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Posted at 3:44 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Snyder on maturing as an owner

By Dan Steinberg

(By Matt McClain - TWP)

One final item from Tuesday morning's D.C. sports owners summit at The Post. Daniel Snyder likely speaks less frequently than his fellow panelists, certainly than Ted Leonsis, and so his remarks were particularly interesting. I especially was interested in the part where Leonsis spoke at great length on his effort to investigate the quality of Verizon Center's Dippin Dots after an angry e-mail from a fan disappointed with the Ice Cream of the Future.

The moderator then segued into the value and perils of being a hands-on owner.

"That's extremely hands-on," Dan Snyder joked. "First of all, I think one of the disconnects always, at least with me, is the issue of being hands-on, [whether] you really are hands-on. And maybe we need to do a better job of explaining what we are and are not involved in. But your responsibility as an owner is number 1, field the best team you can field....Hire the right people, and give your people the best support you can, and give them the best financial backing, and that's what we're trying to do, I think all of us up here."

The moderator followed up by asking Snyder whether he's changed during his decade-plus of NFL ownership.

"I have. I've matured," he said. "I'm 46 years old now. When I bought the team I was 34."

And he was then asked what lessons he's learned.

"I think that you come in - and I'm sure all of us originally - you come in as a pure fan," he said. "And you don't appreciate the nuances of coaching or scouting or all of what's involved in the particular sport. And it takes some time to understand what that's all about, and how you have to have patience. The Redskins hadn't gone to the playoffs in eight years before I bought the team, and we were frustrated, so that frustration rubs off pretty quick. But I've learned to get the right people, and we did that with Joe Gibbs, we're doing that with Mike Shanahan, and I'm excited about where we're going."

He was also asked what the hardest part of being a sports owner is.

"Look at what an owner goes through, and understand that we feel so bad when we disappoint the fans and disappoint the community," Snyder responded. "And this season, we feel like we're close, and then all of the sudden you fold a little bit, and you feel like gosh, we let everyone down. That's a difficult, difficult thing to go through....What you do is obviously you're trying to push to the future as best as you can. You just feel bad. The beauty is you get ready for next season."

By Dan Steinberg  | January 11, 2011; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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When were the Redskins close this past season? Close to what? From Detroit game on, it was a disaster of a season.

And "get ready for next season" is what Cubs fans have been doing for over a 100 years.

Posted by: dcborn61 | January 11, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

But, Danny-boy is doing everything in his power to field a winner. He's just been the victim of some very bad luck........

Posted by: DixonTheDog | January 11, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Ted's interested in the quality of the phone booth's food(dippin dots) to enhance the customer experience. I'd suspect Dan on the other hand, would want to find a way to manufacture the Dots cheaper and with less ingredients, to maximize profit, so as to make the owner experience better. lol!

Posted by: Hattrik | January 11, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Snyder was a bad owner for many years...I think even he would admit that. The 2000 team was still in the playoff hunt when he fired Norv. In reality, he should have fired Norv prior to the 99 season (our best season since he bought the team) and kept Casserly. He later admitted he kept the wrong guy.

In his first few years Snyder made a ton of mistakes like charging for practice, firing Schottenheimer for Spurrier, firing Casserly for Norv, bringing in Jeff George when we had Brad Johnson already, bringing in Deion, Bruce Smith, etc..

But I truly, honestly believe he has changed his ways since then. Sure, there's still the occasional Haynesworth. But for the most part, he seems to have finally gotten it. Bruce Allen was a great hire, even though I long stood up for Vinny's eye for talent. Shanahan, I think time will tell whether that was a good hire. I don't like his style, but his results in Denver are hard to ignore.

This is a very big off season for the Skins. I would like them to hold on to all their remaining picks and continue to draft linemen in the 1st round like they have the last 2 years and get a young qb in the later rounds. Let's not go out and spend big money in free agency, let's continue to find and develop younger guys like Armstrong and Torain and keep building a young core. And...I know I'll take heat for this but, let's give Grossman a chance.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 11, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Little Danny has learned nothing and changed nothing. In 2009 it was Fat Albert. In 2010 it was McNugget.

And in 2011 it will be something else. Whatever the freakin' dumbest thing you can do is, Danny will do it.

Enough talk, Danny boy. We want action. Step one: sell the freakin' team.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | January 11, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"That's extremely hands on" said a midget on a booster seat.

No, Danny, making sure everything is just-right for your fans isn't the kind of hands-on we object to -- in fact, welcome it. The kind of hands-on we don't like is an idiot making fantasy football trades like a 13-year-old girl playing Pokemon.

