Early Monday morning, Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden after six seasons and an 0-5 start to this season.
Though team president Bruce Allen said later Monday there’s a “damn good” team culture in Washington’s locker room, just about everything that’s wrong with the franchise over the past decade can be traced back to Allen and owner Dan Snyder, who keeps giving Allen more and more power though he’s seemingly done nothing to earn it.
It’s pretty clear at this point: Washington can have as many head coaches as it wants, but little will change until Allen is gone.
Someone paid some good money to make that point on Sunday.
‘Fire Bruce Allen’
Washington won on the road against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. As fans began filing toward the stadium before the game, they noticed a small plane towing a banner:
“Help Skins Fans. Fire Bruce Allen,” it read.
During his Monday news conference — his first in over four years — Allen took no responsibility for Washington’s record on his watch, saying “we’re all responsible.” As team president there’s really only one person with greater organizational power than him — and that’s Snyder.
Who paid for the banner?
Now for the fun part: Who paid for the banner? We have some possibilities.
Gruden: His guaranteed contract went through the 2020 season, and he has both time and money to burn. Plus, if Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson’s conspiracy theory is right, it was Washington that gave to new life to the old video of Gruden smoking a cigarette-looking object and appearing to hit on a much younger woman that recirculated a couple of days before his firing, giving him even more reason to foot the banner bill.
Trent Williams: Williams wants out of Washington. He’s fed up with the team’s medical staff, which he believes mishandled a growth he found on his head, and has a general mistrust of the organization. The seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle still hasn’t reported to the club, and Allen said he won’t trade Williams.
Brian Lafemina: Lafemina is a lesser-known name than Gruden and Williams, but Allen did him dirty. It was considered an impressive hire in May 2018 when Washington hired Lafemina away from the NFL league office, naming him chief operating officer and president of business operations. But he was fired just seven months later, seemingly scapegoated for the team’s poor attendance and not being able to change the public perception of a bad franchise in a matter of months.
Robert Griffin III: A dark horse candidate, but could we really rule him out?
It’s unclear at this point exactly who paid for the banner, but it’s a safe bet that he or she or they have the undying love of their fellow Washington fans.
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