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The House that Bruce Built


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I'm not sure you can say Bruce ignored the OL. He drafted Morgan Moses and Spencer Long.  We have yet to see these guys play a down so I'm going to give them and Bruce the benefit of the doubt. Shaun Lavauo is mediocre, in fact I think he's on par with Chester. Cooley constantly bashes Lavauo on the radio. It's pretty obvious why.

 

The secondary us FUGLY as is the defensive coordinator. Signing Ryan Clark was nice and all, but he's a much different safety without Sean Taylor and Troy Polamalou.

 

The Desean Jackson signing smells like Snyder.

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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.  

The way I see it, the foundation is the personnel group and the coaching staff.  

 

The house is everything.

 

I agree, not a complete blank slate, if only because he kept SO many of the players and coaches from the previous regime around.  If he really wanted to distance himself from it, he would have cleaned house entirely.  He didn't.  

 

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. 

Here's my counter: Somebody in the organization should have stood up and said, "Jay, you're great, we want you to put in your offense, but you've got to have an experienced OC who can call plays on gameday that you trust." And then forced that decision. If that was McVay, fine.  But the fact is that Jay has never called plays as a HC, he's got 1000 things going on on the sideline. He's not only the HC, but he's mentoring the young OC as well.

 

I like McVay.  But I'm not sure that having an inexperienced HC, and inexperienced OC, and a holdover DC who doesn't have a great track record here was really the best choices, and those are on Bruce.

 

Could be wrong in the end.  It's still early.  But I think that you could see some of this coming. 

 

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.

I think it's too early for Bruce to be on notice, and I'm not really up for debating his past body of work.  But the current body of work is a little shaky, and while he's going to have several years to work it all out, I hope he's learning a lot right now.  

 

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.  

Felony Stupid.  I like that.  :)  

 

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.

I think you're vastly underestimating what he does.  He's quiet about it.  But he's in charge of EVERYTHING.  

 

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.

I agree. I think him as President is fine.  But he needs a GM and HC who both work for him, and he needs to manage them, and keep an eye on the cap.  That's the best way to use his talents.  

 

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. 

I think this is kindof a cop-out excuse, to be honest.  He was minus 1 st round pick this year.  So what? 

 

And to say that the trade was going to hurt the team no matter what is also silly.  The draft is nowhere near a sure thing.  Look at what the Rams have actually selected with the picks they've received. Teams miss on 1st round picks all the time, even good teams.  Out of the 3 picks they gave up to get Griffin, 2 1sts and a 2nd, maybe they hit on 2 and miss on 1. Or miss on 2 and hit on 1.  Who knows?  

 

If they hit on the picks they've got, they'd be fine. 

 

I'm not sure you can say Bruce ignored the OL. He drafted Morgan Moses and Spencer Long.  We have yet to see these guys play a down so I'm going to give them and Bruce the benefit of the doubt. Shaun Lavauo is mediocre, in fact I think he's on par with Chester. Cooley constantly bashes Lavauo on the radio. It's pretty obvious why.

 

The secondary us FUGLY as is the defensive coordinator. Signing Ryan Clark was nice and all, but he's a much different safety without Sean Taylor and Troy Polamalou.

 

The Desean Jackson signing smells like Snyder.

The real problem is that they looked at the OL and didn't think that they needed to do major work on it for THIS YEAR.  They wanted to replace the center, flip Kory over, and then keep everything else the same.  They drafted development guys when they had a need RIGHT NOW.

 

I think I would have stayed put at 33 and just picked up the best OL available on my board at that moment.  I know that they got 2, but who knows when they will play.  But the fact that Chester and Polumbus are both still starting is criminal. And I'm not as anti Polumbus as others.  I think he tries hard, and is generally ok in the run game.  But come on.  

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The real problem is that they looked at the OL and didn't think that they needed to do major work on it for THIS YEAR.  They wanted to replace the center, flip Kory over, and then keep everything else the same.  They drafted development guys when they had a need RIGHT NOW.

