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Daniel Snyder feels Redskins are 'going in the right direction'

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder met briefly with reporters today and says he's excited about the new direction the organization has taken the past few months. While optimism and hope are common themes around Redskins Park during the offseason, Snyder said this year, "it feels different,"

"We had two rough years. This feels really like we're going in the right direction," Snyder said. "Really excited about it. I'm having a lot of fun. This guys are incredible and really fun to work with."

Snyder met with reporters Saturday afternoon following the unveiling of a renovated youth football field in Northeast Washington. The field looks great, and we'll have more on that later today. But Snyder doesn't talk often with reporters, so let's go over a few things he had to say.

First, you can add him to the list of people at Redskins Park who wishes defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth would show up for the team's voluntary minicamps and offseason training activities (OTAs).

"I'm disappointed he's not here. Absolutely," Snyder said. "We're expecting our players to lead by example, and we're expecting our players to understand that they're Redskins and they need to be here."

But he is happy with some of the faces who have been around. Snyder hadn't spoken with reporters since before the team acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb in a trade with Philadelphia.

"Donovan, you talk about on the field -- it's off-the-field with me," Snyder said. "It's his leadership ability that stands out with me."

Asked whether the team will be able to extend McNabb contract before the start of training camp, Snyder said, "We'll be okay."

There was a lot of talk about how different the attitude around the organization is right now. Saying "the past is the past, we're excited about the future now," Snyder clearly feels the team is headed in the right direction.

"It's exciting. You can feel the energy, the excitement out of Mike [Shanahan] and Bruce [Allen] and now adding Donovan really gets us going," he said. "We have a lot of confidence -- we've restored our confidence."

To do that, changes needed to be made. Snyder replaced Vinny Cerrato with Allen as general manager, ousted Jim Zorn and hired Shanahan and oversaw the trade for McNabb. Given the state of the team at season's end, change was needed, the owner says, and he can feel a culture change.

"It was necessary. We were 4-12 and going in the wrong direction," he said. "All of the changes are to get us going in the right direction.

Obviously, the pedigree and the success of the people that I've brought in, you could tell we're going in the right direction. We're really excited about it."

"I think the biggest change is there's new people now. We had the great Joe Gibbs for quite some time. I feel like we got close a few times. I feel good about those days. And then we had a couple of bad years. Now we got to get those behind us and move on, and that's what we're doing."

There's been a lot of buzz abut Snyder taking more of a hands-off approach with his new regime. It's apparently not a characterization that he lends much credence to.

"I think the approach has always been a little bit more hands-off then probably written about or reported about," he said. "But you need to ask Bruce about my involvement with him and Mike. He'll tell you how they feel."

By Rick Maese  |  May 15, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
 
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Comments

My first FIRST

Posted by: rjohnson66 | May 15, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

My first FIRST

Posted by: rjohnson66 | May 15, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse
======

Please post your mailing address so we can send you your certificate and official t-shirt commemorating the accomplishment.

Posted by: nojunk4me | May 15, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

All year long, I had a strong belief that the Redskins were heading in the right direction. Now Snyder says HE thinks we're heading in the right direction too, and, suddenly, I'm not so sure anymore.

It's just like 4 or 5 years ago when I knew global warming was a reality... then George W. Bush came out and said he believed global warming was real, which, of course, caused me to suddenly doubt the reality of global warming!

Posted by: jgarrisn | May 15, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"We had two rough years."

"We have a lot of confidence."

"I feel like we got close a few times."

more like 11 rough years.

not me, appreciate the optimism... but results matter.

was he aiming for 32nd place?

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 15, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Donovan, you talk about on the field -- it's off-the-field with me," Snyder said. "It's his leadership ability that stands out with me."

Well, Mr Snyder, it's on-the-field with me. I'll try to withhold judgement until I see what happens on the field.

Posted by: Alan4 | May 15, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right, for Donovan McNabb substitute Jeff George, Tony Banks, Patrick Ramsey, Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel, Tim Hasselbeck, Mark Brunel, and Jason Campbell. They were all gonna lead us to victory. Snyder, you're a loser. Give us our team back and go away.

Posted by: Bob22003 | May 15, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

again, the Skins are winning the off-season Super Bowl and the boy king is feeling full of himself yet again...same old song and dance we've been hearing for 11 years under this owner.

finally, i must say, however, this Shanallen group is doing a good job so far, but the real test occurs during the season, not before it.

i'll feel more comfortable when Skins fans feel good about their team's performance DURING the season than little Danny's reaction BEFORE the season..

