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Shanahan enters, Snyder steps aside



Sure, this move was carefully orchestrated. Sure, it was focus-group-driven. Sure, there was a little smirk involved, as in "am I really doing this?"





But whatever. The number one most encouraging thing about Wednesday's Mike Shanahan press conference occurred before Shanahan said a single word. The men in suits gathered in one corner of the auditorium at Redskins Park: PR guy Zack Bolno, owner Dan Snyder, GM Bruce Allen, and Coach Mike Shanahan. Snyder shook Shanahan's hand. He shook Allen's hand. He smiled and some sort of joke was exchanged. And then?






Snyder turned and sort of sheepishly headed away from the podium, as the two men in charge took their seats and prepared for questions.

This, obviously, is something Snyder has never done before when introducing a new coach, even an interim coach like Terry Robiskie. Look at all these past photos of Skins pressers, and notice what the common thread is. There won't be one of those from the Shanahan presser. During the Shanahan presser, Snyder sat in the front row and watched as a spectator.





Of course, Shanahan did praise Snyder, lavishly, repeatedly, excessively.

"One of the reasons I am here is I've never met a guy that is more positive, more passionate about the Washington Redskins," Shanahan said at one point. Snyder wants "to do things the right way, give me every opportunity in this organization, every opportunity to be successful. And that doesn't happen very often in the NFL, where you go to a place and that person's gonna give you every chance to win a Super Bowl."

"Like I said, a guy that has more passion for this organization than anybody I've ever seen," Shanahan said later.

"There's very few people that I know that want to win consistently," he said yet later. "I don't think I've met a person that is more passionate about the Washington Redskins than our owner."

"I also talked to Marty Schottenheimer who was here, obviously, a year," he said still later. "And he said Mike, if that opportunity presents itself, jump on it, because you'll love it. Those are the things I look at, people who have been in the business, do you have an opportunity with the owner to give you the best chance to win? And if you have that as an assistant coach or a head coach, you feel like you're at the right spot."





The other striking thing about these visuals also was something missing: the three Super Bowl trophies. Fans and some media folks have lambasted the organization for trotting them out at every opportunity. Wednesday, as you can see, they were absent, earning immediate praise.

"I'm sick and tired of seeing those trophies brought out as if they have something to do with it," Brian Mitchell said on Comcast SportsNet. "It's time to start a new era and make something happen in your own way. You know, Mike Shanahan comes in, he has two Super Bowl victories. The Redskins have three. But that has nothing to do with the regime that's in place right now. They're out there to try to do something of their own, and I respect Mike, because he was probably part of the reason of saying let's not do that. Because that's disrespectful to Joe Gibbs. That's disrespectful to Jack Kent Cooke, to constantly roll these things out every offseason, and then once the season starts you do absolutely nothing that relates to the things that they did, the work ethic that they had to get to the Super Bowl."

So that was good. A few other observations.





* Faces of Shanahan? Can it be? He made this particular face when discussing Clinton Portis. His remarks were largely foreboding for 26, but he closed with this grimace while saying "I do love his work ethic, I love his toughness."

* He praised Redskins fans while describing how dang many of them were at the Hall of Fame preseason game in 2004, even though not a single Redskins player was being inducted. Fair enough, and I welcome the praise. But that was Joe Gibbs's first game back in the NFL after being gone 11 years. That's why it was insanely packed with Skins fans.

* He told Doc Walker he prefers to go off-site for training camp. Marriott points, baby. Who knows any good restaurants in Carlisle?

* He must have been reading this week's newspapers, because he offered this gem, sort of out of the blue: "Hey, we're the Redskins. If we've got any problems, it stays within our football team. Nobody goes outside the football team. It's gonna be a strong, disciplined football team, I can guarantee you that."

* And Bruce Allen earns major, major demerits. While introducing Shanahan, he quoted from a single newspaper. The New York Times. Sheesh. Couldn't we just call a truce for one day?

(Images by Getty, and via Comcast SportsNet.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 6, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

broken link?

Posted by: thediesel | January 6, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"I also talked to Marty Schottenheimer who was here, obviously, a year," he said still later. "And he said Mike, if that opportunity presents itself, jump on it, because you'll love it."

