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Posted at 10:24 AM ET, 06/03/2011

Dan Snyder, Joe Gibbs and being hands-off

At the risk of being accused of obsession, let me write something else about Dan Snyder.

One of the frequent refrains of his post-Tony Wyllie media appearances is that Dan Snyder is now a hands-off owner. Another sometimes-twist to this refrain is that, while circumstances forced him to be hands-on during the Zorn Era, he was previously hands-off during the Gibbs Era. To wit, here’s Snyder talking to Dan Hellie and Lindsay Czarniak last week”

“You know what’s interesting is there’s a little bit of a misperception here. When Joe Gibbs was here for over four seasons, nobody came to talk to me about football, and the same thing now. It was very similar between Mike Shanahan and Joe Gibbs, that they take command of the football team, and I love that. I mean, for me it’s easy. I don’t want to be involved. ”

Or there was this, from his interview with the gentlemen at Hogs Haven in 2010:

“I’m here, number one, for support, OK? It starts with hiring the right people and give them support and let them do their jobs and let them be successful by doing their jobs. And it ends there. It’s very simplistic. When Joe Gibbs was here for four years, you didn’t hear anything about meddling or anything at all...not a word. The last two years, you know, can be excuses, but reality is reality. We were not good for two seasons, and went in the wrong direction.”

Or there was this, from his Super Bowl interview with Jim Rome:

“It’s the same process I went through with Joe Gibbs for four years. As Joe said, he had no budget, and he exceeded it. So my role is to help sign the checks, support what they want to do and their missions in free agency, and whatever decision and route they take I’m sure will be different than what Joe did, but I’ll be the same as I was with him.”

So that’s all pretty clear. During the Gibbs Era, nobody came to talk to Snyder about football. There was no talk of meddling. Snyder only signed the checks.

Except this is what Gibbs said at the time. Like, from April, 2007:

“The three of us [Gibbs, Snyder and Cerrato] normally at the end of it try and come up with a final game plan for the draft....Dan’s philosophy is to be aggressive. We fall in the category of being more aggressive and it’s based on Dan being as aggressive as he is.”

Or this, from September, 2006:

“We talk a lot. We are back and forth all the time. We work down the hall from one another. I count on his opinion. He’s very instrumental on the draft, the salary-cap, free agency, strategy on how the team should be built.”

Or this from the Virginian-Pilot in April, 2007, about draft prep:

The highest-rated players are brought in for meetings with owner Dan Snyder, Gibbs and other organization members. A meal is arranged as a final effort to find any nugget of new information....Snyder, Gibbs and Cerrato also will meet during this period to review how well certain prospects might fit in the organization.

Or this, from the AP in 2007:

Gibbs is holding several days of talks with owner Dan Snyder about the direction of the team. The coach said he’s “willing to talk about anything,” but he called “incorrect” any assumptions that he was open to hiring a general manager or that he would change the team’s aggressive approach in making offseason moves.

Or this from the Washington Times in 2007, which reported that Snyder had attended two draft workouts, including that of Calvin Johnson:

“[Johnson’s workout] was really impressive,” Snyder said. “We’ve had dinner with 25 of the first-round picks, and we tried to cover as much ground as we could in a limited amount of time.”

So, at the risk of being obsessed, let me point out that during the Gibbs Era, there was no meddling and nobody talked to Dan Snyder about football and all he did was sign the checks, and also the draft strategy was based on his philosophy and he was instrumental in shaping the team’s free agency approach and he met with draft prospects and watched their workouts.

Got it.

(Inspired by Rocky21 at Extreme Skins.)

By  |  10:24 AM ET, 06/03/2011

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