Posted by: dc1020008 | May 15, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I, too, feel the positive vibe Shanahan and Allen have created, and think the team is headed in the right direction, despite Danny's endorsement..Victory heals all wounds, Dan, keep on truckin'..

"Don't forget that Dallas earned the name, "America's Team". The DMV is still in America, regardless of how we think of ourselves, so it follows that there will be a representative sample of people from this area who identify with the Home Country Team, rather than their Home Town Team.

Posted by: beep-beep "

And like the Yankees, they are America's Most Hated team as well..

Palin is just a diversion, the Republicans are back in the lab, waiting to unleash...THE TERMINATOR!!! They'll tolerate some Cali-style liberalisms just so long as AH-NOLD lets the Warmachine indulge in some imperialisms..


Posted by: frak | May 15, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Snyder's 11 year record is indefensible, however in Snyder's defense, it seems that he has put pieces in place that emulate a successful organization. Now the organization can put talent on the field.

The past is the past, and since he's trying to right the ship, I'm gonna give him some time.

Posted by: rickyroge | May 15, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It's just like 4 or 5 years ago when I knew global warming was a reality... then George W. Bush came out and said he believed global warming was real, which, of course, caused me to suddenly doubt the reality of global warming!

Posted by: jgarrisn

I'm gonna have to see the paperwork on that, because I sure as hell never remember GWB ever making such a statement.

If, however he did, and didn't recind it as misspeaking, I' prefer to think along the lines that Global climate change is so obvious, even Bush accepts it.

I imagine there are some converts down on Music Row these days, too.

Posted by: TheCork | May 15, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

For all the coaches Snyder has hired, only 2 have been good. Marty and Shanahan. Of course, Marty was making some good things happen when Snyder canned him. Gibbs, who still was a great leader, had been away from the game too long -- and it showed.

Snyder has never hired a good GM. The 2 degrees (BA and MS) have never shown themselves to be especially good at the GM job.

We'll definitely see a quality difference on the field. The team will be prepared, make less dumb mistakes and they won't sleep through the 1st quarter.

Its definitely a better direction. Now, lets hope the OL can block someone ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | May 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah ... did anyone ask The Owner the important question? Where is Mr. Snyder on the RedDMV v. scampbell matter?

Posted by: dcsween | May 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Since when is Dan Snyder a competent judge of leadership, on or off the field? As owner, he's sure done a bang up job of "leading," hasn't he? I feel sick to my stomach everytime I hear him refer to he Redskins as "we."

Posted by: dockeppins | May 15, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan, nobody cares what you or anyone else on the team says as words are easy and meaningless (as the last decade demonstrates). We aren't stupid. Really. Just WIN. And when you WIN, let your WINNING speak for you.

Posted by: KRIKET | May 15, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

One wonders how Snyder will react if Shanahan and Allen aren't successful right away which is likely. Anytime you have a new coaching staff with new offensive and defensive systems it will usually take some time to adjust even with good personnel (and coaches).

Will Snyder have the patience to let things develop? Considering Shanahan's pedigree there will likely be more leeway. But he shouldn't expect the team to go deep in the playoffs the first year like he did when Zorn first took over, even with Shanahan as the coach.

Posted by: cannontl | May 15, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Snyder deferred to St Joe when he was here, and he is right, they did "get close" a couple of times. They were in the hunt, but did not have the complete package to get over the hump. JC17 is a fine and honorable man, a physical talent with the grit to hang in the when the going gets tough and he is getting azz planted every third paly, but is missing the "it" factor that truly excellent top 5 NFL QBs possess. JC was St. Joe's one glaring error in Part Two. Close, but no cigar. You can win with Ryp and Schroeder and Doug Williams and Thiesmann if you have all the pieces around them. JC NEVER had ENOUGH of the rest of the pieces around him to win. Expecting him to carry that extra load is and was a mistake. He was destined to collapse under the weight of carrying the team, and he did.

St Joe's sudden retirement in year 4 of 5 following the ST21 tragedy was completely understandable. It also caught Dan completely flat footed as he had to hurriedly put a coach search in place when there were no really obvious and excellent choices available. They backed into Zorn by default and false hope was raised at 6-2. Normalcy (for that group) returned over the next 24 games.

Why no Williams hire? Simple. He started 10 guys on D against Buffalo w/o clearing or possibly even counter to St. Joe's wishes. I get why the players wanted to do it, i get why Grilliams thought it was the thing to do, and I get why St Joe would never do that because he would view it as disrespecting the game.

