Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bruce Allen: the Redskins last, best hope (since the previous last, best hope)

[Apologies as usual for the weird formatting. Blogspot is just f-ing terrible.]

As I wrote a few weeks ago when this whole shitstorm broke, what was so depressing about the revelation that Mike Shanahan and Dan Snyder's relationship had soured so badly was the confirmation that the Celebrity Coach model can't work in DC. I'm not a fan of such a model on it's merits, but it seemed like the last option for allowing a football operation to take place without Dan Snyder's interference. With Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan, the egos were just too big to peacefully coexist with the owner. He and Joe Gibbs seemed to get along, but that was mostly a case of hero worship. Hiring a more obscure coach to see if you could uncover hidden talent is a non-starter because without a strong football structure over him an unknown coach will be destroyed by the whims of ownership (Hi Jim!). My preference all along (everyone's preference, really) has been the Strong GM model, but it seemed like that is the one option that Dan Snyder would never accept. It would prevent him from either basking in Celebrity Coach’s reflected glory or micromanaging (and therefore undermining) an up-and-comer.

That's why I watched Bruce Allen’s press conference yesterday with great interest. In it he claimed that he was taking on a full GM role. He also said that he would have full control over personnel matters. It is important to remember, of course, that press conferences don’t mean a damn thing. But let’s take him at his word for the moment and discuss what that would mean.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snyder, Shanahan, and finally reaching the point of despair

Yesterday was a bad day. And I think I can say without exaggeration that this is the most hopeless I have ever felt as a Redskins fan. Yes, I know that's saying a lot. What I usually do in a situation like this is to try to argue that the media is forcing an over-wrought narrative, or that fans are oversimplifying, or that the problems, while severe, are fixable. But I don't have it in me this time.