Redskins GM Candidate: Tom Gamble
I am a big fan of Bruce Allen and believe he should stay in this organization, and take on the role of team president. This would open up the G.M. job to a guy with a background in scouting, which is an area this team is lacking.
Tom Gamble is one of the hottest front office names out there and even interviewed for a couple G.M. jobs this past offseason. He is the son of former Eagles executive and coach Harry Gamble, who was the team’s GM and president from the mid-80’s to the early 90’s. Tom Gamble got his start under his father, working in the Eagles personnel department from 1988-1994 in a variety of roles. In that time he worked as a contract negotiator, college scout administrator, an area scout and the team’s director of pro scouting. By experiencing a variety of roles early on, Gamble gained experience in all aspects of front office duties.
Gamble moved on to the coaching ranks as he was a defensive assistant/quality control coach for the Jets from 1995-1996. This further round’s out Gamble’s skill set as he has a better understanding from the coaching side, when looking at building a roster (and helping to shape a coaching staff). Gamble’s well rounded background really helps separate him from other GM candidates.
Gamble went back to the scouting side after his two years with the Jets, working first as a college scout for the Panthers in 1997 and then as a pro scout with the Ravens in 1998. He then rejoined Bill Polian (who was the GM of Carolina in 1997) in Indianapolis where he was a college scout from 1998-2004. After his stint with the Colts he moved on to the San Francisco 49ers working as the Director of Pro Personnel first. Here he was responsible for keeping track of NFL Rosters and making free agent target lists. In 2010, he was given additional duties in college scouting, and he was named Director of Player Personnel the following February. After not landing a G.M. job this past year (he interviewed with Jacksonville and the Jets), Gamble decided to take a lateral job instead as the Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel.
Gamble has a lot of things going for him in being a potential G.M. candidate. First and foremost is his wide range of experience. Gamble has experience scouting both the pros and college ranks, as well as some background in coaching and contract negotiation. He’s also had major responsibilities in building a roster in San Francisco, by being in charge of their free agent targets. Not only is this bringing in big name free free agents like say a Justin Smith or Carlos Rogers, but it involves bringing in street free agents, making waiver wire claims and other guys to help fill out a roster. One of the bigger successes you’ll find as a waiver wire claim came during Gamble’s tenure in this role when the 49ers claimed LB Ahmad Brooks off waivers from the Bengals in 2008. Whether Gamble was behind this move (or others like Justin Smith) is unclear, but these moves were made under his watch, and it’s likely that he had a say in them. Gamble has also has become more involved in the college scouting process under the 49ers (and continuing with the Eagles). Further rounding out his resume.
In addition to having a very well rounded resume and track record, Gamble gets major points for who he’s worked under and learned from. It starts with his dad Harry Gamble, who quickly became a respected executive with the Eagles. Not only did Tom work for his father and learn from him, but he also has just a deep understanding of the game coming from a football family. Tom then went on to spend his next eight seasons under either Bill Polian or Ozzie Newsome, that is about as good of pair of front office executives that you could find in this league. In San Francisco he worked under both Scot McCoughlan and Trent Baalke who are both respected front office men in their own right.
Gamble has everything the Redskins could hope for in a G.M. candidate and he should be either at or near the top of their short list. While Gamble came to Philadelphia to return home, he’s not going to be getting the G.M. job there anytime soon. The Redskins might not be Gamble’s first choice of jobs, especially since they don’t have a first round pick. But there are a core of players here and they can cut numerous underperforming players to free up much needed cap room. A Bruce Allen/Tom Gamble front office could be extremely effective and exactly what the Redskins need to do to start to right the ship.