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Chris Cooley: I regret linking Scot McCloughan with alcohol


The strange saga of Scot McCloughan’s exit from Washington began with Chris Cooley speculating about McCloughan drinking and ended with the team firing McCloughan as its G.M. while anonymous sources told reporters that alcohol was, indeed, a factor in McCloughan’s firing. Now Cooley says he’s sorry he ever brought it up.

Cooley, a former Washington tight end who now works for both the team and the Dan Snyder-owned radio station ESPN 980, said on the air Friday that he wishes he hadn’t speculated about McCloughan’s drinking, and added that no one on the team put him up to smearing the now-fired G.M.

No one told us to do the [original] segment, told me to do the segment,” Cooley said, via the Washington Post. “Can I be more clear on that? We threw out a lot of possible reasons that he could have been silenced. That was one of them. . . . I used Scot McCloughan’s name and alcohol in the same sentence, and I was wrong. I regret that. I have regretted that. This blew up to be way bigger than I expected it to be, and by the way, it blew up in a report that was in no way shape or form the context that we had suggested.”

It’s unclear in what “context” Cooley thinks it would have been appropriate for him to speculate about a person having a drinking problem that affected his job, but he says he has addressed the issue with McCloughan personally.

“I’ve apologized to Scot,” Cooley said. “I feel very sorry that my name’s associated with this. I feel regret that my name’s associated with this. I’ve apologized to the organization.”

Cooley said he didn’t realize at the time he was making the comments how big they would become, and he didn’t realize they would be seen as part of a smear campaign by the team.

“You can call me an idiot, you can call me naive, you can call me ignorant, but I didn’t see this entire firestorm that was created,” he said. “I didn’t. It happened, though. I shouldn’t have mentioned his name and alcohol in any context, especially not me, because of the perception that I have some special access to this team, which by the way, is entirely overrated. . . . But accusing me of being told to float something is like telling me I’m a stupid idiot. . . . I wouldn’t create a sinister plan. I was not part of any of this. I swear on anything you want to swear on.”

McCloughan has still not publicly commented, and the team said it will have no further comment, so at the moment Cooley is the only one talking. And he now wishes he hadn’t opened his mouth in the first place.

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86 Responses to “Chris Cooley: I regret linking Scot McCloughan with alcohol”
  1. learysdisciples says: Mar 11, 2017 7:31 AM

    This is on you Cooley. Live with it.

  2. droppedinagreasefire says: Mar 11, 2017 7:34 AM

    Come on man, Cooley knew exactly what he was doing and it has furthered his name in the press such as this article. Click!

  3. wmnf says: Mar 11, 2017 7:36 AM

    Too late to unring the bell dude. There’s a subpoena out there with your name on it.

    Get ready to pay up.

  4. wolfman55h says: Mar 11, 2017 7:37 AM

    99% of Redskins dysfunction stems from Snyder being a total A h ol e

  5. slowclyde86 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:37 AM

    “Ok, Chris. Now go be a good boy and make sure the smear job doesn’t stick to me directly.”

    This dumpster fire is run by an evil little man.

  6. dmvdmv101560 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:38 AM

    Cooley said you can call him an idiot, naïve and ignorant – Cooley, you’re an idiot, naïve and ignorant and the team you work for is scum!

  7. wryly1 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:45 AM

    Cooley is in denial. Reckless, irresponsible finger pointer – one of Snyder’s lackey stooges.

  8. walker1191 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:45 AM

    There is a special place in hell for people like Chris Cooley.

  9. urfinished says: Mar 11, 2017 7:47 AM

    No you don’t. You love attention and this got you a ton. Not a person in D.C. unaware of this.

  10. FrankRizzo says: Mar 11, 2017 7:47 AM

    John Riggins will drink to that

  11. wte1 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:52 AM

    Let’s be honest, Scot McCloughan looks like a drunk. Not a former drunk, a current drunk.

