INDIANAPOLIS -- The Washington Redskins haven't won enough lately, which means everyone should be on notice. And that leads into the first question for this weekend's mailbag, which also touches on the draft, free agency and the backup quarterback.
With QB changes, Is 2018 a make or break year for Bruce Allen? If not, what would it take? #jkmailbag— dAVE brown (@dave_dwb) March 2, 2018
John Keim: It should be. I don’t care what you think of Bruce Allen personally; it’s not about whether people like you or if you’re a good guy or not. It’s about the record. Someone asked Jay Gruden about how he viewed this past season and the reply was, in essence: 7-9. That was their record, which made them a losing team.
In the eight full seasons since Allen took over as the top decision-maker after owner Dan Snyder, the Redskins are 52-75-1. They have finished fourth four times, won the division twice and gone 0-2 in the postseason. In the last three years they’re 24-23-1. There was progress, and then it stalled.
In the last year, the Redskins have parted ways with general manager Scot McCloughan and, in less than two weeks, will part with quarterback Kirk Cousins. That’s not to say either move was right or wrong. They are big decisions, however.
Allen reorganized the front office, traded for a different quarterback and plays an important role in personnel decisions. I know Allen will be pivotal in getting the stadium built, but what fans want most is for this team to build a winner. Allen is also key in establishing the culture around a team, something that shouldn't be underestimated when it comes to building a consistent winner.
I don’t believe anyone in that role has their job for life under Snyder. Nobody has told me the Redskins must win for Allen to keep his job and, really, only one person would know whether he truly is in that position. My guess is it would take a really bad year -- not just a mediocre one -- for it to become a topic. Clearly the fan base won’t accept either one of those seasons, nor should they. The amount of vitriol I saw last season on social media or heard in many conversations was out of proportion for what the Redskins were -- a 7-9 team hurt by injuries, one that actually did well for a while, all things considered. But that anger suggested how much the fans' patience is being tested. It wasn't about one injury-filled season.
Winning championships is the goal, and for a franchise that hasn’t won one since 1991, there’s no reason the seat shouldn’t be hotter than usual. I just don't know what that temperature is right now.
Would you expect the Skins to focus more on FA for RB, to pair a vet with recent draft pick Samaje? Or do you think they look to the draft again? Both? #jkmailbag— Strick 9 (@Spider_Skinz) March 2, 2018
Keim: Most of the time I think they’d work through the draft just because it would enable them to spend elsewhere -- and it’s a deep draft at running back. They’re well aware of that.
But there are intriguing free agent options. I’ve dropped his name before, but I know how much they like Isaiah Crowell, a guy who can help in the pass game as well. Jay Gruden mentioned wanting a "banger." Crowell runs with good power and has some explosiveness. I don’t know if they’ll pursue him -- would they want to spend, say, $5 million per year to sign him? He's available and would help, but with a good running back group in the draft, the question comes down to cost. And there's another twist in there: picking a running back at 13 would be too high (Saquon Barkley will be long gone), but there could be a run on backs before they pick again in the second round.
#jkmailbag Hi John...what's your guess on Colt's mindset with the Redskins QB situation. Do you think he thought he had a chance to start with Kirk gone, or has he resigned himself to being a back-up for the time being? Thanks.— Disco (@discoque5) March 2, 2018
Keim: I believe it’s safe to say he’s disappointed. Colt McCoy always felt that if he could have stayed healthy at the end of 2014, he would have had the starting job entering 2015. I know there are some coaches who feel bad for him because they know how much football matters to him and how disappointed he would be. Coaches like him, the organization likes him and players like him a lot.
But the bottom line is that they’ve had multiple chances to turn in his direction and haven’t. I think that has to sting most of all for him. McCoy has always worked as if he’s a starter, and all he’s done the last three years is sit behind Kirk Cousins. He’s long felt that working with Tom House during the offseasons has helped his once-damaged shoulder. I haven’t talked to him about this, but I’m sure McCoy also looks at Case Keenum and believes he could have done the same thing -- if he’d just get a chance.