Former Washington coach Steve Spurrier says team owner Dan Snyder meddled in personnel decisions to the point where Spurrier couldn’t even pick the quarterback, even though the whole reason Spurrier was hired was that his passing offense had been so successful at Florida.
In a Golf Channel interview taped before the start of this football season, Spurrier said that Snyder took those decisions out of his hands, and Spurrier hinted that Snyder’s meddling led in part to Spurrier’s resignation.
“I don’t know what I could have done that much differently,” Spurrier said, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “You know, I don’t want to get into a lot of details, but basically the two years that I was there, the second year we didn’t even pick the team. The owner and the personnel guy, whoever, the personnel guys, they picked the team. I couldn’t even pick the quarterback the second year. So I knew it wasn’t going to work, but that’s ok. I probably didn’t do a very good job, and the situation wasn’t what I was looking for, so it was time to move on.”
Spurrier took a year off after quitting in Washington after the 2003 season, then became the head coach at South Carolina, where he remains. Spurrier has always seemed to be a coach whose approach works better in college than in the NFL, so it would be unfair to pin all the blame on Snyder for Spurrier’s disappointing tenure in Washington. But it’s not unfair to blame Snyder for the fact that no coach he’s hired has been able to win consistently in Washington. Snyder needs to let football coaches make football decisions.