- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Former Washington Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer offered no regrets yesterday for refusing to share power, a refusal that cost him his job on Sunday.
In a 25-minute news conference, Schottenheimer said owner Dan Snyder had the right to fire him and offered praise of successor Steve Spurrier. Snyder wanted to change a provision in Schottenheimer's contract that gave the coach control over personnel decisions a provision that was essential to his arrival here last January. Schottenheimer refused to relinquish final say over the roster.
"I'm viewed by many as stubborn, but I don't think I'm stupid," Schottenheimer said. "If there had been a means by which we could have reached an understanding of this thing I would have welcomed the opportunity to continue as head coach. It was my belief our way would have been the most successful way to do that and it was the cornerstone of my decision to come here."
Spurrier was named the franchise's 25th coach yesterday, and he will arrive at Redskin Park today. The former University of Florida coach agreed to a five-year, $25million contract with the Redskins after also interviewing with the Carolina Panthers. Spurrier's deal is the richest in the NFL for a coach, surpassing the $4million Mike Holmgren receives per year as coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks. Schottenheimer said he considered Spurrier a "friend" and expects him to do well.
"I've seen his teams perform live, and he really doesn't need my advice," Schottenheimer said. "I would imagine he would come in here with the quality of the players [and have] a chance to step up and be very successful this year."
Meanwhile, the most prominent candidates dropped out of contention for the Redskins' vacant general manager job. Former Redskins and San Diego Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard and former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolfe aren't interested. Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Rich McKay, who is expected to be fired if the Bucs hire Bill Parcells as their new coach and general manager, also isn't interested.
Kansas City Chiefs director of pro personnel Bill Kuharich is among the four or more prospective candidates expected to be interviewed over the next couple weeks. The son of former Redskins coach Joe Kuharich (1954-58), Bill Kuharich was instrumental in rebuilding the New Orleans Saints from 1997 to 1999 before being ousted.
Kuharich traded the Saints' entire 1999 draft and a subsequent 2000 first-rounder to the Redskins to acquire running back Ricky Williams. The Redskins later used the picks to draft cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker LaVar Arrington and offensive tackle Jon Jansen.
Redskins vice president Pepper Rodgers confirmed that the team negotiated with Spurrier before Schottenheimer was fired. Rodgers hired Spurrier in 1979 as an assistant when he was the coach at Georgia Tech and was instrumental in the negotiations that brought Spurrier to the Redskins.
"It wasn't an easy sell. There are a lot of things more important to Steve [than money]," Rodgers said. "He's completely fearless. He thinks everything's going to work."
Spurrier already is assembling a staff. Most of Schottenheimer's assistants were fired quickly; only special teams coach Mike Stock and running backs coach Hue Jackson were retained for now. Former Florida linebackers coach Jim Collins, defensive coordinator Jon Hoke and defensive line coach Ricky Hunley may join Spurrier's Redskins staff. Duke coach Carl Franks, a former Florida assistant, also is being considered for offensive coordinator.
Spurrier last year rejected an offer from Snyder, who then hired Schottenheimer. Spurrier's "Fun 'N' Gun" offense at Florida averaged 35 points per game since 1990 a stark contrast to Schottenheimer's "Marty Ball" brand of offense that barely managed 16 points per game this season. It was the Redskins' second-worst scoring season since the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1980.
"Steve Spurrier will bring a supercharged, exciting and dynamic brand of football," Snyder said in a statement. "His ability to energize players and teams is unprecedented."
Schottenheimer said he hoped to coach again, and agent Tom Condon already is calling teams with openings. Schottenheimer won't consider a college job. He will receive the remaining $7.5million of the four-year, $10million deal from the Redskins, minus any money he would earn coaching elsewhere.
"You're away from anything for a couple of years and think you're still capable, but … you're not sure," he said. "Having been back for a year, I can do it."
San Diego could be Schottenheimer's best bet. Chargers general manager John Butler is seeking a defensive-minded coach, though former Redskins coach Norv Turner was interviewed yesterday. Indianapolis is also possible, though the Colts offense doesn't match Schottenheimer's run-first scheme. Carolina is also possible, especially since Schottenheimer's offseason home is in Charlotte. However, the Panthers are lukewarm on Schottenheimer, sources said.
Schottenheimer spent more than seven hours at Redskin Park before departing. He said he felt no indignity leaving after just 54 weeks.
"I had a great ride this year," Schottenheimer said. "Even as difficult as the 0-5 start was, maybe the fact that I could never imagine it would happen tended to buffer it for me. I enjoyed the time I was here. Twenty-20 hindsight, knowing exactly how it would have unfolded, I would have been standing right on that doorstep on Jan.4. I don't regret anything that has taken place this season other than the fact we didn't win the championship."

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