Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Bruce Allen struggles to explain why he should keep his job

Mike Shanahan

Washington Redskins Executive Vice President/ General Manager Bruce Allen listens to a question during a news conference after the firing of head coach Mike Shanahan at Redskins Park on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Ashburn, Va. The Redskins fired Shanahan on Monday after a 3-13 season. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)


Washington General Manager Bruce Allen had his year-end press conference today. And for the fourth time in his five year-end press conferences, he was addressing the media having come off a last-place season.

That raises an obvious question: If Allen can’t get his team out of the cellar, why does he deserve to keep his job? Allen was asked that question, in a few different ways by a few different reporters, and he struggled to come up with an answer.

“Well, the one thing I do love about the NFL -- and I love in all of sports -- it does have a scoreboard,” Allen said. “We either win or lose as a team, and it is my responsibility to make sure that we have all the people in place throughout the organization doing their jobs. And as I said earlier, holding those people accountable. And that includes myself.”

But has Allen been held accountable? Not really. He’s still in his job despite finishing in last place four of five seasons. So why should Washington fans have confidence that anything will change?

“I think there is going to be changes,” Allen said. “That’s part of the evaluation process right now. We’re looking for solutions to get the team back on track.”

Allen mentioned that coach Jay Gruden is making some changes on his staff, and he said there will be unspecified “other changes” within the franchise. Allen added that he’s excited about what the team can do in this year’s draft.

“For the first time since I can remember we actually have all of our draft choices,” Allen said.

OK, but it was Allen who pulled the trigger on the trade that sent all those draft choices to St. Louis in exchange for the pick that became Robert Griffin III. If Washington struggled because it didn’t have all its draft choices, that’s because of Allen’s trade.

Allen insists that some things are going well in Washington, even if the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily reflect that.

“We’re winning off the field, but we’ve got to start winning on the field,” he said.

The reality is, fans don’t care about “winning off the field,” whatever that means, unless the team is also winning on the field Allen’s team isn’t doing that.