 

I think I would have stayed put at 33 and just picked up the best OL available on my board at that moment.  I know that they got 2, but who knows when they will play.  But the fact that Chester and Polumbus are both still starting is criminal. And I'm not as anti Polumbus as others.  I think he tries hard, and is generally ok in the run game.  But come on.  

 

Too early to tell on Murphy, Moses and Long but if the Skins had stayed at 33 and taken Joel Bitonio he would of been starting day one. 

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I think you're vastly underestimating what he does.  He's quiet about it.  But he's in charge of EVERYTHING.  

 

Sorry, but I don't want my GM hosting weekly luncheons, posing for pictures, signing autographs for fans and corporate sponsors. Handling the press after every PR crisis in Ashburn shouldn't have to be on the mind of the man picking players and coaches.

 

No other teams do it this way. Why do we?

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He's done a phenomenal job with the OL. <sarcasm>

 

Kinda hard to have much of an effect when the previous guy in charge made OL a low priority.  We've been mostly working with castoffs from other teams and hoping late round picks develop.  I'm hoping drafting Moses and Long lead to the OL rebuild that should have happened 4 years ago.

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I could play this game every draft, with every team.  You should be a GM.

 

Guess you missed the part where I said it's too early to tell how the 3 guys we got will turn out.  They traded out of 33 and got an extra pick in the 3rd rd.  Increases the odds they get good players out of the draft.  I'm cool with that.  But the fact is they passed up a day one starter in an area of need to draft two backups in Murphy and Long.  I actually like what I saw from Long in preseason and think he has a future if he stays healthy.  Like him better then Moses and Murphy (who I don't think has much upside).  I also believe the Skins have an OL coach who's overly loyal to the current starters and that's part of the issue.

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The sad thing about Luauvo is that he was signed on what, the first day of FA? He would have been sitting there long after that point and for much cheaper.

The fact that he was one of our "priority" "must sign" guys at the start is extremely concerning both in talent evaluation and in cap management based on the contract he received.

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Guess you missed the part where I said it's too early to tell how the 3 guys we got will turn out.  They traded out of 33 and got an extra pick in the 3rd rd.  Increases the odds they get good players out of the draft.  I'm cool with that.  But the fact is they passed up a day one starter in an area of need to draft two backups in Murphy and Long.  I actually like what I saw from Long in preseason and think he has a future if he stays healthy.  Like him better then Moses and Murphy (who I don't think has much upside).  I also believe the Skins have an OL coach who's overly loyal to the current starters and that's part of the issue.

 

Guess you missed the part where I said predicting day 1 starters is easier after the fact.  What makes you think he would be a day 1 starter for the Redskins had they picked him.

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Guess you missed the part where I said predicting day 1 starters is easier after the fact.  What makes you think he would be a day 1 starter for the Redskins had they picked him.

 

 

Because many didn't see much difference between Bitonio and Zack Martin.  Bitonio's strong, athletic, smart and mean.  He's also versatile.  He's playing LG now, but can easily play RT or RG.  There's no way the Skins don't start him if taken a 33.  That's basically a 1st rd pick.  You don't take OL that high and sit him unless he's injuried or he sucks. 

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Because many didn't see much difference between Bitonio and Zack Martin.  Bitonio's strong, athletic, smart and mean.  He's also versatile.  He's playing LG now, but can easily play RT or RG.  There's no way the Skins don't start him if taken a 33.  That's basically a 1st rd pick.  You don't take OL that high and sit him unless he's injuried or he sucks. 

 

Well obviously the Redskins organization didn't like Bitonio but maybe you know more than me.  Regardless, I agree that our drafting is horrible, and the current regime should never have been put in charge of player selection.

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Guess you missed the part where I said it's too early to tell how the 3 guys we got will turn out.  They traded out of 33 and got an extra pick in the 3rd rd.  Increases the odds they get good players out of the draft.  I'm cool with that.  But the fact is they passed up a day one starter in an area of need to draft two backups in Murphy and Long.  I actually like what I saw from Long in preseason and think he has a future if he stays healthy.  Like him better then Moses and Murphy (who I don't think has much upside).  I also believe the Skins have an OL coach who's overly loyal to the current starters and that's part of the issue.

