WASHINGTON — As NFL coaches and personnel executives gathered last week in Mobile, Al. to get a view of the incoming crop of talent at the Senior Bowl, one Redskins voice went mysteriously silent.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden spoke to traveling reporters, as did team president Bruce Allen — they both gave their thoughts on quarterback Kirk Cousins’ upcoming free agency, stating their hopes of working out a long-term deal. But general manager Scot McCloughan, for reasons unknown, wasn’t made available to comment on any of the organization’s pressing offseason questions.
To be clear, this wasn’t an omission specific to the Senior Bowl; McCloughan hasn’t addressed a pool of reporters since last April, eclipsing Allen’s five-month silent streak set when he was still the GM amid a 4-12 season in 2014. But McCloughan’s silence was unmistakable at the one event you’d think a longtime scout feels most in his element.
“Did you guys get denied access to the general manager today?” Chad Dukes asked 106.7 The Fan’s Brian McNally on the air last week.
“I would say the general manager has been told not to talk to us, or at least not to talk to us today,” McNally replied.
“It wouldn’t be that big a deal,” McNally added. “I mean, no one cares about media crying — I get that. It’s our job to get stories. Nobody wants to hear us whine about things. But, it is also fair to point out, I think the guy hasn’t talked since April to an assembled group of reporters. Not Scot McCloughan’s fault. I think that goes higher up in the organization.”
“We did ambush Jay Gruden today and talked with him for a good 10 minutes,” he said. “But, yeah. I’m gonna have to check around with my league friends, but I don’t know how common it is not to talk to the general manager of a team for going on nine months now, so we’ll see if we can get that hashed out. But for today, at least we did get Jay Gruden.”
Dukes hazarded a guess as to why: “It’s because the owner and team president are on a completely different page than the general manager.”
“Nope. Hey, Chad. No guess,” McNally said. “The coach and GM would talk if they could, so take it for what it’s worth.”
Fellow longtime Redskins reporter Mike Jones, in his weekly mailbag Q&A for The Post, offered further insight into this matter on Tuesday.
A reader wondered, with Gruden entering the fourth year of his five-year deal, why McCloughan hasn’t publicly addressed his coach’s job security. With regard to Gruden, Jones specified “Daniel Snyder and Allen want this to work” before getting into McCloughan’s unavailability.
But Daniel Snyder and Allen want this to work. Allen more than anyone wants Gruden to stick as head coach. This was his hire. If he was wrong on Gruden, then that seriously weakens his own job security. So, look for Allen to work very hard to give Gruden everything he needs to succeed this year.
Why have we not heard from McCloughan? Because Allen wouldn’t let him talk at the Senior Bowl last week. True story. Allen signs off on everything. He told team PR that McCloughan wasn’t allowed to speak to the media. Gruden talked to us, and Allen spoke himself, very briefly. But that’s why you haven’t heard McCloughan weighing in on Gruden or the state of the team. McCloughan and Gruden get along and think similarly. But everything runs through Allen. McCloughan reports to him, Gruden reports to him. Allen reports to Snyder.
So… Bruce Allen is the reason Scot McCloughan hasn’t spoken. Good to know.