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Is Bruce Allen the right person to run the Redskins?

On the heels of Vinny Cerrato's resignation, Bruce Allen, the son of former Redskins coach George Allen, will reportedly take over as team's top executive. Is Allen the right person for the job?

By Cameron Smith  |  December 17, 2009; 10:12 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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GREAT MOVE! They need a powerful GM and a powerful coach. Cowher, Shanahan, Holmgren and Gibbs never proved themselves as player personnel gurus; it was a crap shoot hiring any of them and giving them both roles.

Posted by: mjwies11 | December 17, 2009 10:32 AM

If he focuses on our dire needs on the O-line, he'll be the right choice.

Posted by: rob23 | December 17, 2009 10:35 AM

Here we go again. What is the rush in hiring a GM. GEEZ! There are so many good young brains out there and he wants to hire Allen. Another mistake.

Jim Zorn and his crew is beginning to prove itself. Now there are going to hire Chucky. Does Snyder ever learn. Continuity. CONTINUITY!!!!

Posted by: eddie5 | December 17, 2009 10:40 AM

I agree that they shouldn't have gone after a coach to do both roles (GM & coach) because that is hard to do successfully. I liked that they hired a GM. But I'm skeptical about Bruce Allen. Looking at Tampa's drafts during his tenure and it doesn't look all that great (especially all their first round picks/busts). There was a reason he got fired last year in TB. The talent was already in place with Gruden & Allen took over in TB for the Superbowl they won. I guess time will tell here.

Posted by: al_kohaulic | December 17, 2009 10:45 AM

Snyder The Decider was the defacto GM. Any proven GM is an upgrade, so long as you-know-who butts out. No more overpaying free agents, coddling over-the-hill stars and drafting picks out of a hat.

That Allen understands the pre-Snyder history of the team is important. I look forward to the end of the feeble Danskins and the return of the real Redskins.

Posted by: howjensen | December 17, 2009 10:55 AM

Having worked for Al Davis, he at least has experience dealing with idiot ownership. Now he gets tested by ignorant idiot management!

Posted by: fr3dmars | December 17, 2009 10:59 AM

Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl before Bruce Allen got there. Gruden won the Super Bowl with a team assembled by Tony Dungy and GM Rich McKay. After two years of working with Gruden, McKay was ousted in 2004 and Allen was hired. Allen and Gruden were both shown the door a year ago. This guy may or may not be a good idea, but the thing his record showed at TB was that he could coexist with Chucky.

Posted by: kguy1 | December 17, 2009 10:59 AM

did he build the Oakland and Tampa teams. I thought Oakland and Tampa had great talent when Gruden arrived in both places.

Posted by: oknow1 | December 17, 2009 11:01 AM

Gruden WOULD be continuity as he runs the West Coast offense. They can just keep Blache on defense and maybe keep Sherm Lewis around for a while to help with the transition.

Posted by: vlad21311 | December 17, 2009 11:04 AM

Yes, let's hire the guy who won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson as his quarterback to try to talk some sense into Dan Snyder.

Posted by: bugeye1 | December 17, 2009 11:14 AM

It all depends on whether Snyder butts out. Experience advises to the contrary.

Posted by: Dellis2 | December 17, 2009 11:15 AM

Good decision to bring in a GM that truely understands what it means to be a Redskin. You couldn't ask for a better blood line to create PASSION for the Washington Redskins!

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | December 17, 2009 11:17 AM

While I don't presume to understand all of what the term "West Coast Offense", the concept of the scheme over the years seems to have fractured and evolved into somewhat more distinct and perhaps mutually exclusive systems.

WP writers and Zorn himself have said as much.

So my question is, is Gruden's offense enough like Zorn's that it wouldn't become yet another system that Campbell (assuming he stays) and the rest of the members of the offense would have to learn and become comfortable with?

Is Gruden the kind of guy who would adapt his own offense to become closer to what the Redskins have been running and arguably have been succeeding with recently?

(The questions would apply to any coach they'd hire, but since Gruden seems to be mentioned as a guy in the mix and a guy who would provide a kind of continuity, I use him here.)

Posted by: fan-o-matic | December 17, 2009 11:20 AM

I agree with Eddie5 on the issues of continuity and the good young brains out there. I don't know. I'm on the fence about this one. Continuity would be nice if they decided to stick with Campbell. If not, I don't think continuity will be that big an issue. On the other hand, I'm not a Gruden fan.

