- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner will return next season after meeting with owner Dan Snyder yesterday.
Team sources said an announcement is expected as soon as today. Snyder and Turner couldn’t be reached for comment, but one team official confirmed the meeting, at which a number of issues were decided.
The long-anticipated meeting came just two days after Turner met Snyder’s preseason requirement of making the playoffs to retain his job. The Redskins (9-6) won the NFC East title for the first time in eight years and reached the postseason for the first time in seven. It was Turner’s first playoff team in six seasons after coming close in 1996 at 9-7 and 1997 at 8-7-1.
The Redskins complete the regular season Sunday vs. the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field. Washington either will play host to the worst wild-card team either Jan. 8 or Jan. 9 or will receive a first-round bye if it beats Miami, Tampa Bay loses and Minnesota loses or ties Sunday. Washington then would play the highest-remaining first-round seed Jan. 15 or 16.
Turner’s return was not considered automatic even though the team reached the playoffs. Team sources said Turner worried a playoff victory would be needed to remain and that the coach was considering whether to request a buyout of the final two years of his $1 million-a-year contract and resign.
Turner denied he was considering leaving. However, he clearly was weary of Snyder’s intense daily involvement with the team since the latter’s record $800 million purchase of the team and stadium July 14. Unlike the hands-off approach of Jack Kent Cooke and successor John Kent Cooke in recent years, Snyder attends every game and nearly every practice.
Snyder met with Turner for 40 minutes in the Texas Stadium locker room following an Oct. 24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, a meeting that left the coach visibly upset. Snyder also met with four players privately Dec. 10 before a key game against Arizona that team sources said left Turner feeling undermined.
However, team sources said Turner felt some of his differences with Snyder could be worked out during the offseason. Given that Snyder gained control of the team just 11 days before training camp, the two rarely had time for lengthy meetings even though they talked daily. The coming offseason will permit longer discussions to clarify each other’s positions on the team’s future, including how to use the three first-round draft picks.
It was the second time Turner has gained an endorsement from Snyder. Turner received increased control over the roster after General Manager Charley Casserly was demoted to “consultant” and left the Redskins on Sept. 4.
Turner still may make changes on his coaching staff, however. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and his staff could be fired along with special teams coach LeCharls McDaniel. The Redskins defense is ranked 28th overall and against the run, and 26th vs. the pass even with 10 new starters during Nolan’s three-year tenure and four first-round picks on the defensive line.
Snyder lobbied for Nolan’s dismissal after two earlier poor defensive performances. However, Turner reminded Snyder of the latter’s promise to keep the coaching staff intact throughout the season. Team sources said Turner believed a coaching change in midseason would prove too disruptive and cost the team any chance of making the playoffs. The team has played better defensively in recent weeks.

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