  12. jimnaizeeum says: Mar 11, 2017 7:54 AM

    Cmon Chris, Snyder owns the station…Personalities at the station can’t be truthful about the team since the owner signs the paychecks.
    I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

  13. fin72 says: Mar 11, 2017 7:56 AM

    His quotes sound like early-onset CTE.

  14. gibbstastic says: Mar 11, 2017 7:57 AM

    You know what? If McGloughlan was drinking on the job, I have no problem that he can be fired. The NFL/Redskins aren’t the only ones with a policy like that. Cooley reporting/speculating it, isn’t what caused it. It was his own drinking that’s the problem.

    However, the team was performing better and was showing more promise than it had since the Gibbs II reign. And it’s coming to a screeching halt.

  15. stevenray72 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:02 AM

    We can also call you a liar!

  16. bmacwillconn says: Mar 11, 2017 8:04 AM

    Hope he get’s lawsuit filed against him. That was a really malicious thing to say about a guy everyone knows struggles with alcohol.

  17. jstew0103 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:05 AM

    I’m surprised he didn’t just blame in on the CTE

  18. 20eagles17 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:06 AM

    Cooley – I don’t think your an idiot, naïve or ignorant. I do however, think that this was a plan created by your employers, and you were all in with it. Scum is what I would call you. I hope you and your employer end up personally paying Scot McCloughan a lot of money after he sues your ass.

  19. arcross12042004scorp15 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:07 AM

    There is such a thing as a functioning alcoholic. People who get trashed at night, but it doesn’t effect their work. The Redskins went to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in many years under McCloughlin. When General Grant was winning battles in the Civil War while other Generals were not, some of the jealous Generals went to Lincoln and said ” He is drunk every night” To which Lincoln replied ” Find out what he is drinking , and get some for the rest of the Generals “

  20. doboji says: Mar 11, 2017 8:16 AM

    Oh yeah, let’s pretend NOONE but Cooley thought Scot, the guy fired twice for having a drinking problem, might be drinking again when he was suddenly muzzled by the organization, and disappeared from public view.

  21. tonebones says: Mar 11, 2017 8:16 AM

    Cooley is part of a new environment in our country where we’ve embraced people who make fun of, and say mean things about others. Cooley is just using this trendy new method to try to gain popularity, and it worked. It’s just that Scot McCloughan got caught in the middle of it, and he offered hope to a lot of disillusioned Redskins fans. That’s the thing we’re concerned about. We could care less about Cooley’s bad manners and lack of class. There are actually more people than you think that can relate to people like Cooley.

  22. loudpackmatt says: Mar 11, 2017 8:27 AM

    I’m sure Dan snyder gave him a nice Bonus for bringing it up with that being said alcohol effects your job performance waaaay more than pot there I said it sue me

  23. John Wayne's Brother's Cousin's Milk Man says: Mar 11, 2017 8:27 AM

    Did you call a code red?

  24. stephenpaulfreese says: Mar 11, 2017 8:27 AM

    Cris: I believe you’re remorseful now and we hope it is authentic, for the sake of your own conscience, but it is becoming a big problem in society, government etc. The problem is the accusations, speculations of bad behaviour without a scintilla of evidence…

    It can destroy a reputation, a career or even worse, a life…It is hopeful that maybe just one man or woman will read your “Mea culpa” and will keep their speculations and accusations close to the vest and provides a factual demonstration of it…

    It is bad enough when an accusation turns out to be accurate itself for the party involved and we should be so self-righteous to pour our own indignation and someone else’s failure…

  25. ziplock10 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:31 AM

    I listen to his show everyday. I was listening the day he brought up if Scott was drinking.

    It was because Scott was not allowed to speak to reporters. NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK??

    He was not at the combine. No interviews were set at all, which this team always has. Interviews that is. Scott stated from the beginning he has control of his drinking.

    Why is this on Cooley?

    Daniel Snyder owns the station, but guys are REAL critical of the team and management all the time! Brian Mitchell blows up everyday! LOL!