Posted by: anw821 | December 17, 2009 11:28 AM

Wait till you hire a coach to get his input on hiring a GM. The pedigree is there with Allen but I am not sure of his draft choices. Maybe Shanahan or Cowher might be the next coach. Is he compatabile with them?

Posted by: kenobill | December 17, 2009 11:31 AM

All I can say is THANK GOD!!!!! It seems Snyder has possibly awaken from his fantasy slumber and is very serious about getting this franchise in the right direction. Bruce Allen is an excellent choice he has "Mad" credentials to back up his previous work. He's a hometown guy, he knows about the Redskins tradition and history as he should.... his late father is a legend...I'm very excited about this news and we can only go up from here...I only hope that J.C. will still be here, I dont care about wich coaches are still here but please keep out Qb!!! All you haters will be eating your words....Can't wait for all the house cleaning to begin!

Posted by: bdarr44 | December 17, 2009 12:06 PM

This hiring is indeed a step up and should create more hands on to get better talent into this team. We have lost out on numerious young talent coming out the last few drafts with some off the cerado decisions. Let take our time and get it right with the next coach for this team.
I am thrill to see vinny cerado leave.

Posted by: gman1x1 | December 17, 2009 12:08 PM

Mr Ed would be an improvement over Vinny

Posted by: skinsfanfrmbirth | December 17, 2009 12:48 PM

Anyone but Cerrato is the right hire!

There is a Santa Claus!

Posted by: DaveLopan | December 17, 2009 12:51 PM

Are you all crazy? The fact that he is hiring a GM at all is a huge huge victory for the Redskins fans. While we are hard on Snyder because he deserves it he should get credit for doing what the fans wanted.

Allen knows what it means to be a Redskin. He will hate the Cowboy's as much as we do. He will not have the limits he had in Tampa with money. He is highly respected around the league. Tampa Bay ownership was highly criticized when they fired him and Gruden.

This is a great day for Redskins fans. GOOD FOR SNYDER for proving he cares more about the team than him needing to be right. We really should give him credit where it is due. He will bring us a Super Bowl one day. He just had to learn the hard way. No he needs to become a fan again and let the football people run the team.

Good luck Allen! Welcome and GO REDSKINS!

Posted by: Mike4169 | December 17, 2009 12:54 PM

I am a life long Redskins fan. I remember the Allen years well. But Bruce Allen has fallen very far from the tree. I live in the Tampa area now, where Bruce last worked with John Gruden. The two were famous for MANY failed draft decisions. The Bucanneers are in total disarry now. They are in far worse trouble than the Redskins. I would not want to see the D.C. are ride that train, unless there was a very strong coash with some say-so in the draft. John Gruden was the coach down here during the Bruce Allen stint. Please keep that guy away at all costs.

Posted by: Blueslegend | December 17, 2009 1:23 PM

It's good that Cerrato is going. Snyder should be next. Don't rejoice about Allen, yet. He's the architect of one of the very few teams that are worse than the Deadskins this year.

Posted by: sameolddoc | December 17, 2009 1:25 PM

My question is considering the input Snyder has had on the fantasy football atmosphere of the team for the last decade, What impact has the input of the Glazers and Al Davis had on the draft picks that Allen has made over the past years in Oakland and Tampa? Is it fair to judge Allen's resume on working for one of the most strong willed owners as well as some of the cheapest?

Posted by: bullwinkle1 | December 17, 2009 1:26 PM

I really don't think it's a given anymore that Zorn is going to be fired. The team has played great football for several weeks now, and if they keep playing well and even manage to win a couple of the remaining games it makes it much harder to say that Zorn should go. Allen might just decide otherwise, and if so, I hope he can convince Danny Boy.

Sure, they have an unorthodox system of play-calling, but it's been working. The players are motivated and playing hard. None of them (except Clinton Portis) gave up on what has been a very disappointing season. There's a lot more to being a head coach than just calling plays.

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | December 17, 2009 2:44 PM

hmmmm....What'd you Washingtonians do to Vinnies house?


If we can keep our coaching staff and get some new Hogs, this is an excellent move.

This change is a bit of a rush job. I hope Bruce Allen does not come in and destroy the coaching staff...that'd be a big negative.

The dude needs to come in hire an O-line, and get the individual attitudes off the field. The 'Skins must play as a single team, like they have over the past few weeks. Either Zorn can keep this going or we are F'ed (so's he).

If we get a new coach and a new system, it will take at least another year or more of pain before we get to the team we really want.

