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Redskins offer spot to Texans' public relations official


Updated, 1:12 p.m.

The Redskins have offered the senior vice president position vacated Monday by Karl Swanson, a long-time associate of Daniel Snyder, to Tony Wyllie, the top public relations official with the Houston Texans, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.

It's believed that Wyllie will accept the position soon and a formal announcement could be made this week.

Wyllie was not immediately available for comment. If he accepts the position, he'd be the first African-American to rise to senior vice president in Redskins' team history. (Bobby Mitchell was an assistant general manager with the team.) Wyllie has spent the past 10 seasons as the Texans' vice president of communications.

He bounced around early in his career and became the league's youngest public relations director when he joined the Tennessee Oilers in 1998. Two years later, he joined the Texans' staff in Houston, the same city where he was raised and attended Texas Southern University.

Throughout the course of his career, Wyllie and his staff earned the Pete Rozelle Award, presented annually by Pro Football Writers of America to the league's top PR staff, a total of four times, including twice with the Texans (2004 and 2007).

By Rick Maese  |  May 4, 2010; 9:24 AM ET
 
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Comments

This sounds like too smart a choice for the Danny-boy to make himself. He must have gotten input from Mike and Kyle.

Interesting to hear how Texans fans enjoyed their football experiences.

Posted by: Predator48 | May 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

moodly--You're right about baseball and the stadium experience, but the biggest problem with kids and baseball is explaining the game to them. They're raised on soccer which is very straightforward -- kick the ball into the net. Baseball? "You can run on a fly ball out, but only after you've tagged up." Etc. It is not an intuitive sport.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse


The baseball experience with your kid to me, is more about the father son sappy bonding thingy. Granted you may have to field a few elementary questions, but at least you know how to respond to "ICE COLD BEER HERE"!!


Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 4, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

FIRST to wonder why we're raiding the Texans all of a sudden...but happy to see the Skins finally hire a black high-ranking executive!

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Thank god I also have her playing soccer three nights a week.

Posted by: MistaMoe"

Well there's your first mistake, Moe.

If you want to keep your kid interested in baseball, the last thing you want to do is have her playing a real sport during the same competitive seasons.

Posted by: psps23 | May 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: psps23 | May 4, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Throughout the course of his career, Wyllie and his staff earned the Pete Rozelle Award, presented annually by Pro Football Writers of America to the league's top PR staff, a total of four times, including twice with the Texans (2004 and 2007).

By Rick Maese | May 4, 2010; 9:24 AM ET

I don't know, but that sounds impressive to me. Definitely seems like an upgrade to replace a Swanson with a Wyllie, a Karl with a Tony. Bring this guy on board and either he'll end the war with the WaPo, probably with a victory but at least a negotiated peace.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

too funny... do we have to offer draft picks...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 4, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Swanson is gone? What will we do without the Hungry Man TV dinners?

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Mr. Wylie….by the way, Swanson quit to spend more time with his family really means that he was tired of having to get behind the podium and explain why the team was suing old ladies who would have to sell their homes to pay for tickets that they don’t want anymore, and why fans are no longer allowed to bring signs into games that tell their US soldier husbands that they love them……your first task will be to explain why the team cut pensions last week. Swanson quit, so we haven’t held a press conference for that one yet. Now go get em……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

too funny... do we have to offer draft picks...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch

Yes, fifth rounder in 2015!

Posted by: Predator48 | May 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The baseball experience with your kid to me, is more about the father son sappy bonding thingy. Granted you may have to field a few elementary questions, but at least you know how to respond to "ICE COLD BEER HERE"!!

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 4, 2010 9:37 AM

Actually, it was more with my daughter than my son. He hated the game. My daughter continued to play and was on the Alice Deal softball team that won the DC Public Middle Schools Championship. The way you win that is to have a really good pitcher (which wasn't my daughter).

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

What will we do without the Hungry Man TV dinners?

