Marty Schottenheimer is the new coach of the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers. You know what that means, right?
You guessed it: it means Marty appeared on ESPN 980’s Sports Reporters to promote his new team and league, and also to talk about the 2001 Washington Redskins.
No complaints here; that season remains a seminal moment in the Dan Snyder era for many fans, and there seem to be plenty of unanswered questions about exactly what happened.
And so, Schottenheimer was asked, would he do anything differently if he had another crack at 2001?
“No, no I would not have,” Marty said. “I mean, I thought we had a pretty good plan in place. I’m not sure that we had everybody’s support, but that’s ok as long as you communicate those things. The absence of that communication was as big a problem as any.”
Were the communication problems with ownership?
“No, actually, Dan and I, we interacted on a regular basis,” Marty said. “And I like Dan. You know, I just always felt that there may have been some other people in the building...but in the final analysis, everybody in this business, as public as it is, you need to have everybody on the same page. And if you don’t, you’re gonna have issues. And we did have issues.”
Which led to this dialog between Andy Pollin and the coach.
Pollin: “Well there was one person that you got out of the building very early.”
Marty: “That’s right!”
Pollin: “Are you indicating that he may have still been in the building when you no longer had him in the building?”
Marty: “Well, I’ll say this to you, the irony of it was that he left the building, and I had not been gone very long, and within a period of a couple of weeks he was back in the building.”
Pollin: “And you didn’t have the ability to kick this person out of the building?
Marty: “Well actually, no, they did kick him out of the building. He didn’t come back until after I was gone....Dan was not the problem. Ultimately it falls on ownership, but Dan was not the problem.”
See, I could listen to that all day. Especially the “That’s right!” part. The conversation then shifted to the rest of Marty’s NFL tenure and his decision to get back into coaching, but before it ended, there were a couple more Redskins nuggets. Like this one, when he was asked about Mike Shanahan’s 2010 campaign and the issues with Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb.
“You know, Mike’s a good friend of mine,” Schottenheimer said. “I think he’s as fine a coach as I’ve ever competed against. That circumstance is one in which maybe they would have been better served keeping it behind closed doors if you will, but ultimately it’s gonna get out. And you have to be true to your heart, you have to do what you honestly and sincerely believe in your heart is the right and best thing to do for your football team. And when you’ve done that, you don’t ever have to look back.”
And then he was asked whether he agreed with former Chiefs executive Carl Peterson’s statement that the 2001 Redskins season represented his greatest coaching accomplishment.
“I think that’s probably right, yes,” Schottenheimer said. “You have to understand, it was our very first year and we go out of the box 0-5. You know,everybody’s standing around looking at one another saying what the hell’s going on here. But our kids stayed the course. Of course, we made the change at the quarterback position, that was an important decision that we made, Jeff George wasn’t with us any longer. But we had good kids on that team, and I don’t have any doubt we would have taken the thing and completed the turnaround. Because we had good kids that really wanted to play hard and wanted to win.”