I'm short on time so this will probably be my only post of the day (the site is yours, reader(s)!). The Washington Times tracked down Dan Snyder at the owner's meeting and coerced some interesting tidbits from him. The entire article is worth a read though, here go some highlights:
"I was 34 when I bought the team," Mr. Snyder said. "Now I'm approaching my mid-40s. There's something about just growing up. My drive to succeed, my energy, my passion hasn't changed. My experience, my professionalism and patience is starting to pay off for us. I was thrown into it very quickly, and I did the best I could. I made a lot of mistakes, and I learned a ton. Now, hopefully, I'm becoming a much better owner than I was when I was 34 years old."
We all hope he's a better owner now than he was back then. Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999
. The team failed to accomplish a winning season or playoff appearance for 5 more years until, in Joe Gibbs' second year with the team, we finally broke through in 2005. Last year's 9-7 marks the first time in three years and the third time in the entirety of the Dan Snyder era that we made the postseason, which is a widely accepted milestone of a successful season. Even if it isn't, I consider it to be so.
Whether Snyder is a better owner now than he was then certainly has some factual basis, as we've been better the past 3 years than we were the previous six. But only time will inform how much of the last three was due to Joe Gibbs moreso than Dan Snyder. However, even granting the impact that Gibbs had on the team, perhaps Dan Snyder's hiring and subsequent promotion to team president of Gibbs reflects that maturation process he's heaping on himself in the article. If it turns out to be the case that Joe Gibbs taught Dan Snyder, if nothing else, that sometimes it is best to let other people make football decisions, then it would be a lesson well learned and one that will better the team in the future, in my opinion. And as I've just heaped high praise on Joe Gibbs...
"What I really like about Jim is that he's similar to Joe in that he's a steady guy," Mr. Snyder said. "Joe is ... a steady man through the good times of winning and the bad times of losing. Jim feels very similar to me. There's no panic. He's just steady."
What ish e supposed to say, something bad about his head coach? Still, there is no praise by association better than that of Joe Gibbs. I also suppose that, all things equal, 'tis best to not have a neurotic coach. Frankly, though, I'll take a winning bipolar coach over a losing sober one all day.
And finally, on our franchise quarterback:
"Jason has performed good. We need to him to perform great," Mr. Snyder said. "He's professional, intelligent, eager to learn. He's got all the attributes of leadership. He's the type of guy that you're thrilled to have. We feel good with Jason as our quarterback. There are a lot of teams that would like to have Jason Campbell."
Smart criticism tempered with praise here. Jason Campbell has not been great (incidentally he hasn't been good
either, since good can't modify how one has performed) and we'd all like to see him accomplish as much. I don't know if or whether Jason Campbell pays much attention to comments like the ones above, but I'm sure he knows better than Dan Snyder where his game is and where it ought to be. Actions speak much louder than words, though, and Snyder's willingness to bring in a former quarterback's coach to lead this team should be a strong indication that this team's development is inseparable from his as a player. I state the obvious good
AOL Fanhouse, Dan Snyder Has Learned a Lot in 10 Years
Hog Heaven, Hog Heaven Daniel Snyder morphs to a smarter, more mature aggression
DC Sports Bog, Joe Gibbs's Favorite Movie is Young Frankenstein