The Redskins changed some job titles at Redskins Park. But did things really change?
The biggest promotion went to Doug Williams. The Super Bowl XXII MVP as the Redskins quarterback and former personnel executive is now the Executive Vice President of Player Personnel. The job has a lot of the duties that were performed by fired general manager Scot McCloughan. Although the team gave a number of other members in the personnel new titles, none was given the GM title.
The absence of a general manager at Redskins Park isn’t just a matter of a title being vacant. It likely means that team president Bruce Allen will remain very much involved in the personnel department while also is working on getting a new stadium built for the team and other business matters.
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When asked about who has final say in the draft, in free agent signings, and in finalizing the 53-man roster, Allen used the same phrase he has used in the past, saying that it is a “Redskins decision.” Like all teams, they discuss the decisions as a group and try to come up with a consensus decision. Usually they can but when they are unable to agree, someone must step in and make the decision. It’s a good bet that the final call, when there isn’t a consensus, will remain with Allen.
Allen has been around the game a long time and he does have some personnel knowledge. But most successful NFL teams have a structure where the final call in personnel matters goes to someone who is working full-time scouting players and intimately familiar with the available talent pool. It’s impossible for Allen to negotiate a stadium deal, tend to other business matters, and be fully up to speed when it comes to who the best available player is when the Redskins are on the clock in the draft.
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We will see how it works out. Allen had final say in 2014 when the Redskins drafted three starters in OT Morgan Moses, C Spencer Long, and CB Bashaud Breeland, and OLB Trent Murphy, a key reserve. The early reviews on the draft this year, with Allen calling the shots, are positive but we won’t know for a few years.
Williams has experience in personnel and he should be a strong voice. Maybe the Redskins can make their unorthodox personnel structure work. But teams have had a general manager with final say in personnel for years for a reason. It’s because that’s what works.