Redskins Appoint New Leader
By: Jake Russell @_JakeRussell
Posted: 2009-12-17
Category: Washington Redskins News
Most Redskins fans woke up this morning expecting to follow maybe an updated injury report, a practice report, more talk about the victory over the Raiders or even just continuing coverage previewing the upcoming Monday Night Football game against the Giants.

But around 8:30 a.m., when most fans were either at or on their way to work, news broke that Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato had resigned from that position. What a way to start of the work day.

For months, and even years in many cases, this was a move many had been wishing for and now it had finally happened. For many fans, it is viewed as an early Christmas present.

The timing of it all took the area by surprise because the season was still in progress and former Seattle Seahawks head coach and general manager Mike Holmgren had just been offered a front office position by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.

There was uncertainty and rampant speculation as to who would replace Cerrato but that was quickly put to rest. Two hours later, the official news came that former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen, son of legendary Redskins Head Coach George Allen, would take over Cerratoís former role as well as the position of General Manager, a title that has not been used during Dan Snyderís decade-long tenure as Redskins owner.

Allen brings a strong bloodline and a solid football pedigree to the front office, having helped build the Raiders into AFC champions at the end of the 2002 season. He is known for his ability to work with the salary cap and is not afraid to draft offensive lineman, which is a pressing need for the Redskins at this time.

A concern for fans is what kind of input, if any, Snyder will have in the decision making process when it comes to personnel moves. When he was asked about the level of autonomy Allen will have in those matters, it was made clear, possibly unintentionally by Snyder, that he would still have a part in that process.

ďObviously Bruce has the authority. When we make a decision, when he makes a decision, when the club makes a decision, itís a Redskins decision,Ē Snyder said at Allenís introductory press conference today at Redskins Park in Ashburn.

Allen later confirmed with Comcast Sports Net that he would like to have Snyderís input with certain matters.

ďThe decisions we make will be Redskins decisions. I want to get Dan involved in making sure the players fit the type of image he wants to be wearing the burgundy and gold. Heís very proud of the history. Heís very proud of the tradition and heíll be involved in making sure he meets them and if he likes them thatís even better,Ē he said to reporter Kelli Johnson.

The fact that Snyder was willing to make a change such as this shows that he realizes the fans were upset with the teamís structure. For now, he appears to be making the right moves as he does every offseason, but the results of what has transpired will prove whether Snyder has in fact, made a real change in his modus operandi.

Allenís hiring brings about speculation as to who will be the head coach of the Washington Redskins in 2010. Reports have indicated that discussions have been ongoing with former Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan and he is likely to be Jim Zornís replacement. Meanwhile, other outlets continue to build off of the connection Allen has to former Raider and Tamp Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden and are fueling the fire by stating he is likely to follow Allen to Washington.

The timing was odd in this regard as well; Gruden is in the area this week and will cover the team on Monday Night Football at FedEx Field. The reaction from the sections around the ESPN booth should make for a very interesting national television broadcast.
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