Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2 comments MMQB Review: Bruce Allen Hearts Dan Snyder; Dan Snyder Asks "Who's Bruce Allen?"

Peter King is on vacation for the next month, so he is having non-writers substitute for him and write the weekly MMQB. I generally don't read these substitute MMQB columns, but I made an exception today because Bruce Allen uses his MMQB forum to kiss Daniel Snyder's ass and I found this pathetic enough to read. I have a lot of respect for Bruce Allen. He still manages to make Tampa Buccaneers fans think about him and causes them to reminisce on his time as Tampa Bay's General Manager. He's continuing his good work in Washington by trading for Donovan McNabb and overpaying for free agents like Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Of course there is also the trade for Robert Griffin III, which will end up putting the Redskins further down in the doldrums through the loss of first round draft picks or will lift the franchise to new heights. It's way too early to judge that trade. Allen may or may not be qualified to be a General Manager, but he is qualified to write a MMQB and he wants Daniel Snyder to know he respects him so very please don't fire him. In fact, Allen is not above flattery in order for the Child King Snyder to allow him to keep his job.

All Americans and hundreds of millions of people across the world should be grateful to the men and women of our Armed Services, whose personal sacrifices have secured our freedoms. Their heroic efforts are the reason that we are able to enjoy our "inalienable rights," including "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," as stated in Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, which was approved on July 4, 1776.

It sounds weird to hear the Declaration of Independence was "approved" at any point. It makes it sound like the Declaration of Independence was a bill that passed through Congress. I guess it did sort of pass through Congress in its own colonial way. Still, "approved" sounds like bizarre wording to me.

Last week as part of our family's July 4th celebration, my wife Kiersten and I went to a party with former and current Raiders to celebrate the great Al Davis' birthday, who fittingly was born on Independence Day.

Yes, fittingly he was born on Independence Day...wait, why is this coincidence fitting again? I'm not sure I see the Al Davis-Independence Day connection, unless Bruce Allen is suggesting Al Davis was an alien who crash-landed on Earth in the 1940's and was captured by the United States government for research purposes, which ultimately led to a battle between the United States and alien forces for planet Earth that was ended by Randy Quaid sacrificing himself to blow up the mothership and save the day. In that case, I do see the Al Davis-Independence Day connection.

In my opinion, Al Davis was the ultimate competitor who cared deeply about the game of football and the people that surrounded the Raiders.

And the Raiders and football are indelibly tied to the Fourth of July, of course.

Every waking hour, Al was trying to find a winning edge for the franchise he created,

"Speed! Find the fastest, most athletic players possible. Football skills don't matter."

During the Al Davis celebration it dawned on me how much I have learned from the NFL owners for whom I have worked.

Two ways to continually get/keep a job in the NFL:

1. Have a parent who was famous in some capacity in the NFL (George Allen is Bruce Allen's dad).

2. Kiss everyone in the NFL's ass as much as possible (see: what follows about Daniel Snyder). It's funny because Jon Gruden worked with Bruce Allen in Tampa Bay and Gruden annoys me with his constant positivity about any and every NFL player, executive, coach and hot dog vendor. I have a feeling a Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden-led Buccaneers team was the most positive and ass-kissing GM/head coach duo in the NFL.

Today, I'm constantly impressed by the active, non-stop, brilliantly quick and witty mind of Dan Snyder

Do you know who else has an active, non-stop, brilliantly quick and witty mind...or at least his subjects claim this to other people purely out of fear?

This guy.

{I'm on Season 1 Episode 8 of that series now, so if he gets impaled by a spike (please), ripped apart by wolves (pretty please) or disemboweled by a dragon (not even sure how that would work) please don't spoil it for me. I want his death to be an active, non-stop, brilliantly long surprise to me.}

I don't work for Daniel Snyder, and I am sure he is brilliantly quick and witty with his jokes at parties or when critiquing the maid's glass-cleaning capabilities, but I'm not sure this translates to being the owner of an NFL team. This is some major ass-kissing by Bruce Allen. Bruce Allen believes approximately quite a few Redskins players or coaches should be in the Hall of Fame (Doug Williams, Bobby Beathard, Joe Jacoby, Joe Theismann). We get it, you like the team you work for. You got the job, no need to ass-kiss any further.

