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Pressure turns up on Bruce Allen as another Redskins season ends with no playoffs

Pressure turns up on Bruce Allen as another Redskins season ends with no playoffs

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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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. He's won six Super Bowl titles and made the playoffs every year in the last decade. Other coaches were great - Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs among a few - but nobody is Belichick. 

That's what makes a recent report out of Boston so near impossible to believe. 

Belichick checked in on coaching in Washington? The Redskins? 

Those are valid points, I guess. Belichick spent much of his young life in Annapolis and has great affinity for that area. He's talked about that openly. 

The timeline also makes some sense. Many reports out of New England in 2017 showed a power struggle between Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft about what to do with legendary quarterback Tom Brady as then backup Patriots QB Jimmy Garropolo got closer to free agency. New England wouldn't be able to keep both, and there has been speculation that Belichick wanted to keep the younger passer. 

Eventually, Garropolo got traded to the 49ers, for a surprisingly low return, and New England went to two more Super Bowls, winning last year. 

This year, however, marked the first real time the Patriots looked mortal. Brady's completion percentage dipped to 60.8 percent, his lowest since 2013, and he threw fewer passing yards than any 16-game season since 2010. Now, Brady is a free agent and for the first time ever the possibility of playing somewhere else seems real, even if only somewhat realistic.

Still, Belichick coaching the Redskins seems like the longest of shots. Checking on a job - looking at financial considerations or asking about parameters - and actually taking a job can be two very different things. 

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3 critical takeaways from Jack Del Rio's first media session as Redskins defensive coordinator

3 critical takeaways from Jack Del Rio's first media session as Redskins defensive coordinator

Jack Del Rio spoke to the Washington media on Wednesday, his first public session with reporters since being named Redskins defensive coordinator on Jan. 2.

While the conference call came more than two weeks after the team's announcement, it was certainly worth the wait.

Here are the three most critical takeaways from what Del Rio discussed.

1) He has no interest in discussing potential

At one point in the call, Del Rio was given the chance to set expectations for his group and explain what kind of potential he sees. It was the kind of question he could've easily answered, using glowing adjectives and praising many players.

But he didn't go that route. In fact, he went the opposite direction of that route

"It’s interesting to me that so much is made this time of year with thoughts on potential," Del Rio said. "Potential really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really amount to much. To me, it’s more about what we can get done and the work that we’re willing to put in and the idea that, ‘Look, we’re going to become a respected unit, OK?’"

That might've been the most compelling response from the longtime coach, and it's a mindset that people like Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Landon Collins will surely appreciate.  

2) Teaching matters quite a bit to him

During one explanation, Del Rio brought up current Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard. Why? To illustrate how someone can grow and improve with the proper coaching.

Woodyard was with the Broncos when Del Rio took over as defensive coordinator, and according to Del Rio, people told him not to worry too much about the linebacker. Woodyard was merely a special teamer who "wasn't going to amount to much."

Del Rio dismissed that advice, instead focusing on bettering Woodyard's fundamentals, which in turn would help his confidence spike. That former Denver special teamer was recently on the field for Tennessee's playoff win in Baltimore and is now one victory away from a Super Bowl.

That's just one example that sticks out to Del Rio and proves how necessary it is to assist in the continuous enhancement of a pro's skills.

"For us, we are going to look to teach and develop," he said. "To me, we have players here that are maybe considered in a specific light and they will have the chance to change that."

3) He absolutely wants Ron Rivera's input

Del Rio and Rivera are both former NFL linebackers who seem to share a lot of the same ideologies about what they want in a scheme and in their guys. For that reason, he is more than willing to get input from Rivera on the 2020 defense's plan.

"It’s an inclusive process," Del Rio said. "[Rivera] wanted to be sure that I knew, ‘Hey look, you’re going to call it. It’s your defense’. I said, ‘Hey coach, I’d love to have you in there any time you have to be in there with us.’ It’s our staff. We’re going to work together. The first thing I said to the defensive staff at our very first meeting, ‘This is not me. It’s not about what I want. It’s about what we are, what we’re going to become.’"

Between Del Rio and Rivera, the franchise now has two leaders who each can point to plenty of past successes in building defenses. The thought of that pair working together and applying what they know in Washington should have fans feeling very pleased.

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