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Randle El compares the Redskins and Steelers

Thursday's LaVar and Dukes show on 106.7 The Fan was possibly the greatest sports talk radio of the year. LaVar is coming from a certain spot on all things Redskins, and most of his listeners understand that going in, which doesn't change the fabulous content, including interviews with Carlos Rogers, Mike James, Rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts and Antwaan Randle El.

The latter was without a doubt the most interesting. Randle El has always been a fairly measured guy, and he was so again on Thursday, but he managed to be measured and fascinating at the same time.

LaVar and Dukes were obviously giving him opportunities to spill some dirt on the team that just released him; it's what journalists do, and the dirt is the stuff that will make headlines. But Randle El didn't just sling mud, mixing real criticism of the franchise's past with praise for some of the recent changes.

The Front Office

"One of the biggest things is that Dan has to have somebody that he trusts can go ahead and get it done," Randle El said, when asked to assess the franchise's front-office style. "I think he had that when Coach Gibbs was here. He let Gibbs just kind of have at it and build it back to where it needed to be. But I think when Jim [Zorn] came on, it wasn't somebody that I think he could really trust. And with that being said, I think [that] was some of the reason why I think he was involved, more than I think maybe he wanted to be. And that's what resulted in some of the things.

"Because as an owner, you understand [and] you know about getting players and that kind of thing, but when it comes to the actual coaching and running the players, that's tough sometimes. And I know Dan got involved with that a little bit more than he wanted to. But you can tell already with Bruce being involved and Mike Shanahan, guys who are proven -- and it's no knock against Jim at all, I still think that if Jim had some of the tools that he needed on offense we'd have been much better off and he probably would still be here -- but with having Bruce and having Mike there, I think you'll see a big difference. Because Dan can sit back and let those guys really do what he wants, what he expects. That's my take on my time here."

This is the kind of thing you'll read hundreds of fans talk about on message boards. It's not the sort of thing respected veterans often talk about on the record. Perhaps the best bit came when Arrington asked him to compare the two franchises for which he's played, the Redskins and the Steelers. This is long, but worth it.

Redskins vs. Steelers

"I think one of the biggest things...if you can look at family-based or family-oriented organizations, they've been the teams that have really won for a long time," Randle El said. "If you go back and look at the teams that are family-based, at some point they always rise to the top, always rise to the top. And the business side of it, it's like hit and miss sometimes, in terms of the teams who have a business perspective more so than the family perspective.

"And I think that's the difference here with the Redskins than it is with the Steelers. I mean, when you become a Steeler, you are accepted, that this is what we have, is you. It's almost hard to explain, but they weigh their options, they bring you in and they give you time to get situated and be involved. And same thing with coaches: coaches come in and it's almost as if 'Hey, we're putting our trust in you, we're hiring you, you get the deal done, however long it takes.'...

"They put time into it, they hire people they know they're gonna give time to let this thing kind of get going, and I think that's the difference. I think Coach Gibbs has been one of the guys that Dan has hired and has [stuck around] for a while. Other than that, I don't think there's been anybody that really has stuck for a long time. And I think that's what you have to do, you've got to hire somebody who you know is gonna be there and take your program, take your organization to a different height. And again, that you're gonna sit back and be able to trust and have that comfort -- as I was talking about before -- with that coach. So those are the two biggest things."

Then Dukes asked two point-blank questions; whether Randle El believes Zorn is a good head coach, and whether he believes Snyder is a good owner.

Is Zorn a good head coach?

"Yes, I think Coach Zorn is a good head coach," Randle El said. "And again, I go back and I'll say it again and I'll say it again until I'm blue in the face: if Jim had what he needed on our offensive side...We point to the offensive line, we know we had some injuries, but at some point they were trying to get some guys, get some other offensive linemen to make sure we were patched up.

"And that's no knock against any of the guys that we had, but we know the guys were getting up in age and they had some injuries and that kind of thing....We've got some guys on our team, on our offensive line, that they couldn't fill those holes. I mean, we had Casey, who was a pillar, we had Chris, we had Randy -- Randy went down and had been going down for a couple years. So we needed the offensive line to be patched up and we didn't get that. And it showed Jim's first year, and it showed Jim's second year, and I think that's the biggest thing.

"Other than that, I really feel like we'd have been winning. We competed this year with what we had, losing eight games by eight points or less and then losing four of those games by three points or less. So we competed, it just goes back to that whole thing: you've got to have the tools, you've got to be given the tools to lead that team."

Is Snyder a good owner?

"I think Dan is a great owner," Randle El said. "When I say great, I mean in every sense of great. Dan just has to continue to get back to that comfort zone. Dan needs to know that who I hired, I can sit back and let them run the show, and I think that's one of the things that he's gonna do here with Mike and Bruce being at the helm."

Arrington said that he obviously disagrees, but that possibly Snyder has changed.

