The Tennessee Titans announced some changes to their front office today that included VP of Football Operations Lake Dawson "parting ways" with the organization. Why is this significant to the Washington Redskins? The team officially hired new GM Scot McCloughan on January 9th and he is expected to make significant changes to the scouting and personnel departments, the question is when will this happen? Bruce Allen mentioned that the team was allowing Senior Executive A.J. Smith to explore other options around the league, but he is still with the team for now. McCloughan indicated that he would probably hold of on making major changes until after they go through free agency and the draft. The scouts and personnel execs have been putting in the work, and McCloughan wasn't talking about drastic changes...yet.
Then reports came out last week that the Redskins had requested permission to interview Green Bay Packers Senior Personnel Executive Alonzo Highsmith. McCloughan was a scout with the Packers when Highsmith first joined the team as a scout. He was very interested in bringing in someone who also learned the business from Ron Wolf, but the Packers didn't allow Highsmith to leave. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported that the Redskins would have created a made a position for Highsmith, and McCloughan was not actively looking for anyone else to bring in.
Enter Lake Dawson, who worked with McCloughan when they were both in the personnel department with the Seattle Seahawks. Dawson joined the Seahawks as a Pro Personnel Assistant in 2001, and by 2007 when he left for the Titans, he was the Assistant Director of Pro Personnel. McCloughan was Seattle's Director of College Scouting from 2000-2004. Dawson was responsible for overseeing both the pro personnel and college scouting departments under GM Ruston Webster with the Titans.
Scot McCloughan has major decisions to make about a personnel and scouting department that has not been able to identify talent in both free agency and the draft. Lake Dawson is a respected talent evaluator around the league, and has become available. His name has been brought up for many open general manager positions over the last two years, even turning down the Miami Dolphins last season. The Redskins currently have the following people in executive positions for personnel/scouting:
Scott Campbell: Director of Player Personnel - In charge of college scouting for the last 9 years
Alex Santos: Director of Pro Personnel - Replaced Morocco Brown last season, evaluates NFL/CFL players
Doug Williams: Personnel Executive - Does things, lots of things, no one really knows what things he does though
A.J. Smith: Senior Executive - Spent the last two seasons with the team, mainly advising on the draft
A highly-respected talent evaluator, Dawson assists general manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt with the team's daily roster moves and all transactions via free agency and the annual NFL Draft. In his role, he manages draft meetings, assists with all draft selections and oversees off-season pro personnel free agent visits or acquisitions. He scouts all levels of professional football, including the NFL, CFL and Arena Football League. In addition to his various football operations responsibilities, he assists with contract negotiations. In 2013, he was selected to participate in the prestigious NFL's Career Development Symposium at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.
Dawson joined the Titans in 2007 as Director of Pro Personnel and was promoted in 2011 to VP of Football Operations. He came to the Titans' organization with 12 years of NFL experience. While with the Seattle Seahawks, Dawson was an instrumental member of the personnel department, as the organization won the NFC West Divisional Championship in three consecutive seasons and earned a Super Bowl appearance in 2005. In Seattle, Dawson last held the title of Assistant Director of Pro Personnel and he originally joined the Seahawks as a Pro Personnel Assistant in 2001.
The Tennessee Titans released this statement today:
Lake Dawson is out RT @TennesseeTitans: #Titans announce changes to front office staff pic.twitter.com/w1Dy9xXbPR— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2015