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Redskins Insider: Previewing the Giants game

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Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 18, 2009; 11:00 AM

Jason Reid, Washington Post staff writer and Redskins Insider blogger, was online Friday, Dec. 18 to discuss this Monday night's Redskins game against the division rival New York Giants, the Redskins' front office overhaul and possible coaching, roster moves ahead.

Redskins Insider Blog

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Slope in the ATL: Why not a Russ Grimm? Shannahan was "ok" after Elway left. Why the need for a big name?

Jason Reid: First, please forgive me for being late. I had a few computer problems. As for Shanahan, well, Snyder, from what I've been told, wants a proven winner after the failure of his Jim Zorn hire.

I don't think Zorn is totally to blame for the mess of the last two seasons, but he has been overmatched at times, which isn't surprising. I mean, the guy had never been a coordinator in the league and Snyder makes him a head coach.

I know some guys have had success going that route, but it doesn't happen often. Snyder, in part, hired Bruce Allen in an effort to restore fan confidence. If Shanahan is hired next, which I expect to happen, then Snyder will have succeeded in his plan to bring in two proven "winners." Again, from what I've been told, because Snyder hasn't had me over for coffee lately.

As for Grimm, there's a reason he hasn't been hired as a head coach. Maybe he would make a great head coach. I really don't know. I don't know the man. But owners obviously haven't been impressed enough to give him a shot.

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Washington: The burning question of the day is not who the next coach will be, but who will be calling the plays against the Giants and relaying them to Campbell! I suppose Shanahan is the "to be announced" coach.

Jason Reid: Jim Zorn said the Lewis-Meidt-Smith-Zorn-Campbell play-calling structure would remain in place. It has worked, relatively speaking, and Zorn said he likes things that work. As for Shanahan, I expect him to be here unless something happens.

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Rockville, MD: Not to kick a guy on his way out, but Vinny showed his true lack of class and character by not citing Jim Zorn in his resignation statement. I don't know Vinny but what a jerk. Good riddance.

Jason Reid: Well, at least he kept it consistent to the end.

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Bend, Ore: So can we officially refer to yesterday as Vindependence day?

Any idea of how much different systems of the West Coast offense are? If Shany or Gruden come in, is it largely the same offense or a huge transition?

Jason Reid: Vindependence Day. That's a good one. Shanahan directed a version of the West Coast offense when he was the San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator. I don't think he'll keep Zorn's offense, but I expect him to run a version of the West Coast.

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Fairfax, Va.: Jason, here's an interesting question for you. To what extent has Bruce Allen been around, near, involved (if he has), or even knows about this current Redskins roster? I ask because with all the talk about blowing up the team, new O-Line, new RB, possible new QB, need a CB and a REAL Free Safety what thoughts do you have on how much this roster will change now that Vinny is out and Bruce Allen is in? Also, do you know of any of Allen's successful draft picks? Has any of his picks made the Pro Bowl?

Jason Reid: Bruce Allen, from what I've been told, is an outstanding administrator and cap guy. He also knows how to manage people. Shanahan is the player-personnel guy. If everything we're hearing is correct, he'll be the team president and head coach. He'll make the personnel calls. I'm sure he has been studying the Redskins' roster and talking to people about their personnel.

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Washington, DC: With Allen as the new GM, who do you think he will go after in the draft?

Jason Reid: Let's wait and see if the Shanahan deal gets done. And Shanahan has drafted an offensive tackle in the first round before.

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Bristow, Va.: Jason, Correct me if I'm wrong but perhaps it makes sense to trade down from what will be a top 10--maybe top 5--draft pick and get more 2s & 3s and build the team from the inside out. With all the needs that this team has especially on the O-Line, RB, maybe QB and definitely some offensive speed playmakers. Your thoughts?

Jason Reid: Just not sure about the draft situation right now. We need to see if the Shanahan deal gets done. We'll know a lot more about that then.

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DC: Do you think Zorn has a future in the NFL or did the Redskins ruin his future prospects

Jason Reid: Let's see where Mike Holmgren winds up. Holmgren is not happy about how Zorn has been treated by people in this organization. I could see Holmgren hiring Zorn on his staff again. As for other teams, well, Zorn was a respected quarterbacks coach. I doubt most teams would hire him as an offensive coordinator.

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New Orleans: For those of us who are unfamiliar with Bruce Allen and his stints in Oakland and Tampa, what is his overall philosophy for building a championship program?

Jason Reid: We asked him that at the press conference and he said something about "it takes 53 guys working toward the same goal." He is an administrator. He's not a guy who picks the talent. He's the guy who finds a way to assemble the talent other people pick. He gets guys signed, navigates the cap and makes sure everything runs smoothly.

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Hackensack, NJ: Is it possible that with an Allen now in charge we can finally get rid of the distasteful and racist name of this football team and change it once and for all to the Washington Macaccas?

Jason Reid: Ah, well, I don't know.

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Lovettsville, VA: I grew up near Philadelphia and still bleed Eagles green, but I will never figure out the Redskins. Why do they have to constantly re-live the past? First they re-Gibbsed, and now they get Allen's son. And more talk about Russ Grimm. What? Lombardi's kids not available?

