Back in the day, when Bobby Beathard was the Washington Redskins’ general manager and Joe Gibbs the coach, the delegation of duties was simple.
“Bobby was in charge of picking the guys, and I was pretty much responsible for who stayed,” Gibbs said last week.
During eight years (1981-88) under Beathard and Gibbs, the Redskins won two Super Bowls.
But since Gibbs returned to the Redskins in January 2004, the team hasn’t employed a general manager and certainly hasn’t appeared in the Super Bowl.
The team’s modus operandi comes into question again as the Redskins (5-9) play out the string on another disappointing season in which underachieving performances by expensive newcomers have been a hallmark.
“I like our process,” Gibbs said. “We have excellent people. I like that it’s not one person making the decisions, but it’s all of us working together. But I also think that when things don’t go well, you have to do a good job analyzing why and then taking the steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Those steps don’t appear to include any offseason changes to the front office, including the hiring of a general manager.
The current structure is: Owner Dan Snyder handles free agent contract negotiations; Gibbs serves as coach, president and public face of the team; and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato supervises the personnel/scout operations.
Asked whether there could be some changing of responsibilities, Gibbs said, “That’s a ways off. I’m not really focused on that right now.”
No matter the approach, many mistakes have been made.
“I’m sure we made mistakes, and we have to address those,” Gibbs said. “We’re not afraid to change anything. We want to be progressive, go after things and not be afraid to change things if it helps fix things.
“When you get into a situation like this and a lot of things have been unproductive, you have to be a good student and learn from it.”
The Washington Times picks the most damaging personnel decisions made by the Redskins since Gibbs returned to the franchise two years ago:
1. Signing Adam Archuleta