Bruce Allen

Jay Gruden On Daniel Snyder, Washington Drafts, Coaching Future

Jay Gruden is currently unattached, with the Jaguars hiring Urban Meyer last month. Darrell Bevell is the team’s new offensive coordinator. Gruden, who coached Washington from 2014-19, remains interested in returning to the sidelines.

However, the longtime NFL play-caller does not expect to coach this season. Gruden, 53, said, with staffs having mostly filled up over the past few weeks, he will likely sit out in 2021 before reassessing his options, Ben Standig of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

Gruden made some noise recently when he made a candid remark about Washington owner Daniel Snyder‘s draft involvement. The six-year Washington HC indicated the team’s owner “would come in off his yacht and make the pick” after Washington’s coaching staff and front office prepared for the draft. Gruden expanded on that assessment.

Well, first and foremost, he is the owner. So if he wants to come off his yacht, or if he wants to come off his tennis court, wherever he’s at and make a pick, he has that right,” Gruden said. “(Dan) has the ultimate say, and that’s not going to change until he decides he wants to change.

So I guess he’s given up total responsibility and total power to coach (Ron) Rivera, which is a good thing, I think. But when I was there, that wasn’t the case. He had final say over everything. He and (former team president) Bruce Allen would talk about it, and they would make the decision. I signed up for that. I knew that was the case going in, and that’s just the way it was.”

Like Gruden, Allen is no longer with the franchise. Snyder dismissed the 10-year team president after the 2019 season. But the Snyder-Allen-Gruden power trio was in place for nearly six seasons. The last of those, a 3-13 season that involved Gruden being fired after an 0-5 start, transpired after a controversial draft.

It has been long reported Gruden was against drafting Dwayne Haskins, a Snyder- and Allen-driven move. Gruden said one of the team’s plans involved taking Montez Sweat at No. 15; Washington later traded back into Round 1 and drafted the edge defender at No. 26. Gruden also mentioned being high on safety Darnell Savage, whom the Packers drafted at No. 21 overall.

We knew we needed a quarterback, though. I mean, so at the end of the day, it’s not like Dwayne was not a good prospect. He’s a young football player with a lot of talent. So it’s not the end of the world we took Dwayne,” Gruden said, via Standig. “We just didn’t think we had to take him that high. It’s just what we thought … if we lost Dwayne that there were a couple of other ones later we might be able to get to come in and maybe compete with Case. Plus there was still hope in the back of our minds that Alex would come back.”

Coming off a 50-touchdown pass 2018 season at Ohio State, Haskins was viewed as a surefire first-round pick. The Giants were connected to him at No. 6 overall, though they surprised most by drafting Daniel Jones. Haskins fell to No. 15, becoming the third quarterback off the 2019 board. Some in Washington’s organization were believed to have placed a third-round grade on the quarterback.

Gruden said during the interview Haskins “wasn’t quite ready” when a Case Keenum injury first summoned him into action in Week 4 of the ’19 season. The organization quickly soured on the quarterback, benching him early in the 2020 season and putting him on the trade block. The Rivera-led regime waived Haskins in December of last year.

Snyder overruled Washington football-side brass on other occasions, Gruden said. Washington now has Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney atop running football ops.

For the most part, I’d say 85-90% of the time, we were making pretty much football decisions that were good for the football team, and they were (decisions) that everybody agreed on. … The majority,” Gruden said. “But there were a few picks (during my time) that we had nothing to do with it.”

The currently unattached coach also discussed Kirk Cousins‘ exit. The Allen-led Cousins negotiations led to animosity, two franchise tags and the quarterback’s departure in free agency in 2018. Rather than a trade haul, Washington only received a third-round compensatory pick for its four-year QB starter.

For the most part, I was given every opportunity to succeed there. We just didn’t get it done,” Gruden said. “There are some decisions there that I wish we could have had back. Obviously, we should have gotten more for Kirk Cousins. That’s the biggest thing, that I think we should have got more for Kirk Cousins than a third-round pick.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Fire Bruce Allen, Expected To Hire Ron Rivera

The Redskins have fired team president Bruce Allen, the team announced in a statement. Although some recent reports indicated that Allen would remain in the organization in some capacity, perhaps as part of the club’s stadium detail, that is not the case. The Redskins have completely cut ties with him.

Washington is also expected to hire Ron Rivera as its next head coach, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Rivera is meeting with the team today, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, today’s “interview” is expected to be more of a coronation than anything else. Owner Dan Snyder has acted quickly to get the coach he wants before any other interested clubs could get a crack at him, and it looks like he has his man.