    So Chris doesn’t have to own anything. People have Zero clue what they are talking about. ZERO

  26. tomtravis76 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:34 AM

    One day he might have to cut a check.

  27. timesausage says: Mar 11, 2017 8:35 AM

    Cooley predicted the Trump win, and he predicted the McCloughan firing as well. The situation here is more complex though. You see, the name Cooley is the anglicized form of Mac Chuille, while McCloughan was originally Mac Lughain. In the ancient Cattle Raid of Cooley, (Chris) Cu Chulainn was put to sleep for three days by the mysterious (Scot) Lugh. During this time, the young warriors of Ulster came looking for Chris Cooley, but were slaughtered. When Chris Cooley awoke, he transformed into a horrible monster and wreaked great vengeance upon the men of Connacht. Lugh, being a supernatural figure from the Tuatha De Danann, escaped retribution, or so he thought at the time. Chris Cooley has finally exacted justice, although sadly, upon his own father.

  28. norseyapper says: Mar 11, 2017 8:37 AM

    It seems like we hear about Cooley saying something regrettable on a regular basis. Why doe he continue to have a job unless he is being used to say exactly what Snyder wants him to say?

  29. toybkshr says: Mar 11, 2017 8:41 AM

    I like McClouhans chances of winning a suit to get the remaining contract compnsation the Skins are renegging on “for cause”

  30. joedirte4life says: Mar 11, 2017 8:42 AM

    Chris Cooley could be held liable for deformation and causing McCloughan to lose his.job. There’s a lawsuit coming from this.

  31. xdolfan says: Mar 11, 2017 8:44 AM

    If Cooley is truly remorseful, then he should resign from being Snyder’s mouthpiece and join McCloughan in the unemployment line.

  32. mindelm42 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:45 AM

    I take this as an honest apology especially since he spoke directly to Scot. But you can’t but the paste back in the tube. What’s done is done. But being honest about a mistake you have made is a good step for Chris.

  33. darrylisright says: Mar 11, 2017 8:46 AM

    To my fellow skins fans, let’s tell the truth, who did Scot McCloughan bring in that helped the team so much? Every offensive starter was brought in by Allen/Shanahan, not Scot….every defensive player Scot brought has been a bust except Norman…and by the way, at the end of the day, Sot has to get along with Bruce Allen…his boss, not the other way you Snyder haters, hehas been staying low profile exactly as he should, Bruce you got it… we have signed some good Free agents it.

  34. screamingyellowzonkers says: Mar 11, 2017 8:47 AM


  35. kst2074 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:55 AM

    All you haters fail to mention that Cooley just happened to be correct. Dont kill the messenger

  36. kst2074 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:57 AM

    And oh by the way, Scott was fired from the 49ers and Seahawks for the same reason. So everyone blaming Snyder is wrong!!!

  37. curmudgeon13 says: Mar 11, 2017 8:59 AM

    Karma is a beautiful thing, Chris Cooley……

  38. realfootballfan says: Mar 11, 2017 8:59 AM

    I don’t believe that he is part of a big plot, but rather if you’ve heard Cooley when he talkes, he’s a big dummy who is easy to get to regurgitate the company line. Somebody put it in his ear kind of as an aside, and he brought it up on air thinking that it would be taken as a joke. But yeah, he was used as an instrument to start this.

  39. deliciouscoachditka says: Mar 11, 2017 9:03 AM

    If you’re a drunk, and you let your drunkenness affect your job, you should be fired. No one to blame here but Scot, so let’s not make him into a victim.

  40. cobrala2 says: Mar 11, 2017 9:07 AM

    It’s a reminder to those whose parents made an effort but a lesson for the rest of us;

    Be careful with what you say… there are no take-backs in life.

  41. justintuckrule says: Mar 11, 2017 9:11 AM

    Don’t blame the lunkhead for being played like a pawn in Game of Billionaires

  42. normaneinstein7 says: Mar 11, 2017 9:19 AM

    I remember that segment. He was just speculating on what was going on. It turns out he was right. If one listens to his show with Kevin Sheehan, he speculates on a lot of different topics that have nothing to do with the Skins and he usually turns out to be right. Don’t hate on him because he’s intuitive.

