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a question for art


Ignatius J.

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In another thread i noticed you stating that the players on last year's team won in spite of marty. That they somehow were not playing for him, but more for each other. I ask because LaVar certainly loved marty and enjoyed playing for him. Since LaVar is such leader, it suprises me that the rest of the team could feel that way.

I am no marty apologizer, I am glad to see him and his staff go. Jimmy Raye had to be replaced and so on and so forth, but I think that robbing him of the 8-8 season he earned is a bit much.

So in the style of many of your rebuttals, I would like to ask where you got this information, since i've seen you use it before. Does it come from any quotes of players or staff members, or is it simply media speculation?

-DB

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I'm not Art, but it's in my estimation that the players didn't particularly like Marty, but they had a sort of "He may be a hard-as$, but he's our hard-as$!" type of attitude. Kind of like how you can beat up your little brother all you want, but when somebody else does, it's time to hold court.

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DB,

There were quotes, of course, throughout the year indicating that the players got together and resolved to "Stop paying attention to the coaches and start playing for ourselves," as a paraphrase. Mostly though, it would be more of a media speculation than anything of a concrete nature.

Arrington liked how he was used by Marty and he was complimentary of Kurt Schottheimer, but, I'm not sure he was effusive about Marty despite being a player that was generally in his corner. But, no matter. It is not taking away from Marty that he got the team to 8-8. There was a feeling he was able to tap into and it worked. The team didn't like him, but the team had great pride and that pride was able to be used to get the team to continue playing.

That's a good thing. Now, the fact that the team started tuning Marty's overriding nature out and started focusing on maximizing their professional ego would probably not have worked in another season. Spurrier doesn't have this rallying point to tap into and it may not be something he'll find this year.

But, it is not a critical shot at Marty that the team played to spite him. Marty seemed to know it and tapped into that unifying feeling and milked it well to get the team to win. It's just not something that would have served him well into the future which is why he had to make changes or be let go.

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Originally posted by Art

There were quotes, of course, throughout the year indicating that the players got together and resolved to "Stop paying attention to the coaches and start playing for ourselves," as a paraphrase.

Those quotes appeared mainly around week 5 or 6. I don't recall seeing them after the team won its first two games.

Arrington liked how he was used by Marty and he was complimentary of Kurt Schottheimer, but, I'm not sure he was effusive about Marty despite being a player that was generally in his corner.

Arrington was vocally p*ssed on record about Marty's being fired (and also losing Barber). There was a period early in the offseason when I wondered if Arrington was heading for a holdout or trade demand. He was *very* heated about this. On the positive side, he seems very happy now, so the rancor is a distant memory.

The team didn't like him, but the team had great pride and that pride was able to be used to get the team to continue playing.

Again, this comment seems directed at the team's mood around week 5 or 6. I think after two wins, the team did start to like Marty. Especially the offensive line, which loved to run block for Davis.

I recall a quote from Marty after two or three wins that seemed to sum up the change in course. He said the team had spent a number of weeks trying to find out what kind of team it was. As it turns out, he said, "We're Stephen Davis's team." (Hopefully this memory is accurate. I recall it being an interesting admission of floundering, and a nice tribute to Davis.)

I think what the team hated was how long it took to find an identity, and how Marty made things unnecessarily miserable in getting there -- from hard practices to stupid personnel management and playcalling. Once Marty "got it", the team liked the formula he discovered, and they were willing to to let go much of the bitterness.

I also think there was a recognition among the entire team (including staff) that the team had become a national laughingstock. They knew they needed a truly dramatic turnaround to get out of that national dog house. So there was an element of playing to restore dignity, which is different from playing against or despite Marty.

I'm glad Marty was fired, but I think you've overstated the team's dislike of him.

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One more thought: I'm quite sure that Darrell Green hated Marty. From Marty's hint in training camp about cutting Darrell, to Darrell's announced retirement (motivated by hating Marty), to Darrell's demotion on the day he announced his retirement -- and perhaps most of all, from Darrell's memory of a truly great coach, Joe Gibbs -- I think Darrell had plenty of personal reasons to hate Marty, on top of the hard practices and 0-5 start.

