Redskins owner Dan Snyder got close to hiring former Texans general manager Rick Smith to run football operations before the Washington owner instead decided to hire head coach Ron Rivera, according to a new ESPN report.
The report explains that Smith and Snyder met many times on the owner's yacht while in the Bahamas as the 2019 season drew to a close. Snyder and Smith talked about rebuilding the Redskins and the best methods to do so, but eventually, Snyder instead decided to go with Rivera and a "coach-centric" approach.
In remarks made during Rivera's introductory press conference, Rivera explained that Snyder's vision in Washington would reflect coach-centric cultures like those in New England, Seattle and Kansas City.
In less than a week on the job, Rivera has made a number of coaching hires and firings. Almost all of the Redskins' former coaching staff has been blown out and Rivera has brought in a number of his former assistants from the Carolina Panthers. Notably, however, Rivera has not made a decision yet at offensive coordinator, and there remains momentum for incumbent Kevin O'Connell to keep that job.
The Smith news might be of more note to the Redskins' front office. Snyder fired former team president Bruce Allen last week, which was a major move. Beyond that, however, much of the front office has remained intact.
There is a report that Senior VP of football operations and general counsel Eric Schaffer will leave the team when his contract expires after the NFL Draft in April, but beyond that, it's been status quo. The futures of Doug Williams, Alex Santos and Kyle Smith remain somewhat up in the air, but Rivera spoke well about the team's recent drafts and player acquisitions, which could be good news for the trio. The Redskins are expected to retain their college scouts as well, and whatever moves might happen, there isn't much expected until after the draft.
It remains unclear if Washington will bring in a new executive for football operations or promote one of the in-house candidates.
Smith served as Texans general manager for 12 seasons and the team finished with a record of 92-100 in his tenure. Houston made the playoffs four times in that run with a 3-4 postseason record.
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