Trick question. Doug Williams not a GM.
The Washington Redskins promoted Williams to Senior Vice President of Player Personnel today. He held a mysterious job in player development before this.
As best anyone can tell, Williams’ role was to be the special mentor to Robert Griffin III and any other player in need of advice on how to succeed in the NFL.
RG never sought out Williams. He should have. In 2015, the Redskins benched Robert, then banned him to outer Siberia where they dumped him on an indifferent free agent market.
NFL GMs tend take one of two career paths to the top, contracts or scouting. Williams’ took the scouting route through Bruce Allen’s management tree. He was a personal executive with the Buccaneers when Allen was the general manager, and then promoted to Director of Professional Personnel for one season after Tampa Bay fired Allen.
Washington’s move leaves Williams the most senior of the vice presidents. The Redskins named Eric Shaffer Vice President of Football Operations. Scott Campbell becomes a senior personnel executive and Kyle Smith becomes Director of College Scouting.
The Redskins unbundled the GM role and diffused it to those men. None of them are a challenge to Allen.
“Let’s be real here. Dan Snyder controls everything. He entrusted Bruce to be the president, and Bruce makes a lot of decisions. He’s the president, and he has the right to do whatever he wants, but he wanted to make sure [Gruden and I are] on the same page. If we’re on the same page, I don’t think he’ll interfere.” ~ Doug Williams
Williams won’t rock the boat. Just smooth sailing on calm seas. Daniel Snyder can reach back to team lore (again) to sell the program.
But Williams’ Redskins ties are quite thin. We remember those three glorious playoff games after the 1987 season when he went 3-0, set a Super Bowl record for most touchdown passes thrown (4) in a quarter on the way to a dominating win.
(That performance brought me great personal joy at a dark time in my life.)
Williams started a mere 12 games over the next two seasons, going 5-7.
All the other Redskins Super Bowl quarterbacks started 72 or more games for the team.
Daniel Snyder was 24 years old during that Super Bowl run. It must have made an impression.
Not revolutionary. Not even evolutionary. This is a status quo move.
Hail to you, Doug. Do a good job.