Rivera was fired by the Panthers earlier this month, but his strong track record in Carolina immediately catapulted him to the top of the list of head coaching candidates in this year’s cycle. He amassed a 76-63-1 regular season record, a 3-4 playoff record, and, most notably, a Super Bowl appearance. The Panthers did not win it all under Rivera’s watch, but he is highly-regarded and commands respect.

The same cannot be said for Allen. The Redskins went 62-97-1 during his 10-year tenure and qualified for the playoffs just twice in that time. He also became a divisive figure for Washington fans, most of whom are likely glad to see him out of the organization.

With Allen gone, senior VP Eric Schaffer will see his role increase, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweets. One of the purposes of today’s meeting between Rivera and the team is to ensure that Rivera — who is also expected to have significant say in personnel matters — is comfortable with Schaffer.

Snyder’s statement regarding Allen’s dismissal reads, in part, as follows:

“Like our passionate fan base, I recognize we have not lived up to the high standards set by great Redskins teams, coaches and players who have come before us. As we reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process of winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead to renew our singular focus and purpose of bringing championship football back to Washington D.C.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Fire Bruce Allen

Bruce Allen may not have the chance to continue into a second decade with the Redskins. The franchise plans to fire its 10th-year football operations boss, J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports. This move has been in the works for a bit now, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Ben Standig of The Athletic writes that Allen may remain with the club as part of its stadium detail.

Dan Snyder has operated independently from his football staff during part of the Redskins’ coaching search, and the longtime owner has done work on GM candidates as well. Allen’s tenure as team president has not brought Washington much success, with this season producing a 3-12 record.

Allen has overseen a somewhat chaotic Redskins decade. From the Robert Griffin III chapter to an ugly divorce with GM Scot McCloughan to Kirk Cousins‘ departure to the Trent Williams fiasco, the franchise has seen its stock plummet during the 2010s. The Redskins are 62-96-1 during Allen’s 10-year tenure — one that has produced two playoff berths and one 10-win season (2012).

The son of former Redskins NFC champion coach George Allen, Bruce came over after a five-year stay with the Buccaneers. Prior to that, he spent nine years in the Raiders’ front office. The Redskins have only employed two full-time coaches under Allen — Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden — but they have gone through several quarterbacks and have only completed back-to-back winning seasons once.

While the Redskins have not been particularly successful throughout Snyder’s 21-year tenure, the owner looks set to commence a full-scale overhaul. Coaches Bill Callahan and Kevin O’Connell have a chance to stay on, potentially with a defensive-minded HC, but it certainly looks like the Redskins will have a new front office structure soon. Former Texans GM Rick Smith and ex-Redskins exec-turned-ESPN analyst Louis Riddick have been mentioned as potential candidates to oversee Washington’s football operations. Current Panthers GM Marty Hurney may also be in play, as Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.

Meanwhile, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says Redskins senior VP Eric Schaffer, who handles contract negotiations for the team, could see his role increase following Allen’s ouster (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins’ HC Plans, Front Office

After little emerged on the Redskins front for weeks following Jay Gruden‘s firing, the struggling franchise is dominating the early-weekend news cycle. Bruce Allen‘s role as team president is not safe, with a Black Monday dismissal being considered.

The Redskins are considering firing their 10-year front office czar, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports, adding that Allen may have a chance to remain with the organization in a non-football role. That would be an interesting setup given Allen’s tumultuous tenure in Washington, but Dan Snyder is pondering widespread changes to his football operations department.

Replacement options for Allen include ex-Texans GM Rick Smith and former NFL executive-turned-TV analyst Louis Riddick, La Canfora adds, noting Snyder has done research on a few personnel execs. Smith resigned from his Houston post after the 2017 season but is open to returning to the league. Riddick worked with the Redskins from 2001-07, serving as a scout and pro personnel director. He subsequently held the same role with the Eagles.

As for Washington’s HC opening, Snyder has “strong interest” in Ron Rivera, per JLC. The longtime Redskins owner is also interested in Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, ex-Jets HC and current Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles, longtime Bengals HC Marvin Lewis and former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. These are consolation prizes, though, with La Canfora reporting Snyder’s primary hope is to work out a trade for Mike Tomlin. Snyder is not optimistic about such a deal. The prospect of bringing the Virginia native to Washington surfaced two-plus months ago.

