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The House that Bruce Built


Voice_of_Reason
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I don't often start threads.  But when I do, I try and make them somewhat interesting and thoughtful. Hopefully this is one of those, and hopefully it deserves it's own thread.

 

I spent quite a bit of the day yesterday listening to the press conference and subsequent TV and Radio interviews by Jay Gruden.  And I was impressed by the way he handled the press, I was impressed by the what he said, and he came off as personable, knowledgeable, and genuine.

 

But the 'Skins have hired many a coach, and at the beginning of each tenure, there were reasons for optimism. Not everybody shared all of the optimism for every coach, but here are the things that were generally said:

 

Marty: Well, he was Marty, and one of the winning-est coaches of all time.  The KC chiefs won more games in the 1990's than any other team, including the Cowboys who won 3 SBs and the Broncos who won 2. "Frankly," when he was hired, there was a sense that the professionals were in town.

Spurrier: Great college coach, innovator, could throw on anybody. He's going to revolutionize the pro game.  

Gibbs: (Obvious)

Zorn: Up-and comer, off of the Walsh/Holmgren tree, Reid made a similar move to Philly, from QB coach to HC/OC. Seemed very personable and honest. 

Shanahan: 2 SBs, consistent winner, and a respected coach.  

 

For a variety of reasons, each one of these hires failed to live up to expectations.  The only one that came remotely close was Gibbs, who did reach the playoffs in 2 of his 4 years.  

 

So, when I was sitting there yesterday, I started to think, why would this be any different? I liked the other guys. (I was actually opposed to Spurrier, but that aside...) Why would this be any different. 

 

And I thought about it, and I thought about it, and I thought about it.  And the only thing I could come up with was Bruce Allen.  

 

Now, this is not a thread stating that Bruce is Almighty. Or that Bruce is perfect, or even the perfect person for the job. Or anything like that. It's more to note the fact that it appears that Bruce is in charge, and shine a light on the fact that he's now ultimately responsible. 

 

And I believe that the success or failure of this team now rests squarely on the shoulders of Bruce Allen, even more so than Jay Gruden, if only because Bruce picked Jay. 

 

Here is what we now know about Bruce, and what he has done:

- Bruce has come out and said that he has the final responsibility for player personnel.

- Bruce has deemed that Morocco Brown and Scott Campbell, and their staff's, are the right personnel people to get the best players for the 'Skins. This is clearly a bit of a perception risk, since they've been around a while, and player personnel hasn't been terrific. 

- Bruce has hired Jay Gruden, somebody who he is familiar with. (This was definitely a Bruce hiring, not a Snyder hiring.)

- If Jay Gruden chooses to keep Raheem Morris and/or Jim Haslett, that's going to come back to Bruce in some ways too.  Morris is a Bruce guy. Haslett is massively unpopular with the fan base, but appears to be popular with Bruce and Jay.  Jay's a Bruce guy... 

 

The question now is, Is Bruce Allen competent enough to put the organization together and transform it to a winning organization? 

 

Because the competence of Allen as the GM/"President" of football operations is as important, and I would argue more important, than anything Jay Gruden does as HC.  

 

It seems like there is a clear power structure, and org chart in the building now, with Bruce at the top of it.

 

So, on the day when 95% of the conversation centers around the most visible person in the organization, the HC, I am left thinking about Bruce, the GM, the Player Personnel guys, and the way that the entire organization fits together. 

 

I'm fine with the Jay Gruden hire.  But I was fine with the other hires under Snyder.  (I didn't care for Spurrier ever, but again, that aside). I think Jay did a great job yesterday in his press conference, and subsequent radio appearances.  But I was left thinking that I was impressed by Marty, Gibbs, to some extend Zorn and Shanahan as well. So what's different?

 

And the only difference is:

 

The Redskins are now "the house that Bruce Built."

 

 

 

 

 

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Never gotten the love for Marty with his woeful record where it matters most, the postseason. 

 

But I digress, yeah, feels great doesn't it to FINALLY have, to all intents and purpose, a PROPER football GM who has the owners trus enough for him to hand EVERYTHING over. 

 

Those are some mighty big shoes you're wearing Bruce. To date, as embryonic as this is, you're filling them pretty well. 

