- Jul 15, 2009
- Reaction score
- The Shadows of the Unknown
This is a must read as another fan reaches out to Snyder, this time former 76ers President/GM Billy King:
Click the above link for the entire article........I was fortunate to run the Philadelphia 76ers for 10 years, and along the way I made plenty of mistakes. But I learned from those mistakes. Hiring the right person to lead a major professional team along with a coach is a difficult task. And once you do hire a coach, you can’t try and tell him how to coach. As GM, and later president and GM, I felt it was my job to run interference for the coach or, better yet, be the buffer. Allow the owner to vent to me, not the coach. A head coach at any level has tremendous pressure on him. The last thing I felt he needed was added pressure from the owner. Of course, there are meetings where personnel and strategy are discussed among the coach and management. I always felt that if you were going to strongly suggest whom they should play and what plays should be run, then that person should not be your head coach. You don’t take your car to a car wash and wash it yourself. You have to hire the best people and allow them to do their job until you decide they’re not capable.
Here lies the problem with the Redskins. The most exciting and successful period in their history was when they were led by Bobby Beathard, who was GM from 1978 to 1989. He was assisted by Charley Casserly, who later took over for Beathard. Bobby allowed Joe Gibbs to become the great coach that he eventually became. Jack Kent Cooke did not micro-manage; yes, he was an outspoken, eccentric owner, but he allowed his football people to be football people.
Gibbs started his first season with the Redskins with five losses. This is where Daniel Snyder should take a lesson from the late owner. Cooke not only endorsed Gibbs, he proclaimed that the team would finish 8-8, which it did. This let everyone -- fans, players and media -- know that Gibbs was his guy. It also allowed Gibbs the complete confidence to implement a system that he felt was going to be successful for a long time and not cut corners. If Snyder wants to be a great owner, he needs to do what other great owners have done: Hire a real football guy and then sit in the owner’s box and cheer. From the fans’ complaints about their overall experience at the stadium, he may want to do the same on business side.
If you look at the Redskins, you realize there’s not going to be a quick fix here. It’s going to take time building through the draft, which is why Snyder needs to stop looking for the coaching messiah. Take some time to hire a GM and then listen to him. Once the new guy is in place, allow him to lay the foundation to build a solid franchise. When you take this route (hint: open your media guide, Mr. Snyder; you’ll see that Beathard recommended Gibbs to Jack Kent Cooke), the coach and GM work together to build a championship-caliber team. Yes, there are great coaches out there -- Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden and Bill Cower to name three. I know Snyder is tempted to throw a bunch of money their way. He should step back, resist the temptation and get a real football guy to be the GM to lead his team. You don’t send your kids to school in the winter without a coat. Stop sending your team out on the field without a real leader at the top. Those same coaches will be there later, and your relationship with them will be even better because you have a GM.