I am proud that Danny put his team, fans and business before his friendship with Vinny.

Posted by: jighazelton | December 17, 2009 3:05 PM

Allen's first order of business should be to fire Snyder!

Posted by: 35yrSKINSFAN | December 17, 2009 3:09 PM

Probably not the best choice but it was a necessary move at the right time. It gives Allen three weeks to evaluate the talent and hire a new coach - hopefully a young highly regarded assistant - and then make decisions about Campbell and the other players. Don't know if we need to start over, but a lot of changes are needed on offense to get younger and better. All the excitement about the last four weeks misses the main point - we have lost 3 of 4.

Posted by: mgferrebee | December 17, 2009 3:29 PM

Yet to be seen whether Allen will be a good choice. However, he is not to blame for the failures of Tampa. Tampa shelled out a first and second round pick in 2002, a first round pick in 2003 and their second round pick in 2004 in order to get Gruden from the Raiders. In addition, the team didn't have any money to access the free agent market until 2007. He inherited an old team and had to work with what he had. Went 11-5 in 2005, 4-12 in 2006 after being ravaged with multiple injuries, 9-7 in 2007 and 9-7 in 2008. Allen is a huge upgrade from Vinny and will bring some professional to the position.

Posted by: bulk72 | December 17, 2009 3:50 PM

It certainly was time for Vinny Cerrato to go, and I applaud that move as representing progress. I especially applaud Snyder's finally letting someone have the GM role, a move that is long overdue. -- All the same, I am not enamoured with the Allen family. At the least, I hope that Snyder had been giving thought about who Cerrato's replacement should be before this sudden resignation. (Hopefully the reason for Cerrato's sudden resignation was the discovery that a successor was already waiting in the wings. Otherwise I cannot explain in any same way any of this.) -- As for Zorn, I keep sensing someone who has the potential to be a Super Bowl coach, but who definitely needs more time to develop. Unlike the man I call the "spurious Spurrier", Zorn has shown that he has some idea of what the NFL is about, and can and will learn as he goes. So I really hope that Zorn gets kept for a least another year or two so that he has a fair chance to show what he can do.

Posted by: ems57fcva | December 17, 2009 5:45 PM

It would be great to just see some new HOGS.
Everything on offense starts and in most cases ends with a great line. Use a #1 on a LT, a #2 on a guard, next year pick a good center. RB are always available in 4.5.6 rounds. The challenge is will Allen be allowed to let the scouting team pick the
required folks? I would give Zorn & coaches another year. It is obvious, given a chance, the backups in many cases, outshine the grandiose.

Posted by: johntyreman | December 17, 2009 6:05 PM

¡ABC! ¡Anyone But Cerrato!

Posted by: 51fordf2 | December 17, 2009 7:13 PM

Based on positive statements from Bobby Beathard, perhaps the best front office man that Skins have ever had, Jaworski, Fletcher,..., I have to move from "too early" to "yes". Although he was more a front office guy during rebuilding in TB and Oakland than a glory days GM, he's getting a lot of praise from people more knowledgeable than I. He's even already started conversing with JZ! Sheesh - that's more than that horse's patoot Vinny did in the past few months.

Now - if Danny keeps his checkbook open and his nose out of operations, the Redskin's Nation may start having some real fun within a couple of years! (Not even Bobby could fix all the holes in one off-season, much less on the same page in execution.)

Posted by: fr3dmars | December 17, 2009 7:19 PM

This is the wrong guy. He set back the Raiders and the Bucaneers years.

Posted by: donniejl1 | December 17, 2009 7:21 PM

I wish there was some way Snyder could resign as owner. Until he totally leaves control of the Skins to football people they will never be the serious contenders again.

Posted by: jstearman | December 17, 2009 7:46 PM


Posted by: pharrrrtt | December 17, 2009 9:38 PM

After retreating from the joyous moment of hearing the words "Cerrato is Out" I've sobered up. A little reading up on his history was my wake up call. Bruce Allen looks like a mediocre GM at best. His SuperBowl teams were already in place when he arrived. Kind of like Zorn taking over Gibbs team and going 6-2. I'm not a Gruden fan. He took over a Dungy led team and went to the SB. Dungy built the team. Then went to Indy and built another SB team there. Dungy is the man. Allen & Chucky were riding his coat tails.

Get Tony Dungy as coach!

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | December 18, 2009 2:47 AM

This poll shows that Redskins fans are not fooled by just bringing in somebody to pull the wool over our eyes. Ive been down this path before with the same losing results.

