Newly hired Washington Redskins personnel executive Doug Williams said that he has a fair amount of catching up to do, but is excited about his role and return to the team and city where he won Super Bowl MVP honors 25 seasons ago.
Williams said that his role in Washington’s front office will entail talent evaluation both on the pro and college ranks, and that his duties are nearly identical to those that he handled while working with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under current Redskins general manager Bruce Allen from 2004 to 2008.
“I’m going to be a personnel exec. What that entails is the opportunity to work on both sides of the ball — and when I say both sides of the ball, I’m talking about the college, and the pro,” Williams said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “So, I’ll get a chance to work with [director of player personnel] Scott Campbell and [director of pro personnel] Morocco Brown about our players, and talk about the free agency, and talk about the college guys. … I am behind a little bit, and I spent the day here today, trying to catch up a little bit, and I’ve still got catching up to do over the next month as to where they are. I don’t think I’ll be where they are because they’ve been out on the road longer than me. But, I’m here, and whatever opinion or voice I have on players, reports, what have you, I’ll be able to do that.”
From ’04-’08, Williams held the title of personnel executive with Tampa Bay. During Williams’s five seasons under Allen, some of the Bucs’ top draft picks included Cadillac Williams, Alex Smith, Davin Joseph, Jeremy Trueblood, Tanard Jackson and Aqib Talib. Following Allen’s dismissal in the offseason of 2009, Williams remained on staff with the Buccaneers as the coordinator of pro scouting for two seasons.
“It’s pretty much the same thing,” Williams said. “Bruce was there, and he gave me the same job as far as dealing with both sides, whether or not it’s pro, whether or not it’s college. And I think that’s a good thing. It gives me some versatility of dealing with in-house, and out of house, which is the college guys.”
Williams reported to Redskins Park on Monday morning and spent the day sitting in free agent planning and evaluation meetings with fellow team officials. He planned to continue familiarizing himself with the Redskins’ roster needs and the talent expected on the free agent market. Then next week, he and officials will switch their attention to college talent evaluation, traveling to Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine.
Williams was another piece added to the puzzle as the Redskins restructure their front office. For the past four years, Mike Shanahan served as head coach and also had final personnel say. Allen served as the buffer between Shanahan and owner Daniel Snyder, and also handled negotiations for free agents and assisted in college talent evaluation. Campbell and Brown also reported to Shanahan.
Allen now takes charge of football operations and said he will have final say on decisions. But he also has said that Brown and Campbell will have more input, and Williams is now expected to have a hand in the evaluation and decision-making process as well.
“As we know, coach Shanahan, when he was here, he pretty much had the last word on whatever decision, whatever player or what have you,” Williams said. “I think now it’s going to be more of a team effort type of situation with Bruce and Morocco and myself and the other scouts and the coaches. I think everybody’s going to have a voice and at the end of the day, you’ll have a collective effort.”
Williams, who played four seasons in Washington and in 2012 and was named as one of the 80 Greatest Redskins, called Monday a special day for him on a personal level as well.
“It’s a great day for me to come back into the family,” Williams said. “That’s the way I look at it. When I was here, the organization, the city, the fans put their arms around me. So it’s a great day for me coming back, No. 1.”
Allen and Snyder actually pursued Williams for a front office position in 2011. But Williams opted to take the head coaching job at Grambling and coach his son.
“Bruce and Mr. Snyder and I had talked about it before I went to Grambling,” Williams explained. “When I told them what was going on at Grambling at the time, and my son was there, they said, ‘Go ahead and coach your son, and after that, we’ll talk.’ And I’m here. So that’s the good part.”
Williams attended two Redskins games last season and there began to kindle a relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III. He said that following the game against Dallas, the two exchanged numbers and have since texted frequently.
Williams will not have a coaching role, but he looks forward to playing his part in helping Griffin continue to develop as a quarterback and leader.
“I’m going to get a chance to talk to him,” Williams said. “I’m not going to be coaching him. But I think with coach Gruden coaching him, I don’t think he could ask for a better guy to be coaching him than Jay Gruden. But we’ll have a bond, I’m sure, just talking about what it’s all about, what you’ve got to do. I think he’s learned a lot over the last two years and I’m sure he knows what he has to do to make sure he becomes the guy that we all expected him to be, and what he is.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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