Michael Lombardi crushes Bruce Allen again as draft rumors pick up speed

Chris Lingebach
April 25, 2019 - 3:46 pm
Michael Lombardi crushes Bruce Allen again as draft rumors pick up speed

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi doesn't have nice things to say about his former co-worker Bruce Allen as the 2019 NFL Draft draws closer.

Lombardi's contempt for the Redskins president dates back to their time together in Oakland. 

"Bruce has been the general manager under the disguise as a football guy," Lombardi recently said of Allen. "And let's face it, Bruce never did any football with the Raiders when I worked there. He wasn't even in the draft meetings when we were there. He never was involved in player personnel." 

Lombardi took another jab at Allen during his Thursday appearance with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

"So let's start with the Redskins," Paulsen said introducing Lombardi. "Your boy, Bruce Allen, who you once worked with and said you guys tried to keep out of the football operations..."

"Changed the locks!" Rouhier interjected.

"He's running the show here in D.C.," Paulsen went on. 

"We didn't have to (change the locks)," Lombardi jumped in. "He wasn't allowed. But go ahead."

Paulsen then segued into his own report from Wednesday, in which he indicated Redskins owner Dan Snyder has "taken over the first round of the draft," an accusation the team has publicly denied.

"He and Dan Snyder apparently on the business side of things thinking a little differently than the football people, Jay Gruden and Kyle Smith," Paulsen said. "What do you think when you hear that about front offices maybe not being on the same page?"

"I think what Grant talked about, that Daniel's taking over the draft, I think that Daniel's always been involved in the draft," Lombardi said. "I think Bruce has been – in the mafia, the term would be 'a buffer.' In politics, it would be 'plausible deniability.'

"But as long as Bruce runs the team, Dan has somebody to take the heat and he can still run it. So when I tweeted out yesterday that Dan's always been running it, it's really a reflection of: because he can control Bruce."

When Rouhier fawned over how good of a Twitter follow Lombardi is, Lombardi replied, "You just like (me) cause I kill Bruce. That's why you follow me. You keep tweeting, 'send more,' right?"

"There's a difference between us saying something, and you, who worked with him," Paulsen noted. "I think there's a credibility. When you've been in the building with a guy, when you're a football background person who's been a GM like you, and you say something, it's got more weight.

"So when we say, 'Bruce isn't a football guy. He's a cap guy. He's a business guy. He's a survivor.' People can say, 'Oh, you guys just don't like him.' But when you're in the building and you say, 'Yeah, we really didn't want him to help us pick players,' I think it means more."

"Well, he never picked players," Lombardi recalled. "I mean he wouldn't even know how to scout. I mean, I'm not the only guy. Scot McCloughan says the same thing, too. I mean anybody who's been interactive with Bruce knows he's not a football guy. I know his dad was a legendary head coach, but he never came up that way. He came up a different way.

"If you were to ask him about, 'What is the true meaning of this draft?' And 'where the fifth rusher fits in, the fourth rusher,' and the value of this draft in terms of tight ends. 'What's an F? What's a Y?' You know, you're in a conversation that he's not gonna be able to handle."

This was followed by a genuine discussion about this year's quarterback class.

This pertains to the Redskins in so much as their reported growing interest in selecting a quarterback, and reports that one side of the room (presumably Jay Gruden and Kyle Smith) like Duke QB Daniel Jones, while the other side of the room (presumably Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen) likes Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins.

"I'm not in love with the quarterbacks in the draft," Lombardi said. "I think Kyler Murray's really talented. I think he really is talented. I have real troubles with somebody who can't see down the field."

"And I know the rhetoric about, well, he's a dropback passer," he noted. "College pass-rushing and the NFL pass-rushing are two entirely different things. And so, I respect his arm, I respect his accuracy, I respect his foot quickness and his electrifying speed. I have real troubles with his size, his durability and potentially can he last?"

"And then after that, for me, I just think this draft is a lot of collection of players that'll be average starters in the NFL, if they even start, or more backups," he continued. "Look. I think Haskins is not a West Coast offense guy. I think Haskins is not a rhythm thrower. I think he's a hold-the-ball, wait till it's open and throw it down the field.

"He possesses some very good skills in terms of arm strength and size, but in terms of rhythm and timing, if he comes into the Washington offense, he doesn't really fit. That's not his game. His game is not rhythm and timing and footwork, his game is hold the ball, throw it down the field. He would be better in Joe Gibbs' old 1980 offense than he would be in Jay Gruden's 2019 offense."

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