Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

SB Nation DC: On Randle El and the Redskins' Meddling Owner


themurf

Recommended Posts

59177_redskins_zorn_fired_football_medium.jpg

(courtesy photo)

Former Washington Redskins receiver (and current disappointment) Antwaan Randle El is in the news this week after making critical comments about his former organization.

According to Randle El – and stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the recent failures of the Redskins can be traced to one man: owner Daniel Snyder.

When Jim Zorn was there, he was hands-on," said Randle El of The Danny. "He had great potential, but Dan Snyder was too involved because he didn't trust coach Zorn as much as he did coach (Joe) Gibbs, and those were things that prevented us from success as a team."

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a Daniel Snyder apologist. After all, my ideal scenario for the 2010 season involves disgruntled tackle Albert Haynesworth being paid to ride the bench in an effort to teach "Fat Albert" a little humility while teaching the owner an equally valuable lesson about the dangers of frivolous spending.

But I find interesting, to say the least, that Randle El would feel compelled to make these remarks.

For starters, he’s now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s returned to the first franchise he ever knew and the team he won a Super Bowl ring with. So why dredge up the past? Isn’t there more to do in Pennsylvania than take shots at Snyder?

Maybe Randle El could go bar hopping with Ben Roethlisberger or send a thank you note to Santonio Holmes’ substance abuse issues that created an opening for his return to Pittsburgh. Any of that would appear to be a more constructive way to spend his days than slamming the man who signed off on his seven-year, $31-million contract back in 2006.

After all, it’s not every day that a receiver coming off an absolutely mediocre season (35 catches, 558 yards and one touchdown) takes home that kind of cash. But whatever. That’s his business.

Aside from the timing, the most surprising aspect is that Randle El was available for comment. During his four years in Washington, Randle El was routinely one of the first guys out of the locker room following a game. Don’t believe me? Ask around.

Sure, he’d happily appear on a pre-recorded segment hosted by Larry Michael or some other team employee, but it was always a safe bet that Randle El would be long gone by the time the media was allowed in the locker room (roughly 10 minutes after the game ended).

I never took it personally; I just figured he was staying consistent. Randle El rarely showed up during games, so why would he be any different in the post-game locker room? I mean, we’re talking about a guy who, rumor has it, when the Redskins gave him his pink slip this past offseason, responded by signaling for a fair catch.

What exactly should we expect him to say?

But enough about the messenger. Let’s tackle his message.

In Randle El’s opinion, the primary reason the Redskins won just 12 out of 32 games over the last two seasons is because the owner set the head coach up for failure. Snyder didn’t trust Zorn, and his meddling prevented the ‘Skins from any possible success.

To anyone familiar with the Jim Zorn Era, Randle El’s comments would appear to target the decision to strip Zorn of his play-calling duties in favor of bringing in Sherman Lewis, the retired bingo caller.

Since it’s been a while, let me give you a quick refresher on how grim things got last season:

Over the first seven games, the Redskins offense scored an average of just 13.7 points per game. They averaged 296 total net yards per game, with 93.5 yards coming in the running game and 202.5 yards from the passing game. The ‘Skins offense converted just 25 of 86 third downs (29 percent) and scored on eight of 18 red-zone chances (44 percent).

That’s what Zorn brought to the table.

Now, here’s where the Redskins finished the season:

Click here for the full article.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Randle-El's defense, that 31 millions dollars was incentive laden. Most of the incentives were for yards gained running sideways. He maxed the contract out.

I have nothing to add, but this comment made me very happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent piece, I was really taken aback by Randle El's comments myself. I mean, is he seriously trying to imply that had Danny just not meddled that the Zorn era would have gone noticeably better? Nevermind that El sucked under Gibbs as well, I wonder who's fault that was?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe Snyder was too hands on; maybe he never trusted Zorn. The bottom line is that our front office was unprepared for Gibbs' retirement and ended up picking a guy that was in over his head so they could meddle. Zorn's hiring was a direct reflection on our front office / Danny; nobody would touch this job with a ten foot pole. Josh McDaniels didn't even accept an offer for an interview with us. Spagnolo took the interview for a practice run.