The prospect of bringing aboard a defensive coach opens the door to Washington sticking with top offensive incumbents Bill Callahan and Kevin O’Connell. Snyder is high on both his interim HC and first-year OC, according to La Canfora. Callahan expressed interest in staying on, though it’s not known if he would stick around under another head coach, and O’Connell has been the primary Dwayne Haskins developer this season. Snyder was the driving force behind the Redskins’ Haskins pick, overruling Gruden.

Allen has not excelled in Washington, but neither have most of the head coaches under Snyder. The Redskins have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons under the 21st-year owner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Redskins’ HC Search, Front Office

Bruce Allen is wrapping up his 10th season in the Redskins’ front office, but Washington’s team president has not been given the lead role in identifying the franchise’s next head coach.

Dan Snyder has been working on the team’s HC situation for several weeks, with Albert Breer of SI.com reporting he’s assembled a group of football people to help on this front. None of those in this committee of sorts are Redskins employees, Breer notes (on Twitter).

The longtime Redskins owner has kept his football staff in the dark on some of the changes he’s mulling, Breer adds, inviting speculation Allen will not be in the team’s future plans. This would undoubtedly please a sizable sect of Washington’s fanbase, but as of now, the veteran exec remains the top cog in Washington’s football operations staff.

Allen has plans of his own on how the franchise should proceed, per John Keim of ESPN.com, who confirms Snyder has left him out of certain parts of this process (Twitter link). A November report indicated Allen’s status for 2020 was uncertain, so these next several days will be critical for the Redskins.

Snyder is believed to be far along in this search, which has yet to produce any known candidates. Though, Breer identifies Ron Rivera as a name to monitor. Interim HC Bill Callahan would like to be considered, but it’s unlikely given Washington’s post-Gruden performance that the team will go with the 63-year-old coach as its next full-time leader.

The Redskins are 62-96-1 during Allen’s tenure, one that has now included three head coaches. Should they lose to the Cowboys on Sunday, they will secure the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Garrett, Redskins

The Cowboys aren’t planning to fire head coach Jason Garrett during the season, but some reports have indicated needs to lead Dallas to a Super Bowl victory in order to keep his job. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has offered his fair share of criticism of Garrett this year, and earlier this week, he made a peculiar comment sure to draw the eye of observers. “In my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year,” Jones said this week on 105.3 The Fan (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News). Notably, Jones didn’t say exactly where he thinks Garrett will coaching in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Don’t expect Trent Williams to mend fences with the Redskins any time soon. Williams, who didn’t play this season while holding out, holds a great deal of animus against the Washington organization for how it handled a cancerous tumor that appeared on his head. “I don’t see how it can be reconciled,” Williams told Les Carpenter of the Washington Post. “At the end of the day I’m a human being, I ain’t like a dog and you can slap s— out of me and I’m going to come back the next morning with my tail wagging. This was a conscious decision, they didn’t burn the bridge by accident. This was something they felt comfortable doing, so I got to feel comfortable with moving on, too.”
  • Most of Williams’ ire is directed towards Redskins president Bruce Allen, per Carpenter. Williams claims Allen ignored calls and texts from Williams and his agent while the club was searching for a helmet that would accommodate Williams’ pain. Williams believes Allen did so that the Redskins can argue Williams still has two years left on his contract, which could raise his trade value this offseason. Allen, for his part, calls the allegations “comical.”
  • Group Giants owner Steve Tisch with those who think Colin Kaepernick‘s workout session in Atlanta last month was botched by the NFL. “I just felt, you know, what happened in Atlanta was unfortunate,” Tisch told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. “It didn’t seem to be very well organized. And I just, I don’t know how it all sort of fell apart.” Tisch also said he hopes the issue is brought up during next week’s league meetings.

Redskins’ Bruce Allen On The Hot Seat?

The Redskins organization has seen plenty of turnover in recent years, but one consistent has been Bruce Allen. Could the team president suddenly be on the hot seat? Mike Garafolo of NFL Network seems to think so. Appearing on Good Morning Football, Garafolo said that everything is up for evaluation in Washington this offseason, and that includes Allen’s role with the organization (Twitter link).

The reporter adds that the team has hit “rock bottom right now,” and owner Dan Snyder understands that something drastic needs to happen. Further, Garafolo opined that “for the first time, i’m really feeling like they are evaluating Bruce Allen’s role with the team going forward.” For what it’s worth, Garafolo also added the caveat that Allen’s job could be safe should the Redskins and rookie Dwayne Haskins show up down the stretch.

George Allen had coached the Redskins to their first Super Bowl appearance back in the 1970s, making his son Bruce a popular pick when he was hired as the organization’s general manager in late 2009. The executive has seen a number of title changes during his tenure with the Redskins, including his promotion to team president in 2014. Allen had previously served as general manager of the Buccaneers.