"Hey LaVar, I can say that," Randle El said. "He has grown from when you was playing and when he was bringing in Deion and different guys. It was almost like he wanted to go and get 'em, go and get 'em, go and get 'em. Now he sees it a little better than he did when you were playing. Believe me."

You can listen to the whole thing, and the rest of Thursday's show, right here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2010; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A new day for D.C. sports
Next: Duke-Maryland time lapse


all Lavar wants is for these players who were cut to come on his show and bash the team and the owner. I'm glad Randle El didnt do it.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | March 5, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Me too. Snyder's delivery may have not been the best at times, but his heart was in the right place and he just wants the team to win. He went about it the wrong way, but hey, we all make mistakes.

Posted by: ivyleague | March 5, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Randle El didn't fair catch those questions. Finally....

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Randle-El is a class act...and is Lavar. I'm glad Lavar hung around DC. Kep up the good work WAPO Sports and 106.7.

Posted by: bbirdy202 | March 5, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I believe Dan is a good owner he just needs to trust the people he puts in charge and be more measured in FA. If they have needs them try to address them in FA. If they don't then use the draft and or trade. If he didn't spend money people would say how can we compete with an owner who doesn't spend money. That's when a good front office and scouting department have to do their jobs with what they got like the Steelers usually do. Hopefully Dan has learned and hopefully he has selected the right guys to lead his team. Also, coach up some of the the talent you selected and give them the opportunity to perform.

Posted by: Hackersk | March 5, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

This guy does love to hear himself talk. I'm sure he's got a TV or radio career in front of him... the problem is, players who are buddies with the owner are part of the problem here. ARE should have been let go a couple of years ago. Portis should have been let go two years ago when his skills started to decline (instead of essentially bidding against themselves to renew his contract and throw more guaranteed money at him). So instead of developing young PR's and RB's, here we are...

Posted by: jksesq1 | March 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I believe Dan is a good owner he just needs to trust the people he puts in charge and be more measured in FA. If they have needs them try to address them in FA. If they don't then use the draft and or trade. If he didn't spend money people would say how can we compete with an owner who doesn't spend money. That's when a good front office and scouting department have to do their jobs with what they got like the Steelers usually do. Hopefully Dan has learned and hopefully he has selected the right guys to lead his team. Also, coach up some of the the talent you selected and give them the opportunity to perform.

Posted by: Hackersk | March 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, just "hiring football people and letting them run the show" is not necessarily the way to go. You have to be smart enough to hire the RIGHT football people. It remains to be seen whether Allen and Shanahan are the right men for the job (but I hope they are!)

Posted by: jksesq1 | March 5, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comments from just-released ARE. Although, I would think no current player would think Snyder is not a great owner. All the dude does is overpay for talent. I wish my boss would be like Snyder and overpay me.

Posted by: tundey | March 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

So ARE is not exactly in the same league as CP. What a bummer for Lavar!

Posted by: KarK | March 5, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

RE: Dan Snyder

Amen Randle El. Amen.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 5, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barn...
Not trying to pick a fight, but wtf does that mean??

"RE: Dan Snyder

Amen Randle El. Amen"

I mean, the guy just said some nice things about the Skins, Zorn, and Snyder. That was about it.

It wasn't exactly a prayer.

Posted by: fargincorksucker | March 5, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

LaVar is such scumbag. He made millions from Dan Snyder, and all he is interested in is bashing him. Come on man. Get over it and be a real man for once.

Posted by: astrober1 | March 5, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

where was the jason campbell question?

Posted by: oknow1 | March 5, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

For one Lavar is a joke, if he knew anything about playing within a system just maybe he would've had a better career, but as always he wants to blame his misfortunes on others. Another thing since when did him and Chad become journalist???? I'll know Lavar has grown up and learned anything when he admits it was his camp which screwed up his contract not Snyder/Skins... Each and everyone of those players cut were all justified, just look at the films of their lack of highlights/shining moments, this doesn't mean they were bad players or I don't like them but the bottom line is the production and what have you done for me lately and at the pro level it's not a given that you'll make it and it's not a given that you'll stay...

Posted by: papaskynz | March 5, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Randle El is a class act...all the best to u El

Posted by: pathmo | March 5, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

THE SKINS SUXXX and will SUXXX for a long time!

Posted by: rlomax67 | March 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

When ARE made his comments about family-owned teams, I guess he forgot the Bengals are family-owned.

Posted by: bflorhodes | March 5, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Very thoughtful responses. It's a crying shame that he can't return a punt. Would be a good dude to have in the locker room. Now, if Shanny would just put Moss in ARE's old slot position and the big receivers out wide, we might have something. Moss is lightning quick and a natural for the slot.

Posted by: shanks1 | March 5, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I know LaVar is bitter and everything, but let's be honest here - letting him go was one of the few really good decisions that a Snyder-Owned Front Office has made.