  43. RandyinRoxbury says: Mar 11, 2017 9:37 AM

    I’ll drink to that!

  44. daytontriangles says: Mar 11, 2017 9:38 AM

    You know who’s going to have even bigger regrets?

    Chris Cooley’s bank account.

  45. intrafinesse says: Mar 11, 2017 9:41 AM

    I’m not a lawyer but can’t you be sued for publicly saying that someone appeared drunk many times at their place of work?

  46. fromthere2 says: Mar 11, 2017 9:42 AM

    Cooley is very knowledgeable about the game, and his insights are far above the average commentator. He comes across as a fan of the team more than he does an individual player. Sometimes he can shoot his mouth off but that is a trade off you have to accept if you want his style and knowledge. He apologized to the public and to the man in person. There is nothing more he can do. McCloughan is the reason for his own failure, though the Skins could have handled his time there and his departure far better.

  47. fromthere2 says: Mar 11, 2017 9:44 AM

    Really Walker? Are you always this dramatic.

  48. thegronk87 says: Mar 11, 2017 9:48 AM

    and we regret knowing who you are.

  49. uglydingo says: Mar 11, 2017 9:52 AM

    Damage is done. Career destroyed and publicly smeared for life.

  50. amishninjas says: Mar 11, 2017 9:54 AM

    So a guy that played for and who now works for Dan Snyder had no idea that Dan Snyder was capable of being a scumbag?

    The GM that put together back to back winning seasons and that has appeared to be doing a decent job starts getting silenced and seemingly pushed out by his employer. You go on the radio and speculate about why and none of your speculations include an internal power struggle or that his boss is just a world class moron. Why don’t I believe that?

    Cooley never ever says a bad thing about the front office or owner.

  51. brotherhen24 says: Mar 11, 2017 10:04 AM

    Ill start by saying, I have no way of knowing whether McCloughlan had a bad enough drinking problem to effect his work performance. Let’s be real though, the first time I laid eyes on the guy I could tell he had a drinking problem. His face shows the obvious symptoms of a long term drinking problem, so it couldn’t have been some secret.

  52. accipiterq says: Mar 11, 2017 10:05 AM

    He’s sorry because a libel suit is coming.

  53. oswizard says: Mar 11, 2017 10:08 AM

    All the above comments are crap. It was not a premeditated statement. I was listening when it was said. It was a quick unfortunate quip in the middle of the discussion. The fact that all of the comments above seem to not only blame Cooley but ignore the fact that this type of crap started in Washington before Cooley even got into college.
    It appears there is a problem at the top for the Redskins. Vinny Cerrato #2 is in charge this time.
    No one is more disappointed in the team than me over losing Scot McCloughan. I personally would be elated if we had a news conference today firing Bruce Allen and rehiring Scotty Mac.
    The biggest problem for the Redskins is not what is said on the radio. But it may be that the ownership actually listens to the radio. And makes decisions based on the lack of knowledge that comes through it rather than listening to the best talent evaluator since Bobby Beathard. Then they over rule him with a clown like Allen.

  54. glastron1 says: Mar 11, 2017 10:22 AM

    I would be drinking too if I worked for the Redskins.

  55. thetooloftools says: Mar 11, 2017 10:23 AM

    Rule # 1 of live radio…. you can never take it back once you said it.

  56. JSpicoli says: Mar 11, 2017 10:29 AM

    arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    Mar 11, 2017 8:07 AM
    There is such a thing as a functioning alcoholic. People who get trashed at night, but it doesn’t effect their work. The Redskins went to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in many years under McCloughlin. When General Grant was winning battles in the Civil War while other Generals were not, some of the jealous Generals went to Lincoln and said ” He is drunk every night” To which Lincoln replied ” Find out what he is drinking , and get some for the rest of the Generals “


    Smokers and drinkers built a lot of bridges and won a lot of wars.

