n/a In response to Riggins, Blache defends Snyder

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blache stands up for 'kind' Snyder

Prompted by John Riggins's most recent criticism of Redskins ownership on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" on Wednesday, defensive coordinator Greg Blache broke his month-long media silence to defend Daniel Snyder on Thursday at Redskins Park. Riggins, the Hall of Fame running back who has repeatedly criticized Snyder on sports shows and in videos, called the owner "a bad guy" and a person "whose heart is dark" on the Showtime show.

"To hear such a vicious criticism of somebody I consider not just my employer, but a good friend, bothered me. And as much as I hadn't been talking to you, I felt like this is something I needed to do. Somebody needed to stand up and set this record straight," Blache said, speaking for nearly four minutes and not taking reporters' questions. "This person, the comment that was made, a 'dark heart,' that's totally, totally untrue. The problem is the fans don't get to know Mr. Snyder like we do, so they get an impression of things that are written and things people say.

"I'll tell you something from a person who's been here for six years who's gone to him for things that I've needed in my family, there's times that he's come to me when he's heard about issues in my family, and offered his assistance. It's unsurpassed. He's one of the most generous, kind individuals you'll ever meet. My wife and I are involved in hospice, and there's been countless times he's come and helped us with issues with hospice. So to see that and get the feeling that that's what everybody on the outside gets to hear about this person, I just felt like it was time for somebody to stand up and set the record straight.

"I decided that I was going to do it, I was going to do it today because it's enough. I mean, it really is. We've had criticism from other people outside the building, saying what Dan Snyder is and what he isn't. You don't know Dan Snyder, and that's the problem."

After practice, Zorn also addressed Riggins's comments. Although he said he didn't hear them, he did read Blache's comments.

"I would concur that Dan Snyder is a guy that absolutely cares about other people," said Zorn. "He does not have that kind of attitude. I haven't been here all that long. I haven't been here as long as Greg's been here. But I have seen time and time again Dan reach out to anybody in this program and even the secondary parts of this program and help in any way he can when there's need. I've seen it."

The organization is making no official comment about Riggins's statements.

More injury woes

Another day, another injury, another corresponding roster move on the horizon. And a new twist -- a bit of uncertainty surrounding safety Chris Horton.

First, the injury: punter Hunter Smith aggravated his lingering groin injury in practice Wednesday and will be inactive Sunday at Atlanta. Touted as one of the team's most important offseason additions, Smith's future seems a bit murkier than it did just a week ago. After missing two games with a groin injury, Smith returned to punt against Philadelphia. His status for the rest of the season is apparently up in the air.

"I don't want to put down Hunter because he's healing," Zorn said. "I don't want to put him down right now."

The team worked out two punters Thursday and plan to sign Sam Paulescu, a former Oregon State punter who was with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and again last year.

The team also worked out Reggie Hodges, a Ball State product who was selected by St. Louis in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Since then, Hodges has spent time with at least a half dozen teams.

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