Dan Snyder has always been ready to spend the money that his staff recommends he spend. He says "what do we need to get better and win a superbowl" They say "we need a dominant pass rusher", he says "who is the best", they say AH, he says roger that he'll be here. And he is.

The difference now is that Allen and Shanahan are determining who to get and how much to spend rather than Vinny and Zorn's staff.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | May 15, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Since when is Dan Snyder a competent judge of leadership, on or off the field? As owner, he's sure done a bang up job of "leading," hasn't he? I feel sick to my stomach everytime I hear him refer to he Redskins as "we."

Posted by: dockeppins | May 15, 2010 3:29 PM

Say what you want about his leadership, judgement of leadership, football management skillset, sanity, but you cannot doubt his desire. He wants to win, and he is willing to do anything to get it. Was he instantly successful after purchasing the Redskins? No, he had terrible advice from Cerrato but he's not really an idiot. He's learning and now emulating solid, successful teams. And if he really learns and becomes a great owner while he's young (he's 45) then we can look forward to another 30+ years of great ownership.

Posted by: Keiser | May 15, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Well put Keiser. And lets face the fact that we should get on board and hope he is successful, because he is going to be the owner for a long long time to come.

How long did the Steelers completely suck before they finally figured it out, and brought in Noll, Cowher and Tomlin? 41 years, 3 coaches.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | May 15, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hiring the right people, trusting them to make the right decisions, and even standing behind them when they have a player personnel issue like the one they have with Fat Albert. Sniff... Our little owner is growing up.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

All year long, I had a strong belief that the Redskins were heading in the right direction. Now Snyder says HE thinks we're heading in the right direction too, and, suddenly, I'm not so sure anymore.

It's just like 4 or 5 years ago when I knew global warming was a reality... then George W. Bush came out and said he believed global warming was real, which, of course, caused me to suddenly doubt the reality of global warming!

Posted by: jgarrisn | May 15, 2010 2:45 PM
-------------------------------------------
Yeah, it's kind of like when Obama told us he was going to take on the medical insurance companies, and then he signed a bill into law that made them all more profitable. Now I am thinking I should sell my Aetna stock...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

cannontl, you asked all the right question: Will Snyder have the patience to let things develop?

I expect a competent team, but I peraonally don't expect a playoff team.

What will Snyder do if/when:

- The O-line breaks down (and puts McNabb at risk)?
- McNabb shows why Philly fans dubbed him "Low Throw Mcblow"?
- The young wideouts look immature and the old wideouts (Galloway?) look old?
- The RBs look old?
- The 3/4 defense doesn't play to personnel strengths?

These are all real possibilities, but if Snyder changes direction too soon we'll be right back where we started.

Posted by: Alan4 | May 15, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

looks like some folks r never satisfied. we've asked him to get some folks in here that know football and hes done that. the proof in the pudding will be the wins of course but one has to applaud what danny boy has done so far. i'm looking forward to the season and finally competing in the nfc east.. HTTR

Posted by: cboyhater | May 15, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

How is it possible that jr reid doesn't know what OTA stands for?

The 'skins tied San Francisco yesterday in a poll about which non-playoff NFC team is most likely to return to the playoffs this year. They beat the giants among others.

Good job Shanallen; STFA Snyder.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | May 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"and oversaw the trade for McNabb"

Whoa, Mr. Councilman Maese. Did you mean to write that? Did Snyder have anything to do with McNabb's acquisition? Because that's not really hands-off at all, is it?

Changing gears, I was exceptionally disappointed when Dale Lindsay doghoused LaVar, but I think it's worth a roster spot to do the same to Haynesworth at this point. You've already paid him. If he gets to play DE instead of NT and still takes his toys and goes home, keep him around and don't play him. See how he likes those apples. Don't pay him up front and then cut him loose. In this single case, I think it's time for the employee to listen up to the employer. Show up, Albert.

Posted by: WorstSeat | May 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Alan4, Snyder recognizes these risks, because Shanny and Allen told him they are there.

What I see is a team trying to flip the roster while not ceding complete suckitude and going 2-14.

3 draft picks were spent on the Oline. Its long overdue, and a good start. Suddenly Rabach is the long tooth. The oline is going to be younger and better than last year. Will it be good enough? Don't know, but we are gonna find out.

