Darrell Green was on the LaVar and Dukes show on 106.7 The Fan Monday afternoon to talk about the 20th anniversary of the team’s last Super Bowl win. The way these things would typically go, the former player would go through some glorious if fading memories in the first half of the interview, and then maybe offer his thoughts on why that success hasn’t carried on in the second half of the interview.
But Green, who is not a word mincer, got right down to business. (Audio here.)
“That last nine years of my career just was a bad deal, and unfortunately they have not come out of that tailspin yet,” he said almost immediately. Which led LaVar to ask him how we got from there to here. Which led to this.
“Obviously I’m a Redskin for life, but the truth is still the truth,” Green said. “Right now, this is not the Redskins. People don’t even realize this. There’s one human that touched those days, and it’s a lady named B.J. Blanchard. She’s on the front desk, and she’s the only breathing human that is tied to some of the success from the pas.
“So it’s really not the Redskins. It’s a new group. Every human in the building is brand new.
“I grew up in Texas. Mr. Moore, he died about a year ago, about 85 years old, he was my next door neighbor and he had those old beagles. And those beagles, about seven of them, hound dogs, and he never got rid of all seven and then got seven puppies. He always kept three or four of the old dogs to teach the puppies.
“People talk about, oh, the Redskins. There’s no tradition where there’s no humans. Where there’s no humans, there’s no tradition. Tradition is not in buildings and names; it’s in people, and there’s not one player, one front office [employee], one weight room [employee], one front desk [employee] besides B.J. There’s nobody that’s related.
“And Dan Snyder’s my friend, and he grew up here and all of that, and loved the Redskins and all that stuff. But it was pretty early that they got rid of every human — every secretary, every coach, every player — and there is no connection to the past at all....
“I think that from that vantage point they really have lost the foundation, part of the seed that was planted from generations, years ago, and there is nobody that can even talk the language. The people represent society. These kids are coming from where they come from, where there is no yes m’am, no m’am, there is no thank you, there is no concept of a lot of team and humility and denying yourself and going out there and laying it down for the team.
“When you’ve got this generation, it’s about me, it’s all about me, so that makes it more important to have some of that old blood in there. Even my old kids, oh dad, you’re old, but they love me and respond to me, and I think you have to still have some of that. And most of the successful teams still have that. I believe that, I really do.”
So then Green was asked why the Redskins approached things the way they did.
“I’m not the one to ask that question,” he said. “I don’t have a clue. There’s nothing that you or I can see from the outside to say oh, this is why they did it. They got rid of the PR department, they got rid of this and this and this. It’s like each coach that comes in, they bring their son, they bring their friends. I guess it’s the same thing, he brought PR people from the other organization, they weren’t really football guys, but they’re still people that you know and you trust and you can count on.
“So I’m not knocking that, but I’m just saying in this industry, I think that it’s important — like Mr. Moore next door to me as a kid — that you let some of those old dogs teach the new dogs how to chase the rabbits before they move on, so that you have a connection to the past. You continue to teach the tradition and so forth.
“The only tradition we have, hallelujah, is the tradition of the people in the stands, and they talk about my grandfather, and he had the tickets, and my great this. Now, fortunately, as a businessman, that’s really [Snyder’s] blessing. That is the blessing, because THAT tradition has NOT changed. But the tradition on the field and the rest of it has.
“And if I was involved, as a counsel, I would say guys look, I don’t know how we do this, but we need to figure out how we can tap into what is the foundation of this organization.”
Would these old heads respond if the Redskins asked?
“I don’t know, I can’t answer that question,” Green said. “If the call was given out, I think the guys have enough love and passion for the team and the community, they would do whatever they could do.
“I will say this, that when I played as a rookie, they had just won the Super Bowl the previous year. I came into that huddle many times and apologized to those grown men in that huddle — Dave Butz, Dexter Manley. I felt like a kid, and they were giving me an incredible responsibility to play with them and to not let them down.
“And I would be so disappointed to mess up, because I respected them so much, and I don’t know if we can get that back or not. I don’t know. That’s just maybe all talk. I just know that’s what I did and that’s what I felt. I felt that. I appreciated those guys, the work they had put in and the efforts, the success, and I was NOT trying to be the guy, that because of me, they failed.”