I don’t like winter; my favorite thing about winter is when it is finished.
Personally, I never want to wish bad upon Bruce Allen, yet the Bruce Allen era has run its course; and like winter, it brought hardship and loss.
Dec 17, 2009 - Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced the hiring of Bruce Allen as the Executive Vice President/General Manager. Later Allen’s title would be changed to his current president designation.
Bruce Allen grew up around successful football, knowing the thrill of a winning organization.
His dad, George, had invented the nickel defense while the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears (1963 NFL Champs).
George Allen - then became the head coach in Los Angeles (1966-1970) and won each season, finishing 49-17-4 (.742).
Allen became the Redskins head coach in 1971 and led the Redskins to seven consecutive winning seasons (1971-77), a Super Bowl appearance, and an NFC championship in 1972.
How much would current Redskins fans love to experience seven consecutive winning seasons?
In an NFL era when only four teams from each conference qualified for the playoffs (six qualify in today’s NFL), George Allen’s Redskins (67-30-1) qualified for the postseason in five of those seven seasons.
Can you imagine a Redskins team today in the top four of the NFC five of seven years?
Bruce, a high schooler when George took the Redskins job, loved being the ball boy during Redskins games, was a very accomplished punter himself and would go on to punt for the Richmond Spiders (1974-77).
Earning his degree in Business Marketing, his football playing days were completed at Richmond.
Allen worked in the USFL with the Chicago Blitz and Arizona Wranglers, and later had positions in the front offices of the LA Raiders, Tampa Bay Bucs and then the Redskins.
Allen’s first draft choice was tackle Trent Williams with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
The next year Allen made another good first-round selection in Ryan Kerrigan.
However, wanting to make a splash, Allen and owner Dan Snyder craved 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin, and drastically traded three first-round and one second-round choice for Griffin in the 2012 draft.
Griffin after one successful season (2012, 10-6) defiantly rejected the read-option based offense, obtained the favor of Snyder and the Redskins offense plummeted in 2013-14, after which Griffin has yet to enjoy any success as an NFL quarterback.
Allen drafted Alfred Morris (2012, Rd 6), Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson (2013) in rounds three and five respectively.
Reed and Thompson are the only players who produced from the 2013 draft, and only Morgan Moses remains from the 2014 draft.
Thus Scot McCloughan was hired, took over the drafts in 2015 and 2016 and the Redskins were 9-7 and 8-7-1.
What followed was a media nightmare for the Redskins as the Redskins declared McCloughan was missing the 2017 NFL combine due to his grandmother’s funeral.
However, it was soon discovered his grandmother’s funeral had already occurred much earlier.
There was the leak from Redskins Park to the Washington Post regarding McCloughan’s drinking, and he was fired.
Unfortunately there have been several times Bruce Allen has left Redskins fans and media shaking their heads.
After a (4-12) season in 2014, Allen stated the Redskins were “winning off of the field”.
When asked about the Redskins having seasons in which they won eight and seven games (2016-17), Allen stated, “It means we are close”.
When QB Kirk Cousins in 2015 asked for $17 million each in a three-year deal, McCloughan voiced for the deal to be completed.
Allen however turned it down, ended up paying much more with the franchise tag for two seasons, then mysteriously went on camera blaming Cousins, each time referring to him as “Kurt”.
When the Redskins lost five games to start 2019 (four were blowouts) Allen declared “Actually, the culture is _ _ _ _ good”.
Allen was fleeced twice by Andy Reid when he gave up second and fourth round choices for an over-the-hill- Donovan McNabb.
Later he traded the team’s highest graded corner, Kendall Fuller and a third round choice for aging and dispensable QB Alex Smith, who the Chiefs were actually looking to trade because they had Patrick Mahomes.
Fans in large numbers began staying home in 2018 and raucously called for Allen’s removal.
Allen and Snyder panicked in the 2019 draft, selecting QB Dwayne Haskins at number 15 when he was graded much lower by an NFL consensus.
Adding fuel to the fire, Allen then traded away the 2019 and 2020 round two choices to move back into the first round and take LB Montez Sweat.
The 2020 second-round pick will now be one of the early picks in round two.
The urgency to convince an upset fan base the Redskins were close, has actually cost them again in their future.
I hope the next GM understands the benefits of trading down and acquiring future resources.
When Trent Williams refused to report to the 2019 training camp, Allen chose to double-down, “I know the truth,” he proclaimed.
Why Allen did not trade Williams after three preseason games, still remains a mystery.
An entire season has now passed, Williams is another year older and his value will never again be what it was during the 2019 preseason.
It has been said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”, and the Bruce Allen era has certainly been no exception, bringing 100+ losses in his ten years at the helm.
Saturday brought word that Dan Snyder has had enough, and Bruce Allen will at least lose his power over the football operations.
I sincerely wish Bruce Allen and his family well.
Yet, it remains true, the Bruce Allen era has been a brutally cold, dark, depressing winter for Redskins fans.
Is it just me, or does even the expectation of new Redskins leadership feel like the warmer sunshine of Spring, beginning to melt away our winter blues and the initial popping up of colorful blooms providing Redskins fans new life and hope?
Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18