This is put up or F off year for MK12 and DT11. If they suck, more attention gets paid to the WR corps. If they step up, resources are spent elsewhere... LB would be a great place to focus next year the way things look now.... or maybe RB depending on what Torrain does. He might be a longer term solution. Maybe not. We'll see.

I think we are looking at a 3 headed monster this year... and it won't be bad. 3 x 500 yards is 1500 rushing from the RB spot. You can get 10 touches a game from 3 RBs for 30 touches a game, and nobody goes over 160 touches for the year. That makes 93+ yards a game rushing for 3.125 yards a rush.

Drop that to 24 rushes per game (8 rushes per back for 128 total rushes per back on the year) for ease of math and you are at 3.9 yards a crack.

I think this is the plan for the year, spread the load, spread the wealth at RB, and use 'Tana, Cooley, Davis, Kelly, Thomas and whoever else to keep 8 out of the box and give the linebackers something to do besides stuff the run. The oline is the key. If they are better and can protect and shove, its game on. If its no push and they are turning around to pick DMac5 up off the field all season, well, we've seen that show. On paper they are much better. Paper doesn't count, and its why they play the games.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | May 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder is a good owner compared to other owners who won't spend and watching every cent. It should be a good year for the Redskins.

Posted by: thorhero | May 15, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder is a good owner compared to other owners who won't spend and watching every cent. It should be a good year for the Redskins.

Posted by: thorhero

He spends money on players who become a burden instead of helping us win, how is that being a good owner considering that the fans really provide the revenue?

Factoid: one third of the NFL teams are owned by jews; not that it bothers me, it's just unexpected.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | May 15, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I generally agree with him and I am not a Skins fan.

The talent on the Skins is not terrible. With the right offense, the D can get better. With an OL that is decent, the O can produce some with a good QB which they got.

The Skins could win 8-9 games which is a HUGE improvement

Posted by: Bious | May 15, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

He spends money on players who become a burden instead of helping us win, how is that being a good owner considering that the fans really provide the revenue?


This is a failure of Snyder's managment and coaching teams, which is a hiring failure on Snyder's part.

It appears to me(and I don't think I'm alone here) that he has significantly improved in this area with his most recent hires.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | May 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse


Dan $nyder is excited about all the money he will make off the continued exploitation of the Redskin fans...season tickets, sky-high parking, replacement of obsolete jerseys, merchandise, etc., etc., etc...all at premium prices for a mediocre team.

Redskins own the NFC East BASEMENT and I don't see that changing.

Posted by: JCM-51 | May 15, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

beeps... new post about watching grass grow.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 15, 2010 5:10 PM

the WABAC machine got turned on in reverse, so the comment above actually appears on the next thread.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | May 15, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Factoid: one third of the NFL teams are owned by jews; not that it bothers me, it's just unexpected.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | May 15, 2010 4:53 PM

That's because they use their money to build businesses instead of buying Lamborghinis, going to Las Vegas, and generally doing this:
http://youbeenblinded.com/jamarcus-russell-is-wearing-out-his-contract/5976

Posted by: Keiser | May 15, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Same owner who never learns. Same old story for the Deadskins.
Redskins go 3-13 and 5-11 and Mikey bails on the team. Mcnab
plays a total of 9 games over the next two seasons. Deadskins still have CP, Fat Albert, and the only TE in the NFL whose IQ is less than his Jersey number.

Until Snyder sells the teams, croaks or is gets divorced it will just be more of the same.

Posted by: sheepherder | May 15, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"He spends money on players who become a burden instead of helping us win, how is that being a good owner considering that the fans really provide the revenue?
Factoid: one third of the NFL teams are owned by jews; not that it bothers me, it's just unexpected.Posted by: monkeymayonaise"

What was unexpected was to read that 'factoid', apparently apropos of nothing. Did you have a point?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I think everybody agrees that Snyder has been trying to win with the Skins. The evidence suggests that he doesn't know how to do it.

The things that made him successful at a young age in business -- boundless energy, relentless marketing, unbridled aggression, and an instinct for taking risks -- seems to have worked against him in building an NFL franchise. He's made beaucoup bucks, of course, but making money is not how you measure success in the NFL. It's still a playground for rich folks. If you have to ask whether you have enough cash, you shouldn't own the team.

The owners who build the really successful franchises, the ones that win multiple titles, are usually people like the folks who own the Giants, the Steelers, the Pats -- calmer types who don't need to exercise tight control over the operation. The owner in Denver was like that for some years, but I think he made a big mistake when he fired Shanahan. I bet he's second-guessing himself.

