Q&A With: Charley Casserly

Casserly spent 23 years with the Redskins, taking over as GM in 1990, before being fired by new owner Dan Snyder before the 1999 season. But Casserly's prints are on this team: he drafted Champ Bailey and Jon Jansen and put Washington in position to draft Chris Samuels--as well as trade up for LaVar Arrington thanks to multiple picks. Casserly returns in a new role--as Houston's GM.

He's not alone in this homecoming as 16 other ex-Redskin employees (including Casserly they own 20 Super Bowl rings) will return as part of the Texans' organization. And, trust us, they're much happier in Houston.

Q: Let's first talk about Darrell Green, what are your thoughts on him as he finally hits the end of the road?

A: Number one, he's the greatest corner in the history of the game. No one played at as high a level for as long as he did ever in the history of the game. Number two, when you think about it, he was the go-to guy. We put him on the best receiver and defended the other 10 guys. That went on for longer than anyone had ever tried to do that with one guy. You could argue that some guys at certain points in their career played better. But no one played at his level for as long as he played. And the simple fact that he's 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds. When you think about how many people walk through Tysons Corner Mall who are the same size . . . and Darrell played 20 years in the NFL. That's mind boggling right there. He could have been the greatest return guy in the history of the league, but he would never have made it past 30. When the game got on the line and we had to make something happen, we threw him back there and everyone held their breath. We knew he would make something happen.

Q: What are your thoughts on coming back to Washington?
A: Obviously you think about it a lot. It's a different game. Seventeen of us that are here worked there, with well over 100 years work in that building and 20 Super Bowl rings from Washington, which is more than they have there now. It's a different game, but I don't know how I'll feel on Sunday. It's a big deal for all of us, but in reality we're an expansion team.

Q: Do you have any bitterness toward Washington?
A: No. I told Dan when he bought the team that if he wanted to make a move, make a move. Ninety nine percent of the time in this situation you bring in a new GM. As time went on we could see this thing wasn't working out with all parties involved. I said let's end it and get it over with before the season starts. . . I have a great job here. I have a great owner in a great city. I've been very lucky in that I've had the two best jobs in football. I was the GM of the Redskins with the Cooke family and now I'm the GM of Houston and this is the best job. I've been very fortunate.

Q: Did you think you'd work for the Redskins for the rest of your career?
A: Jack Kent Cooke told me, 'You'll be here for the rest of your life.' It turned out it was for the rest of his life, not mine. John Cooke said, 'You're here as long as I'm here.' I expected to never work any other place.

Q: You did something Washington hasn't done in a while--you beat Dallas. What was it like to beat the Cowboys in the opener?
A: Think about it, it's the first time in 41 years that an expansion team won their opener and only the second time the team ever did it. It's a lot harder to win now, so that's one factor. The second factor is beating them on national TV. The third thing is that game in this state is huge. As big as Washington-Dallas is, this is much bigger. In Washington, it's a football game. Here it's two cities that hate each other.



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