    Better off being a dead beat dad today in society’s corrupted eyes though.

  57. JSpicoli says: Mar 11, 2017 10:30 AM

    He just makes teams better. 49ers first, then Redskins.

  58. tylawspick6 says: Mar 11, 2017 11:01 AM

    how did this tool even become famous anyway? what a country

    complete entitled losers can make a lot of money and run their mouths

  59. smoothrobinva says: Mar 11, 2017 11:09 AM

    At least Scott actually did something in his career

  60. mmack66 says: Mar 11, 2017 11:13 AM

    Didn’t that bozo McCloughan get fired somewhere else for drinking on the job?

    A guy speculating that an alcoholic is back on the sauce is grounds for a lawsuit?

  61. whatjusthapped says: Mar 11, 2017 11:19 AM

    I can’t prove it nor can the media but the fact that Synder employs Cooley and Synder wanted to fire McCloughan, then it makes sense that both Synder and Cooley concocted this plan to provide PR cover for the firing.

    Both are sleazeballs but now they will both reap the consequences, Synder will return to owning a losing team and Cooley is flat out unemployable outside the Redskin organization.

  62. scrotiemcb says: Mar 11, 2017 11:24 AM

    Pretty ironic that the media is knashing its teeth about the McCloughan thing and very much capitalizing on the McCloughan thing. It’s like thunder bemoaning lightning.

    As a recovering alcoholic, I can safely point out that this is all on McCloughan. You get one get out of jail card for the disease concept. After that, your selfish decisions aren’t anybody’s fault but your own.

    The real injustice here is what these spectacular public train wrecks do to the men and women that actually have the guts to recover. McCloughan might as well take out a press release and remind employers that if they are thinking of giving an alcoholic or addict a shot at redemption, maybe they shouldn’t.

  63. trubroncfan07 says: Mar 11, 2017 11:37 AM

    I hope Cooley gets sued, people think they can just run their mouths with out any facts and consequences, Cooley just ruined Scott’s career.

  64. Frazier28/7 says: Mar 11, 2017 11:52 AM

    If he can get another job he should thank him for getting fired from that mess, and a wake up to lay off the sauce.

  65. pft264 says: Mar 11, 2017 11:59 AM

    How does an adult float such an incredulous, damning, derogatory statement withOUT facts & not consider the repercussions? I get Cooley is a fun loving, jovial guy, but his statement re: Scot’s situation were irresponsible. What is he, 12?

  66. chetlemonbasketcatch says: Mar 11, 2017 12:00 PM

    At least he embraced it. Cooley screwed up badly.

  67. normaneinstein7 says: Mar 11, 2017 12:15 PM

    At what point does McCloughan take responsibility? After all, if he showed up to work drunk on multiple occasions, seems justified that he was let go. Of course something like that is going to leak out. How could it not?

  68. abninf says: Mar 11, 2017 12:17 PM

    intrafinesse says:

    I’m not a lawyer but can’t you be sued for publicly saying that someone appeared drunk many times at their place of work?

    You can be sued for anything. Winning is another matter, and this isn’t a winning matter.

  69. cpozsgai says: Mar 11, 2017 12:30 PM

    We smoothed things over last week at the bar….

  70. jackedupboonie says: Mar 11, 2017 12:39 PM

    yep, that’s obviously a Snyder kinda guy there.

  71. a1b24312 says: Mar 11, 2017 1:14 PM

    He was doing someone’s dirty work bc someone wanted him gone. Now, was it Allen (who hired him) or The Danny?

  72. babygaga19 says: Mar 11, 2017 1:46 PM

    intrafinesse says:

    I’m not a lawyer but can’t you be sued for publicly saying that someone appeared drunk many times at their place of work?

