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McCloughan Wants To Build Through The Draft

Posted Jan 9, 2015

The Washington Redskins on Friday formally introduced Scot McCloughan as their new general manager, who talked about his vision for bringing back the franchise to its winning ways.

Scot McCloughan knew he’d eventually be back with a National Football League team – he just wanted to wait for the perfect situation.

That opportunity came calling this week, as the highly successful personnel executive got an offer he couldn’t refuse: the general manager position with the Washington Redskins.

After a lengthy conversation earlier in the week with team owner Dan Snyder and President Bruce Allen, McCloughan was more than convinced he could help return a proud franchise back to its winning ways. He signed a reported four-year contract with the Redskins on Thursday, and on Friday, he was formally introduced at a press conference at the team’s Loudoun County, Va., facility.

“I’m very excited, looking forward to it,” McCloughan told a packed room in the Redskins’ team auditorium Friday afternoon. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but I strive for that. I’m going to outwork the next guy no matter what.”

A life of football
McCloughan brings to the Redskins a lifetime of football experiences, as well as more than 20 years of scouting and personnel experience in the NFL.

His father, Kent, played six seasons with the Oakland Raiders from 1965 to 1970 before joining the team’s scouting staff for more than three decades under owner Al Davis.

McCloughan recalled often watching film with his father in the basement of their Colorado home, and even as a youngster in elementary school, he would join in on scouting trips to nearby colleges. Scot began his own career in football in 1994 as a scout with the Green Bay Packers, where it didn’t take long for him to gain a reputation as one of the best eyes in the league.

In 2000, McCloughlan was named Director of College Scouting for the Seattle Seahawks. Five years later, he was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as their Vice President of Player Personnel before spending two seasons as the 49ers’ General Manager. He returned to the Seahawks from 2010-2013 as a Senior Personnel Executive.

Last March, after watching the Seahawks and several of his draft choices win their first-ever Super Bowl title, McCloughlan decided to leave the NFL to start his own company, Instinctive Scouting, LLC. One of his very first clients was the Redskins and Allen, who had worked with Scot’s father with the Raiders and knew exactly what he could bring to the table.

When Allen found out McCloughlan was looking to get back in the league, he didn’t waste any time trying to persuade him to join the Redskins.

“At the end of this year in conversations with Scot [we] found out that he was interested in getting back into the saddle, getting back to what’s in his blood, and what he really wants to make his life work,” Allen said. “We picked Scot because of his great track record, but really the way he describes a football player, the intangibles that he’s looking for in a football player, and the winning traits he has helped other teams acquire.”

Draft is the ‘lifeline’
After winning a combined seven games the past two seasons, Allen acknowledged last week that he would do anything possible to right the ship – including, if needed, a multitude of changes both on the roster and within its staff.

By signing McCloughan as his general manager, Allen is bringing in a personnel executive who loves to rebuild through the draft – and has a tremendous track record doing so.

While with the 49ers, for example, McCloughan orchestrated successful drafts that included Pro Bowlers Dashon Goldson, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley and Patrick Willis, helping establish the core of the roster that helped the 49ers to an NFC-best 36 wins and three consecutive NFC Championship berths across the 2011-13 seasons.

Draft picks selected during McCloughan’s tenures in various roles with the 49ers and Seahawks from 2000-09, including guard Steve Hutchinson and linebacker Patrick Willis, have accounted for 35 Pro Bowl selections and 12 first-team All-Pro honors. McCloughan also contributed to the 2011-13 drafts as the Seahawks’ Senior Personnel Executive, drafts that included two-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson.

McCloughan said understands the importance of free agency, but he thinks the draft “is the lifeline of your organization.”

“The thing I liked about what we did in San Fran, what we did in Seattle, we drafted our own, molded our own and re-signed the ones we wanted to re-sign,” he said. “So all of a sudden now, you train them how you want to train them.”

According to McCloughan, “in Washington, we’re going to draft these guys and we are going to draft them and mold them as Redskins.”

“We’re not going to have to go out to other organizations and bring in 32 and 33 year olds who have different plans,” he continued. “I think the best case scenario is you draft and mold your own and re-sign your own. But free agency is still there to be used to make your roster stronger too. You can’t lose sight of that.”

Impressed by Snyder, Allen
When McCloughan left the Seahawks to pursue his own scouting company last spring, he wasn’t sure if or when he’d get the bug to return to a position within the NFL.

Sure, plenty of teams had inquired about his services, but McCloughan found he was having fun devoting his time to watching tape and evaluating the top prospects in college without the pressures that come with a job as a team executive.

But as the 2014 regular season wore on, McCloughan realized he missed the team aspect of the game more than he anticipated.

“The thing I learned the most is I still like to watch college tape and write reports, but I miss the competitiveness on Sunday,” he said. “I miss the one team you’re with, you know what I’m saying? You get out there and the national anthem is playing, now it’s ready to go play ball, I miss that.”

So after determining McCloughan was looking to find his way back onto a team,  Allen and Snyder took the opportunity to meet with him for about six hours this week to gauge his interest in their general manager position.

McCloughan said he came away from that meeting impressed by Snyder’s passion for his team and its fanbase.

“The one thing with Dan which is incredible was just the fact that whatever it takes to win, let’s do it, let’s do it no matter what,” he said. “They deserve it – the fans deserve it, the players deserve it, he deserves it. You know, just to see – when you see a guy’s eyes light up like that and just see not aggression but you see him just get excited like a little kid, it was cool as crud, you know?”

So when it came time to decide whether or not to accept the Redskins’ offer, McCloughan said he had seen and heard everything he needed to bring his talents back to the league.

“Just the fact that me being an outsider coming in – like I said, I knew Bruce – but to just sit down with Dan and to sit down with Jay yesterday, this place is right,” McCloughan said. “This is my fourth organization, and like I said, I have been around a couple of good ones, this place is right. It is set to go the right direction.”

RELATED LINKS:
-- Bruce Allen: ‘Scot Was The Right Man’
-- Scot McCloughan Brings Success To Washington

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