Casserly Deserves a Generous Review

By Loverro, Thom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 18, 1998 | Go to article overview

Casserly Deserves a Generous Review


Loverro, Thom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The wolves are still at the door of Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner. They may not be howling as loudly after this week's 28-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but they are still there.

They should be. One stringy piece of meat does not feed the beast. The howls for Norv Turner's job are still justified. After five years and a record of 28-45-1, the former offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, of all teams, has used up all of his slack.

In fact, if you believe in karma, the Redskins are getting what they deserve for hiring a coach from Dallas.

But Charley Casserly? When the call for rolling heads goes out, they shouldn't lump Casserly in the same howls as Turner. The Redskins general manager deserves better.

Never has the criticism toward Casserly been as strong as it has this season, as frustration for Redskins fans has sunk to a depth that this town hasn't seen since Vince Lombardi came to Washington.

"When you lose, you are going to take hits," Casserly said. "That's part of the game. The worst thing is losing. Criticism comes and goes. When you win, you get too much adulation and when you lose, you get too much criticism. Somewhere in there is a medium that is probably accurate."

Here is the medium that is accurate, and the dividing line for blame on this disapointing Redskins team: the talent was there for a winning team. Most NFL observers have acknowledged that. It may not have been a juggernaut, but the fact is that particularly on defense, a team with players like Ken Harvey, Marvcus Patton, Darrell Green and Dana Stubblefield should have been better than 2-8. Casserly provided the players to be competitive.

What Turner, his coaching staff, and the players themselves did with the team that Casserly put together is primarily where things went drastically wrong.

Casserly isn't without blame. His record in the draft of late has been very spotty. But there is even a dividing line there as well. The two biggest draft mistakes of the franchise in the past five years - Heath Shuler and Michael Westbrook - were Turner's choice picks, not necessarily Casserly's. …

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