Bruce Allen

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Ex-player: Bruce Allen used to present PowerPoints to defend Washington's old name

Ex-player: Bruce Allen used to present PowerPoints to defend Washington's old name

You know what got old pretty quick? Bruce Allen being in charge of Washington's football team.

You know what won't EVER get old, though? Stories about Bruce Allen being in charge of Washington's football team, especially now that he is no longer in charge of Washington's football team.

And on Tuesday, another doozy came out.

During an interview on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny show, Logan Paulsen explained how the organization's longtime former executive would stand up in front of players on a yearly basis to defend the now (basically) retired name.

You know, just the kind of typical stuff that also happens within the 31 other NFL franchises around the league.

"You'd get Bruce Allen coming in and he'd give you a presentation about how the Native American tribes, 95-percent of them support the name," the ex-tight end told the hosts. "You always felt like he was trying to sell you something there."

According to Paulsen, it actually became somewhat of a tradition, too.

"My second year to my fifth year, we had a meeting," he said. "You'd always know it was the 'name meeting' because Bruce was in there and Bruce was always really good about not being in Mike [Shanahan's] meetings and not being in Jay [Gruden's] meetings too much. And occassionally Dan [Snyder] would be in there. He'd sit in the front row.

"Then Bruce would get in there and have a quick PowerPoint presentation, going over a couple of slides about some data they'd accrued and the team's policy and message about the name. And you always kind of left the meeting going, 'OK, I guess I can support that, if that data is true.'"


Going off of Paulsen's account, the Allen-led get-togethers didn't seem to last too long, but even so, it's not difficult to imagine about 46 different ways in which the team's time could've been spent better.

Like, maybe instead of sitting in that room following along with his PowerPoints, they could've gotten a headstart on their commutes home, or organized their lockers, or filled up their water bottles, or cleaned their water bottles, or stared at their water battles, or — how's this? — focused on real football-related activities!

Some are still critical of the hopefully-soon-to-be-official change to Warriors/Red Wolves/Red Tails/something else, even though it's essentially a done deal. But after reading this last quote from Paulsen, maybe those people will finally abandon that stance, because quotes like these aren't normal or indicative of a winning operation

"That's something I remember very vividly about my time here in Washington, was the necessity to convince the players that the name was appropriate," he said.


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Bruce Allen said the culture was 'damn good' but Ron Rivera is committed to changing it

Bruce Allen said the culture was 'damn good' but Ron Rivera is committed to changing it

October 2019 and the Washington team had lost five straight games and fired their head coach.

Still, even in that moment and a team bereft of playoff wins for more than a decade, former team president Bruce Allen called the culture "damn good."

It wasn't. And it isn't. 

On Thursday, news emerged that 15 women dealt with harassment and abuse during their time working for the Redskins from 2006 to 2019. The article from The Washington Post painted a picture with troubling detail and a general lack of accountability at the Washington team's Ashburn headquarters. 

The news was troubling and sad, but despite complete silence from Washington owner Dan Snyder, head coach Ron Rivera offered some leadership after the explosive Post report. 

"Dan Snyder brought me here to change culture and create an environment of inclusion among employees. I believe everyone that works for this franchise has a vested interest in our success," Rivera said in a statement.


Understanding that something needs to be broken to require a fix, Rivera has acknowledged some of the problems that predated his arrival in Washington. And now, in 2020 with a new name coming for the team and the men named in the article gone from the organization, Rivera wants to look to the future.

"Biggest thing is we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open-door policy with no retribution," Rivera said. "Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!"

Things have been broken for the Washington club for some time. There's been basically no postseason success this century, and ugly scandals and embarrassing national stories have become closer to the rule than the exception. 

In his time on the job, about six months, Rivera seems up for the challenge to fix the off-field issues and with some luck maybe the on-field issues too. Because, let's be clear, winning football games requires a million factors breaking the right way. Conducting business in a professional manner doesn't. 

It's admirable that Rivera believes he can fix the broken culture in Washington. If the first step to recovery is admitting a problem, he's already light years ahead of his predecessor. 


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Redskins will not exercise 5th-year option for Reuben Foster, per source

Redskins will not exercise 5th-year option for Reuben Foster, per source

The Redskins decided not to exercise their fifth-year contract option for linebacker Reuben Foster, according to a source with knowledge of the situation

The news should come as no surprise since Foster has yet to play a single down for Washington since the team claimed him off waivers late in the 2018 season. He was put on the Commissioner's Exempt list for the rest of the 2018 season, and then suffered a major knee injury in May 2019 that left him on injured reserve for the rest of the year. 

Acquiring Foster in 2018 brought significant baggage to the organization as the former Alabama star had been cut by the 49ers after repeated arrests for domestic violence. No other NFL team even put a waiver claim in on Foster, and Washington got torched for the move from a public relations standpoint. 

Eventually, Foster was cleared of charges stemming from the November arrest and the NFL decided there weren't grounds for a suspension. For a brief time, the Redskins' move to bring in Foster and deal with all the criticism seemed warranted from a football perspective. After all, Foster had the physical tools to be a star linebacker for Washington. 


Then, on his first day wearing a Redskins uniform during a meaningless OTA drill, Foster landed wrong and severely injured his knee. He was carted off the practice field, screaming in pain while stunned players, coaches and media watched the scene unfold. 

Fast forward to the current situation with Ron Rivera in charge, and it's easy to understand why the Redskins didn't pick up Foster's option, as first reported by The Washington Post

Claiming Foster was a Bruce Allen project, and a Bruce Allen decision. Rivera has no ties to Foster, which makes this decision easy. 

If Foster is able to come back and play this year, then the team could try and work an extension, but the scope of the injury suggests that's not a given. 

Late in the 2019 season, a report came out that Foster suffered extensive nerve damage, but the good news was he regained feeling in his foot. "Regained feeling in his foot" and actually playing football seem quite far from one another. 

Keep in mind the Redskins are switching to a 4-3 defense, and an early projection would have Cole Holcomb and Thomas Davis as starting outside linebackers with Jon Bostic in the middle of the defense. Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaun Dion Hamilton are two young players who have dealt with injuries during their time in Washington and were drafted under the previous regime. In addition to Davis, Rivera signed Kevin Pierre-Louis in free agency, which probably puts him ahead of the two younger guys. Washington also signed former Panther Jared Norris earlier this offseason, another linebacker with Rivera ties. The team also drafted Khaleke Hudson last week, a linebacker/hybrid safety.

Rivera was asked about Foster before the draft and his reply seemed to describe the uncertainty of the situation:

"As far as Reuben Foster is concerned, you know, he’s done a great job when he was around, when I was around actually, when I was able to see him. It looked good, it looked like he was working his way back, and, again, the one thing that we’re doing right now is we’re not counting on anybody yet because we haven’t had a chance to watch them, we don’t know."

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