WASHINGTON — If the Redskins’ history, after their latest meltdown in Ashburn which resulted in General Manager Scot McCloughan’s firing, is any indicator of what’s to come, then team president Bruce Allen could be next to go, said former executive Vinny Cerrato.
Cerrato should know, having previously served two terms as Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s right-hand man.
“If getting rid of Bruce Allen takes away the negative publicity, it would not shock me,” Cerrato, the former vice president of football operations, said Friday during his show on Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, according to The Washington Post.
“A lot of the reason why I got fired, there was a lot of negative stuff going on,” Cerrato added, also according to The Post, of his 2009 and final departure from the organization.
Cerrato shared similar thoughts with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.
“I think, if it starts hitting you in the pocketbook, and fans start not wanting to go [renew] their season tickets and all that, because of Bruce Allen, and if it becomes easier to get rid of Bruce Allen; if the headache goes away if Bruce Allen goes away, I could see the owners eventually — if it becomes that big of an issue — I could see them separating themselves from Bruce Allen,” Cerrato told Dukes.
“If his name wasn’t ‘Allen,’ it may have already occurred,” he said.
Despite the current image, Allen and Snyder won’t forever be a package deal, Cerrato suggested, if the relationship between the organization and its fans sours to the point that Snyder again becomes the target of public scrutiny.
“One thing is, Bruce Allen’s not an owner,” Cerrato observed. “Dan doesn’t answer to Bruce Allen. Bruce Allen answers to Dan, Dwight [Schar], Bob [Rothman], and Dan’s mom and sister. That’s who he answers to. You know, I was very close with the family and everything else. And if the media’s gonna go after Dan and everything, and getting Bruce out of there eliminates all that, I can see Bruce being gone eventually.”
Asked how often public blowback is taken into account while weighing the future direction of the franchise, Cerrato wagered, “I think quite a bit. I mean, that’s your fan base. Those are the people that are buying the tickets and everything.”
“And when people aren’t showing up, and people are cancelling tickets, they’re telling you something,” he said. “They’re giving you their opinion. If it’s that much, and [president of business operations] Dennis Greene can’t sell suites and all those things, then it becomes a big issue.”
As for the fractured relationship between Allen and McCloughan, which in the end saw McCloughan marginalized to the extent that he was no longer involved in decision-making processes, Cerrato spoke of wisdom imparted to him by another familiar name.
“One thing I learned from Mike Shanahan, everything needs to be in writing,” he said. “You need to put everything in writing, and have it signed, so everybody understands and everybody knows. But like I said, if that is the case… it’s hard enough to win the way it is, and you can’t win unless everybody’s on the same page and everything is working together, and everybody understands their role.
“Because, I thought Bruce’s role was the alumni and all of that other stuff, and Scot was gonna run personnel,” he said. “When Bruce then tries to do Scot’s job, it’s not gonna work. Then you get friction, and then you’ve got to pick sides, and then it becomes chaotic.
“I feel bad for Dan. Dan’s not the one creating that. Dan doesn’t create that. Dan has to live with all of this because of the people that are working for him, what they’re doing. I feel bad for Dan, Bob, Dwight — all those guys.”
NFL reporter Albert Breer expressed a similar thought Friday, saying that while Snyder, as the team’s owner, is at fault for not stepping in to repair the fractured front office, Breer doesn’t believe this ultimately “has much to do with Snyder.”
“Is Dan choosing sides?” Cerrato wondered. “I don’t know. I guess he would be choosing Bruce’s side, if Bruce is still there, or otherwise maybe Dan just gets rid of both and starts over and cleans it up. But Bruce also is the one that hired [Jay] Gruden, I think, and then does Bruce want to go hire people that are going to be ‘yes men’ to him? Is that in Dan’s best interest? Probably not.”