Bruce Allen also does some ass-kissing of the Glazer family as well. Presumably in an effort to ensure his old bosses may want to hire him to run Manchester United some day. It's quite embarrassing to read.

There is no better example of America being the land of opportunity than Dan's story -- a boy growing up rooting for his favorite team each Sunday alongside his hard-working father, then becoming owner of that team and striving for a championship for the fans and community.

Is Daniel Snyder striving for a championship? That's my question. Or does he strive for quick fixes, making splashes that put his team in the headlines, and impatient personnel moves in lieu of taking the time and effort to build a quality football team? The Redskins are well-known for trying to make a splash and throw as much cash as possible at players (Haynesworth) and coaches (Steve Spurrier/Joe Gibbs/Mike Shanahan) in an effort to put a good team on the field now rather than building a good team through the draft and smart free agency decisions.

Even the trade for Robert Griffin III was a quick-fix move by the Redskins. Sure, they got their quarterback of the future, but they traded three first round draft picks and a second round pick to get him. So by getting quarterback of the future, they mortgaged part of the future. This is what the Daniel Snyder-owned Redskins do.

Halas' list of contributions to the game is endless. Beside being the leader in the formation of the NFL, his coaching accomplishments will never be surpassed. Ironically, Coach Halas taught me my first "cuss" word.

This not by means of the definition "ironic." Perhaps Coach Halas should have taught Bruce Allen what the word "ironic" really means.

After a slight pause, Halas looked at my father for approval (not that he needed it). He continued: "You can only use this word on a really bad person, someone you really hate or who did something very very bad." He then made me acknowledge that I understood, to which I responded: "Yes, Coach!" After what seemed like the longest minute ever, he turned around and said one word with an intensity that I had never seen: "PACKER." And then he added: "Don't tell your mom I told you!"

"Packer" as a curse word, I get it! Maybe Bruce Allen should spend less time thinking "Packer" is a curse word and more time trying to build the Redskins the way the Packers have built their current team.

The current Redskins players, coaches, fans and staff owe a big debt of gratitude to the people who have made the Redskins one of the flagship franchises in sports.

The Redskins are a flagship franchise in sports. I write that with some hesitation because I'm afraid they are becoming a joke to some sports fans. That's just my opinion. I don't know if this takes them out of "flagship" status, but the team is a punchline to me in some ways and it affects how I think about them being a flagship NFL team. Maybe I'm just oversensitive and overreacting to the annoying and delusional Redskins fans I know.

Contrarian Viewpoint Of The Week

Take the names off the back of the jerseys.

That way the Redskins fans will have a more difficult time determining which Redskins wide receivers are the ones that Bruce Allen gave $40 million to in free agency and which wide receivers are undrafted free agents. This will come in handy when the production for both players is equal during the season.

I don't see the point in taking the names off the back of the jerseys. I know it is supposed to elevate the team over the individual, but the NFL makes money off jersey sales and it helps to have the player's name on the back of those jerseys to sell these jerseys.

1. I don't like $36 million of our salary cap room going to our competitors.

Well, then follow secret agreements the owners make among each other. Perhaps if Daniel Snyder were a little more quick-witted and brilliant he would have seen that going along with the unspoken agreement among NFL owners could benefit the Redskins.

3. I don't like "anonymous sources."

Sometimes there is a need for a source to be anonymous. What Bruce Allen really doesn't like is how anonymous sources are used to report information about the Redskins in newspapers and online.

4. I don't like injuries.

Does anybody like injuries? Does this even merit noting?

