Voice_of_Reason

The House that Bruce Built

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Really?  So you've never heard of Mike Holmgren, Bill Parcells (If they want me to cook the meal, I should shop for the groceries) or Marty Schottenheimer?  All came in with the caveat that they are the "GM" even when there was a GM on staff.  They just changed the name to Director of Player Personnel.  Hell, Bill Parcells basically relieved Jerrah Jones of his GM duties for 4 years and became Parcells "subordinate" in title.

I don't know about Holmgren but I remember Parcells saying that he coached the pokes because Jerruh keeps on meddling and that he liked it because it proved him that Jerruh was concerned. Allen never put his nose anywhere under Shanahan's tenure.

About Schottenheimer, in 2001 the Director of player personnel was the weasel and everybody knew that we had no real GM and therefore Marty was the de facto GM/HC. Allen had a previous record as a true GM with the Bucs contrary to Marty and the weasel, that's why I said I never saw a GM subordinate to his HC like that.

Snyder kept on playing with terminology mostly to fit the weasel in: Director of Player Personnel, Executive VP of Player Personnel/Football Operations, VP of Football Operations (Mendes). Now with Allen we have the GM title officially back since Charly Casserly.

I think these questions of terminology has plagued this franchise and contributed to its dysfunctionality.

When I see this dysfunctional franchise structure ran by a fantasy owner playing with terminology, loving to have his yes man around and reversing the chain of command, I'm getting pessimistic.

I hope future will prove me wrong.

Edited by FrFan

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One relationship that I know the least about and wonder what it is like, is the relationship and roles of Bruce Allen in relation to AJ Smith. Smith was always known for his personnel acumen, but was a poor politician, and Bruce is more of a Politician and less of a personnel guy.  They have a long existing friendship/relationship.  I like the fact that AJ Smith served as a successful GM in SD for 9 years or so and is there to help with personnel decision making.  I would just like to know more about his role in the organization?

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Hopefully Allen's house values home defense.

The offensive juggernaut Broncos win by allowing a mere 3 scores and the NFC will almost certainly be won by defense (3-0 after the first quarter on a FG set up by the D).

The more things change...

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I like the Gruden hire, but with Whiz now signing with the Titans, meaning that he was not a done deal to the Lions all along, Bruce failing to let the process play out and do his due diligence could really come back to haunt him. If Gruden fails, especially with a bunch of former Tampa and AFL/UFL castoffs and Allen holdovers surrounding him, perception will rightfully be that Bruce sabotaged his own search for the best available coach in favor of hiring a buddy.

 

Whiz had actual connections to Nashville because he started his coaching career at Vanderbilt. The Redskins put feelers out to a lot of coaches to gauge interest, including Whisenhunt. Titans were ready to offer Gruden the job, he was the guy the team agreed they liked, so we struck while the iron was hot. Otherwise, right now we could have wound up losing out on Whiz and Gruden, and have someone like Caldwell, who isn't bad mind you, but not at all someone to be excited about their potential.

 

Or, we wait and interview San Fran coaches, have to wait at this point seemingly until after the Superbowl to make the hire, and then it's crunch time for that coach, and they still have to assemble a staff, while every other team has picked up all the staff guys available. 

 

The team did its due diligence, you just aren't aware of who all we put feelers out for. Most aren't in fact because they don't get reported. Everybody wanted Shaw from Stanford, he told everyone no, that he was happy at Stanford. We still put out feelers on him because of how strong a candidate he was. 

 

Just because everyone assumed Lions for Whisenhunt and he went with Titans doesn't mean we had a shot at him and it certainly does not mean Allen didn't use due diligence in the coaching search. Among the actually available candidates, Gruden was easily one of the top ones on his own merits. So no, perception of sabotage won't be right, no matter the result, because as of right now, from this perspective, Gruden was one of the top guys available.

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I hear you, Elk, and I like Gruden. I'm just a fan of process, which is to say that I believe that there are empirical methods to building a successful organization. I think that the Redskins of the past 15+ years have largely flouted the idea of trying to follow a sound philosophical process for running a successful FO, and the result has been 8 coaches in 15 years and excess futility.

