Wednesday’s odd Redskins coaching news — Joe Barry would be hired as defensive coordinator, according to one report, although there was no announcement and team sources said no deal was done, even as fans were already reacting with outrage — reminded some people of a similar tale from the past.
Back in 2008, Jim Fassel seemed set to become Washington’s head coach, a pending move that left many fans feeling blah. After lots of outrage — online and on sports radio — Fassel somehow lost momentum, and never got the job.
And fans have suggested that this week’s oddness feels like a potential repeat of the Fassel situation.
Now, I have no inside information on any of this. But the whole situation inspired me to search for Fassel’s name, which led me to an interview he recently did with Jake Brown of New York’s Sportstalk 1240. Fassel reviewed his entire history with the Redskins, and it was interesting in the way so many Redskins stories are.
“I was going to go to the Washington Redskins twice,” Fassel said. “But one time they got Joe Gibbs to come back, which is understandable. I mean, the NFL is more about connections — ‘I know the guy, I’ve worked with the guy.’ I can’t fault it, because George Young … hired me, but he knew me. He saw my body of work. … He knew me, so he was comfortable, and that’s the way it is. When I was in the league coaching, most of the general managers, they were low-level scouts. I don’t know ’em. I had no association with them. So it’s just a normal process in the NFL, as it is in any business.”
Fassel then was asked whether he felt robbed when Jim Zorn was hired over him in 2008.
“Totally,” Fassel said. “The general manager [Vinny Cerrato ] — who got fired by Dan Snyder — he talked me into Zorn as a coordinator. I put the staff together. I mean, I was putting the staff together over the phone. Joe Bugel’s gonna stay, Danny Smith’s gonna stay, we’ll keep him, we’ll do this. I was doing it over the phone.
“And then [Cerrato] did his behind the scenes work,” Fassel went on, “and convinced Dan Snyder — who, I will say this, I could work for Dan Snyder. I like Dan Snyder. I mean, I think he’s a passionate owner. And I could work for him. Now, a lot of people think, ‘Well, you’re crazy.’ I don’t believe that. I think it’s a fair judgment of a guy. And [Cerrato] convinced [Snyder] that ‘Well, Jim Zorn’s gonna get a head job in a year, why don’t we talk to him?’ Well then everything fell in place, he pushes Jim Zorn. Jim Zorn was no more ready for that job than the Man in the Moon.”
That’s all … well, it’s kind of Redskinsy. Listen to the interview here.