We used to have an owner like that in Jack Kent Cooke. Few tougher businessmen, few with bigger egos, but he kept it in check most of the time. Nothing worse for building a winning franchise than too many changes.

The guy who has to manage Snyder is Bruce Allen. He's known for it. Of course, he's been fired by difficult owners before (the Glazers, Al Davis) and who's to say Snyder will remain quiescent?

Snyder could learn

Posted by: Samson151 | May 15, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Come on folks, of course, Danny feels "we" are headed in the right direction.
He has always sincerely attempted to win.

a. When Norv and CC were at odds, he sincerely felt he should keep his coach, but Norv was not a leader.

b. He hired Marty Schottenheimer because he was a leader of men. But found Marty wanted to be GM, Coach and run the whole show; Danny removed him.

c. He hired Spurrier and brought in Free Agents, and former Gators and the team went to the bottom of the league.

d. He brought in Coach Joe and Gibbs 2.0 did turn around the environment resulting in two playoff years.

e. But yes, his reputation and having Vinny as GM were such that no good coach would come so he was stuck w/ "Be Medium" Zorn.

f. Now he has removed Zorn, hired two experienced men, and has stepped largely aside.

Of course he thinks it is the right direction, what else should he think?

Posted by: RedskinRay1 | May 15, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Plain and Simply, Dan Snyder as Owner is a Jinx on The Redskins. The Hex Will Be Lifted Only When He Sells the Team and Goes Away.

Posted by: chilliwack | May 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

3 draft picks were spent on the Oline. Its long overdue, and a good start. Suddenly Rabach is the long tooth. The oline is going to be younger and better than last year. Will it be good enough? Don't know, but we are gonna find out.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe

Are they really younger? Not much!! Will they be better? There are a lot of question marks -- but I do expect they'll be better than what we put out there most of last season.

Sept 1, 2009
Chris Samuels 32
Stephon Heyer 25
Randy Thomas 33
Derrick Dockery 28
Casey Rabach 31
avg 29.0

Sept 1, 2010
Trent Williams 22
Artis Hicks 31
BMW 30
Dockery 29
Rabach 32
avg 28.8


Posted by: zcezcest1 | May 15, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Well Frank,

It looks like the "Mayor" won't get re-elected.

/\

It's funnier if you imagine David Caruso saying it at the beginning of a CSI Miami episode.

Cue the Who musics Frank.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | May 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

A POS excites me about mid-morning.

Posted by: seanmg | May 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Say what you want about his leadership, judgement of leadership, football management skillset, sanity, but you cannot doubt his desire. He wants to win, and he is willing to do anything to get it. Was he instantly successful after purchasing the Redskins? No, he had terrible advice from Cerrato but he's not really an idiot. He's learning and now emulating solid, successful teams. And if he really learns and becomes a great owner while he's young (he's 45) then we can look forward to another 30+ years of great ownership.

Posted by: Keiser | May 15, 2010 3:50 PM

I do doubt his desire. His record in 11 years shows that he wants to run the show more than he wants to win, because what he has been doing has not worked. At all.

I have an open mind about the team, and hiring Shanahan and Allen is a promising first step. But Snyder patently doesn't know what he's doing. Unless Snyder stays the hell out of the way, it will be more of the same. He is no more competent to run a professional football operation than a ham sandwich is.

Posted by: dockeppins | May 16, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
Yeah, it's kind of like when Obama told us he was going to take on the medical insurance companies, and then he signed a bill into law that made them all more profitable. Now I am thinking I should sell my Aetna stock...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | May 15, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Right... it was soooo nice of Bush and the Republican congress of the 2000s to leave Obama the Health Care crisis... you know, because 2 wars and a Financial, Debt, Economic, and Housing Crisis were just not enough of a challenge!

Posted by: jgarrisn | May 16, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Remember that ol' Danny boy made his gazillions as a marketer and pitchman. So what do you expect him to say? "Ah, gee, um, I'm not certain how things might go this year so you had better hold off purchasing those very expensive corporate box seats until perhaps the fourth of fifth game to see whether we really have it."

It's like Danny boy probably said on more than one occasion to one or more of his employees. "talk is cheap, results rule!"

Posted by: dlpetersdc | May 16, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I believe the Skins are headed in the right direction. They'll still finish last in the NFC East this year cause they are the least talented of the 4 teams. But at least they won't finish so far behind the good teams this year.

Posted by: coparker5 | May 16, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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