Fast forward to this coaching search, and I just think they skirted the process in favor of a predetermined outcome. It's hard to imagine that the best candidate for the job just happened to have ties to 3 coaches who just happened to be retained from a 3-13 team, and to the GM conducting the search. Doesn't mean he's not a good hire, it just means that the process was probably a bit stacked to start with. Given how doing things our own way has worked before, I have worries.

Likewise, had Gruden relieved one of the worst DCs of the past decade of his duties, I'd feel a lot better about the new staff, and his judgment.

Edited by Stormy

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It is all about player acquisition.  Coaching staff is good enough to win.

 

Bruce will be defined by the players he brings in.  Yes, Brown and Campbell will be there, but BA has stated he has final choice.

 

If he brings in quality players then this coaching staff wins.  If he fails, then this coaching staff fails.

 

Really, not that hard to understand.  Watching the two championship games, with all the quality players on display, proves my point.  Heck, Seattle just sits in base defense most of the time and dares you to beat them.  Dares you to challenge their quality players.

 

Gibbs II failed as a GM.  Shanny failed as a GM.  Vinny failed as a GM.  I am just hoping that BA does not fail as well.

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I hear you, Elk, and I like Gruden. I'm just a fan of process, which is to say that I believe that there are empirical methods to building a successful organization. I think that the Redskins of the past 15+ years have largely flouted the idea of trying to follow a sound philosophical process for running a successful FO, and the result has been 8 coaches in 15 years and excess futility.

Fast forward to this coaching search, and I just think they skirted the process in favor of a predetermined outcome. It's hard to imagine that the best candidate for the job just happened to have ties to 3 coaches who just happened to be retained from a 3-13 team, and to the GM conducting the search. Doesn't mean he's not a good hire, it just means that the process was probably a bit stacked to start with. Given how doing things our own way has worked before, I have worries.

Likewise, had Gruden relieved one of the worst DCs of the past decade of his duties, I'd feel a lot better about the new staff, and his judgment.

 

Jay Gruden was the top candidate on their wishlist among LIKELY candidates, but he wasn't at the top of the overall list. I like Whisnehunt a bit more, but we weren't a top choice for him, we would have lost him to Detroit if we had balked on Gruden who would have gone to TN. Gruden was not a predetermined outcome, he was one of the top candidates among the available pool. 

 

Every team has a top guy at the start, so for every team the process is a bit stacked. Like I've pointed out, I'm very happy with the staff put together, except Haslett, but because of the rest of the staff I'm willing to give Gruden the benefit of the doubt with Haslett even though I'm not a fan of his.

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It is all about player acquisition.  Coaching staff is good enough to win.

 

Bruce will be defined by the players he brings in.  Yes, Brown and Campbell will be there, but BA has stated he has final choice.

 

If he brings in quality players then this coaching staff wins.  If he fails, then this coaching staff fails.

 

Really, not that hard to understand.  Watching the two championship games, with all the quality players on display, proves my point.  Heck, Seattle just sits in base defense most of the time and dares you to beat them.  Dares you to challenge their quality players.

 

Gibbs II failed as a GM.  Shanny failed as a GM.  Vinny failed as a GM.  I am just hoping that BA does not fail as well.

 

You've seen BA's record in tampa, right?  Let's just say it was not impressive.

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You've seen BA's record in tampa, right? Let's just say it was not impressive.

The Bucs did have three winning seasons and a division title in Allen's five seasons as GM... At a time when TB ownership Are you going to Costco tomorrow?was being "thrifty." I wish people would stop acting like he doesn't have some pedigree as a "true" GM.

Edited by TheCoach22

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The Bucs did have three winning seasons and a division title in Allen's five seasons as GM... At a time when TB ownership Are you going to Costco tomorrow?was being "thrifty." I wish people would stop acting like he doesn't have some pedigree as a "true" GM.

A gms drafting efforts are usually felt after 3-4 years, not the first year they are hired. Tell me how tb looked around the time he was fired and shortly afterwards. I wish people would stop acting like a worse drafting record than shanahan counts as a respectable pedigree.