Jason Reid: Yeah, Snyder does try to relive those glory days. Maybe it will work for him this time. Going back in the past is a lot easier than, say, being able to identify an up-and-coming coach and give him the time to work. I don't think Snyder has the ability to find an Andy Reid (when Reid was young) or a Mike Tomlin. I mean, you have to be able to see something in people to identify guys like that.

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FBC Sterling, VA: Jason, love your work man. If Shanahan is the next Redskins coach, is there a short list on who is O-Coord and D-Coord will be and who will round out the remaining positions of his crew?

Jason Reid: Thanks for the love. And your question is great (and I'm not saying that because you wrote something nice about me). I wouldn't be surprised if Shanahan brought in his son Kyle to be the offensive coordinator, though they might have to get Kyle out of his contract with the Texans. As for defensive coordinator, I could see Greg Blache staying on as a "consultant" and perhaps Jerry Gray would move up to the big chair on defense.

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New Orleans: Just a comment: There has never been a coach who won a super bowl with one team and then won a Super Bowl with a different team. History is not on Snyder's side if he hires Shanahan, Cowher, Holmgren or Gruden.

Jason Reid: Very interesting. I just mentioned you info to the guys in the press room. We're all very impressed. If everything holds to form, I guess Snyder needs to hire a guy who hasn't won a Super Bowl. I'll tell him the next time we do lunch.

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Sterling, Va.: Jason, great work as always. I've heard that Allen is not afraid to show high-priced, under performing players the door. With that said, what happens to players like Portis, Samuels, Griffin, Smoot, Rogers and Randle-El? Do you know if Bruce Allen believes in overplaying free agency and underestimating the draft like Cerrato and Snyder?

Jason Reid: I can see Allen making many changes regardless whether 2010 is uncapped. He doesn't get attached to players. It's all about business with him. But will he and Shanahan really be able to stop Snyder from going back to his old ways?

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Zornyville, WA: Does this mean I can't listen to Vinny anymore on the radio?

Jason Reid: Ha. Funny. I hope Vinny gets another radio gig. He was entertaining. Maybe he'll have me in-studio as a guest again.

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Washington, D.C.: Would a combo of Shanahan and a non-capped 2010 lead the end of Portis?

Jason Reid: I would think that's definitely on the table. But the team would owe Portis about $6.5 million if he's cut. That number would be reduced if another team signed Portis. For a lot of reasons, however, I'm not sure many teams would sign Portis. You know what I mean?

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To Lovettsville: "Why do Skins Fans Re-Live the past?"

It's actually pretty simple: Because we can, and have to. There are Super Bowls in the past, there are Lombardi trophies in the past, there was glory in the past. We re-live the past because we have a past to re-live. We also re-live the past because we -have to-, as the present stinks so much. Re-Living the past reminds us why we love this team, gives us hope, and keeps us same.

Eagles fans can't understand this because they don't have to re-live the past, and they don't have a past to re-live. You're good now, so you can focus on that and there's not really any "glory years" or trophies for eagles fans to reminisce about.

Jason Reid: Wow. I love the passion. No matter what type of product Snyder puts out there, you guys stick with this team. Hopefully, they'll finally get it figured out around here.

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Arlington, VA: "I don't think Snyder has the ability to find an Andy Reid (when Reid was young) or a Mike Tomlin."

No offense Jason, but even the Steelers fans don't like/trust Tomlin (my wife's from Pittsburgh, he inherited Cowher's team to win the Super Bowl, and the team he assembled this year isn't exactly great), and Reid hasn't exactly won a Super Bowl or 3 yet. Maybe Shanahan or Gruden is the answer--you know you're getting Super Bowl-caliber coaches, at least.

Jason Reid: You gotta be kidding. Right? I mean, you can't be serious. I know what NFL people tell me about Tomlin, who won a Super Bowl two years after Cowher resigned. In the NFL, two years is like 10 in real time. The Eagles have been perennial Super Bowl contenders under Reid. They've won a bunch of NFC East titles.

And you want to talk about inheriting teams? You wanna play that game? Okay. Gruden won in Tampa the year after Tony Dungy was ousted. What did Gruden do after that. And how many Super Bowls did Shanahan win without the greatest quarterback in NFL history? Zero.

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Dupont Circle: Zorn is that "up and coming" coach you reference in a previous answer, although you've also made references to Zorn being at times "overmatched" during his Skins tenure. In your opinion, should he be given more time with the Skins, or is there enough evidence to suggest to you that he should not be a head coach in this league?

Jason Reid: Zorn was not an up-and-coming coach. He was a respected quarterbacks coach. That's it. No one around the league looked at him as a potential head coach. He was in his mid-50s when he was hired.

That aside, as I've written before, it was stupid, in my opinion, not to give him at least three years. I mean, Snyder essentially gave the guy one season to learn to be a head coach. I don't think Zorn can be fairly judged with the nonsense that goes on around here. Having said that, he needs to go.

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washingtonpost.com: Jason had to wrap up for today. Thanks for your questions.

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Washington, DC: If it's true that Shanahan will not only be a head coach, but also making player personnel decisions, this is bad. I believe the GM/Coach combination is a very bad one. There should be a strict dividing line. I'm old school. Thoughts?

Jason Reid: Well, let's wait and see how it works. Assuming his deal gets done.

Thanks to everyone for participating in the chat. And thanks for reading. Happy holidays.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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