 

Long may it continue. 

 

Hail. 

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I did not know too much about Jay Gruden, but like you said Voice of Reason yesterday I listened to his press conference and interviews with the press.  And the one thing that impressed me was that Gruden said that he was going to do everything in his power to put the players in the best position to succeed.  Another thing that I was impressed with was that he said he was not locked into one system.  The other thing that I liked is that he said he wanted to keep the 3-4 because he felt we had a lot of the 3-4 personnel already in place and that the 3-4 gave him fits as an OC.  When Bruce Allen started the process of looking for a new HC, Gruden was not my first pick, but I feel this can work out.

 

I also feel that Bruce Allen made this pick and that Snyder stayed out of the process.  I think Bruce Allen will lean on the the guys in the front office and bring in quality players for the new HC.

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Never gotten the love for Marty with his woeful record where it matters most, the postseason. 

 

But I digress, yeah, feels great doesn't it to FINALLY have, to all intents and purpose, a PROPER football GM who has the owners trus enough for him to hand EVERYTHING over. 

 

Those are some mighty big shoes you're wearing Bruce. To date, as embryonic as this is, you're filling them pretty well. 

 

Long may it continue. 

 

Hail. 

Because for some franchises, which includes this one at the moment, consistant playoff appearances is an upgrade from what we currently have.

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This seems like the most calculated hire Dan Snyder has ever made, other than maybe Bruce himself. Some people will sit there and claim it was another "name hire" but even Snyder is aware enough to know that hiring the brother of Jon is not the same as hiring Jon, and there are a lot of reasons why Jay Gruden is a good fit.

There's no guarantee it will work out, really no reason to get super excited, but definitely no reason to think it will be a failure either. It's really the first coach hire in the last 15 years where we've got a guy with a clean slate who is qualified as has some pieces to work with. No bull#### strings attached (that we know of), no chasing past success. I guess Zorn was the same way, but Gruden is clearly much more qualified than he was. Plus Vinny Cerrato didn't build this team.

 

Like you said, Voice of Reason, the organization is finally structured and there is a competent person at GM and coach (and QB for that matter) for the first time since maybe 1991.

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The problem with Zorn is that it came after a long, ugly coaching search that didn't feel like they knew what they were looking for and took what they could get.  This at least feels like they know what they were looking for.

 

To be honest, it is hard to get excited for any head coaching candidate, since no matter what the pedigree, coaches haven't succeeded here in recent years.  I guess we can be happy about Allen being in charge, but he also has a lot to prove.

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Good points!

The only thing that concerns me is that they made the decision to keep the D staff early, which could mean a couple diff things: a) dan is being cheap, b ) Allen new that Jay was his choice all along.  I hope it was the latter, and Dan didn't unnecessarily tied the new coach to a underperforming D staff.  

Haz hired Jay as his OC back in the arena days, and there's no way I see him stepping down to a position coach. The stage is set and we have Tampa pt 2.

I hope everyone remembers that Gruden/Allen didn't build the Tampa team, he was just part of the group that got them over the hump after Dungy.

Edited by NOtoDC
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For the first time since the mid-1990s, this team is being built in the vision of an independent football guy. It's not being modeled after the current coach and it's not being irrationally modeled by the owner. Bruce Allen is now accountable for the product on the field so he's filling out the front office and coaching staff with people he trusts. That's what I've wanted for a while. Time will tell if Allen can be successful, but the structure itself is finally traditional. 

 

Over time, the continuity argument will mean more because it's Bruce (not the coach) who has the ultimate vision. That should mean that we aren't completely switching gears every time we do need to bring in a new coach or lose a key player. We should have an organizational philosophy that makes it easier to plug and play. 

 

I'm hopeful!

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An article that Keim wrote for ESPN, which I think is relevant to this thread:

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/60474/after-hire-bruce-allen-remains-in-charge
 

Never gotten the love for Marty with his woeful record where it matters most, the postseason. 
 
But I digress, yeah, feels great doesn't it to FINALLY have, to all intents and purpose, a PROPER football GM who has the owners trus enough for him to hand EVERYTHING over. 
 
