Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Former Redskins great John Riggins has never been one to hold back his opinions, but he took it to another level Wednesday while appearing on Showtime's "Inside the NFL." Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post has the full transcript right here. Riggins, who has been highly critical of Skins owner Dan Snyder over the past decade, got pretty personal with some of his comments.
"I am saying that I don't think that this franchise can be successful where you have people saying, 'Oh, this person Dan Snyder wants to win. He wants to win.' It's all about priorities. 'What's my priorities? The priority is it's all about me. I have to have my needs met, then I want to make money, and those are one and two, and then I want to win. You can see by the decisions that are made....I don't know if you have agreed with anything I am saying so far, but at this point, I would think you would say, 'Yeah, I'll go along with that.' This person knows nothing about football, absolutely nothing. I don't think they have a clue how a football team comes together, how it works. And yet they are the ones that are basically calling all the shots through a puppet, which is Vinny Cerrato. That is my take on it....I speak for the fans because these are the people that paid my salary for all these years. They are the ones that need to know that this is a bad guy."
Riggins called Snyder a "bad guy" a couple of times and then said the Skins owner had a "dark heart." You should check out the entire transcript because it's pretty wild. Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache has not been talking to the media this season, but Riggins' comments caused him to issue a statement defending Snyder. Here's a portion of what Blache had to say:
To hear such a vicious criticism of somebody I consider not just my employer, but a good friend, bothered me. And as much as I hadn't been talking to you, I felt like this is something I needed to do. Somebody needed to stand up and set this record straight. This person, the comment that was made, a 'dark heart,' that's totally, totally untrue. The problem is the fans don't get to know Mr. Snyder like we do, so they get an impression of things that are written and things people say. I'll tell you something from a person who's been here for six years who's gone to him for things that I've needed in my family, there's times that he's come to me when he's heard about issues in my family, and offered his assistance. It's unsurpassed. He's one of the most generous, kind individuals you'll ever meet. My wife and I are involved in hospice, and there's been countless times he's come and helped us with issues with hospice. So to see that and get the feeling that that's what everybody on the outside gets to hear about this person, I just felt like it was time for somebody to stand up and set the record straight. I decided that I was going to do it, I was going to do it today because it's enough. I mean, it really is. We've had criticism from other people outside the building, saying what Dan Snyder is and what he isn't. You don't know Dan Snyder, and that's the problem.
I've always been told that Snyder and Blache are close, so it's not that surprising that Blache rushed to the owner's defense. Did someone from the Redskins ask Blache to make a statement? My guess is that Blache heard what Riggins said and asked management if he could release a statement. Obviously the Redskins signed off on the statement or we wouldn't be reading it.
I mentioned this controversy earlier today, but I thought it probably deserved more attention.