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Snyder says he's "extremely hands off"

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

The general tone of Alex Marvez's piece about the Redskins this week oozes positivity.

The team's current front office, Marvez writes, "is beyond reproach." He writes that the Skins struggled with discipline last year, but that "all of that has changed." And after discussing past heavy-handedness from the owner's box, Marvez maintains that "those days are gone."

It's on this latter point that at least a few readers have found a negative. Snyder talked to Marvez, and told him that with his current front-office setup, it's not hard to fade into the background.

"I learned - and I think this has to do with Joe Gibbs - the most important thing for me personally is to have a head coach who is extremely competent," said Snyder, referring to Zorn's renowned predecessor. "That's what I've got with Mike. It creates an opportunity for me to be extremely hands off and not have to worry."

The "extremely hands off" and "not have to worry" parts will be pleasing to a great deal of Redskins fans. But the Joe Gibbs business seems a bit curious, if nothing else. As SB Nation D.C. put it:

How on earth can he say he learned this lesson from Joe Gibbs, when he didn't apply it until after Jim Zorn? Shouldn't he have said that he learned from Jim Zorn that a football team needs a competent head coach because after Zorn's spectacular flame-out Snyder realized he needed someone who actually knew what they were doing?

Out of curiosity, I went back and looked at Snyder's comments the day he introduced Zorn to D.C. He seemed to suggest then that Zorn was the right choice. I'm assuming he thought Zorn was competent.

"I said we'd be thorough and we'd conduct a full process and we did," Snyder said. "We did just what we said we'd do. What we were looking for was a coach with characteristics. And our characteristics were starting with character, a character person. Joe [Gibbs] has such character and I've learned so much not only about him, but about what I and the Redskins want in the future.

"We also talked about leadership, great leadership, but it starts with character. It starts with a person's character, their integrity, their smarts, their drive, their energy, their passion. We ended up with the right guy. We ended with a person that has all of those plus much, much more."

Some of this is quibbling over semantics, but the fact is, Snyder vouched for the last coach. If Zorn turned out not to be competent enough for Snyder to be hands-off, that's on the people who hired him. It's one thing for all of us yahoos to suggest that Zorn was not a competent head coach; it's another thing for the man who dubbed him "the right guy" to now say that.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 22, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Yes, but let's not forget the other half of the equation, Vinny Cerrato.

Cerrato is gone too and by all accounts, he had as much to do with Zorn's hiring as Snyder did.

Finally, let's not forget it was Gibbs' idea to retire again and nobody elses'. As a matter of fact by all accounts Snyder was blindsided by the whole thing and begged Gibbs to stay on as Head Coach but Gibbs already had his mind made up and wouldn't budge.

Posted by: CapsNut | June 22, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Yep, Cerrato. The constant in all the equations.

The guy who didn't have a competent QB in here when the Redskins actually were in the playoffs with the killer defense.

This will be interesting because a competent Head Coach with a competent GM is something this team hasn't had since Joe Gibbs first tenure here.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 22, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Snyder is a walking contradiction...You can't believe anything he says.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I just love how Snyder says "I learned" so often over the last ten years. This phrase became old after 2002. Go back to being a hermit regarding press matters and do yourself a favor. Better yet, since you have a been a so-called lifelong Redskin fan, you should sell the team, if you REALLY care about how they fare. Your last ten years could be viewed as one of the worst ownership decades ever, with Angelos a close second. Al Davis has a pass, he is just insane.

Posted by: netbeagle | June 22, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Take everything Snyder says with a grain of salt. He is a meddlesome, arrogant little SOB. If this season turns south he will once again step in and try to control things. Bet on it.

Posted by: dbunkr | June 22, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

the only difference i see is Allen and Shanahan are intent on improving the talent level on this team at every position. The bickering, the condemning of Redskins players still remains just as every other year.

Posted by: oknow1 | June 22, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't know, Snyder's comments seemed perfectly believable and understandable to me. I have long said Snyder started becoming a better owner the day he hired Joe Gibbs. And I don't think this really says anything about Zorn--you all are just reading into the comment way too much.

Posted by: Barno1 | June 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I read Snyders quote as "I only got involved (hands on) the last two years because Zorn was incompetant. I was hands off with Gibbs (mostly true) and will be with Shannahan (believable since he is a proven coach as well)."

Posted by: fushezzi | June 22, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Barno: if he became a better owner by hiring Gibbs, how come he didn't promote Gregg Williams after Gibbs retired? That would have kept continuity..that is, if he really became a better owner. Instead, he either decided to hire Zorn himself, or he listened to Vinny. Did Vinny have such a choke hold on him at the time?

On the surface, these latest moves seem for the better. However, I still can't fathom why the Redskins continue to dumpster dive and get washed up vet after washed up vet. How are we going to build a contender by getting garbage that people wanted to part with? Shanahan was a choke artist his last year at coaching, and Bruce Allen has a losing record as a GM/executive.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 22, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The damage has been done, and the bulk of it is at the feet of Schniedie and Vinnie. After all, these dorks gave Hamsworth a record amount of guaranteed money -- then expected a 370-pound all-you-can-eat guy to be ecstatic about working out, much less playing two or three sets of downs every other game.

