Steve Spurrier: Snyder wouldn’t let me pick the quarterback

Getty Images

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.

96 responses to “Steve Spurrier: Snyder wouldn’t let me pick the quarterback

  1. hence the reason they finish last year after year after year and will again this year. I would cancel my season ticket orders if I was a dopey fan of this org as how can you support this dysfunction year after year after year…………as a boys fan though I love it.

  2. Dan Snyder is the best owner in sports. Please let him continue to meddle and make player decisions.

    Signed,
    Fan of the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants

  3. There’s probably fault on both ends, but a coach should always have final say on who gets to play and who doesn’t.

    It’s why Pete Carroll was able to turn things around in Seattle. The best guy plays, regardless, and Pete Carroll has the leash to make those decisions. It didn’t matter that they paid a lot of money for Matt Flynn to come in to be the starter. Wilson, as an undersized rookie, came in and outplayed him and Pete didn’t let politics dictate who played. A lot of people hate Pete Carroll, mostly out of jealousy, but us Seahawks fans love him for what he’s done in Seattle.

  4. davearnone says:
    Sep 30, 2015 12:48 PM
    It must suck to be a ‘Skins fan.

    I wouldn’t know, since my publicly owned Packers have dominated the league for a generation.
    __________________________________
    Which generation are you referring to?

    If you are referring to any generation post baby boomers, you would need to look at the Cowboys, Steelers, Cowboys again, and finally the Patriots most recently.

    Or maybe just look up the definition of generation

  5. Love how seahag fan weighs in on why things work there. No one reading this thread cares.
    On another note, Snyder makes Al Davis, late life Al, look shrewd.
    Al Davis had Super Bowl cred despite his late life failings. Snyder is doing the timeline backwards and will NEVER get it done the way he runs his club. What a joke.

  6. Blame the owner or commissioner.

    Is that the game that everyone is playing now?

    Spurrier had no say in it after all the effort Snyder put forth to get him to coach the REDSKINS?

    If that is the game, then I blame Obama for not letting me pick my own tax rate, my gun(s), my oil, my soda, my Constitutional rights, etc

  7. Though he got them to the playoffs twice after he returned, Joe Gibbs two worst seasons came under Dan Snyder’s ownership.

  8. And to think back to the 80’s…Hogs, Riggo, Art Monk and Theisman. That team smashed you right in the mouth…as the bleachers rocked up and down in RFK….a great team.

    Sad what the REDSKINS have become

    From a old boys fan

  9. Having Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel even on the roster proves this story isn’t 100% accurate. Both of those guys had already proven they couldn’t cut it in the NFL and they were brought in to run the Spurrier system.

  10. Agree with spanishmike5. Spurrier said he was just a ball coach, and any QB could play his kind of ball. He picked his two boys, and they stunk up the joint. At the end, Spurrier blurted out that he resigned while playing golf. The Redskins immediately announced his resignation, which Spurrier denied. Too late. He forfeited $5 million with that bogey.

  11. In this case, Spurrier is just making excuses. The NFL requires coaches to put in much more work than college coaching, and Spurrier is actually pretty lazy. He didn’t want to do it. He wanted to play golf.

  12. Scot McCloughan is now running the team he is the one who is making the decisions. How many times does that have to be said?

  13. Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews were both signed by Cerato not Spurrier. The only other guy was Snyders boy Patrick Ramsey.

    He never had a chance at success.

    Who was drafted as the 1st pick of the second round after the Redskins drafted WR Rod Gardner in the first round???

    DREW BREES

  14. hence the reason they finish last year after year after year and will again this year. I would cancel my season ticket orders if I was a dopey fan of this org as how can you support this dysfunction year after year after year…………as a boys fan though I love it.

    I would argue the “boys” aren’t in much better shape with JJ, in spite of some success last year, they situations parallel quite a bit

  15. Well… The team accommodated Spurrier in year one… They gave him Danny Wuerffel & Shane Matthews, how did that work out for him?

    Seriously, Spurrier was never meant for the NFL… He wouldn’t put in the hours necessary and didn’t understand it sometimes takes more than 5 guys to block for the QB… He would send 5 guys out on routes and leave the QB for dead all the time. He wouldn’t account for blitzes, etc.

    He was a terrible NFL coach and that had nothing to do with Snyder.

  16. It wasn’t a college vs. pro thing. Spurrier can have a pretty good offense if he gets the style player he wants. They don’t even need to be high talent players, just guys that are smart and can play decent. His defense was usually suspect but many of his offensive teams were fun to watch including ‘Bandit ball’ in Tampa.