Those are some mighty big shoes you're wearing Bruce. To date, as embryonic as this is, you're filling them pretty well. 
 
Long may it continue. 
 
Hail.

Marty, if given the opportunity, would have won a lot of games, and gotten to the playoffs a lot.  Just because, that's what he did.  Consistently until he was fired for the last time after a 14-2 season.
 
It's possible that he would have lost every playoff game he appeared in as 'Skins coach.
 
But after a decade O' Norv, I would have taken getting to the playoffs 2 years in a row, and losing, before trying to find the next coach.
 
What really sealed his fate is he pissed off Darrell Green, and wasn't deferential to him. Which maybe he should have been, but Marty was a hard ass, and DGreen was a bit of an ass, but was a favorite of the owner. 
 
I think that probably sealed Marty's fate more than anything.  
 

I also feel that Bruce Allen made this pick and that Snyder stayed out of the process.  I think Bruce Allen will lean on the the guys in the front office and bring in quality players for the new HC.

I think that Snyder had the opportunity to meet Jay Gruden, and clearly he had to sign off on the hire.  You'd have to think that's a must for any owner to sign off on the HC of his team.
 
I agree that Bruce is gong to lean on the guys in the front office.  He'll probably let Brown and Campbell do the scouting and recruiting stuff, and he'll still do the contract negotiations, which he's very good at.  
 

The problem with Zorn is that it came after a long, ugly coaching search that didn't feel like they knew what they were looking for and took what they could get.  This at least feels like they know what they were looking for.
 
To be honest, it is hard to get excited for any head coaching candidate, since no matter what the pedigree, coaches haven't succeeded here in recent years.  I guess we can be happy about Allen being in charge, but he also has a lot to prove.

Allen has a lot to prove.  This coaching search was much more professional than the one for Zorn.  Which seemed completely arbitrary, and poorly organized. 
 

Voice of Reason is the most interesting person in the world?

I don't often drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Corona.
 

Would you rather have Cerrato and Snyder deciding things?
 
Nobody's fault the last coach was senile.

Absolutely not.  I don't know if I implied that, that wasn't my intent.  I guess my overall point is that with all the hoopla from yesterday about Jay Gruden, I think the larger story is Bruce, and how he's going to put together the team.  I like Bruce, and I hope he can get the job done.  But if he can't, it's all on him. 
 

Good points!
The only thing that concerns me is that they made the decision to keep the D staff early, which could mean a couple diff things: a) dan is being cheap, b ) Allen new that Jay was his choice all along.  I hope it was the latter, and Dan didn't unnecessarily tied the new coach to a underperforming D staff.  
Haz hired Jay as his OC back in the arena days, and there's no way I see him stepping down to a position coach. The stage is set and we have Tampa pt 2.
I hope everyone remembers that Gruden/Allen didn't build the Tampa team, he was just part of the group that got them over the hump after Dungy.

1. I don't think Dan is being cheap.  
2. I am going to wait and see how the staff shapes up, who stays and who goes before making any real judgments.  But I also think that the D lacked talent, and that Shanahan might have meddled too much with it, and that caused some problems.  
 
I do think that if Raheem and Haz both stay, it's absolutely critical for them to find a REAL 3-4 LB coach.

Edited by Voice_of_Reason
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I don't know man -- someone mentioned "a PROPER football GM",...is he?  Not sure about that,...

 

Looks to me like Bruce has successfully hired a coach that he has a relationship with and trusts (nothing completely wrong with that at all), and is keep guys he likes and also has relationships with, Haz, Morris, etc.  It's all fine and dandy if it works but the lack of objectivity kinda bothers me.  The carry over of keeping Haz and Morris,...I don't know,....at this point I don't like it.

 

We'll see -- if this fails it's possible Bruce could get canned along with the coaching since it is "the house that Bruce built".

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I don't know man -- someone mentioned "a PROPER football GM",...is he?  Not sure about that,...

 

Looks to me like Bruce has successfully hired a coach that he has a relationship with and trusts (nothing completely wrong with that at all), and is keep guys he likes and also has relationships with, Haz, Morris, etc.  It's all fine and dandy if it works but the lack of objectivity kinda bothers me.  The carry over of keeping Haz and Morris,...I don't know,....at this point I don't like it.

