Saturday, October 22, 2005

Another Redskins Coach Alumni Game

The game with the San Francisco 49ers is the second time this season the 'Skins face a former coach. The Skins faced Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals in an exhibition game. San Francisco's Dick Nolan was defensive coordinator here for the1997 - 1999 seasons under Norv Turner. Nolan is the son of Dick Nolan who once coached the 49ers, I believe. Turner was appointed head coach when Richie Pettibone was fired after one season, the first losing season since the first pre-Gibbs era. I always thought Pettibone deserved another shot, but by then the talent was aging and results would not have been much different.

Turner was a nice guy and highly regarded as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator during their Super Bowl runs in the 1990s. He coached the Redskins during a period off field turmoil. Estate issues after the death of Jack Kent Cooke (now there was a sportsman) led eventually to the loss of control of the Redskins by his family. Daniel Snyder acquired the franchise in 1999. Snyder had no sports management experience, but deeply involved himself in the details of game planning and personnel. He was dazzled by famous football stars. It seemed he just couldn't add enough of them on his roster, or pay too much for them.

Snyder dismissed general manager Charlie Casserly in favor of Coach Turner, a move Snyder and maybe Turner came to regret. It was reported that Snyder phoned Casserly in 2000 to acknowledge he fired the wrong guy.

The Redskins went from an East Coast power team to a finesse team under Turner. They developed a reputation as "fragile;" punch them in the nose early and they will fold. To be fair, the talent did not pan out. Casserly landed highly regarded collegians Heath Shuler, Desmond Howard and Michael Westbrook through the draft. They were to be the nucleus of a potent passing game. None of them performed at their collegiate level. But Turner liked power runners and made better use of Stephen Davis than the coaches who followed him.

The Redskins face Turner and the Oakland Raiders at FedEX Field on November 20. Jimmy Raye, who was the Redskins Offensive Coordinator in 2001, holds the same role with the Raiders. Raye was also the quarterback of the 1966 Michigan State Spartans during the infamous 10-10 tie game with Notre Dame, considered by many as one of the finest college football games ever.

Marty Schottenheimer pays a call with his San Diego Chargers on November 27. Schottenheimer coached the Redskins in 2001. He got off to a terrible start, then finished the season with an 8-8 record, the same as Joe Gibbs in 1981. I believe Schottenheimer would have coached the Redskins to a 10-6 record in 2002, but Daniel Snyder released him over contract issues. Schottenheimer's contract specified that he, not Mr. Snyder, would have full on-field control of the team and Snyder (in his Little Danny years) wanted that control back. Star struck Danny had a grandiose, if naive, notion that Steve Spurrier would save the Redskins and revolutionize football. He paid Spurrier, who never coached a lick in the NFL, double what he paid Schottenheimer, who was successful at Cleveland and Kansas City.

Spurrier had a 12-27 record as coach and stepped down after two seasons. Schottenheimer led the Chargers to the playoffs last season and has them at 3-3 at this time. Maybe the Chargers will do some damage at the Iggles tomorrow.

1 comment:

GreenJagLady said...

Great commentator! I look forward to future analyses from the Master4Caster.