  17. r502 says:
    Sep 30, 2015 1:06 PM
    Love how seahag fan weighs in on why things work there. No one reading this thread cares.
    On another note, Snyder makes Al Davis, late life Al, look shrewd.
    Al Davis had Super Bowl cred despite his late life failings. Snyder is doing the timeline backwards and will NEVER get it done the way he runs his club. What a joke.
    ___________________________________
    I actually do care as the way the Seahawks have built their team has been a great strategy with the draft/free agency – despite losing their director of player personnel in the middle of the process (who is currently in Washington).

    Sometimes it’s ok to put your bias aside and look at things objectively

  18. revisionist history. spurrier. like nick saban, is trying to re-position himself for future nfl jobs.

    spurrier drank way too much for the nfl. and didn’t game plan. he just winged it. and got crushed by other, harder working, more serious coaches. stay in SC spurrier. you have no shot to return to nfl.

  19. First off, I am NOT , at all, a Daniel Snyder fan! His management style is dispicable, and he is a large part of the Redskins problems, but this story doesn’t pass the smell test.
    Spurrier had all of his Florida quarterbacks on this team, as mediocre as they were. The consensus of virtually all of the media who cover the Skins was that Steve S put in minimal effort into this coaching job, and had daily afternoon tee times during the season, often leaving scouting and practice details to his assistants. Spurrier has nerve complaining about anything Snyder did after basically robbing him of millions of dollars. The only activity Spurrier was dedicated to was his golf game.

  20. Why are people giving Vinny Cerrato a pass? He destroyed the 49ers and the Redskins but every one blames Dan Snyder. Vinny is the one who wanted the older players and thought the team was close to winning.Dan’s problem was that he trusted Vinny too much/ Luckily Scot is here the mess is gone.

  21. There is always a solution for a bad coach or GM-they can be fired.

    There is no solution for a bad owner. Best to root for another team.

  22. tbone4444 says:
    Sep 30, 2015 1:18 PM
    hence the reason they finish last year after year after year and will again this year. I would cancel my season ticket orders if I was a dopey fan of this org as how can you support this dysfunction year after year after year…………as a boys fan though I love it.

    I would argue the “boys” aren’t in much better shape with JJ, in spite of some success last year, they situations parallel quite a bit
    ___________________________________
    The Redskins have finished the regular season with a better record than Dallas TWICE in the last 12 years. Not so similar my friend.

  23. “…so it would be unfair to pin all the blame on Snyder for Spurrier’s disappointing tenure in Washington.”

    Quick! Name one coach who HASN’T had a disappointing tenure in Washington since Snyder bought the team. Clock begins….now.

  24. Snyder is the the Anti-Jerruh.

    Jerruh hires people to make important decisions while he takes all the credit. Snyder makes important decisions and hires people to take all the blame.

  25. downwithflorio says:
    Sep 30, 2015 1:48 PM

    Snyder is the the Anti-Jerruh.

    Jerruh hires people to make important decisions while he takes all the credit. Snyder makes important decisions and hires people to take all the blame.

    —-

    Eh, that’s really only been since Garrett became HC, and Jerruh is still the GM.

  26. sweetnlow44 says:
    Sep 30, 2015 12:53 PM
    There’s probably fault on both ends, but a coach should always have final say on who gets to play and who doesn’t.

    It’s why Pete Carroll was able to turn things around in Seattle. The best guy plays, regardless, and Pete Carroll has the leash to make those decisions. It didn’t matter that they paid a lot of money for Matt Flynn to come in to be the starter. Wilson, as an undersized rookie, came in and outplayed him and Pete didn’t let politics dictate who played. A lot of people hate Pete Carroll, mostly out of jealousy, but us Seahawks fans love him for what he’s done in Seattle.
    ****************************************
    Ooh, you went there ! Go USC-Hawks !!!

  27. I want someone who thinks Scot is not the one who is making the decisions for the Skins to say why they have that opinion because everything the Redskins did this offseaon has his fingerprints on it. He signed good and drafted very good young players, started to fix both the Oline and Dline which had been neglected by Vinny Cerrato. and Bruce Allen.

  28. As a Browns fan, I can only hope Haslam improves into a Snyder-level owner someday. Oh gawd, I want to cry.

  29. This is coming from a Skins fan…..we suck and have for a while….but to all the Cowboys fans out there who constantly praise their team like they’ve actually achieved something as of late….here’s a little tidbit for you……

    I was in high school the last time Dallas won a trophy…..and I’m damn near 35 yrs old.

  30. Spurrier and the NFL are not a fit, and he’d probably tell you that himself. He loves his golf, and the time commitment of an NFL coach just isn’t compatible with Spurriers lifestyle. And that’s fine.

