When was the Scot McCloughan era truly over?

Chris Lingebach
March 19, 2018 - 1:52 pm

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

From nearly a half-hour of bickering on the radio emerged a brilliant question on the Grant & Danny Show Monday.

"Is it a coincidence that the two best years they've had in a long, long time were the two years McCloughan was here?" Grant Paulsen asked Craig Hoffman. "Do you think it's a coincidence?"

"Yes," Hoffman returned. "On some level."

"You do? I think their culture improved immensely with how he ran the team," Paulsen said. "And so it's not coincidence."

"I think how much credit goes to Scot versus how much to Jay (Gruden) I think is up for debate," Hoffman said.

"Okay. Jay was still here this year," said Paulsen. "They got worse."

This begs the question: When did the Scot McCloughan era truly end in Washington?

Sure, McCloughan was fired as Redskins GM in March 2017. But McCloughan claims they still followed his draft board -- for all but one player -- nearly two months later.

Hoffman: I think Scot deserves the most credit for guys like Will Blackmon, Mason Foster and guys like that.

Paulsen: Yeah. They didn't have them this year.

Hoffman: But this is the same guy that drafted Matt Jones and still swears he's good.

Paulsen: Do you believe that they used the draft board that he put together, as he claims?

Hoffman: That's not. The premise is incorrect.

Paulsen: I'm asking you a question. Do you believe...

Hoffman: It wasn't McCloughan's draft board.

Paulsen: You don't think that they used his draft board? Do you believe that they used his free agency targets?

Hoffman: The guys in charge of that front office are the same scouts that were there the entire time. It's just the guy in the meetings, and it's putting together the reports that the same scouts were using.

Paulsen: But he was running the meetings and was the highest-ranking person in the room. My point is, if McCloughan says the free agents that they had last year -- like, he'll tell you D.J. Swearinger was the guy that he put atop of his board to go get. And my point is, maybe he's lying. I'm not taking his back. I'm asking you, though, do you think -- if we're going to give them credit for having a lot of talent last year without him. If he said, 'Swearinger's gonna be a stud. Zach Brown's gonna be a stud.' I know for a fact he named Zach Brown to me before he left here, and before they had signed him.

Hoffman: Right. And I'm telling you guys like Alex Santos and the other people in that department also felt the same way.

If, for example, the Redskins did, in fact, follow McCloughan's draft board and go after McCloughan's free agency targets in 2017, then it stands to reason whether 2017 is rightly viewed as the endpoint to his time here, or whether the time for beginning anew is only arriving now, with a clean slate in 2018. McCloughan, as a matter of fact, didn't begin working for his new team, the Cleveland Browns, until this year.

Paulsen: I guess what I'm saying is we won't really know what post-Scot McCloughan life is like until probably this offseason, this go-around, because he was heavily involved in all of the player-acquisition last year. You just said they used the same board because it's the same meeting room.

Hoffman: I'm telling you, he didn't have a heavy influence on the board. He can say it's his board. It wasn't his board. It was their board.

Paulsen: He just sat in the room as the guy running the meeting?

Hoffman: Yeah! That's what I've been told, at least. Let me preface that. That is what I have been told...

Paulsen: By people that still work for the Redskins?

Hoffman: Yeah. So...

Paulsen: Could it have been the person that leaked to The Washington Post unnamed what they fired him for?

Hoffman: I... Have we found out that what they leaked they fired him for has been incorrect?

Paulsen: No. No. No. I think what they leaked is correct, for the record. 

Hoffman: Okay. Well, then.

Paulsen: I also think no team's ever leaked anything like that before after firing someone.

Hoffman: I'm not telling you that that wasn't an improper move, but there's a lot of stuff that's still... Like, if the discovery in the lawsuit ever comes out, I think that would be very, very interesting to see fan reaction.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter