Phillips: Better to fire Allen and keep Gruden

Ben Krimmel
December 17, 2018 - 3:53 pm

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Redskins owner Dan Snyder firing team president Bruce Allen and keeping head coach Jay Gruden may be best for the immediate future of the franchise, Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch said Monday on 106.7 The Fan.

"I think it's very important to separate Bruce and Jay," Phillips said on Grant & Danny. "I think Bruce can go and Jay could stay. And if anything, I think if you're going to bring in an outside general manager, I think (keeping Gruden) might be the smarter approach."

Phillips believes cleaning house is not the best route forward for Washington.

"I think it's a bad idea to bring in a general manager (in) the third week in January, hire them and say, 'Oh, by the way, welcome, you're going on a coaching search now. Oh, yeah you know the top candidates are spoken for and everybody's kinda landed at their spot in the carousel, but, you know, go at it,'" Phillips said.

"I think a coaching search under a new regime might best be done a year from now."

106.7 The Fan's Danny Rouhier is worried "empty calorie wins" in the final two weeks of  the season may fool people into believing a massive organizational overhaul is not needed.

"I actually think wins for the big picture are (bad)," Rouhier said. "I think it covers all the things that are going wrong. All the things that were awful, (the reasons) why they swooned, are still awful and its why they swooned. They're gonna finish 2-7 on the season, one win doesn't change or fix that for me."

While, Rouhier is happy for individual players – like Josh Johnson, Jonathan Allen, Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan – "big picture, I need Jay Gruden to be moved on from, same with (defensive coordinator Greg) Manusky, same with Allen, same with everybody else."

Phillips agrees Manusky will likely lose his job, but other factors – increased fan apathy, decreased TV ratings, decreased attendance – are "ultimately what you have to account" for when deciding to fire Allen.

"Bruce Allen is the president of the team, that means he's president of the whole thing - the bad TV ratings, the bad crowds at FedEx Field, the alienation of fans -  I don't think those things magically go away if Josh Johnson runs for a touchdown in Nashville and pulls a stunning upset, which would be an absolutely stunning upset, credit across the organization. Does not make what has happened fan base and the erosion of this fan base any less pronounced at all," Phillips said.

And while a win against the Titans Saturday may be "empty-calorie," it could be a point in Gruden's favor. 

"If they win back-to-back road games with Josh Johnson as their quarterback, aren't we actually going on the radio talking about how that actually is a compelling reason to keep Jay (Gruden)?" Phillips said.  

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