    That being said, Spurrier arrived to a bare cupboard. Their QB situation during his tenure was possibly their worst ever. Matthews, Ramsey, Wuerffel and Tim Hasselbeck were their QBs during that stint, and their RBs were pretty garbage too. Overall their offensive talent was abysmal and yet they still managed to score a reasonable amount of points considering. The defense, which was talented, was atrocious. Not Spurriers calling card.

    Fact is, while Spurrier was never going to light the NFL on fire, he was given a garbage team to make work, and given no authority over personnel decisions whatsoever. That’s on Snyder more than Spurrier IMO.

  31. I think this is a bit disingenuous and self-serving for Spurrier to say that. Snyder let him sign all those UF alum rejects who nobody else wanted. Maybe after seeing him put Danny Wuerffel at QB was why Snyder did that. He gave Spurrier the personnel decisions and look what he did–bring in all his former players. No wonder Snyder is what he is now.

    Snyder is probably no different from Jerry Jones in respect to meddling with making decisions. Jerry Jones at least has some football knowledge of which Snyder has none. That’s the real problem.

  32. Bro (Spurrier),

    I liked you as the coach at Florida, highly successful. But quit making the Nick Saban type headlines regarding choosing the QB you wanted. Saban claims he wanted Brees. You brought in Shane Matthews and Danny F-in Wuerffel off the street, because “they knew your system from their days in college”. STOP IT. Matthews ended a bad run with the Bears, and Wuerffel, well no need to elaborate. Not to mention, you wanted to run a 2 QB team splitting the reps in the NFL. C’mon man!

    While these comments bring to light current issues that’s been elaborated currently (RGIII), your QBs weren’t cutting it. Former Redskins players have said as much, more than 90% of league media and analysts have said as much. Snyder has made a bunch of dumb decisions since being the owner, but Bro, not letting you choose the lot of QBs you brought in probably doesn’t make the cut.

    Leave the NFL alone, and focus on getting SC back to relevance.

    Sincerely,

    [Washington team] fan from DC.

  33. Living in DC and following the Spurrier era was fantastic. For people that have mentioned Matthews/Wuerffel, here is exactly what happened- Spurrier brought those guys in his first year. His second year Serrato and Snyder decided that they couldn’t let Spurrier keep them. They HAD to cut Wuerffel or Spurrier would have played him over Patrick Ramsey.

    What Spurrier is saying is the truth. In this case though, Snyder’s mistake was putting Spurrier in charge of an NFL team, everything else followed after that, including not letting Spurrier choose his QB.

    And by the way, it’s not like Ramsey was the next Joe Montana……..

  34. If I was a rich guy and had an expensive toy (i.e. a football team) I’d prefer winning to perpetual 4-12 seasons. After meddling for a few years and going 4-12 I’d grow tired of sucking and let a professional try doing better than I could.

    Same for my trying to self treat a medical or dental condition. Better to let a professional do it.

  35. You would think that Snyder would of gotten a clue by now that HE is the problem with the Redskins but some owner’s egos won’t let them admit that.

  36. @interfinesse You do know Scot McCloughan is now running the team? Everything the Redskins have done this offseason has McCloughan written all over it. I would say he is a professional.

  37. too self serving to not comment. all the reasons listed above, hours, golf, college system, lack of talent, are true. lack of ability to choose players and who would play sounds like a 12 year old load of horse manure designed to con some sucker owner into another few years at $5-7M. cause the people in columbia seem to have seen about enough. next he will be blaming the newspapers, like he does down there in the SEC.

    Here’s the real truth: patrick ramsay deserved a purple heart for the beating he took the second year of the spurrier regime. head ball coach could not understand that (unlike college) 5 moderately talented fat boys cannot protect an nfl qb for the time needed to run those route trees he brought from florida. and he was too stubborn to keep someone back there to block or even chip on the way out….

  38. Here is proof that Dan Snyder is not running the team. We didn’t sign any mid 30’s FAs who can’t play anymore we signed young good FAs, we drafted a Olineman with our 1st pick and RG3 is not starting. If Snyder was running the team do you think any of this would have happen this offseason? Be honest with your answers.

  39. firecommand says:
    Sep 30, 2015 2:50 PM
    Whats his excuse for sucking at SC? Does the AD dictate who plays QB there? This guy is major richard noggin.
    ________________
    4th Coach in SEC history to reach 100 wins. Only Bear Bryant has more wins.

    He won the ACC title at Duke before going to the SEC to win multiple titles with Florida.

    Do research

  40. snyder is dumb,but not dumb enough to sign danny kaniel and shane matthews as starting qbs. that is on spurrier who knows about as much about pro football as he does on astronomy! spurrier was the idiot out of his league which is why he quit on his own!

  41. I think Spurrier was the former Florida coach, if were talking about former college coaching jobs. He also had a stint with the Redskins in the NFL.

