never jerks (Eagles) or misinformed slash dreaming (Cowboys). The old Cardinals come to mind but they never existed.

    I think of the Orioles and how they threw money away. They got a coach. Red Sox had talent. Anyone for Bobby V? How did they fix that? The RIGHT coach for the situation.

    They need the right coach. The talent is there. Shanahan is a feeb (Bobby V) and his son was not qualified.

    I’d give Jay Gruden an offer he couldn’t refuse and guess what, his big brother would be a de facto assistant.

    Good luck in DC.

  23. jucam1 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:23 AM

    I think what this article helps to prove is that between Jerruh and Danny Boy destroying their franchises, turning them in to fantasy squads that never win key games, and that are run by clowns. The Eagles and Giants are going to own the NFCEast for the next 15 years because even though the GMen blew this season, at least they have intelligent Football people running their franchise. The Eagles have a great ownership/GM structure and fantastic coach who came in and took a 4-12 team to a NFCE title, and is just getting started in drafting his type of players. I’m sure Giant and Philly fans are ecstatic knowing that the other two teams won’t be a threat because their owners will never admit they have no clue how to run a team and will continue to be doormats for the other two teams in the division. When you are celebrating the fact that B Allen won executive of the year award over a decade ago, it explains just how sad and pathetic your team is. And even though the Washington Pro team is a disaster, at least their insane owner has enough sense to hire a GM!… He’s an awful GM, but its better than the crypt keeper in Dallas acting like he has even a tiny clue about football today. How sad and pathetic these once proud franchises look today, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

  24. donttrip22 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:25 AM

    Gonna be a lot harder to find a coach willing to put his career and reputation on the line with RGIII as the QB

  25. dannyglover21 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:27 AM

    I really hate Synder but I didn’t see him today and you have to take that as a positive. Remember aj smith is lurking somewhere in this organization… Vinny 2.0???

  26. qweststrike2008 says: Dec 31, 2013 12:35 AM


    “Danny says RG-Me isn’t going anywhere, and I have volunteered to be his sock puppet. Where didI put that phone number for that Baylor coach? Oh, and someone get me an emery board, I need to go do RG-Me’s nails….”

  27. yetimonster says: Dec 31, 2013 12:43 AM

    NFCE basement for the next 3 years, minimum.

  28. getyourownname says: Dec 31, 2013 12:47 AM

    Now ask yourself what prospective coach would feel comfortable he can succeed in this environment.

    Answer: a coach who has no other alternative, and does not expect to ever get one.

  29. commonsensedude says: Dec 31, 2013 12:59 AM

    We honestly can’t do all that much worse than we’ve done over the past four years. I’m glad Bruce Allen is taking the reigns. He has been an NFL General Manager two times before coming to Washington and is, of course, the son of the late great Redskins coach George Allen.

    I agree that our team has become a soap opera (cue the music). But, going this direction and letting Allen be the actual GM that he was named to be can’t be any worse than continuing with Shanford and Son.

  30. xofootballer says: Dec 31, 2013 1:04 AM

    I pity the new head coach. He’s going to find out the long way what Shanahan already knows – RG3 is a better media creation QB phenom than he ever will be on the field. On the other hand, good news for the other teams in division. They will hang onto Griffith way too long ensuring the Redskins won’t be really competitive for years.

  31. redskins82 says: Dec 31, 2013 1:09 AM

    I love the fact that Snyder is getting under your skin and won’t give you the satisfaction.

  32. flsnupe says: Dec 31, 2013 1:17 AM

    Ask yourself, how many other teams made their QB available? Thats right, none. I would call that quite normal! People should quit being sheep.

  33. flsnupe says: Dec 31, 2013 1:22 AM

    Also, what aspiring new coach is not desperate to coach in the nfl? Exactly what is bizzare? Allen the administrator stating he has people respected for what they do and will restruct the org. Thats solid mgt in my opinion

  34. bobbinski1229 says: Dec 31, 2013 1:50 AM

    How is this a mess? You mean a GM controlling decisions for players is a mess folks? Come on guys let’s get real here. Everyone complains about Snyder but since Allen/Shanahan have been there Snyder hasn’t really done anything for the team but refuse to change the name…

    This is just a bad team making a coaching change. The GM is stepping up handling all the duties needed for the team, so the coach can focus on coaching… This to me seems like a non-issue.

    This is just like every other article about the Redskins, it’s something trivial getting blown up into something more. I’m shocked this wasn’t a way to take a stab at RG3.

    Bruce Allen has been in the game for a while, and all of his draft picks have been pretty spot on. Did the reach for RG3? Who knows, it’s only been two seasons. What if the next 5 seasons are like his first….? Let’s talk about teams in the playoffs and less about trivial matters in the NFL.

  35. musicman495 says: Dec 31, 2013 2:03 AM

    For all the media know-it-alls who dismiss this setup, and dismiss Bruce Allen as knowing nothing about football, and dismiss any coach who would agree to work for Allen and Snyder, I refer you to the New Orleans Saints. Think the Skins of today are more screwed up than the Saints of 1967 to 2005? Not even close. Mickey Loomis, who started as the Saints so-called “cap and contract specialist,” supposedly knew nothing about players or coaches or football either. Loomis then proceeded to hire a former Parcells assistant named Sean Payton and make personnel decisions. Payton became the most successful coach in franchise history, and the Saints have won more games than any other franchise since 2006. Payton now has full control of the product on the field and player decisions, but believe me, it did not start out that way.