2. I think we should make these rule changes:

a. When an NFL team signs a free agent and that player hasn't made a Pro Bowl after two years that free agent's salary does not count against the salary cap.

b. When an NFL team trades a draft pick, that draft pick is replaced with another draft pick of equal or lesser value.

c. Teams from Washington, D.C. get 10 points for a touchdown and 5 points for a field goal.

Get rid of the convoluted overtime rules -- return to sudden death.

The new overtime rules are too hard to understand. Screw fairness or the best way to determine the winner of a game in overtime, let's go with the easiest rule possible. Expeditiousness over quality does seem to be the Redskins motto.

Same as scoring plays, all turnovers should be automatically reviewed.

Major penalties should be eligible for coaching challenges.

I'm not one of those people who is concerned about the pace of the game, but if the officials review every turnover and major penalty how long are the games going to last? Three and a half or four hours? Every major penalty and turnover can't be reviewed. I think the NFL's replay system works fine now. Why change it? I want to watch football, not replays on every major play during a game.

Punters, kickers and long snappers shouldn't count against the 46-man game day roster (each team must dress three quarterbacks).

This is a stupid rule change. Why would teams have to dress three quarterbacks if they only want to dress two quarterbacks? The NFL shouldn't dictate how many players at each position a team has to activate. Why shouldn't kickers or punters count against the 46-man game day roster? They are players on the roster, so they should count.

5. I think we need to do a lot more for high school football coaches!

Is there a way you can be more vague about what the hell this means!?

6. I think Monday Night Football's kickoff should be no later than 8:00 p.m. ET.

"I want to go to bed early! You kids keep waking me up!"

7. I think the new college football playoff format will create more issues than the old system.

"Change is bad! I miss the days when nothing changed and everything stayed the same!"

9. I think NFL Films is the league's Non-Player MVP every year (name that award the Ed Sabol Award).

So Bruce Allen wants to create an award and then give it to the same person every single year? This man is the General Manager of an NFL team (for the second time) and he believes creating an award and then giving it to the same damn person every year is a grand ol' idea.

10. I think it's easier to make enemies in the NFL than it is to make friends.

And we all know the entire purpose of the NFL is to make friends. Of course it is a lot easier to make enemies in the NFL when the fans of the NFL team you work for has this litany of problems with that team's owner.

Peter needs to think harder about his choices next time when handing the MMQB reins over during the summer.


Anonymous said...

I am going to say this as a lifelong Redskins fan who is nearing the precipice of not giving a shit anymore. (My decline in passion is twofold: I hate the National Football League. All the Trent Dilfers, Mark Schlereths and Herm Edwards of the world make me want to form an angry mob, rife with torches and pitchforks. Dilfer and Schlereth because they are so fucking self-important. Edwards because he is the guy who has nothing important to say, and when he realizes you are tuning him out, he touches you on the arm to make sure you will continue to pay attention to his drivel. I hate that guy. His "Play to win the game" rant was sweet though. Continuing with the NFL hatred, Roger Goddell could not be a bigger douche. His feigned sanctimony, coupled with his "The NFL is too sweet to fail" attitude, makes him the top target of my soon-to-be-formed mob. Two, the well-documented football atrocities of Dan Snyder for the past 15 years have left most fans with the "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 148 times, shame on me" mentality. It's tough being a rational Redskins fan with a world view that doesn't place football at its center.) As I am typing this, Matt Fucking Millen is on TV. Really, who gives a flying fuck what Matt Millen has to say about anything? How can someone completely fail in a profession and still be called upon to give insight on anything related (even tangentially) on that profession? Granted, he was talking about the Penn State fallout, but still... (end of rant in a rant)

