GREEN BAY -- The Redskins officially got knocked out of the playoffs on Sunday with a loss to the Packers, and while the postseason seemed more of a pipe dream than a possibility, it could carry big repercussions for Washington team president Bruce Allen.
The pressure on Allen has been intense for some time, as NBC Sports Washington and others have reported, but things got much more serious over the weekend in Wisconsin. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that Redskins owner Dan Snyder is "beginning to understand the gravity of his situation and that major changes could be coming to the Skins front office this week."
And that report came out before the Redskins lost 20-15 to the Packers.
The timing makes sense. The NFL season has just three weeks remaining in the regular season, and Washington will need a new head coach for the 2020 season. While interim head coach Bill Callahan deserves some praise for stabilizing the second half of the 2019 season, the team needs a fresh start next year.
To hire that coach, the Redskins need stability in the front office, and considering Allen's grip at the top of the organizations seems as volatile ever, it's hard to imagine the best coaching candidates considering the Redskins top job under the current circumstances.
There's also the subtle things that suggest more scrutiny than ever on Allen.
For years it's become typical for Snyder and Allen to walk down to the playing field together before games. That didn't seem to happen in Green Bay. That could mean nothing, but it could mean plenty.
In fact, Snyder and Allen are often spotted together at FedEx Field before Redskins home games, but that's been much less visible in the past few weeks. At the Redskins training facility in Ashburn. Snyder doesn't always attend practice, but when he does, usually Allen is nearby. While the media only gets to observe a limited portion of practice, in the last month or so, Allen's been seen plenty and Snyder has been seen too, but rarely if at all together.
These subtle things, only noticeable to observers of every practice and every game, could be nothing. Schedules could change or maybe people get busy. But they also might be something to watch.
It's important to note that the Redskins hired Bruce Allen on December 17th, 2009 to take over the team's football operations. Why is that important? Normally an NFL team hires a new general manager in late December so that person can hire a new coach in January.
Well, if a major move is going to happen in the front office, the track record suggests it could happen soon. Now that the Redskins are officially eliminated from the playoffs, any reservations about holding off for a miracle 2019 finish have ended.
This story is obviously not finished. The last chapter, or chapters, aren't written. Allen has withstood significant challenges before in his tenure as Redskins team president. This does feel different though.
Vinny Cerrato once seemed like the football executive that could not be fired. The Redskins struggled for wins during Cerrato's leadership, but he stayed on in his job for years. Until December 17th, 2009, when Snyder explained he felt it was finally "time for a change" after nearly a decade of Cerrato.
Christmas decorations are up in every DMV neighborhood. December is here. Nothing is certain, but keep in mind, history has a way of repeating itself.
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