4 best (almost) moments of Dan Snyder’s time as Commanders owner
By Jonathan Eig
Commanders hired Scot McCloughan as GM
OK – I can hear you already. You’re choking on bile. How could hiring a man who is largely perceived as a failed general manager by most fans be considered a highlight?
It’s because of what the hiring represented.
For the first time in his ownership, Dan Snyder seemed willing to entrust his organization to an actual general manager. Not to a coach who would also serve as one – a set-up that usually fails.
Not to a sycophantic crony who had no more business running a team’s football operations than the French Bulldog next door. No, Scot McCloughan had pedigree. Unfortunately, he also had demons.
McCloughan arrived in town touted as the personnel whiz who helped build the Seattle Seahawks into a powerhouse. He found tough, productive players, especially on defense. Best of all, he had no obvious ties to the owner.
It looked for a brief moment like Snyder had learned an important lesson about letting the football people make the football decisions.
The two drafts which McCloughan oversaw are viewed as washouts by many fans, but in truth, they weren’t that bad. If you slap the two together, it actually makes for one excellent draft.
First round – Brandon Scherff, second round – Preston Smith (who led the league in sacks by a rookie in his first year), third round – Kendall Fuller, fourth round – Jamison Crowder, fifth round – Matt Ioannidis, and seventh-round – Austin Reiter (who has won Super Bowls both starting and backing up with the Kansas City Chiefs).
Unfortunately, he also has to account for total busts like Josh Doctson and Matt Jones, as well as the bizarre story of Su’a Cravens, who it turns out, was a second-round pick who simply didn’t want to play football.
Even worse was McCloughan’s alcoholism, which led to a rather abrupt ending to his brief stint with the now Washington Commanders. But the idea – the idea was right. Snyder was prepared to relinquish at least some control to someone with pedigree. He just chose the wrong someone.