  42. I remember when Snyder bought the team from the Cooke’s, the atmostphere was total opposite of when Biscotti bought the Ravens from Modell . It was nothing but sadness and shock in the DC area. i think they are still in shock.

  43. I think Snyder has made a lot of mistakes with ownership of the Redskins. I hope he learns from them. I am hoping that eventually he will mellow into a good owner like Jack Kent Cooke. Of course, I also hope for unicorns to make a comeback…

  44. first things first….Snyder isn’t a great owner and he’s the reason for the failed tenure of Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner….however, Spurrier’s problems are NOT on Snyder.

    Before i get into Spurrier though, Vinny Cerrato doesnt get a lot of blame because Cerrato was more of a Yes Man to Snyder.

    Now back to Spurrier, HE is the fault for why the Redskins lost when he coached. Snyder’s a moron who takes gambles on QBs (McNabb), but Snyder would NEVER have signed Shane Matthews or Danny Wuerffel….Matthews and Wuerffel were clearly Spurrier guys as was Jaquiz Green and Chris Doring. what wasnt a Spurrier signing was Laverneous Coles, i can’t answer if Ramsey was Snyder’s call or not, but Matthews and Wuerffel were clearly Spurrier’s guys. the reason Spurrier failed is that he never had the QB….it’s likely that Spurrier wanted Grossman, but never got him.

    the Redskins under Spurrier stunk due to bad blocking (due to scheme, not talent) as well as a bad running game (Kenny Watson was the starter) the Redskins had ok enough WRs to win with and the offensive line had 2 tackles in Samuels and Jansen, the issue was the scheme got the QB sacked a lot and the QBs throwing were all terrible. Ramsey had the best arm of them all, but he wasnt a starter and never was….also the defense wasnt great either. all that usually means a bad team.

  45. South Carolina starts 2015 at 2/2, so Spurrier feels the need to go back to 2003 and his days with the Washington Redskins to whine and make excuses about his shortcomings.
    He needs to retire and fade away out on the links.

  46. boysroll says:
    Sep 30, 2015 12:45 PM
    hence the reason they finish last year after year after year and will again this year. I would cancel my season ticket orders if I was a dopey fan of this org as how can you support this dysfunction year after year after year…………as a boys fan though I love it.

    – – – – – – – – – –
    Well there has certainly never been any dysfunction in the Jerry Jones tenure in Dallas. Lay off the glory hole, son, it’s affecting your judgment.

  47. Wait a second. He may be able to fool the forgetful but not me. He had Danny Wuerfel starting… the QB that nobody wanted that played for the Gators. I’m almost positive Snyder didn’t push for that guy because he was all Spurier.

  48. Didn’t Spurrier have Wuerffel starting the first year? So what? Then he was ‘forced’ to start Patrick Ramsey? C’mon…the owner needs to mind his business, but let’s not act like Spurrier was this pro personal genius.

  49. Don’t worry Steve. You don’t owe me an explanation. Even HOF coach Joe Gibbs couldn’t win with Snyder. Nor could two time super bowl winner Mike Shanahan. Anybody who judges someone based on their time spent under Snyder is off base.

  50. That’s why the Redskins have always sucked since he became the owner. He thinks you can just shell out money to buy a good team and tell coaches who to play but it never works out in the NFL.

  51. Dan Snyder is terrible. 22 years of suffering. A few flashes like Sean Taylor, RGIII rookie. Joe Gibbs worst year s were under Snyder. Hiring jokers like Vinnie Cerratto and pepper rogers. None of the personnel choices seem to work out.

    A startling statistic only about five Green Bay packer players have ever played for another team.

    Snyder has inadvertently been the cancer

  52. I can imagine the face Spurter made, and Tantrum
    he threw when he was told no.. He wanted Danny Wonderful for his QB.. How can you blame them for taking that away from him?

  53. @mwcarolina Vinny has to get most of the blame because he did the same thing in San Fransisco, or was he just a yes man for Jed York too?

  54. Steve Spurrier said when he was hired he didn’t want to make any personnel decisions he only wanted to coach up the players..

  55. Spurrier’s July 2002 first training camp practice (I was there, and have the pictures to prove it)…the QBs – Rob Johnson, Mathews, Weurfel, Ramsey, and a camp arm named Brad Smith – Spurrier wanted to draft his QB, with his Florida QBs tutoring his offense, Snyder never got that chance…he was stuck with Ramsey..
    The true mistake Snyder made was canning Shottenheimer the previous year…the guy cleaned house of both Cerrato and a lot of dead weight players and starting winning with the likes of Tony Banks & Kijana Carter…this guy would’ve brought the skins back to prominence, like he did everywhere he went…a hell of a coach; I’d take him even now over almost any current HC..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.