Reorg continues as Rivera marks his territory in every corner of the Redskins front office
We thought Eric Schaffer’s job was safe, simply because there appeared to be no reason to fire him.
Schaffer – officially titled Senior Vice President of Football Operations/General Counsel but more casually known as the Redskins’ long-time salary cap guru – has doubtless ridden sidecar to countless acts of impulse and braggadocio by his boss. When an impetuous act by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder would cause everything to veer wildly off course at breakneck speed, it was Schaffer who was tasked with making it all balance out somehow.
He usually succeeded.
As a result, Schaffer enjoyed a reputation that aged like fine wine with each passing day in Ashburn. Not many Redskins employees can say that. So Schaffer stays, si?
Uh, yeah, about that.
Ron Burgundy Rivera knows a guy from Carolina. He does the exact same job, name is Rob Rodgers. He also has a good reputation. So….
In the first floor conference room, Ron and Rob have determined that it's inefficient to have two guys doing the same job.
Fall Guy? Nah, more like the Odd Man Out
Respected, intelligent NFL coaches and execs alike, such as Schaffer, often find themselves looking for work, despite having done everything the right way. The new guy always wants to bring in his guys. It’s about who you know more than what you know, in the NFL as in Washington.
No one had a problem with Schaffer. He was an asset. But a culture change was clearly needed, as Snyder defeatedly admitted a few seconds before introducing Rivera as his 10th coach in 20 years.
With every culture change comes collateral damage. ‘Tis the nature of the beast. This is true in NFL locker rooms and Fortune 500 board rooms. Someone who did nothing wrong gets a career wedgie every time a new sheriff comes into town.
It sucks to be that guy. Then again, Eric Schaffer is already rumored to be in serious consideration for the small handful of currently vacant NFL jobs that suit his skill set. And he’s already really rich, so he’s gonna be okay.
Is it okay for Redskins fans to breathe yet?
Meanwhile – with multiple neuroses and cautious optimism – Redskins Nation waits silently. It’s all quiet on the meddling front. Maybe we can finally relax and even begin to have real hope that Snyder has learned his lesson and is doing things the ri…..
Hey! What the hell was that for?
You really need to ask? We've heard the 'They're doing things the right way this time!' story before, pal. You can't be this dumb after all this time. Lucy never lets you kick the football, Charlie Brown.
Geez. Okay. You’re probably right, imaginary critic. Yet, if someone like Eric Schaffer, who everyone liked both personally and professionally, is shown the door for Rivera’s right-hand man, that can mean only one thing.
It really is actually happening. It’s happened, in fact.
Daniel Snyder has relinquished total control over team operations to Rivera. He’s writing checks and (hopefully) holding people accountable for their professionalism and their results. Schaffer’s “mutual departing” is the unmistakable evidence of that fact.
Ron Rivera is a proven man’s man in the NFL. He’s that perfect combination of tough but fair; a high IQ coach who loves the grunt work; a leader of men but also a shoulder to cry on; overflowing with love for his brothers, but if you cross him, he’ll make sure you remember him as one seriously nasty son-of-a-bitch.
And the buck at Redskins Park now starts and stops with him.
After 20 years of wandering the desert, this sounds like a champagne supernova oasis in the motherloving sky. If losing one of the good guys like Schaffer is the worst that happens, this offseason is already a success.