It’s a season of drama in the District of Columbia, both as to national politics and as to the local NFL team. It’s not clear which drama is more compelling.
As to the local NFL team, a string of odd occurrences coupled with a deafening silence that borders on defiance has thrust the franchise squarely into the middle of the league’s radar of dysfunction. From the muzzling of G.M. Scot McCloughan to the reckless speculation about McCloughan from team employee Chris Cooley to the team’s “no comment” in response to Cooley’s remarks to the decision to invest another $24 million into a quarterback about whom the team otherwise seems ambivalent to the exclusion of McCloughan from the Scouting Combine to the failure of Bruce Allen or anyone else with the team to address any of these issues in the back-and-forth of a press conference or an interview, the team has concocted a rancid stew of image problems. Even if, at the end of the day, everything resolves in a normal, reasonable, sensical way, it won’t change the fact that, for a period of weeks, a strong sense existed that the franchise has lost its way in bizarre fashion.
In Indianapolis, where coaches and scouts and executives and agents and media have gathered for the Scouting Combine, the speculation has become rampant. Absent credible facts or a plausible explanation for any of the various curiosities regarding the team, the speculation will intensify, and the line between perception and reality will disappear.
Already, there’s a belief among some in Indy that McCloughan will never return as G.M. of the team (despite the team’s insistence that he will) and that the franchise already is talking to potential replacements. Until then, the G.M. who graduated to a role of greatly reduced accountability is back in the saddle from a football standpoint.
From a P.R. perspective, it’s unclear who is calling the shots. Maybe the answer is “no one,” because that’s the way it currently seems.