Bruce Allen says final say over Redskins’ player moves now belongs to him

General Manager Bruce Allen said Monday that he will inherit the final say over the Washington Redskins’ player-related decisions from the team’s just-fired coach, Mike Shanahan.

“The control will be mine and it will be working with our personnel department,” Allen said during an afternoon news conference at Redskins Park. “The personnel department of Scott Campbell and Morocco Brown actually do a very good job at what they do. We are going to redefine some of the characteristics that we’re looking for in players. Obviously when we have a new head coach, there will be some schematic adjustments that we will make. But that power will be with me.”

Allen did not rule out adding another executive to a front-office mix that includes Brown, the team’s director of pro personnel, and Campbell, the director of player personnel.

“It doesn’t mean we might not add somebody to the personnel department,” Allen said. “But we feel we have a good personnel department that has been interviewed for other positions. And we’re comfortable with it now.”

Brown was interviewed last offseason for the Arizona Cardinals’ GM job but did not get it. A.J. Smith, the former general manager of the San Diego Chargers, also works for the Redskins. He is listed as a senior executive with the team.

Bruce Allen, speaking with reporters at Redskins Park on Monday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Bruce Allen, speaking with reporters at Redskins Park on Monday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Allen said the Redskins would launch their head coaching search Monday night.

“We’re gonna try and do this as quickly as possible,” Allen said. “But more importantly we want to do it correctly. We want to pick the right coach, the right leader for this franchise that can inspire this football team, that can lead this team and teach them the fundamentals that are so critical in the game, who understands the value of time because in the NFL right now time is really, really critical to manage.”

The team will hire its eighth head coach (including Terry Robiskie, who was an interim coach for three games in 2000) since owner Daniel Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999. Allen said the job, in his view, remains attractive even with the Redskins coming off a 3-13 season.

“This is a very high-profile team,” Allen said. “When the Dallas Cowboys or the Washington Redskins are in first place, it’s a lot of news. And when they’re in last place, it’s a lot of news. I think coming into this environment, knowing that there is a nucleus, I think that it’ll be a very attractive position to coaches.”

Allen joined the team the same year as Shanahan and said he shares in the blame for the 40 losses over four seasons suffered by the regime.

“We’re all 3-13,” he said. “We accept that. We understand it.”

Allen said that he and Snyder had a “cordial, professional meeting” with Shanahan on Monday morning at Redskins Park leading to Shanahan’s dismissal. Allen said it was “near 99 percent” certain after the Redskins’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys in their second-to-last game of the season that Shanahan would be ousted. But he coached the season finale, Sunday’s defeat to the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, because it was determined that gave the Redskins the best chance to win that game, according to Allen.

Allen also expressed his displeasure with the controversies that engulfed the team for much of the season.

“Part of that was, let me use the right word, distasteful to hear. … To see those anonymous sources and the backbiting and different comments, I think it’s very important to know that a lot of it was untrue,” he said. “But at the same time it was distasteful. Any coach, any organization knows in pro sports, you need to eliminate distractions. Instead we created our own distractions and it distracted from our play on the field. And we will do our best to alleviate any of those issues in the future.”

Snyder did not participate in the news conference and was not available to comment beyond the written statement he issued Monday morning when Shanahan’s firing was announced.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

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