Owner Dan Snyder sounds like he's trying to soften his image in his sixth year atop the Redskins.
In a recent interview on AM-980 in Washington, Snyder admitted that he acted hastily in canning Norv Turner with three games left in the 2000 season. The owner also made several references to a kindler, gentler self.
The Turner incident occurred after the Redskins dropped two straight to fall to 7-6. Washington had been 6-2 at the midpoint but quickly crumbled. Turner's dismissal backfired; the players mailed it in under interim coach Terry Robiskie as the Redskins finished a meek 8-8.
"Hindsight, looking back, we probably should have kept Norv to the end of the season," Snyder said. "But I was a new owner making some mistakes, and I think you learn from your mistakes."
It was highly unusual to hear Snyder refer to "mistakes." The owner, who purchased the team for a record $800 million in 1999, rarely speaks to the media and generally has a brash and aggressive personality. But he hasn't endeared himself to Redskins fans in a mostly disappointing five-year tenure, and there had been speculation that support would start dropping after Steve Spurrier's disastrous two-year tenure.
All that changed, of course, when Snyder pulled the ultimate coup and coaxed three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Gibbs out of retirement. The town has been in a state of euphoria ever since as it awaits a return to the glory days.
Snyder wouldn't specify other mistakes, but in extensive comments he did show a more modest side.
"A lot of times when you're making decisions, sometimes you slip, sometimes you're trying to achieve greatness, trying to do the right thing, and sometimes you slip," Snyder said. "But I'm just thrilled with where we are right now with Joe Gibbs.
"I think I've developed a lot more patience, and I think I've probably made some haste decisions from time to time, early on. I think I'm much more patient, much more understanding. Maybe I'm aging a little bit, too.
"What I can tell the fans is that we're going to win. We're doing everything we can to put together a great organization that everyone can be proud of. I'm just like they are. I think all the frustrations have passed the future looks very, very bright for us."
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