Great comments by ARE. Offered insight without sounding all Bitter Betty like Rock.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 5, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

can someone please explain how that worthless bufoon dukes has a spot on a sports radio show. the blowhard knows nothing about sports, is always factually wrong and is unbearabe to listen to. they need to get him out ASAP.

Posted by: the_shocker1 | March 5, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ how Lavar is the 'problem'

Lavar didn't own this team and didn't run it into the ground for 10 years. Lavar didn't overpay for Deion or Archuleta or give a guaranteed contract to an almost done Portis or run after Jeff George like he was Joe Montana...some of you remember what you want to remember.

But revisionists that you may be, ask yourselves why NONE of the former Skins are around this ballclub except those that get a check from the Danny? It's because he doesn't want to add on to the legacy of the Franchise left by JKC; he wants his own at the expense of the Franchise. He reaps what he sows...

Classic Narcissistic behavior by the Danny

Posted by: kahlua87 | March 5, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

How does an interview of ex-Zard Mike James fit in with the interviews by ex-Redskin LaVar of Redskins recently cut by the team, as mentioned in the first paragraph?

Posted by: bmcconnell1 | March 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd think Dan Snyder was a "great" owner, too, if he overpaid me to come to Washington as a free agent, and then kept me on the payroll for four seasons of average, at best, production.

Posted by: TAS172226 | March 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Dan $nyder's heart is not in the right place, unless you consider your wallet to be the right place. Or the courtroom when he is suing you. Or his bogus waiting list.

For what you pay for a 16oz. Miller Lite, you can buy a freaking case. Yeah, his heart's in the right place all right.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | March 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Most all of that interview was a load of poo!
El, has been a good position receiver..period. He was a terrible punt returner. I think he had one of the lowest return averages in the league..year in and year out. He had no speed..but other than Moss, there was no one else to use as a wide out.
Snyder had Norv, and Marry..and fired them both. He hires Spurrier..who was terrible as a head coach. Gibbs II..was ok..but Joe was lost for his first two years in understanding the cap, and signing those over the hill vets!
I liked Zorn, but he didn`t have a clue about how to be a head coach. Snyder could not find a proven coach who would work for him and that idiot most all fans know.
Instead of making wine, John Kent Cooke should have been running the team. Snyder was suppose to be his partner..then cut him out of the deal. The Washington fans have suffered ever since.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | March 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Two other notable "family" organizations --1-- our own beloved Pollin franchise. Rose to the top over 30 years ago. Haven't come close since the '79-80 season. 2 -- the football Cardinals. Despite recent success, one of the worst franchises in any sport over the last 50 years or more. Maybe the Steelers are the exception instead of the rule?

Posted by: cgold | March 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I can understand why Randle El wants to stay away from the bashing. But let's not fool ourselves into thinking Snyder has gotten better. Bottom line the team still stinks and he has no respect for fans (sign ban, tailgate moving, law suits) and treats his employees like garbage (refuses to pay the overtime they deserve). Snyder is a terrible owner and has demonstrated that he is a horrible human being. I hate to say it but Emmit Smith is right, Snyder has no compassion.

Posted by: mcgratsp | March 5, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I wish most of these players would THINK before they speak. English - what a wonderful concept.

Posted by: dah1963 | March 5, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Snyder is horrible and Randle El was horrible. They should get homes next door to each other.

Posted by: kls1 | March 5, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Funkey says - BOYCOTT $NYDER!

Posted by: hessone | March 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder trusts no one.For those who say he has learned,he has had the team for 11 years.I think a pattern has been established.

Posted by: seanmg | March 6, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Lavar can't say the word "huge" Everytime he tries I'm forced to change the station. He is awful

Posted by: remaxjon | March 6, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

The commenters have been complaining about where the O-line was and where the O-line was headed for years. Randle El confirms what we were saying. WHY DIDN'T the SKINS DRAFT AND ACQUIRE enough linemen? I blame Joe Bugel for not making the case to the personnel people that he did NOT have the horses.

Again, it amazes me that almost everybody agrees that he game is won or lost on the line of scrimmage and then they go off and draft the skill positions. That's the Skins.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 6, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

who in the f is lavar what has he ever done?one of the most overated players ever

Posted by: bleedy1 | March 6, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Now, maybe, all of the Zorn haters will wise up. It wasn't Zorn's fault - Cerrato didn't give him an offensive line. No offensive line = no offense ='s a real simple equation.

When Zorn had an OL (first half of 2008), he was 6-2 against some of the best teams in the NFL, In fact they beat the Super Bowl bound Cardinals.

How short people's memories can be.

REPEAT after me - Cerrato was the problem - Cerrato was the problem.

There - now doesn't a little dose of reality help you feel better.


Go Skins!

Posted by: SkinsFan2111 | March 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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