While Allen has continually had the trust of Snyder, he’s struggled to field a competitive team. The Redskins are 44-79 during his time with the organization, and the Redskins only has a single playoff appearance during that span. The front office is now searching for the third head coach of Allen’s tenure after he fired Jay Gruden earlier this season (Bill Callahan is currently serving as the interim head coach). Mike Shanhan had served as head coach/executive vice president from 2010 to 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ Prez: “We’ve Heard From Every Agent”

The Redskins’ internal drama has been well-documented, but team president Bruce Allen claims that he’s heard from “every agent” for head coaching candidates regarding the vacancy (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer). 

[RELATED: Trent Williams To Report By Week 10?]

Let’s just say we’ve heard from every agent,” Allen said. “They found our phone number.”

The Redskins have seen the postseason since their 2015 playoff exit against the Packers in the Wild Card round. This year, they canned Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start that dropped his career record to 35-49. When Gruden was fired, he was reportedly happy to be moving on from the team and an apparently toxic relationship with club management.

When asked about the Gruden divorce, Allen was terse, to say the least.

We HAD to fire Jay,” he said (via Kremer, emphasis hers). “The team wasn’t responding.”

There are, at least, two candidates currently in the mix for the Redskins job: interim head coach Bill Callahan and offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell. The Redskins are expected to consider both men for the post before potentially casting a wider net in December.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kevin O’Connell Serious Candidate For Redskins’ HC Job

Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is expected to receive serious consideration for the team’s head coaching post, as Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes. O’Connell, 34, has been with Washington since 2017, and this season is his first as the Redskins’ OC.

Before Washington elevated him from passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach in January, O’Connell garnered interest from multiple other teams. For all of the Redskins’ problems, they have had a number of young and talented coaches rise through their ranks — Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan, to name a few — and apparently there is a belief that O’Connell can follow in their footsteps.

Washington is near the bottom of the league in points per game and yards per game this year, but the offense is largely bereft of talent at the skill positions and along the O-line, so it would be difficult to hold the performance of O’Connell’s unit against him. As Maske notes, the real question will be whether O’Connell, interim HC Bill Callahan, or an outside candidate will be best-suited to maximize Dwayne Haskins‘ potential.

Owner Dan Snyder has not had much problem luring big-name head coaches to the nation’s capital; the problem has been making it work once those coaches arrive. Plus, team president Bruce Allen could be an obstacle. One of Maske’s sources, an agent who represents coaches, said that no coach worth his salt will accept an HC job with the Redskins as long as Allen is in charge of personnel.

In addition to O’Connell, Maske names Gregg Williams, Marvin Lewis, and Mike McCarthy as big names who could attract Snyder’s interest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Notes: Gruden, Haskins, Williams

This morning, the Redskins did what everyone expected and fired head coach Jay Gruden. The move follows a 33-7 loss to the Patriots, dropping Washington to 0-5 on the season. Besides his disappointing record, there also seemed to be a disconnect between the front office and the sixth-year coach; Gruden reportedly wasn’t a fan of the team’s decision to select quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy day in Washington, and there have a been a number of additional Redskins notes since this afternoon:

  • Nobody likes to lose their job, but it sounds like Gruden isn’t beating himself up over the firing. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the now-former head coach was expecting the move and is doing fine. Rapoport also notes that the firing allows the organization to be completely transparent about their head coaching search (as opposed to be covert if Gruden was still on the sideline).
  • During his presser earlier today, team president Bruce Allen deferred to interim head coach Bill Callahan when asked if Haskins would now start under center. The coach later told reporters that the first-rounder is not a candidate to start right now (via NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo on Twitter). The coach did say that they’re currently evaluating the health of Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, but it sounds like one of the veterans will start against the Dolphins on Sunday.
  • Allen was also asked about the status of offensive lineman Trent Williams, who continues to sit out. The executive told reporters that “there’s been no dialogue with any other team” regarding a trade, and Allen also said the team isn’t actively shopping the veteran. Today’s head coaching move also didn’t move the needle when it comes to a potential return for Williams; a source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini (Twitter link) that the 31-year-old “doesn’t have any plans of returning to the Redskins anytime soon.”
  • We hate to rub dirt in the wound, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out (on Twitter) that the Redskins’ coaching staff once consisted of Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and Matt LaFleuer. The three current head coaches (with the 49ers, Rams, and Packers, respectively) currently have a combined 2019 record of 10-3.