Shanahan has player-personnel control. His vote is the only one that matters with regard to roster composition.
But Allen has been an ally for Shanahan, Redskins people tell you, in convincing Snyder that significant change was necessary. With most of Snyder’s former longtime inner circle no longer with the team, Allen has Snyder’s ear. Obviously, he’s making the most of his influence.
As evidence they were doing things correctly, a former Redskins executive once pointed to the team’s 2005 and 2007 playoff appearances, explaining that’s why management worked to keep the core of the roster together.
To what end? The Redskins hadn’t won Super Bowls during that three-year stretch. They won one playoff game. Shanahan and Allen have bigger goals in mind.
In fairness to former Redskins football officials, Snyder ran a bare-bones scouting operation, former team employees say.
For many years, the Redskins had one of the lowest scouting budgets in the league. Snyder also frowned on hiring veteran scouts, who command relatively high salaries, until Gibbs returned for his second stint with Washington. Apparently, he didn’t understand the benefit of having highly experienced scouts.
Shanahan and Allen won’t encounter such resistance from the owner. Snyder is all in on these guys, but that’s not without risks, either.
Shanahan has an uneven record as a talent evaluator. Allen is more of a shrewd executive than a gifted player-personnel man. They both were wrong about Donovan McNabb, and what they’re attempting to accomplish could take several years to execute even if they make sound decisions.
Clearly, though, Shanahan and Allen are doing what they must. They’ve correctly assessed there is no other choice if the Redskins hope to become viable championship contenders again. Snyder should have seen this. But better late than never.