Pull your head out of your rear, Danny. Your stupidity has made this team the laughingstock of the NFL. You're a punchline.

Sell the team, clown.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | January 11, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Today ESPN reported the new Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera, who ran a 3-4 defense for San Diego, "would continue to use a 4-3 based on their (Carolina's) personnel."

Now that's a smart guy!

Posted by: stillAfan1 | January 11, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Snyder is one of the greatest Redskins. It will be several years before we realize all the good he has done for this team.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 11, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Snyder, I truly believe you have given Shanahan too much power. He is clearly an egomaniac and average personnel evaluator. He screwed up countless drafts in Denver and will do the same here.

WE NEED MORE AND BETTER SCOUTS, and final talent decisions out of this guy's greasy palms!!

Posted by: iubiquity | January 11, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I do agree more scouting would help. If I am Dan, I go into the office and double the number of scouting positions by giving each current staff member an assistant.

Posted by: alex35332 | January 12, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The talent pool for owners is shallow already and we are at the kiddie end.

Posted by: fitzge | January 12, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Saying that you have "matured" and actually demonstrating it are two different things. I've learned you can't believe anything that comes out of this man's mouth. "We feel like we're close." Really? Your roster has next to no talent and the organization has given away most of its draft picks for aging veterans. Everyone else is getting younger and quicker, while the Skins get older and slower. You're definitely NOT close.

Posted by: stwasm | January 12, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

hattrick -- GREAT comment!

Posted by: bethesdaguy | January 12, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the people who work for Snyder like working for him?!?!?

Posted by: mdterps84 | January 12, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Snyder always speaks in platitudes, never anything specific or insightful. He's in over his head as an owner and the fans in DC have to suffer for it while he makes money hand over fist. He should take out a full page ad apologizing for the possibly irreverisible damage he's done to this franchise. It's an embarrassment. They are nowhere close to being a cohesive, solid organization.

Posted by: dbunkr | January 12, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Yep, as long as we the fans continue to pay $35.00 for parking(how sad is that in this economy), high prices for tickets, high prices for obstructive view seats, the salaries of these players, coaches, managers, broadcasters, and the overpriced merchandise everything will be fine in Redskin Nation. The folks that work for the Skins including the owner are laughing all the way to the bank as we continue to indirectly and directly pay for what is known as "Redskin Nation" Yep, maybe when the entertainment is extremely good you may want to pay these prices but lets be real the entertainment has been terrible. Why do we continue to pay? I bet if attendacne dropped big time things would change - they would have to. I wonder how much it cost to park in Pittsburgh, in New Orleans and so on?
When Mr. Redskin talks about the fans he is trying to pull the covers over your eyes. He may want to win badly but he does not care about the fans. Have you ever seen prizes, give aways, discounted food prices, or any good thing to help the fan who may not be able to afford this experience. Yep the rich keep getting richer and the fan coming from the middle and lower social classes has to save his money for years to afford one game.I am not complainng about not having the funds to attend a game or having the funds so my four children can attend, I am complaining about the facts. The actions that continue to be seen in "Redskin Nation" do not show actions of anyone caring about the folks that really make it all happen - the fans. Now lets take the Wizards as one example, they are already selling packages to get folks to the arena - nice gesture by Ted. Ted wins and the fan wins - what is there not to like about that.

Posted by: Baller1122 | January 12, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Not to keep contrasting, but Ted has had one free agent mistake (Jagr; evidence of learning from this is the Caps have not signed a single big money FA since and rarely trade picks or high value prospects) while Kim Jong Snyder has had several.

Also, has anyone noticed that whenever there is a has-been, troublemaker free agent, that the Redskins always come up as a possible landing destination (along with the Raiders)? If that isn't a sign of league laughingstock status, I don't know what is.

Posted by: playahatah | January 12, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

How freaking long does it take to mature as an owner? Snyder bought the Redskins in 1999; Bisciotti bought the Ravens in 2004.

Snyder had a five year head start but the organization is a solid 10 years behind where the Ravens are.

As long as Snyder owns the Redskins, everything they do and everything they represent is wrong.

Posted by: Scoonie97 | January 12, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"Shanahan, I think time will tell whether that was a good hire. I don't like his style, but his results in Denver are hard to ignore."
-->His results were average at best after Elway left. He had one great year, that one they made the AFC Championship and lost at home.

Posted by: break20 | January 13, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

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