PHOENIX | Newly-hired senior executive A.J. Smith will serve the Redskins as a San Diego-based consultant, general manager Bruce Allen said Tuesday.
Allen hired Smith, his longtime friend, last month. He was the San Diego Chargers’ general manager for the last 10 seasons, a span that included five AFC West division titles.
Smith’s role with the Redskins will center on internal evaluations. His responsibilities had not been publicized by the team.
“More just looking at us, giving us an evaluation of our players,” Allen said in an interview with the Washington Times.
Coach Mike Shanahan has final say over roster decisions.
Allen and Smith’s friendship dates from the early 1980s when they worked together with the Chicago Blitz of the USFL. Smith tried out for the Redskins as a player in 1974 when Bruce’s father, George, was the head coach. He served as a scout for the Blitz from 1982-83. Also, Smith’s son, Kyle, is an area scout for the Redskins.
San Diego fired Smith, 64, and head coach Norv Turner on New Year’s Day after the Chargers missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
The upcoming season will be Smith’s 29th in the NFL.
“He started out as a college scout, became a pro scout and did have a good run as a general manager,” Allen said. “I imagine he’s going to get another opportunity sooner than later. For the time being, if he wants to help us out evaluate players on our team, I think that’s a positive.”