If there was any doubt about this, Darrell's "un-retirement" after Marty's firing, and his comment a month or two ago about Spurrier being the first good coach since Gibbs, should lay any doubts to rest.

Nonetheless, Darrell's opinion is his own. I'm quite sure Marty had enthusiastic backing among some others, especially the offensive line. The quick bolting of three of the linemen after the Marty firing was quite telling. (But I still think Marty overpaid for Alexander and Ramer.)

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Atlanta,

Not much to speak on in your reply as it doesn't really change the views I have, nor does it clarify what was stated to any degree. I am, too, like you, glad Marty was let go, but I think you underestimate the dislike the team had for Marty. Darrell Green is a legend in D.C. and his voice carries great weight in the Redskins locker room.

If you think Darrell has his own view and it was isolated to him and none other, then I think you don't know the locker room dynamics of our team very well. Arrington backed Marty and he was certainly the highest profile talent and leader to do so on our team. There is no question that there were others on that team that liked Marty.

But, this team did not forget much of the bitterness. An innocuous comment by Jacquez Green who was playing Chris Samuels in the Madden Bowl suggests that how the players felt about Marty remained vocalized after Marty left. When Green said you had to punt on 4th and five or more behind the 50 and Samuels argued that he's the coach of his team and can do what he wants, Green joked, "Then you're a bad coach. You're Marty Schottenheimer."

This slight to Samuels was something meaningful as it was jocular to the player. How players who remained here after Marty left apparently was able to make it's way into Jacquez Green's thoughts on the matter. But, as is my way, perhaps I read more into the things I see than you do and that's also fine. In the end, we agree he should have been let go and that's probably enough.

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There were players that liked him and players that hated him. It's not surprising, because you'll have your enemies and you'll have your friends. The comment by Green was made when he first joined the team, so I think we can safely assume that he was simply trying to fit in by making a comment based on what he'd heard other's say.

But Marty is on the left coast now, so he can suck it as far as I'm concerned. Hope he enjoys going 3-13.

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I think that we owe Marty a little, after all, he did get us out of cap hell, and he did get Sanders to retire, instead of cutting him and taking a big hit. He also was a good scout, beacuse of him we picked up Gardner, Smoot, Sage, Peirce, Ohalate and others. His grulling practices may have made some of the vets mad, also gave Arrigton, big daddy, and Samuals break out seasons, and still walked away from a rebuilding, cap strapted season with a respectable 8-8, thats not to bad.

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Originally posted by panel

I think that we owe Marty a little, after all, he did get us out of cap hell, and he did get Sanders to retire, instead of cutting him and taking a big hit. He also was a good scout, beacuse of him we picked up Gardner, Smoot, Sage, Peirce, Ohalate and others. His grulling practices may have made some of the vets mad, also gave Arrigton, big daddy, and Samuals break out seasons, and still walked away from a rebuilding, cap strapted season with a respectable 8-8, thats not to bad.

Also, I noticed that the sun rose on every day during Marty's tenure, so we have to credit him for that.

He did not "get Sanders to retire, instead of cutting him." On the contrary, he *caused* Sanders to end his career and put the Redskins in further cap hell. He did this by alienating Sanders early on after his hiring, when a little make-nice with the vets (Sanders among many) would have won him their loyalty (again, Sanders among many). Sanders said for weeks, "Hey, I'm just waiting for a call from Marty" before getting disgusted and saying he was ready to quit football. Now, I agree that Sanders is a selfish jerk, but he put in a competent 2000 season for the Redskins. His CB play was solid except for one or two burns, but the same could be said of Bailey last year. His return game was weaker overall, but then again he did post a game-changing TD return that enabled a critical win.

As for being a "good scout," you credit Marty with "Gardner, Smoot, Sage, Peirce, Ohalate and others". Of this list, only Smoot stands out, and Smoot was projected as a #1 pick. He dropped because of spurious drug association (due to a bust at a party he attended), and it didn't take a genius to take him in the second round. Gardner at this point is at best borderline (I think worse) for a fairly high #1 pick. Sage was a reach in the fourth round; he could have been gotten much later, assuming he's valuable at all. Pierce and Ohalate are fine role players, and it's possible that Ohalate will become a starter, but his performance as a starting LB has yet to be proven.

