Schottenheimer's status uncertain

Marty's in. Marty's out. Marty wants a buyout. Marty wants to return. Marty has to fire some assistants. Danny wants a general manager. Danny wants Steve Spurrier. Got all of that?

Welcome to Redskin Park, home of the latest rumor surrounding Washington coach Marty Schottenheimer.

As of 10:45 p.m. ET, Schottenheimer remained the coach of the Redskins, despite various reports having him on the way out. A team spokesperson adamently denied a CBS Sportsline report, which said the Redskins had bought out Schottenheimer's contract.

''It's a flat-out lie,'' the spokesperson said.

Here's what we do know:

. . . Schottenheimer met with Redskins owner Dan Snyder on Monday night, but both sides had agreed to sleep on any decision that was discussed. Most likely, a final decision will be made Tuesday. Schottenheimer expected Snyder to ask him to fire offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. And, possibly, his son, quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer does not think Raye is to blame for the offensive woes. An upgrade of personnel is needed most.

. . . Schottenheimer wants to return. But he's a stubborn man--it's why he left Cleveland after the 1988 season. Art Modell wanted him to fire his brother Kurt and hire an offensive coordinator. Sound familiar? Schottenheimer wouldn't budge and neither would Modell. End of an era.

. . . A team source says Snyder and Schottenheimer's relationship can be repaired. If: Schottenheimer doesn't forget who owns the team. They met often early in the season and still talk on the phone, but they didn't meet as much later in the year. Snyder wants to be involved and Schottenheimer needs to remember that.

. . . Snyder is strongly interested in hiring a GM, but some give and take might change that. Also, few respectable GM's would work in a situation where the coach has all the power.

. . . The players want Schottenheimer to return. One respected Redskins veteran said, ''95 percent of the players want him back.'' He also was disgusted with the organization and said, ''Are they going to keep doing this until they find magic in a bottle?'' The Redskins crave stability. And linebacker LaVar Arrington said, ''This staff is more than capable of doing the job in getting us to the next level. I think very highly of coach Schottenheimer. Just the type of trust he put in me and just the way he conducted himself. I never saw him point the finger at anyone. If he saw a problem he took care of it the best way he felt he could and you have to respect a man like that. For everything we went through in a short period of time, this could be something great with this coaching staff.''

. . . End Bruce Smith and corner Darrell Green likely are in the 5 percent who don't want Schottenheimer back. Both have had chances to say Schottenheimer should return. Neither has done so. Green apparently remains stung by what transpired this summer. And Smith knows that if Schottenheimer returns, he likely won't. Smith is chasing one thing: the NFL sack record and he desperately wants it--more than a Super Bowl ring. Also, Schottenheimer did not treat either player differently--like Norv Turner, and others, did. Instead, he treated them like everyone else. That annoyed these two, but won over the rest of the team.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.


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