..... What? Why would he say that? He went .500 and got fired. This is confusing.

Posted by: REXskins | January 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Do we know if Marty Schottenheimer LIKES Mike Shanahan? That's just odd.

Posted by: zimbar | January 6, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

..... What? Why would he say that? He went .500 and got fired. This is confusing.

Marty's saying, to quote the Steve Miller Band, "Go on take the money and run woo hoo hoo"

Posted by: albatross | January 6, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I usually agree with B-Mitch on a lot, but he's out of line about the trophies. They are representative of the franchise, that's bigger than any regime or the tenure of any group of individuals. The players and coaches get rings; they can do whatever they want with them. The franchise gets trophies, and they remain with the franchise long after the individuals are gone.

Posted by: LouLewis | January 6, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess Shanahan couldn't tell that Marty was joking...

Posted by: acoberst1 | January 6, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"There's very few people that I know that want to win consistently," he said yet later. "I don't think I've met a person that is more passionate about the Washington Redskins than our owner."

Yup, most of the people I know hate that. Winning consistently--who needs it? That's why I root for Maryland.

Posted by: cao091402 | January 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Because Marty knew that Shanahan would have control and maintain it. Marty was fired because he wouldn't give it up.

----------

"I also talked to Marty Schottenheimer who was here, obviously, a year," he said still later. "And he said Mike, if that opportunity presents itself, jump on it, because you'll love it."

..... What? Why would he say that? He went .500 and got fired. This is confusing.

Posted by: dabnjab | January 6, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The best thing that they could do is to go back to Carlisle. They would not be over run with groupie fans and there would be some structure before the season.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 6, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Alright, everyone has a lot of passion!
The owner is passionate about a team he spent $800M to buy and Allen found a coach that is passionate about winning. So, we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Posted by: TheDubb | January 6, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Why should the organization call a truce for the Post? You earned your way into the doghouse -- earn your way out of it.

Posted by: jjhare | January 6, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

... What? Why would he say that? He went .500 and got fired. This is confusing.

Posted by: REXskins | January 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It seems like Marty's problem was with Vinny not Snyder. You can see from these comments, that while he criticizes Snyder he also praises him. With Vinny he didn't pull any punches.

"I've said for a long time, in my opinion the problem down there --obviously it starts at the top with Dan--but it is Cerrato.

"I don't particularly respect the guy. He and I had our issues when we were there. Basically what he said was, 'Marty, Dan may be listening to you during the preseason,' he says. 'But wait until I get up in the owner's box during the regular season, and then we'll see who Dan listens to.'

"Now how's that? How's that? And of course, he was gone within the week but re-hired shortly after I departed. So now, Dan, he's made his choice (some) time ago, but I'm not a big fan of Cerrato and his work."

Posted by: CapsXXVI | January 6, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

... What? Why would he say that? He went .500 and got fired. This is confusing.

Posted by: REXskins |

Well, using 20/20 hindsight, I'd say Marty realizes much of his issues here were likely Cerrato still being "around" Snyder, and considering what happened in San Diego, do you think Snyder would have fired Marty for only going 14-2? Heck no. So at some point, while not liking some of the rash moves Snyders makes, he probably came to realize that he, Marty, would have much preferred Snyder over the SD owner/GM had the rotten apple not been around.

As for Schot, what's odd is why are there reports of Marty telling Cowher to not consider the skins, yet here's Marty saying the opposite. That's something for one of these reporters to dig into :)

I can see 2 pts. 1) Dan will give you a massive paycheck, and if he reverts to his typical silliness, you'll have $35 Mill in the bank. 2) IF Dan has learned, and lets you RUN things correctly, you'll have more resources at your disposal than any team, only equaled by Dallas. Snyder is not one to say "no, I don't want to spend that much on a Free Agent or Draft pick", so while Marty/Bruce need to pick smartly, they'll never lack the ability to get the players they "want" to get. And I think that is something almost every coach complains about. And it's the 2nd option I think Schot is referring to when mentioning Marty.

Posted by: Rogueone | January 7, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they lost Snyder's booster seat during the renovation of the media room.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | January 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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