You also fail to mention that Marty cut Larry Centers, let Thrash sign with the Eagles, failed to sign a competent backup to George in the offseason (creating a crisis when George failed), and signed Donovan Greer among others.

As for the development of Arrington, Samuels and Wilkinson, Arrington developed under Marty's brother Kurt and was due to develop anyway (he improved throughout his rookie season). Samuels was already a solid starter in his rookie season, and I saw his Pro Bowl selection as just a wider recognition of his talent, not a true advancement. (In some ways his sophomore season was marginally worse, due to false starts, holding penalties and sacks allowed.) As for Wilkinson, any marginal improvement would be more likely credited to Kurt Schottenheimer and to the player himself.

Marty's various stupid moves took a borderline playoff-talented team and made them an 0-5 national laughingstock. The team recovered, but not because Marty's ways were proven to work, but because he finally discovered a few things that worked on offense, and a defense stacked with talented players finally played up to their talent level (while dropping from #4 to #10 in the rankings from 2000 to 2001).

The team might have made the playoffs if Marty had switched from Banks to Graham at QB after the Denver game, and made better use of Westbrook instead of forcing passes to Gardner all season long. But Marty was the kind of coach who'd rather lose than be perceived as making bad choices. Somehow I think he thought that switching from Banks to Graham would be a sign of weakness, and he was also desperate to prove the value of his #1 pick Gardner.

I was delighted he was fired -- Spurrier or no Spurrier. Snyder gets a bad rap nationally (and locally) for simply recognizing and addressing failure faster than the media thinks is fair. I'm guessing that Snyder's understanding of the danger of persisting with failure is a clue to why he's a billionaire and the media flies coach. This is *not* Jerry Jones firing Jimmy Johnson after back-to-back Super Bowl wins. This is someone with the courage to recognize and declare that he made a mistake -- twice -- first by retaining Turner, and second, by hiring Schottenheimer.

I admire that.

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ASF, you need to give credit where credit is due. Marty made some good moves in the personnel department, and some awful ones. We had a great draft last year, far better than this year's, and we got some real value out of the later rounds. He got the best out of two undrafted FAs in Pierce (who proved he could start) and Ohalate (who very wel could start this year).

Gardner was the second best rookie wideout in the entire league, with the exception of Chris Chambers. I'm not going to get off on a tangent about Gardner again, but under the circumstances, he performed above and beyond expectations. Most didn't even expect him to start last year, and he proved that he can play at a high level. Pretty damn good for a starting rookie wideout.

I still believe that had we stuck with Marty, we would have just as good of a chance of making the playoffs this year as we do with Steve.

One of the main problems last year was Marty's staff, and that was partially his fault for hiring Jimmy Raye. Marty got us out of the cellar, and it WAS thanks to him. He finally realized what he was doing wrong and let up on the players a little bit.

We all act like he was a Pettibone type bust in the head-coaching position, which is just not true. His "my way or the highway" philosophy just didn't jive with the Redskins organization. He's a very good football coach, which he's proven with the Browns and Chiefs.

I'm not sure how things will work out for him in San Diego, but it wouldn't shock me to see another pitiful start by another team used to the laid back Mike Riley, and then a big bounce back, akin to us last year.

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Orangeskin, if you recall::gus:

It was only after a near mutiny after game five, following a players only meeting that bullheaded Marty finally ceded and gave the players some input as to what THEY wanted to accomplish.:shootinth

The D took over, cause of Raye's incompetence and almost made a season of it:cheers:

Marty's a mulehead, always has been and always will be. He's a jet pilot (for real) so he always goes by "the book":gus:

He is afraid to fail, thus is reluctant to take chances unless forced to ala by the "near mutiny" of his players last year. Doesn't take a genious to figure that out. Look at his past record:coach:

Ima soooa glada he'sa gonna, I coulda cryya:jump:

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