Our front office has changed greatly in the last year. Danny's puppet Cerrato is gone as is Zorn and Lord of the fair catch ARE is departed as well. Gone is Jason "is that Devin Thomas streaking down the sideline wide open? Let's throw into triple coverage instead" Campbell replaced by perenial Pro Bowler and Redskins nemesis Donovan McNabb. Will we screw it up? Probably, but we will definitely be a far better franchise than we have been in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand his bitterness. Zorn gave him a much bigger role than he should have had so obviously he feels some loyalty there. Kind of odd that ARE made these comments now. Maybe Daniel did meddle too much in Zorn's buisness, but it's hard to argue with anything he has done this offseason. As long as he stays hands off, I feel good about our ownership and FO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally like your articles Murf, but this stunk to high heavens. You could have left your diatribe at ARE out of the article and made the point, but you didn't. You act as if ARE held a press conference to talk about Snyder and Zorn. You are in the media so you should know the drill. He was asked questions and he answered it.

Why is it that when players tell the truth about something (after they are gone), they are always the "bitter" player who's dissing the Redskins? Why can't it be that he's telling you stuff he couldn't say here. Imagine if ARE had said this here? What then would you have reported Murf? You probably would have bashed him for speaking out like most reporters would have.

Maybe we should start referring you media types and fans as "bitter people" as well when you all start slamming former players who had issues with the team and speak out. After all, you are doing the same thing they are.

One thing I agree 100% on in the article is this.

But each of those players eventually finished their thoughts with the same thing – Zorn was in over his head as a head coach. He didn’t have the experience necessary to handle everything being thrown at him and his locker room lost confidence in him. When that happens, changes have to happen.

Just my .02

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see anything wrong with Randle El getting out of the locker room before needing to answer questions. If he doesn't want to talk, just go to someone else. He seems like a nice guy overall.

I've got no problem with guys who don't like to talk to the media. Sean Taylor didn't do it and I understood/respected his reasons completely. But if that's the route Randle El wants to go, then why talk now - especially about the team you're no longer a part of?

I generally like your articles Murf, but this stunk to high heavens. You could have left your diatribe at ARE out of the article and made the point, but you didn't. You act as if ARE held a press conference to talk about Snyder and Zorn. You are in the media so you should know the drill. He was asked questions and he answered it.

Why is it that when players tell the truth about something (after they are gone), they are always the "bitter" player who's dissing the Redskins? Why can't it be that he's telling you stuff he couldn't say here. Imagine if ARE had said this here? What then would you have reported Murf? You probably would have bashed him for speaking out like most reporters would have.

No worries, man. I don't expect every person to agree with everything I write. I have my opinions and I share them with the class. If a healthy football discussion comes out of it, that's even better.

Now, to the topic at hand - I'm not a fan of Randle El. Never have been. Probably never will be. It happens. Anyone who has listened to me on Skinscast or read my work here on ES knows I thought he was a terrible signing and should have been let go at least a year or two earlier. So don't think I'm crushing him simply for being a former Redskin.

Honestly, I never cared for Jason Taylor either. But I blamed the Redskins for acquiring him and then asking him to play like Phillip Daniels rather than adapting their scheme to utilize the skills that made him a regular at the Pro Bowl. And when Taylor left and had a thing or two to say about the 'Skins, I agreed with him 100 percent (even if I didn't care for him).

I treat each situation differently. Taylor's gripes were warranted, in my opinion. Randle El's were not. Sometimes it really is that simple. Not everything ever written has to have an agenda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So why drudge up the past?

