Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache came to Dan Snyder‘s defense Thursday and said criticism of the struggling team’s owner isn’t warranted. John Riggins, a Hall of Fame running back for the Redskins from 1976 to 1985, had told Showtime’s Inside the NFL that Snyder’s “heart is dark.”
Here’s Blache’s full statement to the media, courtesy of the Redskins:
“This morning when I came in, I turned my computer on and I was looking at Pro Football Talk and I saw a comment that John Riggins had made about Mr. Snyder, and it really bothered me the more I sat there at my desk because there has been a lot of criticism about him over the last few weeks. This is a man I’ve known for six years, since I’ve been here. And in the six years, I’ve never seen John Riggins here. I met him once at the Beach Blitz down in Virginia Beach –- never seen him in the building. So to hear such a vicious criticism of somebody I consider not just my employer, but a good friend, bothered me. As much as I hadn’t been talking to the media, I felt like this was something I needed to do. Somebody needed to stand up and set this record straight.
“The comment that was made (about Snyder) was ‘a dark heart’ –- that’s totally, totally untrue. The problem is the fans don’t get to know Mr. Snyder like we do. They get an impression from things that are written and from things that people say. Let me just tell you something: For a person that’s been here for six years, that’s gone to him for things that I needed in my family — there’s times he’s come to me when he’s heard about issues in my family and offered his assistance — is unsurpassed. He’s one of the most generous, kind individuals you’ll ever meet. My wife and I are involved in hospice, and there’ve been countless times he’s come and helped us with issues and stuff with hospice. To see that and get the feeling that that’s what everyone on the outside is hearing about this person, I decided it was time to come and set the record straight. It’s enough. It really is. We’ve had criticisms from people outside the building saying who Dan Snyder is and who he isn’t. They don’t know Dan Snyder, and that’s the problem.
“Trust me because he and I, we work together. I’m not going to tell you that this is a utopia. There are no utopias in football, and there are no utopias in life. At the same time, enough is enough. Every story, there is one person’s side, another person’s side, and then behind it all, there is a third side, and it’s the truth. I just felt like it was time for somebody to come and throw a little truth out there.
“We keep hearing these other sides, these other factions, and to be quite candid, the third side — the truth — is that this person, all he wants to do is win. That’s all he wants to do. He will spend his money, he will spend his time, he wants to win, he is here for the people, for the fans, for the Washington Redskins. Nobody pains more when we are unsuccessful than Dan Snyder. There is nobody that cares more about the fans than Dan Snyder. There is nobody that wants to win here more than Dan Snyder. I just think that it’s time to put out there, for you guys to understand, that everything that is wrong with this organization is not Dan Snyder.
“It’s so easy for people that have access to the microphone every day to point fingers and shuffle it on somewhere else. At the same time, I’m in on a ton of those meetings when decisions are made. A lot of the things that are right here, you can’t go back and say its so-and-so’s fault. Just to set the record straight, I just think it was wrong. I wish the best for Mr. Riggins in all his endeavors and whatever that he does. For me, that was enough.
“For me to wash my face in the morning and to feel like a man, or to talk to my kids about doing the right thing, I needed to come here and make this comment today. I got no other interests in it. I have a contract for next year, so it’s not like I’m trying to dig something up, and if they send me home, the way coaches’ contracts are written, they have to pay me anyways. Quite honestly, this is unsolicited but from the heart and something that I thought I needed to do.”