- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2000

Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner is expected to be fired by owner Dan Snyder today, according to sources close to both.
Snyder and Turner met briefly after a devastating 9-7 loss to the New York Giants yesterday. That loss dropped the Redskins' record to 7-6 and leaves them eighth in the chase for the six National Football Conference playoff berths.
Snyder and Turner usually meet after games, but the short session after the loss to the Giants indicated that no action was taken yesterday. However, team sources said Snyder will meet with Turner today and release the coach from his contract, which still has one year worth $1 million remaining.
Defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes and passing game coordinator Terry Robiskie are considered to be the top candidates to succeed Turner. Redskins sources said that Rhodes doesn't want the job after being fired in the last two years by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. However, Robiskie is said to be eager to become a head coach and likely would accept the position on an interim basis.
Such a promotion would not mean that Rhodes or Robiskie would keep the job for the 2001 season, however.
Snyder wants a marquee name and already has put out feelers to University of Miami coach Butch Davis. Snyder also was said to be interested in New York Jets president Bill Parcells and University of Florida coach Steve Spurrier, but sources close to each said that neither is interested.
Indeed, team sources said that Snyder was debating last night whether to promote Robiskie or Rhodes or hire a coach from outside the organization.
Turner has grown weary of the constant speculation over the past three years that he would be fired. Turner already has reached his personal goal that his eldest son, Scott Turner, finish his senior season as Oakton High School's quarterback before he would relocate.
Turner bristled yesterday when he was asked during his postgame interview whether he expected to be fired.
"You're asking the wrong guy," he said.
Snyder, who does not not grant interviews during the season, reportedly told Turner recently that he would be allowed to coach the rest of the season before a decision is made on the final year of his contract.
However, Turner suspected he would be fired if his team lost to the Giants. The Redskins set a preseason goal of reaching the Super Bowl, and the only way Turner would be likely to return next season would be to get there.
Turner already has been rumored to be a candidate for an expected opening with the San Diego Chargers and for the recent coaching vacancy at the University of Southern California. Turner was an assistant at Southern California from 1976 to 1983. Sources close to Turner said he's willing to return to the college ranks but would prefer an NFL position.
Snyder spent lavishly on free agents during the offseason to create the most expensive team in NFL history.
Snyder spent about $100 million in payroll on this team and brought in high-priced free agents such as quarterback Jeff George, defensive end Bruce Smith and cornerback Deion Sanders.
The Redskins have struggled, especially over the past 1* months. The Redskins won five straight games from Sept. 24 to Oct. 22 and seemed to be on course for a strong playoff run. But they have slipped badly of late, losing four of their past five.
Injuries decimated the Redskins' offense. The team lost 48 games to injuries, compared with 10 last season. Guard Tre Johnson, receiver Michael Westbrook and center Cory Raymer were lost before or early in the season, limiting an offense that has started 13 different lineups.
Turner's tenure has been marked by disappointment. He is 49-59-1 in six-plus seasons. His best performance was last year, when his team went 10-6, won the NFC East and made its only playoff appearance under him.
Turner was in trouble in 1998, when the Redskins opened 0-7 and "Impeach Norv" signs appeared in the stands. Only the fact that the sale of the team wasn't completed until July 1999 prevented Snyder from changing coaches before last season.
Snyder told Turner to either make the playoffs in 1999 or he would be fired. The Redskins went on to their first division title in eight years and their first playoff game in seven.
Players didn't want Turner to take the fall for the team's poor play. They blamed themselves for the poor performances.
"Norv is a very hard worker and I'd be very disappointed if anything happened," fullback Larry Centers said. "The coaching staff works very hard."
Said receiver Irving Fryar: "I think Norv is a great coach. I really do. I think he's a great person. You don't find many like him. It's not the coach's fault. He calls the plays, but it wasn't play-calling. It was the execution of plays. It was our fault, not the coach's fault."

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