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 9:41 AM

We've moved on to that soup that McNabb's mama is cooking up for us. That's the real soup, not Soup.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Mr. Wylie….by the way, Swanson quit to spend more time with his family really means that he was tired of having to get behind the podium and explain why the team was suing old ladies who would have to sell their homes to pay for tickets that they don’t want anymore, and why fans are no longer allowed to bring signs into games that tell their US soldier husbands that they love them……your first task will be to explain why the team cut pensions last week. Swanson quit, so we haven’t held a press conference for that one yet. Now go get em……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | May 4, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Eventually, all teams will cut pensions for coaches. The Redskins weren't the first team to do it.

And the dude's mother in law is on her death bed.

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"……your first task will be to explain why the team cut pensions last week. Swanson quit, so we haven’t held a press conference for that one yet..."

Swanson was described as a 'henchman'.

Does a 'henchman' even get a pension?

Or does he leave with the collection of heads he's created over the years.

Posted by: MistaMoe | May 4, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

moodly--You're right about baseball and the stadium experience, but the biggest problem with kids and baseball is explaining the game to them. They're raised on soccer which is very straightforward -- kick the ball into the net. Baseball? "You can run on a fly ball out, but only after you've tagged up." Etc. It is not an intuitive sport.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:00 AM

L-S, Looks like you if you took your little one to a baseball game you may have to actually talk to them.

Isn't that the point, you knucklehead..

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 4, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

And the dude's mother in law is on her death bed.

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 9:48 AM

I have a hard time with the logic of this. If she's on her death bed, then she's about to check out. Quitting his job won't help her. What's he going to do? Hold her hand 24/7? Maybe, but that sounds like taking leave, not quitting your job. I say he was fired.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

This sounds like too smart a choice for the Danny-boy to make himself. He must have gotten input from Mike and Kyle.

Interesting to hear how Texans fans enjoyed their football experiences.

Posted by: Predator48 | May 4, 2010 9:36 AM

probably about as much as we have, given their W-L record.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM

The biggest tell seems to escape you. "The dude's mother in law is on her death bed."

He was fired.

Posted by: Diesel44 | May 4, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time with the logic of this. If she's on her death bed, then she's about to check out. Quitting his job won't help her. What's he going to do? Hold her hand 24/7? Maybe, but that sounds like taking leave, not quitting your job. I say he was fired.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

He wasn't fired. Snyder said he would have liked for Swanson to stay for quite a bit longer. It was Swanson's choice to leave.

Having been through deaths in the family, when the elders pass it tends to give you perspective. If you have kids and you have the means to spend more time with them. More power to him.

I think it's pretty sad that the worst is always expected. Nature of people I guess.

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

FIRST to wonder why we're raiding the Texans all of a sudden...but happy to see the Skins finally hire a black high-ranking executive!

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

How about we just hire the best talent for high ranking executives, regardless of the color of their skin. I couldn't care less about the race of our newest executive. I just hope we got the best.

Posted by: drbatchelor | May 4, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time with the logic of this. If she's on her death bed, then she's about to check out. Quitting his job won't help her. What's he going to do? Hold her hand 24/7? Maybe, but that sounds like taking leave, not quitting your job. I say he was fired.

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM


Wow...there truly is no limit to your insensitivity. You do what Swanson did (if, in fact, he's truly leaving under his own terms) to support your wife. You do it to spend some quality time with the dying relative before they pass away. You do it to help those this death will effect the most. Saying that "quitting his job won't help her" is both obvious and shortsighted.

Most people don't have that sort of financial stability to make that move. God knows I would have loved to take a few months off or quit my job altogether to get thru my father's death. So if Swanson does have that flexibility, more power to him.

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

How about we just hire the best talent for high ranking executives, regardless of the color of their skin. I couldn't care less about the race of our newest executive. I just hope we got the best.

Posted by: drbatchelor | May 4, 2010 10:04 AM


No argument from me...100% agree on that. But this organization has a long history of (at best) overlooking black folks for high ranking positions--head coach included. So even though it's not the biggest deal out there, it is notable when talking about the Redskins.