Posted by: MDZ28driver | December 18, 2009 12:47 PM

He is the right choice if we bring in Shanahan keeps Campbell and or keeps Zorn and Campbell and focuses on Oline, secondary and running back. We are set everywhere else and should let our you players develop.

Posted by: b145579 | December 18, 2009 2:21 PM

A B C Anybody But Cerrato
It's as simple as that.

Posted by: pd2710 | December 18, 2009 6:26 PM

i'm SO GLAD that Vinny is gone, but we hired someone close to Dan again... someone he feels comfy with. Maybe not the best person for the job, and certainly not thinking outside the box, but for a guy like snyder... not bad. HTTR!!!

Posted by: isthatyourhusband | December 19, 2009 9:10 AM

What a great move. Dan hires George... I mean BRUCE Allen. Next time, it will be Coy Gibbs.

Posted by: Xchekker94 | December 19, 2009 12:18 PM

I wish much success to Mr Allen. We do not,however, need a new coach at this time.
Mr. Zorn has done a fine job with the players dealt him, and the dire circumstances that he was required to work under.
The past 10 years have been really bad for the once proud REDSKINS. So let us now forget the past and move on.

Posted by: aspook | December 19, 2009 2:46 PM

A "poll" is a numerical representation of how many people are for/against something. Where are the numbers on this poll?

Posted by: dfoster2 | December 19, 2009 5:03 PM

I applaud Dan Snyder for making this first move. I'm the first to lay on the criticism if it's warranted, but I also recognize a great move on his part. Too early to say if Bruce Allen is the right man, but if Snyder hired Allen to be a legitimate GM, then I applaud you, Mr. Snyder.

Posted by: DanielNoble | December 19, 2009 8:12 PM

Like most 'Skins fans I'm hopeful this will work, but I'm skeptical. This move bears all of the hallmarks of past Snyder gimmicks. There's Allen's connection to Redskins glory days past. There's the fact that Allen was out of a job when he was hired, giving him less leverage in dealing with a controlling boss. Add to that the sudden manner in which Cerrato was replaced in the middle of a season, and you get the impression that little is changing here.

If Snyder really wants to get a better result than he's gotten over the last ten years, he'll need to do more than simply change nameplates on the desk of his resident yes man. He should give Allen both the authority and the time needed to succeed in building a legitimate NFL team... at least five years. Snyder must demonstrate that he'll be less impetuous than he's been: no more mid-season firings, no more clandestine meetings with coaches-in-waiting or consultants to undermine the current coach. If Snyder continues to cultivate his reputation as an impatient boss just waiting to drop the ax on yet another underling, no coach worth his salt will be willing to work for him. He should show up less at Redskin Park and end his cozy relationships with certain anointed players like Clinton Portis. In short, Snyder must do the one thing he's been unwilling to do in ten years: let someone else be the face of this franchise.

Posted by: kmac5570 | December 19, 2009 10:10 PM

Zorn and Campbell should be kept. The immediate need is an O-line and running back. Portis should be kept however he is getting long in the tooth and has lost a step or two. He is still capable of good yardage if not over worked.

Snyder should take a note from the past owner Jack Kent Cooke. Stay out of the way. You own the team, but you no nothing about the NFL and football. Allow the people with knowledge run the team.

Posted by: jonmhill1 | December 20, 2009 4:23 PM

The key is that Li'l Danny must stop running the team himself. If so, Allen should do fine. If not, it doesn't matter if it's Allen or Li'l Danny's faithful sidekick Vinnie who is nominal GM, the team will continue to suck.

It would be nice to hire a coach who wasn't wed to the prissy little West Coast offense that doesn't work in bad weather or with Campbell at QB.

The O-Line needs help in the EARLY rounds of the draft.

What they DON'T need is more fantasy early draft focus on WR/QB/TE/RB.

They need another RB, but surely can get a decent one sometime after the first couple of rounds. RBs get chewed up too quick to be a great investment in rounds one or two.

WRs and TEs are mostly fungible and the ones they have will do. Taking another of those would be the most idiotic move in decades for a team that has made a lot of idiotic moves.

QB is a crap shoot with early picks and it takes years to find out if the guy can play in the NFL. Stay with Campbell and get an OLine that can keep him vertical for another second or two and see how he does.

While they should never pass up a defensive stud if available after the first two rounds, their defensive personnel is decent already.

Posted by: dolph924 | December 24, 2009 1:33 AM

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