"Where have you gone, Jeffy George, the Redskids turn their lonely eyes to you."

Posted by: perryneheum | June 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The thing that is obvious to me is this...Gibbs or Shanahan would have NOT taken the job unless it was understood who was buying the groceries and running the franchise. Vinny got to stay with Gibbs because he needed a guy to do the leg work for him. Zorn was just giddy to be a head coach anywhere and could be manipulated so that is why and the only reason why he got the job. Let what you see and not hear tell you what is happening..We wait until after the superbowl for spags to coach our team. He turned us down because he was smart enough to see the downfall of working for inept, disfunctional people like vinny and dannyboy. he took the rams job over ours for cristsakes, what does his actions tell, not walk away from that front office as it was being run..
SO what did Dan learn from gibbs...I say nothing. Look at the game Zorn got into portis's arse and was yelling at him on the bench. You never saw that again or even hear Zorn touch on it,he was talked to by snyder because portis had Dannyboy's ear and not the coach. So when your chain of command is this:

1) Napoleon
@) dufus incorporated
3) Certain players
4) Zorn/blatche
5) blatche/zorn
6) rest of team

I'd say we were lucky to win the games we did. So I hope that snyder has learned that him, combined with anybody running the team is automatic toxic. Throw an incompatant boob like vinny in and all you get is good radio and i'm not talking about vinny's weak show where he couldn't even take calls once they started losing because he knew the fans knew more then him and were willing to let him know it. Can't keep fooling the owner as fans call you a dumbarse every call! other words, when Danny is in charge, the circus is in town!
Shanny does not take the job unless it's understood it all stops and starts with him. To me, one big clue will be how buttersworth is handled. If he hits the field, snyder still has some say. If he doesn't, shanny is in control. believe what you see, not what is said....

Certain examples of this is Dallas and philly. as talented as the cowboys are, they cannot win it all with Wade being Jones lapdog and the players knowing it. They answer to the owner and not the coach.

Philly keeps winning because it starts and ends with the coach. good or bad, the players know who they answer to. simple dannyboy, you stay out of it and maybe, just maybe we have a chance to win.

Posted by: klangley69 | June 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This team will always suck with Snyder in the background. "Lack of discipline" is just a sugar coating way to say the players brought in suck. Other than Fletcher and Orakpo, no one else on this roster could start for NY, Philly or Dallas.

Keep brining in washed up vets and ignoring the draft and this team will continue to be bottom feeders.

Snyder talks about winning a Super Bowl... Give me a break. Set the bar a little lower. How about winning the division. Or winning A division game. How about not getting blown out at home by NY or Philly. Or scoring a TD against Dallas. This is stuff that keeps me up at night.

Posted by: Scoonie97 | June 22, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This team will always suck with Snyder in the background.

Posted by: Scoonie97 | June 22, 2010 3:27 PM

Did we "suck" in 1999, 2005, or 2007? Snyder was here, but I just can't recall...did we suck those years?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 22, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You can tell reading this that he isn't hands off but he probably thinks he is

Posted by: Bious | June 22, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course he's hands-off now. His new GM hasn't made a draft pick yet that hasn't worked-out well, and his new coach hasn't lost a game.

As soon as either of those things happens a couple of times, DS won't be able to help himself. He is the scorpion in the parable of the scorpion and the frog.

A scorpion is standing by a river -- wanting to get to the other side. He sees a frog and asks if he will carry him to the other side on his back.

The frog says, "You will sting me and I will drown."

The scorpion says, "If I were to do that, we would both drown."

So the frog thinks about it and decides to do it. "Climb on my back." the frog says to the scorpion. And they begin their journey to the other side.

Half way across the river the scorpion stings the frog. As the frog fights for his last breath, he says to the scorpion, "Why did you do that? Now we will both die."

The scorpion says, "I can't help it. It is my nature."

Dan Snyder can't either.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | June 22, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I thought about it a little more. Snyder is hands off. Prime example, Clinton Portis is working out!!!!

The coddling of select players is over. Allen and Shanahan have brought in talent 2 or 3 deep compared to the old regimes that protected players and the team essentially had no backups.

Posted by: oknow1 | June 22, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The midget has a dark heart; is a poor person and we are caught in his karma catching up to him. I'm rooting for Allen, Shanny and the team, but I won't spend a dime on them because it fuels the midget.

Posted by: nolngeraseasontixhder | June 22, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Did we "suck" in 1999, 2005, or 2007? Snyder was here, but I just can't recall...did we suck those years?

Posted by: Barno1 | June 22, 2010 3:37 PM

Good lord, son, are you using 10-6 and 9-7 seasons as ammunition to say we were a good team in those years? Those were "off years" in the 80s.

Yes. The Redskins sucked.

Posted by: jochpo | June 22, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Trust in Mr. Shanahan! IMO,Mr.Snyder has finally learned to let the GM and the coach do their thing! If he did not agree to be hands off he would not have coach Shanahan to run his team! The coach knows how to crack down and the owner better let him do his job or he will be coaching somewhere else!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | June 22, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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