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A gms drafting efforts are usually felt after 3-4 years, not the first year they are hired. Tell me how tb looked around the time he was fired and shortly afterwards. I wish people would stop acting like a worse drafting record than shanahan counts as a respectable pedigree.

Well, he and Jon Gruden were let go after a nine win season and a younger roster than what Bruce inherited. I'm just saying, this FO will not be calling Mark Carrier or Adam Archuletta to play safety. The mid-20s target is a BA approach. He is also good with the cap typically,

Edited by TheCoach22

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 GMs, coaches, assistants, all have a responsibility to produce the best product they can.

 There are times where a player just doesn't work out, mostly due to scheme, and forcing a different scheme to a player who has played well in another type of scheme is hard to conquer; tendencies play a big part in the player's mind, and justly so in a coach's or GM's mind.

 

 Now the pressure is on Bruce; it is his turn to shine, so lets see how he does. Gruden's hiring didn't exactly blow me away but maybe he will be a good fit; maybe he's just another stepping stone in Danny's  'Garden of Grind', pumping out new coaches every few years like a machine.

 

One thing I do know; IF the Redskins do win a superbowl in the Snyder era, I seriously doubt his head would be able to fit through the door of Redskins Park,  but until that goal is reached, i'm gonna be very cautious on patting Allen or Gruden on the back; proof is in the pudding...

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I thought I would go ahead and bump this thread.  Because after 1/4 of the season, and sitting at 1-3, the early returns on Bruce Allen, President of Football Operations are in.

 

I laid out in the OP that it was pretty damn clear that the guy making the decisions was Bruce.  Not Dan.  Because from what we know of Dan, he would have chucked the entire coaching staff.  But Bruce didn't. He picked and chose some guys to stay, which included allowing Haslett to stay.  He also kept the personnel guys, and hired a guy who he was familiar with as HC.

 

None of the moves really seem like Snyder moves, honestly.  

 

So, here we are.  1-3.  Again.  And we can argue about the game planning, and the players, and this that and the other.  But ultimately, who's responsible?

 

Bruce Allen.

 

Early returns:

 

- QB: Griffin is hurt again.  On a really bizarre play. Certainly can't fault Bruce for that.  Kirk is a capable backup, and played really well against the JV, pretty well against the Eagles, and had a meltdown akin to a teenage girl who just found out her boyfriend was sleeping with her best friend. Would the team be better with Griffin at QB for all 4 games? Maybe.  Maybe not. (Though, I don't think he would have had the type of meltdown Kirk did)  We'll never know.  McCoy as a 3rd QB is interesting decision, though.  Strkes me as a bit of a luxury for a team with a lot of needs. 

 

- OL didn't get upgraded to the level that it needed to in the off-season.  Polumbus is still the RT, Chester is still the RG, and Luavao (or however you spell his damn name) hasn't been all that good.  Kory at C is fine, and TW is great, though he's kindof regressed a little this year.  The other FA acquisitions didn't make the team. Long and Moses are 2 draft picks that are projects.  Could they have done better with the money and draft picks they had? I say yes.

 

-WR. This is one area to be proud of.  Not only did they bring in DJax, but they drafted Grant, who looks like a really good player.  When you have the luxury of inactivating Santana, that leads me to to say you've got some solid depth.

 

-DL: Hatcher is an upgrade.  Clear as day, when healthy, he's disruptive.  I like Baker.  Big Wiggle.  Not helped by injuries here. But this unit is still very "Eh."

 

-LB: Upon further review, Perry Riley, JR can't cover a bed with a sheet.  Robinson has turned out to be good.  Orakpo is hurt again, incorrectly used, and overpaid.  Also drafted a guy with the first pick who isn't a starter. Odd choice, me thinks.  

 

- Secondary.  Right.  Complete disaster from the get go.  A little bad luck with TJax being suspended AGAIN (in other shocking news, the sun rose in the east and water is in fact wet.) But they went into the season with Hall/Amerson/Clark/Merriweather as projected starters (and Merriweather got suspended AGAIN), Porter as the nickle back even though he was hurt, Breeland, a 4th round pick as a reserve CB.  Now Hall is hurt, Merriweather is not very good, Breeland is playing like a 4th round rookie.   The way they have constructed the secondary is criminal.

