- - Thursday, March 1, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The NFL scouting combine — the Washington Redskins‘ time to shine — is upon us.

Last year, the franchise glowed.

For those who have drank the Kool Aid by the barrel and believe that this organization has long since buried the dysfunctional and destructive days of Dan Snyder’s ownership style, it is important to recall the Redskins 2017 scouting combine act — the disappearance of Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan.

When the Prince of Darkness, Redskins team president Bruce Allen, tells you anything — anything at all — it would be instructive for you to recall this soap opera that took place a year ago.

Radio station 106.7 The Fan was the first to report that McCloughan had been “sent home on the team” and was not attending the combine. The team went full bore in trying to discredit the report — which turned out to be true.

CSN Mid-Atlantic reported from a “source” that suggestions McCloughan had been fired were inaccurate. “It’s all bull –-. He’s not fired,” the report claimed.

There was a lot of bull –- going on last year. But nobody was better at it than the Prince of Darkness.

In an interview on Nashville 104.5 The Zone, Allen was asked about McCloughan’s status and the reports that he had been fired.

“Yeah, Scot’s a great guy,” Allen said. “Anyone who knows him know he’s a great guy. He’s dealing with some family matters right now. His grandmother died a week or so ago, so he’s dealing with that right now.”

This was the infamous Marie Bessie McCloughan, the grandmother who became part of Redskins history. She had passed away nearly a month before Allen’s interview, and the funeral had been two weeks later.

McCloughan was asked by the radio host, “Everything else, he’s in place and doing everything that you guys hired him to do?”

To which Allen replied, “Yeah. Once again, if you’ve ever met Scot and know his family — his father and his brother were on our Raiders staff in Oakland — they’re about football and they’re about scouting. And as soon as the family matters are cleared up, we’ll be okay.”

This from the Prince of Darkness who had already forbidden McCloughan from speaking to the media during the offseason.

As we all know, a little more than a week later apparently with the mourning period for Marie Bessie McCloughan having finally passed — the Redskins compassionately fired Scot McCloughan.

“The Washington Redskins have released Scot McCloughan from the organization effective immediately,” Allen said bravely in a released statement. “We wish him success in his future endeavors. The team will have no further comment on his departure. The organization remains confident in our personnel department as we execute our free agency plans as well as prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.”

Not just fired this “great guy.” Fired him with cause. Didn’t pay him the rest of what the team owed him.

For those who are speculating what the Redskins might do to Kirk Cousins before they set him free, what happened to McCloughan should illustrate what could happen.

We are still waiting for the results of the December arbitration hearing between McCloughan and the team over his firing with cause. IThe case centers around alcohol use and abuse, from both sides whether or not McCloughan’s alcohol use, documented in the past, became an issue in his job at Redskins Park, and, on the other side, if alcohol use is standard operating procedure for the powers that be.

Meanwhile, McCloughan is working for several other NFL teams through his private scouting service and preparing reports for them for the combine, while the guy now supposedly in charge of player personnel for the Redskins, Doug Williams, met with reporters Wednesday at the combine.

When asked about reports the Redskins had discussed tagging Cousins a third time — even after trading for Alex Smith — Williams told reporters, “We haven’t really talked about that. I think the media has come up with those scenarios more than what we have talked about it, because I can’t remember one meeting where we talked about the possibility of tagging him.”

Every day Doug Williams spends with this crew is another day toward his damaged credibility.

Thom Loverro hosts his weekly podcast “Cigars & Curveballs” Wednesdays available on iTunes, Google Play and the reVolver podcast network.

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