What Kind of GM Is Allen?

Signs look good for Skins fans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A. Messerschmidt
    Who can argue with hair like that?

    OK, there's a new boss. Now what?

    While everyone's celebrating that Vinny's gone -- which by itself is a good thing -- what about the new guy? Change can be good, but it doesn't have to be. Is Bruce Allen the right guy for the job?

    Is he the right guy, or does his name fit? Is it legitimate to ask if he'd have the job were his name Bruce Johnson, and had no links to great teams of the past? Michael Wilbon asks that today, and says that track records won't matter:

    "Bruce Allen, if left to his own devices, is a good hire because of his track record in the NFL, not because he's George Allen's son. When Gibbs first arrived he had no link whatsoever to the club's past, and he did all right with those three Super Bowl championships, didn't he? What ought to make people feel warm-and-fuzzy about the Redskins is winning, not hooking up with some previous era of success."

    A columnist for the St. Pete Times hates the move, calling Allen the "Prince of Darkness." 

    "Bruce Allen is a proven winner,'' Snyder said Thursday.

    Oh.

    You probably remember things differently, don't you? Allen was the guy who drafted Michael Clayton and Gaines Adams and Dexter Jackson. He was the guy who signed Todd Steussie and Derrick Deese and Charlie Garner as free agents. He was the guy who told his fans that Chris Simms wasn't hurt and David Boston wasn't guilty and the Bucs weren't chasing Brett Favre (This just in: Gruden has since said he went to bed thinking Favre would be a Buc the next morning.)That was Allen, too, who treated the truth as if he was afraid of going over the cap. He was smug, and he was distant, and he disliked reporters as much as many of them disliked him.

    It's amazing how often it comes back around to having reporters like you, huh?

    But Hogs Haven gets to the heart of the matter.  What kind of GM is he?  He argues that he's more of a contracts and caps guy, and less of a talent evaluator.  He leaves those kinds of roster decisions more up to the coach and personnel people.

    Mike Lombardi worked for Allen in OaklandHe told bloggers yesterday that Allen "sees the big picture of the game, and I think he understands that the head coach has to be involved in a lot of the decisions. So I think it'll be more of a democratic base than a dictatorship."

    So will that be Mike Shanahan making the grocery list next year?

    Perhaps most heartening to Skins fans, Lombardi said that Allen understands the importance of line play: "Having been with him at Oakland, we always had good offensive lines. And if you're gonna play in the NFC East, you've gotta have a really good line, because the defensive lines are fairly significant to block. So you gotta match up to the competition, and you've gotta be able to beat the people that you're playing."

    So a contracts guy who understands how to communicate, work with his coaches and who likes offensive lines?  That's almost as good a Christmas present as Vinny's resignation!