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Skins Quotes 8/16: Bruce Allen

McKissic for the win

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


August 16, 2013

Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen

Opening statement:
“I want to go back a few years. When Mike [Shanahan] and I came to the Redskins, Dan [Snyder] asked, 'Do you guys like going away for training camp or staying at home?’ Both Coach Shanahan and I said we’ve had a lot of success in the past with our other teams going away for training camp, as did the Washington Redskins. He said, 'Well, whatever you guys want to do that will help the football team, go find it.’ Over the last couple of years, we’ve look at Carlisle [Pa.]. We didn’t look at Occidental College where the Redskins went in the 50s and the 60s, but we looked at Carlisle. We looked in D.C., we looked at Bowie State. We explored George Mason [University], but when Governor [Bob] McDonnell came and heard that we were interested in moving, it was really his vision along with Mayor [Dwight C.] Jones to bring us here to Richmond, and this has worked out – as you all have seen – tremendously.

“Our two goals beginning with training camp was, number one, make sure that we had the right environment for the coaches to prepare the players for the upcoming season. That’s the number one objective of training camp. And, number two, we wanted to positively impact the lives of kids. And that was all our intention of this training camp, and I know we did the first one. We checked it off. We had one bad injury here at camp, but the kids part, I think we can put several checkmarks by it. And the stories that our players have shared during dinner with different kids and their conversations after practice, they’re really special, so we’re proud of that.

“There’s a number of things that we were sitting around the room last night talking about that were really interesting about when you talk about the impact of our training camp. We booked 4,400 room nights. We served 15,000 meals – this is just for our team and organization. They counted 34,000 water bottles were drank, and 18,000 Gatorade bottles. It felt like when you read those things in the Super Bowl… The most important ones to us as an organization were the 200 high school coaches who we had the concussion clinic [with] over here at the Science Museum. It’s the 5,000 kids that participated in our Charitable Foundation, either Play 60 programs or cheerleading programs, that really make us proud of what we’ve done.

“We’re pleased with it. We look forward to the future. We want to thank once again the Governor, the Mayor, the City Council, our great partner Bon Secours, and the program that we started with the 300 ambassadors who volunteered their time and worked 14,000 hours made this really a successful training camp for everybody in the community. And with that, I’ll answer any question you have.”

On ways to improve next year’s training camp, including the fields and the crowds:
“We’re pleased with having the crowds. The expectations were that we’d have 100,000 for the entire training camp and we ended up well over 150,000. We’ll prepare for that better. Some of the programs that we’re looking to do are going to be a little bit offsite as well. The University of Richmond allowed us to do a Play 60 event on their fields over there. So, it’ll be utilizing maybe more of the market and some of the surrounding areas for some of the programs and be prepared for it. No one is ever disappointed when the crowds are more than you want. I really think from a weather standpoint, if we could dial this weather up again for next year we would accept it. But I think when the fields mature and the grounds mature a little bit more – you have to remember, this program, the City Council approved this construction in late November, so it’s a baby property that will mature a little bit in time… I think we’re going to try and do even more kids programs. We had several hundred of the local high school football players out here as part of a raffle to raise money for their schools. The more programs we can do with the kids – that’s what is exciting us. Today, VCU’s Massey Hospital is sending some cancer survivors over. Anyway we can help the community raise awareness for their concerns, we’ll continue to do.”

On the play of the team and the media frenzy surrounding Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan:
“Robert is a pretty popular guy, I think you can figure out. That first day of training camp, everybody walking in with that No. 10 jersey on, you realize he did lead the world in jersey sales last year. I think the practices have gone well. The camaraderie that we wanted by going away to training camp was effective. The players are bonding and it’s great that they’re in the [fourth] year of Coach Shanahan’s program because there is not as much teaching in the classroom that is necessary. They know what’s expected of them. They know the routine and I think we improved. I don’t see a controversy at all. I know somehow Billy [Kilmer] and Sonny [Jurgensen] are laughing that we creating a quarterback controversy with Robert Griffin, but we have a very competitive player who’s dying to play football and we have a very experienced coach who is doing the right thing.”

On establishing a good relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia and if it could result in a new stadium in the state:
“Well, this has always been Redskins Nation, and Redskins Nation really runs on through the Carolinas, going back to when the Redskins were really the only Southern team. We’ve been looking at different options with the stadium. Our lease isn’t up until 2027, but as we’ve noticed with other NFL teams, it really is a 10-year process when you’re going to build a new stadium these days. We have plenty of time to discuss that down the road. There’s people – you know, Prince George’s County loves us, obviously the District would like to have us and we love our home in Ashburn, too.”