 

I agree with this post.  I said at the end of the season, on this board actually, that I would judge the offseason based on the fact that if the Redskins trot out Polumbus at RT on opening day the offseason would have been a failure.  Now that was not to mean that Polumbus in and of himself is the reason this team is losing but obviously the offensive line was probably the weakest component of this team, other than special teams, and Polumbus was the weakest component of the weakest unit.  So failure to address the weakest link in the weakest unit would simply mean number one the offensive line was not that important to this staff and two we really did not understand what our weaknesses were.  So where did we end up?  We traded out of our spot, drafted a linebacker, and we basically have the same line we had last year.  When you play the better teams in the NFL, they are going to bring pressure and we simply cannot handle it because our line is just not very good.  Drives that cant be sustained means increased pressure on the defense and so the worm turns.  

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Here's my counter: Somebody in the organization should have stood up and said, "Jay, you're great, we want you to put in your offense, but you've got to have an experienced OC who can call plays on gameday that you trust." And then forced that decision. If that was McVay, fine.  But the fact is that Jay has never called plays as a HC, he's got 1000 things going on on the sideline. He's not only the HC, but he's mentoring the young OC as well.

 

I like McVay.  But I'm not sure that having an inexperienced HC, and inexperienced OC, and a holdover DC who doesn't have a great track record here was really the best choices, and those are on Bruce.

 

Could be wrong in the end.  It's still early.  But I think that you could see some of this coming. 

You've got a legitimate point here regarding the choosing of McVay.  All I can offer is that from all of the accounts that I've read, this young buck (the OC) is supposed to be quite the rising talent.  And yes, there are undoubtedly some inherent risks involving in having such a young core at the fulcrum of the Offensive portion of the staff.  This is rank speculation on my part, but it would seem that Allen subscribed to some long term thinking here - figuring that we might have ourselves something pretty good once they get the feel of things.

 

But I admire the move; NO ONE can say that he layed up in this instance.  So if it blows up, its on him.  That takes guts.

 

And yes, we will all have to live with some Rookie mistakes this year.

(how often do Coach and Commentator Gruden talk, I wonder?)

 

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Just as a note, Jay Gruden does have previous experience as a head coach, just not at the NFL level.  (8 years in Arena Football League, one in the UFL.)

 

As for the draft, it isn't about filling immediate holes, but also setting yourself up for the future.  To be honest, once you get past the second round, the pool of immediate starters goes down sharply.  Also, let's not pretend this OL was one RT away from greatness.  Outside Williams and Lichtensteiger, our personnel is pretty woeful.  Polumbus wasn't even the worst OL last year.  That went to Chester.  So, not only did we need a RT, we also needed at least one guard, maybe two.

 

Personally, with what everyone was saying about LeReibus, I was hoping he'd take over Chester's spot while Lauvao fills in long enough for Long to get ready.  I wasn't happy about Polumbus still sticking around, but the cupboard was pretty bare.

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I thought Phillip Daniels' comment about never meeting w Bruce during his tenure here as our player development guy was pretty damning. Bruce has always struck me as figure head type figure. Basically an empty suit. A nice suit mind you....but still empty.

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Sorry, but I don't want my GM hosting weekly luncheons, posing for pictures, signing autographs for fans and corporate sponsors. Handling the press after every PR crisis in Ashburn shouldn't have to be on the mind of the man picking players and coaches.

 

No other teams do it this way. Why do we?

 

This is my problem with him, which is more of my problem with the franchise. He's a "VP of Football Operations" type not a GM. I am not impressed with our scouting department. Either a new GM needs to be hired where all he focuses on his constructing the roster, or a more competent scouting and personal department needs to replace the current one.

 

I wouldn't even care what the title of this "GM" would be as long as his sole responsibility was designing the team. I'd be happy with Bruce Allen being the face of the franchise so Dan doesn't have to be and doing all of that stuff that you mentioned in your post.

 

Bruce Allen seems like a fine guy to have around, but hasn't proven his meddle with roster construction. With all of his other duties, I don't know how he can possibly put in the work required to construct a superior roster. 

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