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Hope and Change

Like many guys, I have ideas about what a “perfect” morning involves. The list includes a hot shower, a great cup of coffee, and some things best not mentioned in polite company.

Yesterday I added something to the list I had previously considered impossible. . . namely, the resignation of Vinny Cerrato from our beloved Washington Redskins.

I can tell you that seeing that news for the first time in a thread here on BGO made my coffee taste better, my chair more comfortable and my smile a whole lot larger. A gift, unlooked for but long desired, dropped unexpected from the heavens down the long lines of the internet to land in the middle of my breakfast.

What a way to start the day, my friends.

Within only a few minutes the rumors of a replacement started and a name was soon attached. Confirmation followed in less than 2 hours.

Bruce Allen.

I am a sentimentalist and so love this pick. My love affair with the Redskins started during the Head Coaching tenure of the late, great George Allen and so bringing in the son of the man who once brought us respectability to return the team there once again seems like great symmetry to me.

In many ways, Allen is the anti-Vinny. He ran the cheapest of teams in TB while Cousin Vinny had access to arguably the deepest pockets in the NFL to buy whatever toy was deemed the shiniest each off season. Allen drafted more offensive linemen in the first 3 rounds his last 3 years with TB (4) than Vinny “I don't believe in drafting linemen high” Cerrato did in his whole decade with Washington (3). And Allen had a minimum of 7 draft picks all 5 years at TB with an average of 9 picks per year. That is about as different from Our Man Vin as cowboys are from indians.

In fact, in those 5 years in TB Allen drafted 5 OL, 3 WR, 3 LB and 1 each CB, DE, S, RB and TE in the first 3 rounds of the draft. That is 16 players in 3 rounds over 5 years for an average of 3.2 per year.

Compare that with the Skins who only had 10 picks in the first 3 rounds over the same 5 year span (2004-2008) for an average of 2 per year (2 WR, 2 TE, 2 S, 1 each OL, LB, CB, QB).

Night and day, friends. Night and day.

So where does this information leave us?

I doubt we know for sure as there is little telling what impact Snyder will have on the way Allen runs things. There is always that wildcard, no matter who roams the sidelines or sits behind the GM's desk in Ashburn.

However, one can make an educated guess or three.

We can assume that the team will, at long last, rely more on the draft then it has in the past. While I mentioned Allen's history in the draft with the Bucs, it should be noted that during the years he was an Exec with the Raiders, that team never drafted less than 6 guys a year and that only twice. So in 13 seasons as a top exec in an NFL front office, Allen's teams have had 7 or more draft picks in all but 2 of them.

I like the sound of that.

Also safe to say that Allen could not care less about what “system” his coaches run. He spent years in Oakland where Davis is famous for demanding a vertical attack where the bomb is the norm and a man defense where “bump and run” is the rule rather than the exception. Then he worked in TB with Gruden for 5 years where Chucky ran his version of the WCO and Kiffen ran the Tampa 2. These are very different systems on both sides of the ball.

Makes me think Allen is more concerned with the results than how those results are achieved. Something else I like the sound of.

I will also wager that Washington will not be the victim of poor trades anymore either. Allen seems to get at least equal value out of deals when he makes them. Keyshawn for Galloway, Plumber for a 7th (which netted the Bucs $3.5 million in payback from Plumber when he followed through on plans to retire). Contrast that with Cerrato swapping a 2nd and 6th for 34 year old Jason Taylor or giving up a 3rd and 4th for T.J. Duckett. In fact, Allen seems more about picking up more draft choices then trading away the ones he has.

I definitely like the sound of that.

So does this promise us a Super Bowl? Hardly. Does it guarantee the first Division title since 99? Not even close.

What it does bring this team is a measure of respect and professionalism. Two things we have not seen much of in Washington in the last decade and not seen at all when Gibbs was not involved.

It also brings two other things Skins fans are in desperate need of: Hope and Change.

Here is Hoping this is the right Change.


On a separate, more somber note, I am mindful today of the fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. I think Redskin fans, more than the fans of any other team in the league, understand the shock and grief that is gripping Bengal fans at the moment over the loss of Chris Henry.

To those who cheer for Marvin Lewis and his men, I offer heart felt condolences for your loss.
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