SBD/February 16, 2017/Franchises

Redskins Analyst Wonders If Alcohol Is Why GM McCloughan Won't Speak To Media

McCloughan in '14 revealed his issues with alcohol in an ESPN The Magazine profile
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is "not being allowed to speak with the media," and former NFLer Chris Cooley "offered a fairly stunning possibility" as the reason why, according to Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST. Cooley, co-hosting a show on ESPN Radio 980 DC on Tuesday, said, "If you look at the history of Scot McCloughan, I think the one thing that you'd immediately start to flush out as to why we don't trust what he's going to say is that he's had a drinking problem over his entire career. And so you ask right away, is he drinking?" Steinberg notes Cooley's questioning of McCloughan was "preceded and followed by all sorts of qualifiers and caveats," but he also "publicly floated a pretty inflammatory suggestion, more than once." McCloughan "opened up about his issues with alcohol" in '14. Steinberg wrote of Cooley, who also serves as a radio color analyst for Redskins games, "You don’t often hear an NFL team employee publicly wondering whether one of his co-workers is battling alcohol problems." ESPN Radio 980 DC also is controlled by Redskins Owner Dan Snyder. Cooley said, "If you want to keep something a complete secret in the sports and entertainment world, then you have to be ready to have people speculate on it. And that's the position that we're in, so that's what we're going to do." Cooley: "I say number one, we've got to be concerned that he's in the right state of mind all the time" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/16). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote McCloughan, Snyder and Redskins President Bruce Allen may "not be thrilled" with Cooley's comments. The situation "provides another example of the dangers of team- and league-owned media" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 2/15).

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN: Former Redskins exec Gary Fitzgerald in a series of tweets argued the controversy is of the Redskins' "own doing." Fitzergald: "Shielding Scot McCloughan from media interviews w/out explanation only raises questions & leads to speculation. ... Cooley was wrong to speculate about Scot McCloughan & drinking, but #Redskins could have avoided it w/ more transparency. ... To be fair, #Redskins have been more open in recent years." Steinberg tweeted, "Seems like a couple ways this one could play out. And none of them seem super great."
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