Tre' Johnson on Snyder Tactics: "It's Pure Comedy"
Tre' Johnson was one of the special few Redskins who served significant time under both Jack Kent Cooke and Daniel Snyder, and who thus had a baseline to compare the two experiences.
"Understand, man, my first seven or so years with the Skins, it was all under Norv Turner, Norv did things a certain way," Johnson said during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Parker & Parker show last weekend. "It was some consistency. Jack Kent Cooke died, that's when our state of flux began."
So, any good stories about the state of flux?
"I mean, he was always good to me," Johnson said, when asked about the relationship between Snyder and players. "I can't say anything bad about his personal treatment of me. I mean, he always treated me well. We were at the Pro Bowl, he flew myself and Brad Johnson out to his little house out there. We hung out, we had a ball. I mean, it was nothing but love. I can't say anything bad about him.
"But I have seen him put the squeeze on many a person, though. You better not cross him. If you're somebody he wants to make an example of, it's pure comedy. Like, I saw him cut Norv up in the locker room of the Dallas game once. I mean, I'm sure you've heard some of the stories, and most of them are true. He's definitely sitting there waiting, perching above, like impending doom. It's funny."
The Norv story comes from halftime of the game at Dallas, and even if you've heard it before, it's worth listening to again.
"You're in the middle of the game, we're not doing well obviously, and to see your boss get pulled in and get reamed like a child, you're like damn," Johnson said. "What [reaction] can there be? There's some giggles, some smiles, some head shaking going on....Him and what's the other guy's name, Drasner? They came down there and made their presence known, like the mob. It was real. Halftime, we're all doing other things, changing, making adjustments, changing shirts and gloves, but you're hearing stuff, you know what I'm saying? Like what's that, what's that yelling?...It was funny. It was a trip."
[Before I go further, I should say that Johnson has been promoting his first Skins-Cowboys Celebrity Golf Tournament, scheduled for this weekend at the National Golf Club in Fort Washington, to benefit the Boys Town Foundation.]
So, you want more good stories? How about a Steve Spurrier one.
"When I came back [from Cleveland], Snyder was the owner, and then we had your man Spurrier, and that was comedy all in itself," Johnson said. "This man, he may be a great college coach, but oh my God, it was crazy having him as a pro coach....I was basically crippled my last two years of playing ball, and was beat up.
I loved him because he came up to me one day, and we were going out to the back of the facility, and he's like, 'Tre', what the hell's this?' I was like, 'That's sleet.'
What is it?
" 'Sleet.' No, we can't go out in this. Go watch some film fellas, go to the gym, do something, we can't go out in this. Then Marvin Lewis comes out, NOOOOO COACH WE GOTTA GO OUTSIDE!!!. You know, Marvin was our conscience. You loved Marvin, but [it was] like, 'Damn Marv, we could have had another day off, c'mon man.' "
And what does Johnson make of the current fog of negativity and paranoia and uncertainty that's settled over Ashburn?
"I just think that's how Snyder works," he said. "I mean, you have to appreciate it from a comical standpoint. Like, he puts those passive aggressive subliminal messages in there. Because you know why Sherm Lewis is here. We all know how that shoe's gonna drop. We all know what's gonna happen.
"And it's something that he's done ever since I've been here, you know what I mean? There's always been some kind of sideways way of getting to the point of where he ultimately wants it to be. I mean, it's gonna be the way he wants it to be, regardless of the outcome....To bring a Sherm Lewis in to a Jim Zorn and whoever his offensive coordinator is, it's like bringing in another man to help teach you how to make better love to your wife or something. It doesn't work. What are you gonna do with that after he's done? I don't see where you can go from here, so it's a bad taste in everybody's mouth, I think no matter how it turns out. Because what role would he play next year or the following year? I don't see any positives to it."
So, Johnson's advice?
"If it goes well--let's say they did pull some miracles out and win 10 straight--the birds may start singing again, sky goes back to being blue and there's love in the world," he said. "If it doesn't, then Sherm may be wearing a bigger hat than offensive coordinator for the interim of the remainder of the season, should it go wrong. And you know that, everybody knows that, that's pressure right there. I mean, it's a pressure business. Now it's time for Zorn to big boy up and be like, 'No, I'm not gonna sit here and take this lying down. We're gonna come back, I believe in my system, we're gonna do what we do. We're gonna either put together a good product, or we're not.' Live and die as a man, and walk away from it if it doesn't go right."
If this all hasn't been depressing enough to you, Johnson was asked about the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry, since his golf tournament is playing off that feeling.
"I mean, back in the day it was between one of those two teams who was gonna win the division," he explained. "So you just had a natural disdain for one another, because it was for the championship of the league and that guaranteed playoff spot....Now I think that, I don't know, we've experienced some bad times here in Washington from some of the teams we've put out. So we're not that much of a threat any more."
October 15, 2009; 2:01 PM ET
Categories: Media , Redskins
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