Notebook: Snyder Angry but Urges Patience
By Mark Maske and Liz Clarke
Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder was angry about yesterday's 34-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills but urged patience in his postgame conversations with other team officials and wasn't contemplating changes to the club's coaching staff last night, sources familiar with his thinking said.
According to sources, Redskins officials will consider releasing punter Matt Turk this week but probably will stick with the three-time Pro Bowler because of the lack of viable alternatives. Snyder told associates last night the team does not intend to fire beleaguered defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Snyder has created higher expectations at Redskin Park, but he also has been been supportive in defeat. When the Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys in their opening game of the season, he delivered a hang-in-there postgame speech to the players in the locker room. Snyder met with Coach Norv Turner following the game yesterday, and the owner told associates he was upset about the loss but was looking forward to the challenge that awaits the team in the coming weeks.
"In terms of coaches being under fire [and] players being under fire, that's nothing new," veteran cornerback Darrell Green said. "That's always been part of this business."
Turk was booed by the crowd at Redskins Stadium after each of his two punts yesterday, which totaled only 61 yards. He had missed the club's previous two games because of a broken finger and a sore back, and some team officials remain angry at him because they suspect he at least worsened his finger injury playing pickup basketball.
Club officials discussed the possibility of releasing him last week but decided against it, and fill-in punter Brian Hansen was on the Redskins' inactive list yesterday. Team officials probably will renew those discussions this week but likely will keep Turk, sources said.
"It was disappointing the way he punted," Turner said. "We've got to get him punting the way he's capable. When he's going good, he's a heck of a punter."
Many Happy Returns
Against Buffalo, Mitchell took the opening kickoff and carried seven yards before lateraling on a reverse to Thrash, who gained another 28 yards. The Redskins' drive, which started on the 34, ended eight plays later with an eight-yard touchdown run by Stephen Davis.
Mitchell also had a 29-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, setting up a drive that produced a 41-yard field goal. Mitchell returned a total of three kickoffs for 86 yards in the game. He signaled for a fair catch on his only punt return. On offense, Mitchell carried twice for 12 yards and caught four passes for 39 yards.
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