  36. bobgriffinthe3rd says: Dec 31, 2013 5:00 AM

    i cant believe the fired Michael he was the best thing to happen to the racial slur dc team that plays in Maryland but its headquarters are located in Virginia. this used to be s proud organization with s strong fan base but as you people call me rgme and other names you nincompoops dont know the story the racial slur is a distraction from me the redskins are getting its name chsnged to the Washington Bob cats in reference tk thr name bob griffin

  37. haileysbadoldad says: Dec 31, 2013 7:50 AM

    And we’re screwed

  38. em11965 says: Dec 31, 2013 8:02 AM

    These businessmen run these sports franchises very differently from their regular businesses. I’m sure that they don’t let their egos get in the way with their regular businesses and micromanage them like this. Otherwise they would have went broke. When owning a sports team, it is much more competitive and owners are too impulsive. Regular businesses are not nearly as competitive and these owners are more hands off. This is why billioniare businessmen sometimes are lousy owners.

  39. flmike says: Dec 31, 2013 8:32 AM

    Hmmm, Snydar’s a schmuck, you are allowing this idiot to run your franchise, ha. He was Chucky’s hand puppet in Tampa. He can’t evaluate talent and his cap strategy (supposedly his strength) left the Bucs in Cap Hell for 4 years.

  40. greymares says: Dec 31, 2013 8:38 AM

    Change the name, change the karma !

  41. vottorific says: Dec 31, 2013 8:50 AM

    Welp! There goes 90% of experianced head coaches. Owner still is the GM.

  42. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 31, 2013 9:16 AM

    The least attractive HC opening in the league. Worst owner, RGFragileEgo who is bound to continue a downward spiral of suck, terrible GM who seems on an ego trip himself.

    I think most coaching candidates they reach out to will run screaming into the night preferring to coach a high school team than go anywhere near this job.

  43. ravishingronald says: Dec 31, 2013 9:27 AM

    Who is the Washington equal of jason Garret?

  44. theblowtorchreview says: Dec 31, 2013 9:29 AM

    Dear Bruce,

    I’m still in charge and dont you forget it! Just ask RG3.

    Sincerely, The Danny

  45. dikshuttle says: Dec 31, 2013 9:35 AM


    If he’d commanded control, he would have had control. Instead he compromised and half-coarched his way out of his current job (purposefully) and most likely out of the chance for a following job (not so purposefully).

    This next statement is in no way a support of the current FO, but: “good riddance”.

  46. ziplock10 says: Dec 31, 2013 10:20 AM

    What a lot of people may not know, the assistant coaches made $7 million in addition to the $7 million Shanny made. Ridiculous..

    Kyle already was making head coach money…

    The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

    All coaches are fired/quit.retired..

  47. rcan7474 says: Jan 1, 2014 9:34 AM

    This is simple, Mr. Allen contact me for the possible hiring of your recent opening. My credentials do not come from the hallowed grounds of NFL coaching.
    The come from the hallowed grounds of the U.S Navy. I am a retired Master Chief that knows about Leadership and finding qualities in people. Worried about sleeping in the office to get the game plan figured out No problem , have there cramped and uncomfortable ,but it doesn’t stop you from doing your job effectively. Noise levels in stadium,s not a problem have you ever worked the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
    Taking heat from the media because of a loss, well no problem i have taken heat from some of the very best in the business, called Air Bosses, and Commanding Officers.
    As to whom to hire for assistants we will look for the best and brightest, pay them very good because they will be the brains behind the field work, not me. And we will pay them good because what you will pay me will be extremely less then you have been paying, I will be there to lead and set the example and take the heat when it doesn’t go right
    I will be there to handle young men in an environment where the word teammate will be synonymous with shipmate. I will be there to make sure that each and every person from the equipment people to our high profiled Quarterback will be held accountable for there actions, but it will not be done publicly and it will stay in the locker room.
    And Sir, we will win games because we will build that in the locker room, through Pride, Commitment,and Inclusion. Not through Self Motivation, Idealism,and Arrogance.


    Retired Master Chief,USN
    Please email me
    if you want to continue the interview process

  48. mjw9326mjw9326 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:30 AM

    You can hire some old Bills duds. Dick (milk toast) Jauron anyone? How about Chan Gailey? Greg Williams or Mike Mularkey?
    Wade Phillips likely wants another shot at it. He “might” even get a sniff of playoffs, but no more. This is the guy who cluelessly proclaimed about one of his lousy return guys, “He’s a punt catcher, not a punt returner”. Good luck with any or all of them.

  49. mjw9326mjw9326 says: Jan 1, 2014 10:37 AM

    If he had real brains (obviously he does not) he would hire Bill Polian as an advisor, if not the real man in control. All the guy does is build successful franchises. So he can be a bit abrupt. He WINS. He built the 90’s Bills, the expansion Carolina Panthers and the Colts into Super Bowl Contenders. What did Allen and Shanahan bring them? Not the Penthouse, but the Outhouse.

  50. em11965 says: Jan 1, 2014 11:06 AM

    You have excellent leadership abilities, but what is the depth of your football knowledge. This team needs a shrewd person when it comes to finding mid round players because they are way over the salary cap. Their free agents signings have been bust. They think that a superstar for one team will automatically be a superstar on another team. Your owner lacks football knowledge but he is a meddler. This makes it very difficult for football personnel to succeed. Are you sure that you want this headache? If you do, good luck to you.

    Thanks for your service to our nation.

  51. rcan7474 says: Jan 1, 2014 12:39 PM

    I do not have much past the high school level, but the state of this team needs management in the form of leadership that will stick. As to the owner there have been in my experience more meddlers then i care to remember in the military,and somehow we survive by utilizing there so called strengths to our advantage, many times you need to catch the arrogance and OR ignorance make it there idea,and they our working very diligently on your behalf………
    and thank you…PROUD TO HAVE SERVED

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