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Redskins' Search For Next Head Coach Is Underway


Executive vice president/general manager Bruce Allen said the team is "in the process" of interviewing candidates to replace Jim Zorn as the Redskins' head coach.

Allen did not name any potential head coaching targets--former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was brought up by one reporter--but he said the team has "a good game plan of what we are going to do."

"It's real clear that we are going to be aggressive," Allen said. "What we are looking for in a head coach is somebody that can lead these men that we have in our locker room to levels that they haven't played to before."

Asked if he expected to hire a new head coach by the end of this week, Allen replied: "I'm not going to put a time frame on it. We are going to get the right person.

"I think the head coach [position] in the NFL is the most demanding executive position in professional sports. He has to manage more than 100 people, getting them to focus in one direction, for a common goal--which is to win."

Allen joined the Redskins on Dec. 17 as the team's new general manager following the resignation of Vinny Cerrato.

In the three weeks that followed, he has observed the team's operations on and off the field.

On Monday morning, after dismissing Zorn, Allen met with the entire Redskins assistant coaching staff.

A new head coach usually means that there will be substantial turnover among the assistant coaches, many of whom remain under contract.

"Their position will be determined by the next head coach," Allen said. "Remember, this is a very volatile period in the NFL. Last year there were 11 coaching changes--that's a third of the league. We want to be very considerate to their families and the issues, we are going to be in constant dialogue with them and keep them updated on the process."

Allen also met with the Redskins players in a team meeting on Monday morning and addressed Zorn's dismissal. He also discussed his expectations for them this offseason.

"What I asked of the players on the team was a commitment that they hadn't given before," Allen said. "We are going to try to find that type of person who is a winner, passionate about the Redskins and passionate about football."

Allen declined to say that the Redskins' roster would need to go through a lengthy rebuilding process.

He did say that the team needs to "build the foundation."

"We have to get the right disciplines in place and in order for players to succeed in our environment," Allen said. "I believe the coaches work hard. I believe the players work hard. We have to work in harmony. That's why the status quo has to end.

"We have to change the ways we have been doing business. The players are going to embrace it."

Asked if he had evaluated the roster yet, Allen said: "It's a little premature to talk about that. I really look forward to talking to our players in the next few weeks. I met with a few of them. They are giving me a good message. They understand that it's about hard work.

"The formula for success in the NFL hasn't changed since George Halas was coaching--teamwork plus talent equals success. The players are hungry. They're unsatisfied. The fans are unsatisfied, and the organization is unsatisfied with the results.

"We do live in a results-based business. That's what makes it the best sport there is."

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