Its simple. It all starts at the top with both owners. Both Pat Bowlen and Paul Allen have put football people in charge to make football decisions. From every account they have very little input in personnel decisions and let the guys they hired do that job.
Bowlen is well known in the league but because of his success as an owner. Probably his most notable moment other than saying “This one’s for John” is when he decided to fire Mike Shanahan as coach and bring in Josh McDaniels as coach with a lot of power. It was a mistake but Bowlen learned quickly and didn’t set his franchise back far at all. He got rid of McDaniels after multiple poor decisions and brought John Elway and other professional NFL execs in to run his team. And it has worked and worked rather quickly.
Can Dan Snyder do this? So far in fifteen years he hasn’t been able to. He has had plenty of mistakes like Bowlen’s one of hiring McDaniels. Will Snyder step aside and let Bruce Allen’s team make the decisions from here on? We will have to see.
Bowlen and Elway’s success together the past few seasons is beginning to grow much like they had in the 90s when Elway quarterbacked for Bowlen’s team. Both of them pulled off a franchising move by convincing Peyton Manning to come to Denver when he had an opportunity to pick his home two years ago. Manning met with teams but it seemed once Elway and Bowlen got a chance they closed the deal. I just hope Snyder can take just that role as a closer and not as the guy selecting who to bring into Redskins Park this offseason to meet. That should be the roll of Allen, Brown, Campbell and Gruden.
As for the Seahawks you have to also give Paul Allen credit with what he has done since taking over Seattle. Personally I don’t care for Pete Carroll but he has done a great job with his third chance as a NFL head coach.
Ironically the other person in Seattle who has helped put them in the Super Bowl is the main personnel guru John Schneider. It’s ironic because the Redskins had Schneider here in Washington for a season when Marty Shottenheimer fired Vinny Cerrato and replaced him with Schneider. But Snyder wanted to make the calls over Marty and Schneider and they were gone after one season. We really don’t know how he would have done in DC but it would have had to been better than Vinny. Schneider moved onto Green Bay and worked under a strong personnel department before being hired by Allen. Just this week Carroll praised Schneider for being the one who made the call on quarterback Russell Wilson. Getting him in the 3rd round was a coup for the Seahawks and should keep them strong for years.
I just hope Dan Snyder can look at these two teams and learn how Super Bowl contenders are truly made. You can even add last year’s teams Baltimore and San Francisco to the mix. Since the firing of Shanahan, Snyder has said the right thing through his guy Bruce Allen but let’s see what plays out. And if Allen’s team can make the correct calls like Elway’s and Schneider’s? All we can do as fans is sit back and hope and see what happens the next couple years.