Some guy who might know: Redskins broken coaching search may not affect broken draft process

First let's introduce Russ Lande: He is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns who also publishes GM Jr, which is the self-proclaimed best guide to the draft. Some testimonials:

"Russ's ability to evaluate talent and report on what he sees accurately is outstanding!!
-- Dick Vermeil, Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Notice the two exclamation marks. As you well know, Vermeil is a subdued man not inclined to unnecessary theatrics, so when he utilizes expressive punctuation, you know he means it. About halfway through this video you'll see a typically moderated Dick Vermiel grinning ear to ear while congratulating players, including a very sex-offender looking Ron Jaworski (the mustache says, "Who wants candy!):

More testimonials here from the likes of Jim Nantz and Ernie Accorsi and Pete Prisco and isn't that all nice. I don't say this to convince you Russ Lande is a genius -- I don't know anything about him -- but rather just to suggest he knows a thing or two about the draft process. More than me, anyhow. And in a very revealing Warpath Insiders interview with Russ, he says the Redskins shouldn't be hampered in the draft by our prolonged coaching search because coaches just screw that shit up anyways, emphasis added:

Q: Does the extended coaching search put the Redskins behind in their draft preparation?

A: In all honesty, in many respects it probably helps. I'm of the opinion that unless you have coaches dedicated to watching film and evaluating players on film most of the time coaches don't help the draft process. If they are dedicated they can be fantastic. Bruce Arians, Terry Robiskie were home runs. A lot of guys make decisions based on what they hear and how guys do in all-star games and they don't watch game film to see how good they are. So I don't think it's a big negative that the Redskins did this late.

Well isn't that something? Here we have a former NFL scout who currently publishes what is apparently a well circulated draft guide all but admitting that coaches can do more harm than good in the draft process? Not merely that they can do more harm, actually, but rather that is the norm for coaches? That NFL level coaches are making the same base, emotional decisions about players that we the mighty fans do?

The great news is that this does take a bite out of the argument that the Redskins owed it to their draft board to end the coaching search early. I was certainly of the opinion that more preparation is better when it comes to the staff -- that will actually have to coach the individuals in question -- evaluating draft picks. But I guess that doesn't make much sense, because coaches are as likely as not to fudge up the entire procedure anyways.

Whatever I think might be great about that, Russ makes it clear he doesn't think our management structure is, and subtly criticizes Vinny Cerrato's record. I won't be subtle: Vinny's personnel record concerns me. In any event, Warpath does fantastic work and deserves better than me ripping their entire article, though I want to because the Q&A is extremely informative at a time when there really isn't much information. I'll add who Russ thinks we should take in the draft, as that's a topic of much discussion 'round these parts. He says defensive end but does so partially under the earlier (shaky in my opinion) premise that Andre Carter is inconsistent:

Q: Who should they pick?

A: I had them taking Lawrence Jackson, the defensive end from USC. He's a real good player. But he did not help himself at the Senior Bowl; he looked mechanical and methodical. I think it'll come down to him or Calais Campbell, who would be a home run for them. He has the size of Daniels, but the athleticism of Andre Carter. He's a freak of an athlete.

Which is really fine by me, as I'm morally convinced that the defensive line is the most important position on the football field, having watched the NY Giants use it as the great equalizer against what I thought was the best team I'd ever seen play the game.
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