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Monday, January 14
Updated: January 15, 11:33 AM ET
Snyder fired Schottenheimer to regain control

By Joe Theismann
Special to

Taking nothing away from Steve Spurrier and his coaching ability, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder should not have fired Marty Schottenheimer. Getting the Redskins to 8-8 after an 0-5 start earned Schottenheimer consideration as Coach of the Year.

The coaching change was not about Schottenheimer or Spurrier. It was about Snyder regaining control of his football team. With Schottenheimer, Snyder realized he had no input. Now he has it again.

Marty Schottenheimer
With Marty Schottenheimer out of the way, the balance of power is clearly in Daniel Snyder's hands.
The last thing Washington needs is more change. A team can't keep changing and expect to be good. If you count the few hours Pepper Rodgers was the team's head coach, this will be the Redskins' fifth head coach in 13 months -- Norv Turner, Rodgers, Terry Robiskie, Schottenheimer and now Spurrier.

The business is difficult enough. With consistency, a team has a chance to win. Athletes are not as good when they are thinking, and a coaching change means retraining the athletes. Coaches like to bring in their own assistants and their own philosophy.

Spurrier's hiring leaves a lot of unanswered questions, some of which may be too difficult to answer at this time. What style of offense will Spurrier run? And if he wants to throw as he did at Florida, does he have the personnel in place to run that type of offense? Will he be the offensive coordinator or will he hire someone else? How comfortable would he be with someone else calling plays? Who will run the defense? He will need someone like Darrell Green around to help him get through the transition period.

Spurrier loves to throw the football. But his offensive personnel is not built around passing. The Redskins are geared to run the football, play defense and win games with their kicking. Iím curious to see what Spurrier will do with Stephen Davis in his offense because I donít know.

How will Spurrier handle the quarterback situation, with Tony Banks as the starter? Spurrier has been inconsistent with his quarterbacks at Florida; except this season with Rex Grossman and the national championship year with Danny Wuerffel, Spurrier often rotated quarterbacks in each game. Will he do the same on a professional level or settle with one quarterback?

Spurrier did a great job at the college level and brings a great resume from both Florida and Duke. But in the NFL, he won't have the superior athletes that gave him such an edge at Florida. Spurrier's greatest challenge will be getting the athletes to play for him. It will be difficult convincing NFL players to do things if a coach has never done it at that level.

I would love to see Spurrier succeed. I just wonder if his style fits the style in Washington. If Spurrier can lead the Redskins to another 8-8 season, he will have done a great coaching job. Because Snyder has wanted Spurrier as his coach for a long time, one positive is that Spurrier will be the Redskins' head coach longer than his predecessors.

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