 

We'll see -- if this fails it's possible Bruce could get canned along with the coaching since it is "the house that Bruce built".

I'm not entirely sure that he's the right guy or not.

 

But I think what is clear is that he is THE guy.

 

And we haven't had THAT guy since probably Charley C. was fired all those years ago.  

 

He also doesn't have to be the guy who does the player evaluations.  That's what Brown and Campbell and the coaches are for.  Bruce's job is to put everybody in place and watch it work.  And make sure it does.

 

I agree though, if it doesn't work out, he's as much on the chopping block as anybody. 

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I find it difficult to have any opinion on a new hire, or new/altered regime.  Some can make points based on empirical data, and argue until the season starts, and thats ok, but thats not me.

 

With each passing season over the past 20 years, I find myself becoming more cynical about our beloved team.  Doesn't matter if its a new coach, new front office, new players, draft, etc.  All I want is a consistent product.  Until that happens, I'll remain the same.  Heck, I've only visited ES a dozen or so times over the last year or two as my lack of passion for details fades.

 

Zorn's 'stay medium' comes to mind when something new takes place, as seems to be my mindset.  Come game day every year, my hopes inch ever so slightly upward, just to come crashing back down.

 

I don't care who gets it done, or who takes credit.  Snyder, Allen, Gruden, Griffin, etc, its all the same.  Just improve, and keep improving, with no major set backs.  

 

One day we'll look back at this mess of a decade and a half, and have a great laugh.  Just waiting for that 'someday' to be soon.

Edited by ucfSKINS
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I think that Snyder had the opportunity to meet Jay Gruden, and clearly he had to sign off on the hire.  You'd have to think that's a must for any owner to sign off on the HC of his team.

 

 

Snyder was involved with interviews at Redskins Park, along with Allen, Campbell, and Brown.  Course, there isn't an owner out there that isn't involved with the HC selection process.  What is important is that they trust their football people to make the decisions.

 

Allen has a lot to prove.  This coaching search was much more professional than the one for Zorn.  Which seemed completely arbitrary, and poorly organized.

 

That is because it was.  Gibbs retirement took Snyder by surprise, and not having a football guy to handle the search in place, he had to scramble for the only guy in the organization who could fill that role.  If anything, he learned from that experience, which is why Allen was brought in before Shanahan.

 

1. I don't think Dan is being cheap.  

2. I am going to wait and see how the staff shapes up, who stays and who goes before making any real judgments.  But I also think that the D lacked talent, and that Shanahan might have meddled too much with it, and that caused some problems.  

 

It is pretty clear they wanted to keep some guys around so that whoever they hired can pick from them.  I mean, as long as you have them under contract and are going to pay them anyways, you might as well see if the next guy will want them.

 

I do think that if Raheem and Haz both stay, it's absolutely critical for them to find a REAL 3-4 LB coach.

 

Sounds like they are looking at the Bengals LB coach, so we will see.  Until the dust settles, we won't have a good view of things.

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Sounds like they are looking at the Bengals LB coach, so we will see.  Until the dust settles, we won't have a good view of things.

 

Sounds like if we hire Paul, it'd be for the DC position, which I'd absolutely approve!  Sounds like if Zimmer leaves, Cinci would want Paul to become their new DC.  Let's snag him first!  Fresh blood!

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I don't know how Allen gets so much love around here for his work.  Yes, love him for the George Allen connection, but the team he built in Tampa was straight up garbage.  And this coaching hire just reeks of cronyism and not merit.  Maybe I'm wrong and this ends up excellently, but the last time Allen, Gruden, and Haslett were all together they ended up deconstructing the team Dungy built in tampa.

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I, for one am happy Bruce "Team Gruden" Allen is in charge!  In all seriousness, I do think Bruce deserves this chance to handle GM responsibilities....this team is in his blood.  He is a good dude, and certainly has the organization's best interest in mind!  I think Scott Pioli would look nice in our FO as well....just saying!

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Great thread man, really enjoy the OP and think that you are right on all accounts.

This is Allen's show. This is exactly what we as the fans want. We may have wanted another GM than Allen but at least we have a GM. He knows the game, he has connections, he knows the ins and outs. Some can argue his track record prior to coming here, I don't bother.