Heh heh nice Freudian slip!!! :silly:

Pretty sure it's dredge in this case (unless you're saying he's trying to make the past even more boring [or Conservative] than it was). :evilg:

Nice article though - and I especially liked the mention you made of going from Cerrato/Zorn/Campbell to Allen/Shanahan/McNabb in one year. That is a comforting thought!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good article again Murf. "Fair Catch" ARE, really played himself on this one. One of the worst PR's in recent memory, yet he finds the liberty to talk about someone meddling. Snyder probably should have meddled alittle bit more and had Zorn bench his sorry tail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have absolutely no problem with what ARE said, nor do I have a problem with him being the one who said it. I don't agree with his assessment that Snyder somehow held Zorn back, but his comment seemed innocuous enough.

Now, if you're one of the Skins fans who found themselves hating ARE while he was here, then I guess hearing his comments about the team will rub you the wrong way. I personally do not let my feelings about a player's performance dictate how I interpret his words...but I guess I can understand how some people would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good article again Murf. "Fair Catch" ARE, really played himself on this one. One of the worst PR's in recent memory, yet he finds the liberty to talk about someone meddling.

???...How does being a bad punt returner disqualify you from voicing your opinion on the subject of meddling? lol :ols:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now, if you're one of the Skins fans who found themselves hating ARE while he was here, then I guess hearing his comments about the team will rub you the wrong way. I personally do not let my feelings about a player's performance dictate how I interpret his words...but I guess I can understand how some people would.

Well i'm one that never cared for him, especially for the amount of his contract, (not that the contract was his fault). However, with FA busts like him to speak out, its more of the "he has the audacity...." phrase that resignates in my mind. He under-performed greatly and he knows it!! So with that said, he should have taken the high-road and either plead the 5th, or just been a little more gracious in his comments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well i'm one that never cared for him, especially for the amount of his contract, (not that the contract was his fault). However, with FA busts like him to speak out, its more of the "he has the audacity...." phrase that resignates in my mind. He under-performed greatly and he knows it!! So with that said, he should have taken the high-road and either plead the 5th, or just been a little more gracious in his comments.

Ah, I get you know...and yeah, I agree for the most part. :yes:...Some part of me wishes ARE would have said to himself "I didn't do nearly as well as i should have and could have, especially for what they paid me. So even though there are areas of the Skins' franchise that I could criticize, I think I'll just keep quiet about it all...because afterall, they could just as easily throw criticism on me as well."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"When Jim Zorn was there, he was hands-on," said Randle El of The Danny. "He had great potential, but Dan Snyder was too involved because he didn't trust coach Zorn as much as he did coach (Joe) Gibbs, and those were things that prevented us from success as a team."

In the past, ARE built a reputation as a solid citizen. He's being slammed now because he's saying something that most Skins fans don't want to hear. Trashing Jim Zorn has been playing well with Redskins faithful and ARE says "...he (Zorn) had great potential." My personal opinion is that the truth about Jim Zorn lies somewhere between "great potential" and "he was in over his head."

"

You go back to training camp year two of Zorn, and all of us we were excited," Cooley said. "We said this was gonna be our year, we had all this time to work together, put this offense together, and it was worse from Game 1 than it had ever been the year before. And I think by the time we lost to the Lions, he lost the locker room...."

If the players were excited going into the 2009 season, as Cooley says, the logical inference is that after Jim Zorn's 2008 season, the players didn't think he was "in over his head." It was only after losing in the first half of 2009 that they lost confidence.

I would have been interested in Cooley's answers to the following questions:

= Greg Blache's defense didn't become aggressive until he "threw himself under the bus" after the loss to the Lions. How much impact do you think our passive defense had on the first half of the season?

= How much impact did the injuries to Thomas and Samuels have on the offense?

= The offense did not improve for five quarters after Zorn was relieved of his play calling duties. However, the running game got an immediate shot in the arm when Ladell Betts replaced Clinton Portis. Was Clinton in playing shape last season? And, if not, how much impact do you think that had on the offense?

= It has been reported that Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth chatted regularly with Dan Snyder. If true, how do you think this affected the attitudes of players toward Jim Zorn's authority?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...