 

- ST: In my opinion, mixed results. Roberts as the punt/kick returner is better than anything we've seen in YEARS.  (though he needs to take a damn knee sometimes). The punter is pretty good.  However. Blocked PAT. Blocked Punt.  Kickoff - KICKOFF - returned for a TD. Numerous ST penalties.  Kai hurts himself when he tries to kick off.  Now the punter is kicking off for the first time since he was in Junior HS.  Missed 33 yard FG in a close game.  COME ON.  Not as good as it should be, considering the focus we've heard on upgrading the ST throughout the off-season.  

 

Coaching.

HC: Gruden is a 1st year HC, trying to call plays, adjust to defenses while being a HC. That's a tough transition.I like Gruden, think he'll grow as a HC.  It's tough to be great at a new job. Takes time to learn.  

 

OC: McVay is by all accounts really smart, young, offensive guy.  Good on him.  The pairing of an inexperienced OC and a inexperienced HC was ... probably not the smartest thing that could have happened.  

 

DC: Train wreck. Moving on.

 

ST: I like the guy, but honestly, enough is enough with the ****ups on ST.  Seriously. Tell Roberts to freaking fair catch the damn ball if he's more than 2 yards in the end zone.  

 

So, Bruce is responsible for the coaching staff, and the players.  I think even at 1-3, there are some positives.  There are also some real negatives.  Jury's still out.  

 

I'm hoping that the house that Bruce build doesn't have a rotten foundation.  

 

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I think the question we should be asking ourselves is whether at this point we are judging the house that Bruce built or the foundation Bruce is building.

 

I honestly am not sure he should get a ground zero mulligan after Shanahan.  He may not have had his hand on the tiller, but he was definitely on deck for three years with Mike.  I'd like to believe I see a team that is getting better.  The Giants' game was a combo of lots of crucial injuries (down your number one NT, QB, CB, and for a time LT), short week, stupid, bad playcalling, stupid, and refs.  Refs are definitely last, but they have played a part in the last two losses, especially the one against the Eagles where Philly would not have had a single scoring drive if the refs didn't extend it.  Part of that is stupid play on the 'skins part, but part of it is also sinister especially when you look at some of the most glaring and ridiculous calls on one side coupled with the refusal to call much worse personal fouls or PI's on the other.

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This regime gets the benefit of the doubt. 

 

We have a new GM, Head Coach, & Offensive Coordinator in their 1st season - we have seen (in my opinion) that inexperience manifest itself in the play calling & game management already this season.  But there were going to be bumps in the road anyway.  We all knew that.

 

The rash of devastating injuries have really hurt The Program. Not only did we lose our Starting Quarterback in Week 2, but the 2 thinnest position groups (Offensive Line & Defensive Backfield) were among the areas bit by the bug.  Add to that the fact that we had 2 Division Games to play in 4 days(!) kind've exacerbated the trying circumstances the staff found themselves in.  Believe me, I'm not making excuses for anyone here, but those are the facts. 

 

This is Year 1 for this group: that's a lot of adversity for any staff right off the bat, but particularly for a group learning on the job.  But in my view, this respresents a fabulous opportunity.  My perspective is that trying circumstances build character and experience.  That may sound trite, yet the benefits of those attributes will manifestly pay dividends down the road (according to my own personal experience).  Sure everyone wants to freak out now, but let's wait a little while.  It might be alright after all.  It's still early.

 

[sIDE NOTE: Maybe the Giants know something about Kirk Cousins too.  This is the second time they've kicked our ass with him starting.  I do find that interesting.]

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The fan base has been wanting a GM so badly that Bruce's body of work has been overlooked.

 

The most important positions on any football team is the offensive line and as of now it's rinky dinky.

Then not addressing the safety position is mind boggling. No defense is safe without safeties.

 

 

Bruce should definitely be on notice, just like everyone else.

Edited by Puma Kane

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nice bump ... I'd nit pick and suggest that the approach to building the offensive line has been FELONY-STUPID ... but I'm still a little PO'd about yet another humilating loss.  Even so ... I don't think he has a fair understanding of the importance of the offensive line to the potential of the offense in general, or its ability to take ordinary athletes and make then special ... QBs, RBs and receivers ... and for that matter above average players turn into pro bowlers (e.g., Mark Rypien behind the hogs).