Bruce Allen built this team.

I fully think that it was Bruce's intention of hiring Gruden before the coaching search even started. I think he was familiar with Gruden, thought he would be a fine head coach and made the hire.

I really want Allen to succeed here. I like him.

That begs the lingering question that will always haunt me as a Redskins fan. If Gruden fails, do we demand that Allen is fired?

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Great thread man, really enjoy the OP and think that you are right on all accounts.

This is Allen's show. This is exactly what we as the fans want. We may have wanted another GM than Allen but at least we have a GM. He knows the game, he has connections, he knows the ins and outs. Some can argue his track record prior to coming here, I don't bother.

Bruce Allen built this team.

I fully think that it was Bruce's intention of hiring Gruden before the coaching search even started. I think he was familiar with Gruden, thought he would be a fine head coach and made the hire.

I really want Allen to succeed here. I like him.

That begs the lingering question that will always haunt me as a Redskins fan. If Gruden fails, do we demand that Allen is fired?

 

That would probably depend on who people believe is in charge (there is still a vast disconnect with part of the fanbase/national media). For me, if Gruden turns out to be a disaster, then I don't see Bruce surviving (along with guys like Morocco Brown). They are doing this thing via committee it seems, so if they all fail (fail as in complete ineptitude, not right on the cusp, needing a couple more players to get things headed in the right direction) then they all need to go.

 

It's pretty hard to be this bad this often, when you are doing things the right way structurally, so I have faith that we won't have to face that reality at some point with this regime.

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That would probably depend on who people believe is in charge (there is still a vast disconnect with part of the fanbase/national media). For me, if Gruden turns out to be a disaster, then I don't see Bruce surviving (along with guys like Morocco Brown). They are doing this thing via committee it seems, so if they all fail (fail as in complete ineptitude, not right on the cusp, needing a couple more players to get things headed in the right direction) then they all need to go.

It's pretty hard to be this bad this often, when you are doing things the right way structurally, so I have faith that we won't have to face that reality at some point with this regime.

Seeing as how this is Allen's first "real" foray into building a team with the Redskins (assuming Shanahan really did have all the power), I would be for giving Allen another chance if this coach fails. I genuinely like the guy and I want him to succeed.

I also don't really mind the power structure as I perceive it. It seems like Allen has final say and the real "vision" of how this team is to be shaped.

Let's hope he gets it right.

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Great thread man, really enjoy the OP and think that you are right on all accounts.

This is Allen's show. This is exactly what we as the fans want. We may have wanted another GM than Allen but at least we have a GM. He knows the game, he has connections, he knows the ins and outs. Some can argue his track record prior to coming here, I don't bother.

Bruce Allen built this team.

I fully think that it was Bruce's intention of hiring Gruden before the coaching search even started. I think he was familiar with Gruden, thought he would be a fine head coach and made the hire.

I really want Allen to succeed here. I like him.

That begs the lingering question that will always haunt me as a Redskins fan. If Gruden fails, do we demand that Allen is fired?

 

Absolutely Allen goes if this thing fails.  If he had run a proper coaching search then maybe not, but that was a farce of a search.  If you're so dead set on a candidate then you live or die with them.  He chose his friend over great candidates, if you're wrong with that then you deserve to lose your job.

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.....

That begs the lingering question that will always haunt me as a Redskins fan. If Gruden fails, do we demand that Allen is fired?

 

Absolutely. As much as people refuse to admit we have a proper football structure in place, we do. And the buck stops with him. 

 

Going ALL in on his guy I can't see any other outcome in that scenario for him to survive. 

 

Hail. 

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That would probably depend on who people believe is in charge (there is still a vast disconnect with part of the fanbase/national media). For me, if Gruden turns out to be a disaster, then I don't see Bruce surviving (along with guys like Morocco Brown). They are doing this thing via committee it seems, so if they all fail (fail as in complete ineptitude, not right on the cusp, needing a couple more players to get things headed in the right direction) then they all need to go.

 

 

Morocco apparently had his interview for the Bucs GM position today, and apparently AJ Smith is getting an interview somewhere as well.

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