    You can be sued for anything. Winning is another matter, and this isn’t a winning matter.
    Fan boy lawyers. You cant be sued for anything. It must be factually and legally founded else the attorney bringing the complaint is subject to Rule 11 sanctions. Fan boys, please stick to being NFL GMs.

  73. babygaga19 says: Mar 11, 2017 1:50 PM

    I’m not a lawyer but can’t you be sued for publicly saying that someone appeared drunk many times at their place of work?
    Truth is always a defense.

  74. bondlake says: Mar 11, 2017 1:52 PM

    Fear not, Mr. Cooley.

    There will come a time in your life where someone will say something about YOU which you would have hoped that they didn’t say.

    You can then think back to your actions on McCloughan.

    What goes around, comes around, dude.

  75. brettfavreisapacker4ever says: Mar 11, 2017 1:53 PM

    Cooley can be sued for defamation of character for the simple fact it may have affected his employment status.
    Maybe / maybe not.
    In either case it was a SLIMEBAG thing to make a statement to a journalist that was unconfirmed. I hope he gets run over by a truck.

  76. heavyjumbo says: Mar 11, 2017 2:03 PM

    Anyone who actually listened to the original segment would know that Cooley was not doing a hit job on mccloughan. He listed mccloughans drinking as one of several possibilities as to why the team was muzzling him. He should’ve been more responsible and shame on the organization for not denying it, but shame also on media outlets (especially this one) for not accurately portraying how that intial segment went down. To all who are vilifying Cooley I challenge you to listen to the original segment.

  77. patriots123456 says: Mar 11, 2017 2:14 PM

    They should solve this matter the old fashion way, with hookers and booze…

  78. cadreamer1969 says: Mar 11, 2017 2:32 PM

    That’s what Cooley does. It wasn’t the first time. He must see his job as just say things to stir the pot.

    Alright y’all, I wasn’t going to give this Cooley story attention, but it seems to be gaining steam and people are actually believing it. Anyway, it’s completely inaccurate. I know Cooley has a job to do as a Skins radio guy and part of that involves speculation…and finding reasoning for whatever is going on..

    But no there was no issue over a jersey number. Especially 8 weeks into to the season (as what was reported)…lol that’s crazy. We took care of that back in April before OTAs, and I haven’t thought about that number since. In Cooley’s defense though, he did say it’s not fact, and he has no real source…it’s just what he believes. He’s entitled to that.

    Ihenacho continued:

    What was a lil disappointing, was his comment about my unwillingness to act professional…when that’s all I’ve ever been my whole career. And if you ask most coaches or teammates or workers within the organization, I think they’ll agree.

  79. nyneal says: Mar 11, 2017 4:04 PM

    If all of this alcohol stuff turns out to be false, Dan Snyder will have a new partner by the time McLoughan’s lawyers are through with him and the Redskins.

  80. 1standinches says: Mar 11, 2017 4:21 PM

    Chris Cooley has owned up to his mistake and apologized for it. Most people would’ve sweeped it under the rug. That’s saying a lot.

  81. ibillwt says: Mar 11, 2017 5:02 PM

    Throw back a few together and hug it out.

  82. trollaikman8 says: Mar 11, 2017 5:07 PM

    “errbody need a fall guy”


  83. dasheisenberg says: Mar 11, 2017 5:07 PM

    You and the Redskins are going to regret it even more after you lose the lawsuit coming your way.

  84. irvness21 says: Mar 11, 2017 6:10 PM

    And this is the exact definition of a Blue Falcon!!!!

  85. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Mar 11, 2017 6:24 PM

    If all that’s needed to get someone fired is to say their name in the same sentence containing the word alcohol, I can think of a few dozen people I work with I’d like to use that on.

  86. bannedfromchoirpractice says: Mar 11, 2017 8:23 PM

    babygaga19 says:

    Fan boy lawyers. You cant be sued for anything. It must be factually and legally founded else the attorney bringing the complaint is subject to Rule 11 sanctions. Fan boys, please stick to being NFL GMs.

    “Please stick to being NFL GMs.” That is freaking hilarious!

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