Mort on Marty
ESPN's Trey Wingo and Chris Mortensen take a closer look at Schottenheimer's new job.
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'Skins get Schottenheimer
ESPN's Chris Mortensen says that Marty Schottenheimer will have his hands full in Washington.
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Schottenheimer to coach Redskins, run operations

Chris Mortensen archive: columns

Snyder sells Schottenheimer on 'Skins

Marty Schottenheimer, the new coach and general manager of the Washington Redskins, wasn't quite sheepish Wednesday, but he answered the question before it was asked.

"I guess I learned a lesson," he said. "It shows you need more information before you start saying certain things."

Marty Schottenheimer
Marty Schottenheimer led the Chiefs and the Browns to three AFC title games combined.

Certain things, like Schottenheimer said he could never work for an owner like Daniel Snyder. In fact, when Snyder first fired Norv Turner, I asked Schottenheimer privately whether he would ever allow himself to be a candidate. Schottenheimer told me to not even consider it and to focus on other candidates. He later basically shared the same thoughts with our ESPN audiences on "NFL 2Night."

No, Schottenheimer wasn't trying to give us a smoke screen. He meant it. Yes, he had the itch to coach again, but it wasn't going to be for the Redskins. Now, I had a sense he was interested in the potential jobs in San Diego and Arizona until the two franchises decided to retain Mike Riley and Dave McGinnis, respectively.

Schottenheimer walked away from an opportunity to coach North Carolina, but he was uncomfortable with the unfamiliar college game.

Then Snyder wanted to meet with Schottenheimer last week. What the heck, Schottenheimer thought. It wouldn't hurt. But he wanted to to be very discreet because he felt that the publicity would be all for nothing. He did not expect that things would get serious, but they did. Serious enough that Schottenheimer signed a four-year, $10 million contract to be the next Redskins coach.

As a point of emphasis, sources say Schottenheimer told Snyder he would not tolerate any meddling from the owner. Snyder assured him not to worry.

"I really thought that our management styles would not work," said Schottenheimer. "I had worked 10 years for a guy (Lamar Hunt) who was just the model owner in terms of never interfering. But he (Snyder) told me: 'I don't want to be involved with the football team. I just want to be kept informed about what you're doing. It's your show to run.' "

Redskins give up two third-rounders
They're just words, but Schottenheimer bought their sincerity. Well, Snyder bought Schottenheimer for $10 million over four years.

Not only that, but Snyder gave up two third-round draft picks -- one this year, one next year -- to the Kansas City Chiefs as compensation for Schottenheimer, who had one year remaining on his contract with the Chiefs since he resigned after the 1998 season. Chiefs president Carl Peterson tried to get a first-rounder, then two second-rounders, before he settled for the third-rounders. A year ago, the Green Bay Packers had agreed to give the Chiefs a first- and fourth-rounder for Schottenheimer, only to settle on Mike Sherman as Ray Rhodes' successor.

There are the usual twists of fate here. Rhodes will be a factor in one of Schottenheimer's first major decisions because he is currently the Redskins' defensive coordinator with one year left on his contract. Rhodes would like to join Mike Shanahan, one of Schottenheimer's longtime rivals with the Denver Broncos, as the successor to Greg Robinson, who was fired as the Broncos' defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

If Rhodes wants out, Schottenheimer might be able to recoup a third-round draft pick from the Broncos in 2001 that the Redskins have given to the Chiefs. There is plenty of precedent for compensation for coordinator switches.

Schottenheimer pointed out that he was Rhodes' secondary coach once with the New York Giants.

"In fact," said Schottenheimer, "I was involved in the decision to move Ray from offense to defense."

It's not a coincidence that franchises like the Redskins and Packers got Schottenheimer's attention the past two years.

(Daniel Snyder) told me: 'I don't want to be involved with the football team. I just want to be kept informed about what you're doing. It's your show to run.'
Marty Schottenheimer

"There are a handful of premier franchises in the NFL, from a historical perspective," said Schottenheimer. "The Redskins, the Packers, the Giants, the Bears and the Browns -- and I've coached there. Those are the premier franchises, so it's a privilege to be the coach of the Washington Redskins."

Oh, it changes so much about the Redskins. Does Brad Johnson now get re-signed, or franchised? Is Jeff George welcome back? Do they eye another quarterback? Oh, this is going to be fun.

George's future would seem to be in real doubt. Schottenheimer didn't want George when the quarterback was a free agent seeking a deal with the Chiefs. The coach also has been critical of George as an ESPN analyst.

Also, contrary to speculation, do not expect that Schottenheimer will hire Paul Hackett to rejoin him as offensive coordinator. Sources say that while Schottenheimer admires Hackett's ability to coach quarterback technique, he would not choose Hackett again to lead his offense, as he did in Kansas City.

Schottenheimer is a great coach, regardless of criticism that he could never win the big one. He wins, that's all I know. He has 150 victories (96 losses, one tie) logged with the Chiefs and Browns. He's had some heartbreaking losses that just kept him from the Super Bowl.

I just know that it's always good for the league to have its best coaches on the sidelines. So it's good that Schottenheimer is back.

And I must say that Daniel Snyder left me speechless for a few moments Wednesday. HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP

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