Scott Campbell one of the most important people at Redskins park

And did you know it? Own up.

As of January of this year Scott Campbell became one of the most important people with the Redskins:

Campbell, who has spent the past seven seasons with the Redskins, will oversee scouting at both the college and professional levels. He had previously led both college and professional recruiting.
The syntax in the sentence suggests that he received a non promotion promotion, but what I think they are trying to say is that he previously handled college scouting and pro scouting separately at different times in his career, and that he's finally now in charge of both all at once. Incidentally, this makes him an extremely influencial (and accountable!) person at Redskins park.

With a hat tipped towards PFT, the Post today called Campbell Vinny Cerrato's Draft Day Lieutenant. It goes farther:

A Redskins player-personnel official since 2001, Campbell, 46, was recently promoted to oversee Washington's college and pro scouting, and he will have a major role in devising the team's strategy for the April 26-27 draft. Campbell has a key position in Washington's new management structure, and the Redskins expect big things from this draft...

Louis Riddick, director of pro personnel, and all of Washington's scouts now report to Campbell. Cerrato's new top lieutenant, Campbell has become "Vinny's eyes and ears for the whole [scouting] department," Campbell said. "It frees him to do other things now because he's got responsibility over more things. He's got the training staff to deal with, the PR staff, video . . . he has to make sure all that's working. He's got more duties, so I just see my role as enabling him not to worry about the personnel stuff."

Interesting insight on the vast assortment of duties that Cerrato has to address. While I'm still a big fan of bringing in a traditional GM, perhaps my reasons for that are largely irrational. So long as Vinny Cerrato is capable at whatever title he holds at any given moment, I don't see a drastic need to bring in new blood with a new title. In understanding what it is that Scott Campbell does, it begins to become clear that regardless of whether the team has a person titled "General Manager" there are people responsible for the things that make the creation of an NFL roster possible. (I still like the idea of centralized control with a purpose, as that has worked too often in other situations. Maybe Vinny Cerrato is the GM in everything but name? I dunno.) More on the decision making heirarchy:
"He'll take direction from me to organize it, but I'm the type that will . . . let him do it how he wants to," Cerrato said. "I'm not going to be on him every day. I'll let him run his department the way he feels comfortable. I'm not going to micromanage him, not at all, and you know why? When I went to Notre Dame [as the recruiting coordinator in 1986], the only thing [former coach] Lou Holtz told me was that he wanted the best recruiting in the country, so go get it done.
Moving away from the WaPo piece, there's a video at Redskins.com that is current enough of Scott Campbell talking about his general duties with the team. The video is overwhelmingly boring unless you are hyper-obsessed with the team -- I am -- but does have a few interesting tidbits. The ones I'll repeat for those of you who care not about watching the entire video:

First, Scott took the reporter back to the big draft board, which was blurred out. On the far wall were the players they were looking at, and I imagine they will alter that board daily. On the near wall, which was not viewable by the camera and Campbell said he was not permitted to show us, was a list of players who had been taken off the big board because of character issues; arrests for instance. The Redskins will have an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is on recruiting character come the actual draft (the big board does not apply to Jerome Mathis, obviously) but it's interesting to hear the team explicitly articulate, through Campbell, it's intention to not draft any questionable character guys.

Second, it may reveal much or nothing at all, but Campbell did say that Mr. Snyder -- he corrects himself, he really meant Danny -- will be in the room on draft day. Hardly surprising, as you'd expect the owner to be in the draft room on draft day. But he goes on to say that they'll be in there discussing a lot over the days up to the draft, and it isn't clear whether he meant "they" as in staff and Vinny and others or "they" as in Scott and staff and Vinny and Mr. Snyder/Danny. Is that even especially odd? No, it's his team, so he would give a shit about who they draft. What I want to know is his role in that room during those discussions. That is the aspect of the team's heirarchy which is under constant speculation and scrutiny that the team could go a long ways towards quieting by simply taking us step-by-step through a typical draft decision, after the fact so as to protect the integrity of the process. Is Snyder watching game tape? I can't imagine he would be, but a more likely role is that he's in there exerting influence on the staff because he wants player X or player Y... perhaps for the perfectly reasonable excuse that player X or player Y will increase ticket sales.

Now that's not how I want the team making personnel decisions, but an owner would certainly care about those kinds of considerations.

I doubt this post sheds much light on the manner in which decisions are made at Redskins Park, but it's a start. I'm going to focus this season and in the future on trying to find out, specifically, how it is decisions are made, by whom, and with what input. I think all fans want more access to how the team operates and naturally that would extend to draft day maneuvers and personnel decisions. What I'm really talking about is trying to figure out what the owner's role is.

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