WASHINGTON — Even if Scot McCloughan had to go, the Washington Redskins are unlikely to win the battle of public opinion. That doesn’t mean they won’t continue to try.
It’s widely accepted that the team condoned, or perhaps even encouraged speculation from former player and current broadcaster Chris Cooley about McCloughan’s relapse with alcoholism.
Now, even after the the team finalized McCloughan’s firing, wishing him future success, sources within the organization are working to set the record straight. Per Redskins reporter Brian McNally:
An informed source told 106.7 The Fan that McCloughan has not been part of the organization’s decision-making process for months – possibly even since early in his 26-month tenure with Washington.
The same source also said Allen, Gruden, senior personnel executive Doug Williams, director of pro personnel Alex Santos and director of college scouting Scott Campbell have been making decisions as a group with Allen holding final say.
The source insisted that McCloughan had long ago “lost the respect” of Redskins coaches and staff for drinking episodes that spilled into the workplace.
While the move could help placate a fan base threatening to march in protest at the team’s facilities tomorrow, it’s unlikely to be received well in the greater NFL community. Despite his demons, McCloughan is still a well-respected mind in the personnel community and an otherwise well-liked individual.
Additionally, some of the aforementioned claims are open for debate.
Sports radio personalities at 106.7 The Fan weighed in with thoughts and additional sources after news became official:
Current and former team and NFL insiders also provided insight and their reflections on the team culture in Washington:
There will always be two sides to this story, and the truth may never really be known. Without question, juicy details will become public knowledge, and long-form articles will be written, detailing the atrocities on both sides. It will be interesting to see to what degree McCloughan defends himself, or if he uses surrogates in the media and around the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Redskins have major decisions at quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and offensive line. With McCloughan gone, so too is much of the optimism surrounding the team’s direction, and any benefit of the doubt for the team’s decision makers.