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM

The biggest tell seems to escape you. "The dude's mother in law is on her death bed."

He was fired.


Posted by: Diesel44 | May 4, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse


2nd biggest tell: His position is filled a day later.

Posted by: Original_etrod | May 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"...I say he (Swanson) was fired."

If I can bite on a movie title "How Do You Fire Your Henchman"?

If you're Dan Snyder, you tell him:

"You didn't arrest the people who called me a Hobbit behind my back."

"You didn't make the handicapped access more inaccessible."

"What's up with you apologizing for the lack of hand soap and fresh water in the men's room?"

"You still haven't explained why our Asian fans run off to the bathroom with live eels and KY jelly."

"For some reason, you continue to pretend there are obstructed views in the stadium, and tell the complaining fans they are right about this."

"You didn't make Zorn's hiring sound like it was Vinny's fault, and both of their firings mine."

"Which, of course, we both were know weren't."


Posted by: MistaMoe | May 4, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty sad that the worst is always expected. Nature of people I guess.

Posted by: dfbovey | May 4, 2010 10:01 AM


I would chalk it up more to people using the "I'm leaving to spend more time with my family" line dishonestly. We've seen people use that as an excuse when they get pushed out by the organization. I remember Danny Ainge using that excuse years ago and yet took a broadcasting gig that requires a ton of travel. It's been used as a cop out for so long that people now assume it's a cop out. It's the present day equivolent of "my dog ate my homework".

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

This is good. Excellent.

Re: Swanson - It prob became a mutual understanding. They both knew his time has come. He was a good soldier for Snyder, but now he needs a new Bullet Proof vest....and he seems to have picked the top of the shelf vest....

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

No argument from me...100% agree on that. But this organization has a long history of (at best) overlooking black folks for high ranking positions--head coach included. So even though it's not the biggest deal out there, it is notable when talking about the Redskins.

Posted by: brownwood26 | May 4, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


I personally don't care about the color of his skin, but for his sake, I do hope it is thick, as I don't think his gig in Huston compares to the job that awaits him in DC...

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | May 4, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Wyllie was not immediately available for comment.

Hmmm PR gig. Head of public relation department…No comment?

I know, I know, he doesn’t have the job yet…It just reads funny. :)

Posted by: 2ndtierfan | May 4, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I recall the WAPO profile on Swanson a few months back and remember that I came away with the impression that he was the Herman Goering of the Snyder administration... the resident propogandist and head writer for Danny's department of liars... responsible for lending undeserved legitimacy and credibility to Herr Danny and his Stormtroopers... while they all hid behind the curtains and plotted the "ultimate solution" for unsuspecting fans.

Posted by: Vic1 | May 4, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why does it matter that he is afro american? Did that really need to be mentioned?

Posted by: leevi98 | May 4, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: beep-beep | May 4, 2010 9:52 AM

The biggest tell seems to escape you. "The dude's mother in law is on her death bed."

He was fired.


Posted by: Diesel44 | May 4, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

And you know he was fired because?????? You were in the office and work for Snyder and have inside info? I think some on here have gotten negative to the point that they alwasy seem to know more or always think everything reported is false...I mean come on really?

Posted by: leevi98 | May 4, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that people quit jobs too, simply because they suck or become unbearably boring. I would imagine working for DMS must suck royally.

Posted by: Pepper5 | May 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Did they interview a white guy for the PR job? My guess is they knew he was the right man for the job (based on accomplishments and resume, not skin color) and didn't pretend to interview someone else. Unfortunately, because of the Rooney Rule, teams have to play fiddle to affirmative action and "interview" minority candidates they have no intention of hiring. Did anyone in Redskins nation or the ownership want any other coach besides Shanahan? Absolutely not, but we still had to find a Rooney scapegoat.

Posted by: Section104 | May 4, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

New name: Washington Rexans

Posted by: nojunk4me | May 4, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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