- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

The standoff between Washington Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer and owner Dan Snyder may end tomorrow, but the next move is clearly the latter's.
Schottenheimer seems ready to accept Snyder hiring a general manager following recent talks, but it appears a moot point as Snyder continues to pursue former Florida coach Steve Spurrier. NFL sources said Snyder has talked with Spurrier in recent days without success as the latter awaits a possible Tampa Bay Buccaneers opening. Spurrier met yesterday with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.
Regardless of Spurrier, Snyder seems ready to sign a general manager that makes Schottenheimer's staying improbable. However, Schottenheimer prefers to await Snyder's decision rather than force it.
Schottenheimer has told staffers to expect a decision by tomorrow. Schottenheimer is scheduled to leave Saturday for a three-week vacation with assistants also expected to take a break. However, the staff must be ready to coach the Senior Bowl on Jan. 26 if remaining. The best non-playoff team in each conference typically coaches the college all-star game.
Schottenheimer left Redskin Park after 51/2 hours yesterday, saying he hadn't talked with Snyder and spent the afternoon reviewing tape of the 20-17 victory over Arizona on Sunday.
"No new developments. No new developments," Schottenheimer said.
Schottenheimer's concession to splitting power with a GM following a year of complete control was a somewhat empty gesture. He would still retain final say over the roster and his staff. A GM would control personnel and work more closely with Snyder, whom team sources said eagerly wants to regain more daily input after a one-year hiatus with Schottenheimer.
Former Washington general manager Bobby Beathard is interested in the job, according to NFL sources. However, Beathard's desire to pick the coaching staff would mean Schottenheimer's ouster. Snyder is apparently awaiting the outcome with Schottenheimer before finalizing a deal with Beathard, who would have a major influence on selecting the next coach. If the Redskins fail to sign Spurrier, there is no alternate leading candidate.
Schottenheimer seems much more resistant to staff changes. Indeed, sources close to Schottenheimer said he "won't budge" on Snyder's desire to fire offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and possibly quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer's contract gives him complete control over the staff.
While other NFL coaches have been dismissed for not firing assistants over past years, an out-of-court settlement last month involving former Buffalo coach Wade Phillips ruled it's not considered insubordination that would void a deal. The decision clearly backs Schottenheimer in a showdown with Snyder. Schottenheimer would be owed the remaining $7.5million over three years if dismissed, and team sources said he won't take less.
Schottenheimer has steadfastly backed the beleaguered Raye despite the 28th-ranked offense. He believes the offensive system for its run-first emphasis and high-percentage short passes was capably called by Raye. However, Raye has told close friends he expects to be fired despite Schottenheimer's public backing.
Snyder has forced assistant coach changes before. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's contract wasn't renewed in 2000 despite Norv Turner's desire to keep him. Special teams coach LeCharls McDaniel was fired late last season hours after Turner was dismissed. Turner protected McDaniel from Snyder, who wanted to fire him earlier in the season. Interim coach Terry Robiskie conceded the decision to fire McDaniel was Snyder's.

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