Anyway, back to the Redskins. When Cerrato was finally let go, and Allen was brought in, the decision was framed as Allen being the salary cap guy/goodwill ambassador/harken back to the glory days guy. The Shanaclan being the personnel decision makers (moreso than Allen), and Bruce figuring out the best way to structure the contracts. (Full disclosure, I had no idea Tampa fans hated Bruce Allen.) I am not here to defend the Garcon or Morgan signings. The Garcon signing is pretty bad in my opinion. Bill Barnwell wrote an article a while ago, and he was talking about Garcon's catch rate, which was only slightly above 50%, with Peyton Fucking Manning throwing him the ball. And it is not like the majority of these passes were 25+ yards... The Morgan signing is much less egregious; he spent all four of his pro seasons with Alex Smith, and he is kind of big, which the Redskins definitely lack at receiver. He outproduced his expected yards in 2010 (he only played 5 games in '11) by 100, which was about 15% (with Alex Smith), while Garcon underproduced in 2010 at expected yards by about 12% (with Peyton Manning). And of course Morgan is getting much less money.

Having said all of that, even the Garcon signing is a paradigm shift from the Snyder/Cerrato era. The washed-up stars (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders), the gross overpayment of names, and the complete lack of building up both lines has been put aside. Shanahan has been stockpiling linemen, running backs, and trying to build up a strong and deep front 7 on defense.

To me Bruce Allen is a non-entity, and as long as Snyder is not making decisions, (maybe that is why Bruce Allen thinks he is brilliant. Lollerskates!) they can suck each off all they want. It is funny that someone whose job is based around negotiating, often times, complex contracts can write in a very trite manner. Also, RGIII pretty much has to be a fucking superhero if the Redskins want to be an actual contender, but if the lines develop along with Griffin, Allen will have some hand in this shift.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I didn't want this to come off as ripping on the Redskins or anything. I don't think you took it that way, but I wanted to make sure.

It's tough being a rational sports fan over all. I live in North Carolina, which has a lot of Redskins fans and they aren't always the most rational bunch of people...but not nearly as bad as Cowboys fans, who seem to believe Dallas has won 10 Super Bowls in the last 9 years. I make a good amount of Daniel Snyder jokes, but the Redskins are going to eventually win a Super Bowl and he will be considered a genius who did whatever it took to help his team win. That's just how the narrative will go. Of course, if he doesn't win a Super Bowl anytime soon then he will be treated like an idiot-owner who will be credited with doing something right by not falling over his own feet as he walks (see: Mike Brown).

Matt Millen has friends in the media, which is why he got a job so quickly after destroying the Lions team for so long. He was going to be the next John Madden (or at least it seemed that's what they wanted him to be) for FOX and then he went and did something else and ruined it all. He still can get a job b/c he has friends and he went to Penn State, so they trot him out to comment. I personally ignore whatever he says on television.

To be completely honest with you, most NFL fans hate their GM at some point. I thought those two links were somewhat relevant b/c the Bucs are struggling and they still found time to rag on their old GM. Allen seems like a nice guy, but my understanding is Bucs fans hated the way he drafted and seemed to ruin the Super Bowl winning 2002 team. Whether he actually ruined them or not is a matter of opinion, I guess.

I talk about the Josh Morgan signing, not because I don't think he can be a quality WR for the Redskins, but I thought that was a lot of money to give a guy who hasn't produced a lot (though Smith was his QB) and had some injury issues. Garcon is a signing I didn't get at all. They want to give their QB weapons. It just seemed like a move to throw money at the problem, especially given he drafted three WR in 2011. Garcon and Morgan could be good WR, but it just seemed like a lot of money.

Regardless I do, and always have, liked the Redskins defense. I think the defense is in very good shape.

The seeming idolatry of Snyder made me laugh a lot and it reinforced the stereotype I had in my head that Snyder's employees are afraid of him. It probably isn't true, but it was weird to make him sound so trite (that's a good word to use).

It's a tough call Allen made because if that RGIII trade works out he looks like a genius and if it doesn't work out then he has spent more draft picks trying to find a QB solution. I just hope they let Griffin develop at his own rate and design the offense around him. He can successful if they do that.