Monday, January 28, 2008

BREAKING: Snyder tabs Skins fans as head coach(es)

ASHBURN, Va. - Dan Snyder will introduce Washington Redskins fans as the replacement for head coach Joe Gibbs at a press conference tomorrow, according to a team official who spoke on condition of anonymity. (Shh...It was Karl Swanson.) The announcement ends nearly three weeks' worth of rampant speculation and consternation about who would replace Gibbs, who retired for a second time after the Redskins' 35-14 divisional playoff loss at Seattle on Jan. 5.

A man who identified himself as Mr. Six answered the phone at Snyder's residence and said the Redskins owner was not available to comment on the report.

The team official said Snyder originally thought of the idea while playing the popular football strategy game QB1 at a bar during Washington's bye week, and that the fans remained his top candidates to replace Gibbs after the legendary coach decided to return to NASCAR following a particularly trying season. Dragging out the process, the official said, was all part of Snyder's plan to foster as much resentment as possible among the fans before springing a surprise that would trump even Gibbs' return to Washington in 2004.

Jim Fassel, Gregg Williams, et al., were more or less pawns, and all of them wanted more control than Snyder and Redskins Executive Vice President Vinny Cerrato were willing to concede, the official said. By naming the fans, who will reportedly use a QB1-like interface on to make play calls that will be relayed into new offensive coordinator Jim Zorn's headset, Snyder will drive traffic to his site up and simultaneously save upwards of $3 million that he would've otherwise spent on an NFL retread.

"I think it's really going to help Jason (Campbell) develop," one NFC assistant said. "Plays like 'Pass Left,' 'Pass Middle,' 'Pass Deep,' and 'Run Middle' are a hell of a lot easier to master than Al (Saunders') 700-page playbook. Once Jason gets a feel for the offense, I think you'll see them get a little more sophisticated, maybe throwing in some 'Pass Deep Lefts' and stuff."

The same assistant cautioned, however, that Campbell, coming off a knee injury, might not be ready for the Game Breaker right away. "If those fans get trigger happy and go for the home run on every play," he said, "it could be a long year."

Zorn would neither confirm nor deny the report, but said he would "support whomever Mr. Snyder decides to bring in here."

When self-proclaimed Redskins superfan Eric Stauffer, heard the news, he was buying eggs at a local Safeway -- "to egg Danny Boy's house," he said. "Are you serious? That's awesome," Stauffer screamed, putting down the eggs and offering an early prediction for next season. "We're going to the Super Bowl, baby! I'm totally money at that game; I kick all of my friends' (butts)."

When asked whether his friends were also Redskins fans, who, presumably, would also help make play-calling decisions, Stauffer's grin disappeared.

"Oh yeah," he said. "That's a good point. I think as long as we find a way to keep Cowboys fans from getting on there, we should be OK. We'll work that out in training camp."

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