Norv Turner on Snyder and the Redskins
"I think we all know at some point, you're going to move on," Norv Turner said on the day he was fired from the Redskins. "It's time for me to move on."
In advance of this weekend's Chargers-Redskins game, Turner did a conference call with the D.C. media on Wednesday. Many of the questions were about his time with the Redskins. Turner took them all, including one final one I asked apologetically, about whether there's a good way for an NFL coach to be fired.
"That's not rude," Turner said. "You know, the thing I learned as an assistant, seeing some really good coaches get fired, that the stigma isn't what it [appears] on the outside as it is in the profession. You know, I worked for John Robinson and we were in the same division with the San Francisco 49ers. We won the division a couple of times, went to the championship game a couple times. I think he went to the playoffs seven out of nine years, and he got fired. He's as good a coach as you're ever gonna be around. So when you see something like that happen, sometimes it's gonna happen. It's not gonna end good in a number of these situations. And again, this is rehashing something, we won the division in '99, and we were 7-6 [in 2000], and that team had been hurt. We had a lot of people not playing. And it's a decision that was made, and certainly I walked away from it, but I didn't have any regrets about that. And I certainly never felt like I hadn't done what I was there to do."
According to The Post story from that time, Turner waited nearly two hours on the Sunday after his final loss for a meeting with Daniel Snyder. The meeting never happened. He went home, reported to work the next day, and was summoned into Snyder's office around 11 a.m., where Fred Drasner and Snyder gave him the word.
"With the schedule the way it is, the team can still be 10-6," Turner said then. "There's part of me that would like to be a part of it, and there's part of me that understands why it's important and it's necessary to make a change right now. But I do believe that can be accomplished."
"This was something out of need," Snyder said that day. "There are three games to go. We are in the playoff hunt. We felt it was in the best interest of the organization."
Turner was 49-59-1, and 28-39 in games decided by fewer than 10 points. That's not good.
But he was also 23-15 in his final 38 games. Since Turner was fired, the Redskins are 21 games under .500. The Chargers under Turner, meantime, are making their third straight playoff appearance, with a regular-season mark of 31-16. Turner said the Redskins' plight doesn't bring him any satisfaction, which is exactly what you'd expect him to say. Hard to believe.
"Not at all," he insisted. "Because every situation is so, so different. When you have the kind of change we had, and the expectation level is so great, people want to do things to make it right. And it doesn't mean they did the right thing or did the wrong thing. But obviously there's a lot of people that are very passionate in every city that has an NFL franchise, and there's a real passion to win. And I think someone has to do what they can do to try to help that process."
I asked what it was like working under Snyder; "Uh, it was, uh, you know, we..." he began. "It's hard, because it wouldn't be fair for me to talk about it in terms of the pluses and minuses and all that. You know, any time you get in a situation and it's brand new, football's a business that's different from probably any other business. And there were some times where it was frustrating and some times that obviously were great."
I also asked him what he remembered from his time in D.C., where he became the third longest-serving NFL head coach before his firing.
"I loved my time in Washington," he said. "The people there were unbelievably great to me. We had a lot more success than people remember, and there's a lot of players that were very successful during that time that I was very proud of: Terry Allen, and Stephen Davis, and Brad Johnson. Ken Harvey....And I think the thing for me, the experience of going through the turmoil of the ownership change, we had a lot of changes during that stretch, [which] helped me over the long haul. And then having the success at the end, and Brad Johnson playing the way he did and being a playoff quarterback and a Pro Bowl player, and winning the division there in '99, those are the things I tend to remember."
Unless giant wedges of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Emmentaler began raining down from the Southern California sky, Turner and Jim Zorn will shake hands sometime Sunday evening, and then a few hours or a few days later, Zorn will be fired. He will forever join Turner on those graphics of the many Coaches of Snyder, and he will one day be
asking answering questions like these. I asked Turner what it's like going through a season where your job security is questioned every week.
"That's a tough part of it, and I obviously have been in a couple situations [like that]," Turner said. "Sometimes it's hard because you don't feel it's warranted, but it is part of the deal....You have four-team divisions, and you have  divisions with four teams in it, obviously you're gonna have more last-place teams, you know what I'm saying? And it ends up being there's a lot of towns, there's a lot of cities where someone's talking about job security."
Posted by: peauxsucent | December 30, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rooster75 | December 30, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JohnnyBlades | December 30, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 30, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: blackjack65 | December 30, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: diesel_skins_ | December 30, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Burgundy | December 30, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rhbancroft | December 31, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jbanks979 | December 31, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bethesdaguy | December 31, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: peterandmeredith | December 31, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jbanks979 | December 31, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 31, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hubcap | December 31, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bethesdaguy | December 31, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 31, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rclow | December 31, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: zimbar | December 31, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: greatteamdan | January 1, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | January 1, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | January 2, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SkinsFan2111 | January 2, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mdpeterso | January 3, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JCM-51 | January 3, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.