On local sponsorships and on-site vendor opportunities:
“We did discuss that last week. The Washington Redskins, as do all sports teams, we have sponsors that are with us throughout the year that could have some exclusivity that we always will protect whether it’s at FedExField or we go to an away game even. We are talking about an idea how to involve some local businesses inside that could be intriguing. But I think from an economic standpoint, I know in my walk last night going back, we stopped at about six or seven places and business was good. Everyone was pleased with it. I got a feel that not just the Redskins, what we did, but the fans that we’ve met from the Carolinas, from Northern Virginia, from the Tidewater area, through everywhere… Bringing in the 200 high school coaches, that’s business. We had 50 college coaches visit us during this time. I think in Richmond, Virginia, in the center of the Commonwealth, we have been able to reach every area of the state and bring them here as a sports hospitality center for these three weeks.”

On if financial considerations caused by the salary cap penalty will guide final roster decisions:
“First of all, that salary cap penalty will hurt us for a number of years. It’s just not those two years because of the repercussions of it down the road. We’ll keep the best 53 players and we’ll probably have to renegotiate some contracts and maneuver around it, but well absolutely keep the best 53.”

On if he is more or less confident that Griffin III will be ready for Week 1:
“Training camp is really a great time where you can focus day-by-day, because if you think, 'Oh gosh, we have seven more two-a-days,’ you go crazy, whether you’re a player or an administrator. He’s doing well right now. He is ahead of schedule. In order for him to just do the 7-on-7 at the beginning of training camp he was ahead of schedule. He’s getting his work in. I think if Coach wants to progress him over the next couple of weeks, he will but we’ve had [knocks on wood] no setbacks so far, and the goal is for him to play in Week 1. I don’t know if it will happen.”


On if there were studies about from where camp attendees traveled and if the crowds were predominantly from Richmond:
“No, we didn’t tag it that way. Just from conversations in groups that we’ve met, it feels like there’s a strong Hampton Roads influence here. And the Carolina s were well-represented, but I think it is Richmond. And the people to thank are the ones who brought those tens of thousands of kids who are under 12 years old, and wherever they came from – and they did come from Northern Virginia and D.C., we had a school bus from D.C. – but I thank them because they brought a special, youthful enthusiasm to camp. Our players were really charged up about it and hearing them chant — even though I think we have one player on the team sometimes [laughs] – but hearing that chant during practice does bring a smile to everyone’s face.”

On what he thinks his father, former head coach George Allen, would say about his job with the team and this training camp:
“Without being corny, every day with the Redskins I have some déjà vu, whether it’s my father of the alumni. Coming back to Richmond, being a very proud Richmond Spider, made it really interesting especially when I met some kids of guys I went to school with, which really made the grey hair really believable. I think it’s special. I think it’s special for what we did for those kids. We receive letters, and I don’t know if Tony [Wyllie] will disclose them, from parents or guardians whose kids were affected and they said it’ll affect them the rest of their lives. Hopefully, we did show some young people what good role models are and we are influencing them to go in the right direction in life, and if we did that to one person a day, just one, that’s a successful training camp off the field… First of all, my dad would be amazed we have all of these cameras here for training camp, and he would be surprised that ESPN and NFL Network are breaking in live just because Robert completed three passes [laughter]. But, no, he’d proud of this team and what we represent.”

On physical changes to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center:
“This will change somewhat because Bon Secours is now going to use this as an office, and it’s going to be a full-time sports medicine-type clinic. And these fields, starting next week, are going to be turned over to the youth groups in the area. So they get to play on the field of dreams that our team did.

On his walks to and from the facility with Owner Daniel M. Snyder:
“First of all, I was teaching Dan history on these walks most of the time. Then he got tired of the history and we really just talked about the current events of today, and last night’s walk back – fortunately there weren’t a lot of cameras following us – was very memorable. We went down Robinson Street and somehow they were all having parties at all the different restaurants and we really had an enjoyable time. And it was fans from Northern Virginia, Richmond, a couple of people from Charlottesville and about five people from Blacksburg, but we had a great time last night, just talking to our fans. [Reporter asks about karaoke] No, we didn’t do any karaoke… that I remember. [Laughter].”

On possible contract extensions for linebacker Brian Orakpo and Shanahan:
“We’re really for a number of reasons on, first of all on Brian, we’re trying to squeeze and see what that final 53-man roster is and make sure we have the cap room available for the guys who are on the team right now. This isn’t the time that we would be talking about the head coach or any of that stuff. And Mike is really focused in on this season. He’s put a lot of work into it, and we’re more focused on what we’re going to do in the first game than we are about what is going to happen after that.”
 

Bulldog

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Of course the most moveable number under the cap is the $7M for Trent Williams. We could extend his deal and probably free up $3M or more depending on how aggressive you want to be.

No doubt the team wants to see another top year from TW before committing long-term but the option is there.
 

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