The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
Morocco Browns to Cleveland front office is loss for Washington

Every NFL team has a put-down name. For the Cleveland franchise it is the Clowns. Hog Heaven is not laughing now that Cleveland stole the Redskins’ former director of pro player personnel Morocco Brown to the No. 2 spot in their front office.

How could Morocco refuse an offer from a team named for him? (Pun intended)

Building winners

The Redskins are maligned for many things, most of them deserved (but the team name not). All of it emanates from an owner still unproven as a genuine corporate leader.

Losing a critical talent like Brown supports the notion that Daniel Snyder still thinks like a fan who is yet to realize his real team is his front office staff, not the uniformed product on the field. The personnel executives assemble the talent and the coaching staff weaves the talent into a team that wins.

Those are the owner’s real levers to winning the Lombardi Trophy. Hog Heaven is not entirely dismissive of Mike Shanahan’s parting shots at Mr. Snyder last December.

Brown’s story

Brown rejoined the Redskins as pro player scout in 2008 during the Vinny Cerrato disaster. He was an assistant scout with the team in 2000-’01 before spending seven season with the Bears as assistant director of pro personnel.

The long time sense through local sports media was that Redskins scouts were not listened to much before Mike Shanahan’s arrival. Jimmy Johnson once mock Snyder on TV for it during the Spurrier era.

Shanahan wanted to restock the team and needed veterans to do so. Shanahan leaned on his front office to pull it off more so than Cerrato or even Joe Gibbs did. It might have been a onetime thing in 2010.

It’s rare that other teams want Redskins talent for anything more than a sixth round Draft pick. Why would they when they can mine cast offs like Antonio Pierce, Brad Johnson and Ryan Clark? Teams have not shown interest in high-ranking front office men since Charley Casserly and Bobby Beathard. At least three teams interviewed Brown for their GM slot. That was a sign that he was worth keeping.

No team would stand in the way of an executive’s career move up. We applaud the Redskins for that. To win a GM spot somewhere else, Brown might have sensed that he needed to move on, especially to where he could answer the interview question, “What did you do to win the title for your team?”

His answer had to be fuzzy with little to show for it in Washington. The Browns are not much better, but the move is a reset for Morocco. We wish him well.

Filling the hole

Lets give credit to Snyder and Bruce Allen for one thing. They have in-house talent that (perhaps) can backfill Brown. Doug Williams is a recent hire in some kind of scouting capacity. A.J. Smith is a well-regarded talent evaluator. Just don’t let him negotiate contracts with veterans, like you know, Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Alfred Morris or Robert Griffin III (shudders).

A rejiggered role for Scott Campbell, director of college scouting, is not out of the question.

One never knows what the future holds, but Hog Heaven’s philosophy is that teams are better off growing and using their own talent. That rule applies to the field and to the front office.

Smith is not homegrown. Williams is if you consider his overlap with Bruce Allen’s front office in Tampa Bay and Snyder’s interest in hiring him before he took the Tuskegee head-coaching job. That was something of a rescue mission.

We follow the management moves of NFL teams. Thus, we’ll follow Morocco for the next two or three seasons to see if he can turn the Clowns into the Browns.

As usual always with the Redskins, skepticism is healthy. It pays to let things play out.