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Handshakes and greetings, lots and lots of handshaking going on. That's about all I've seen out of Bruce Allen since he got here.

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The fan base has been wanting a GM so badly that Bruce's body of work has been overlooked.

 

The most important positions on any football team is the offensive line and as of now it's rinky dinky.

Then not addressing the safety position is mind boggling. No defense is safe without safeties.

 

 

Bruce should definitely be on notice, just like everyone else.

 

And what a questionable body of work it is.  I liked Bruce as a cap guy and management figure.  He's affable and has been able to fall back on his family ties to the organization's glory days to help smooth things over with fans and ex-players.

 

That said, that's an arrangement that only seemed to make sense with a strong-headed head coach who had the reigns over the football side of things.  Allen's days in Tampa and thus far in DC are not particularly reassuring displays of competency in that arena.

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Hmmm.  Do you think the team would have played better if we had been able to invest a first round pick on a RT and a high second round pick plus a high first round pick on the secondary?  Those are the extra picks we used to trade from the fifth pick to the second pick in the draft when we acquired RG3.  That trade was going to hurt the team for a long time unless RG3 was the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Don't blame Bruce or the new coaching staff.  There's still a significant handicap versus other teams. 

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We can blame bruce for jackson and orakpo and murphy, when he could have been focused on the oline instead.

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Hmmm.  Do you think the team would have played better if we had been able to invest a first round pick on a RT and a high second round pick plus a high first round pick on the secondary?  Those are the extra picks we used to trade from the fifth pick to the second pick in the draft when we acquired RG3.  That trade was going to hurt the team for a long time unless RG3 was the second coming of Peyton Manning.  Don't blame Bruce or the new coaching staff.  There's still a significant handicap versus other teams. 

When can we start judging though? Now might be too soon but the NFL changes rapidly and the Griffin trade can't be used as an excuse too much longer.

 

Bruce Allen seems pretty entrenched in the franchise. That's just my opinion and speculation. It worries me. I have the same perception as a lot of others in this thread, that Bruce Allen is a good politician type but I'm not seeing a clear path to superior roster construction. He seems like a guy that should be "VP of Football Operations". I'd like to see a real GM in there or an empowered personal team that makes sound decisions. 

 

From time to time I review the Wiki on the Redskins draft history to remind me how poor it's been over the years. We appear to really suck at drafting. Bruce Allen needs to show a clear reversal of that trend. Whether that's through him or the people he hires to help make those decisions, I don't care. It just needs to be better. The jury is still out but I'm not totally optimistic.

 

I am happy it's not as bad as it was at the end of 2009. We've improved, but how much did it take to improve on that? It's been awhile since Vinny was around, and we're still regularly in the NFC East basement despite not having a bunch of dead cap and bloated contracts. 

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bruce allen... great cap guy... the son of a former great coach of ours in the early '70s, God bless his soul...  with that said, this is his 1st season in charge of all things redskins' football and imho, hasn't done a great job, other than keeping our salary cap in shape which is what he's been lauded for in former orgs.....  morocco is gone now, not that he'll turn out great as far as player evaluation, but then look at the other guy we let go that's in seattle... what's his name again?  oh yeah... john schneider who apparently put together a sb winning roster...  personally, i'm not sure bruce is the answer and i love the enthusiasm of our new coach but i think he's been hampered by personnel decisions that could have actually improved the play on the field this year without over spending the cap in future years...  but it is what it is at this point.... no sense in crying over spilled milk.....  i'll just wait and watch and see us go through this again in 3 years and hopefully that time, it will include a qualified personnel evaluator/gm....

Edited by Paul Cumberland

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If we are saying this is his first year, then it's early to judge. However, he did forgo getting a safety in FA. His first OL selection was Luavo, who was a low rated guard. His top three draft picks don't contribute. Oh, he kept Haslett.

 

On another note, I don't like that Gruden is the OC. As a rookie HC, you have so much on your plate, why add more to it. He should be focused on the team rather than spending so much time as OC. 

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