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Cooley points to absence of leadership

Before the Shanahan Era begins, one final note about the Redskins and leadership. Chris Cooley was on SIRIUS NFL Radio's "The SIRIUS Blitz" Tuesday, primarily to talk about Bruce Allen and Jim Zorn and Vinny Cerrato and Mike Shanahan. But at one point, hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon asked Cooley about the team's locker room leaders. And Cooley said something that would probably have made headlines had his initials been CP.

"Well, I'll tell you, the problem with our team is we haven't had a lot of offensive leadership," Cooley said. "I think defensively, there's guys like London Fletcher and Cornelius Griffin that have really stepped up and been leaders, and it shows. The defense was outstanding this year. It's been tough because of the carousel of players in and out offensively; we lost Chris Sameuls early, who a lot of people looked at [as a leader]. To be honest, someone that I thought was a good leader was Casey Rabach, someone that I think we really need back, a guy going into free agency this year. But there wasn't enough offensive leadership. There wasn't someone that took the team and said, 'THIS is what we're gonna do.' "

Gannon interrupted at this point to say that it's troubling when the first leader mentioned by Cooley wasn't the quarterback. Cooley responded with perhaps more nuance than 26 would have, but the point was basically the same that Portis made.

"It's been tough for Jason," Cooley said. "He's tried to be a leader of the team, and he's tried to do everything right, and I can't say he's done a bad job. It's tough for me to kind of go into [that]. Obviously you'd like him to continue to build, I think he's probably our guy going into next year, but he's had so much trouble the last couple years [with] is he gonna be the guy, does this franchise want him? They showed last year that maybe they don't. So it's tough for a guy to take that offseason and really step in and say 'Oh yeah, I'm gonna run this team.' "

Maybe that's what Portis meant. And it sort of makes sense, actually. Oh, subtlety, how the Internet age misses you. Cooley was also quite honest when asked about the Bruce Allen hiring, saying it was a good and necessary move.

"The direction that we were in and what had happened over the last five or six years really outside of Joe Gibbs, we almost had to make a change, it was almost something that had to happen," Cooley said. ""Having a job in the NFL is 100 percent success driven. And it was apparent, very apparent, that we weren't successful. I mean, realistically, we were closer to winning zero games this year than we were to making the playoffs, and that's unacceptable, especially for this franchise, a franchise that's willing to get players, that's notorious for spending money and trying as much as they can to win. You just have to have different people in place to bring guys in. And I think a lot of guys liked Vinny, and I think Vinny worked very closely with Dan to do everything that they could. It just wasn't working. And that was the same thing that I felt about Jim Zorn, was that he did everything he could. It wasn't like the guy wasn't working his ass off as a head coach, and we all respected that. It' s just something was wrong, there was not chemistry there between the staff, the organization. There just wasn't a chemistry, so the change I think is in a good direction."

Cooley's best line, though, came when it was suggested that the Redskins needed a new coach who would give them a good ass kicking.

"Wait, you don't think we've taken enough ass kickings over the last few years?" Cooley asked.

-- Dan Steinberg

By Cindy Boren  |  January 6, 2010; 12:09 PM ET  | Category:  Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Some of the best leaders are self-appointed.

Way back in 1975 one of the best linebackers in the NFL, Bill Bergey, was traded to the Iggles (as we Jersey guys refer to the Eagles). In their first practice in camp, the team forms up to do warm up drills. Bergey puts himself in charge and begins leading the effort.

When someone says "Bergey's not a captain. He shouldn't be leading the team." Another person replies, "Oh yeah. Who's going to tell him he's not in charge?"

Bergey went on to become a four year Pro Bowler.

The Redskins could use a leader like that, too.

Posted by: jrannazzisi | January 7, 2010 11:59 AM

"...we haven't had a lot of offensive leadership," says Cooley. Huh? Aren't you
on the Redskin Offensive? What have you
done to help, other than spout off and talk out of school? I hope the new HC tells all players if they can't be supportive of their team mates, they are to say nothing at all. We fans critisize enough. Keep your critiques to yourselves, and internally deal with it. Trying showing a little leadership yourself.

Posted by: DeployedFan | January 7, 2010 6:08 AM

That's what a real leader would do....
And what a teammate working toward the same goal would do too!

Posted by: priceisright | January 6, 2010 11:57 PM

If that was CP, folks would hate to the high heavens on him. It is basically the same thing CP said, just not as clear to everyone. But I'll step off that soapbox and on to another....
CP & Cooley are probably telling the truth. Both are pretty independant personalities and it would be difficult to assert your will without the support of your organization. Both were here before JC and both were starters well before JC.
JC has to get his S together and take shots down field without hesitation and with balls. I think since he's been the starter he has been micromananged, which is why he dumps off & checks down all the time. That and the Oline getting injured and manhandled doesn't leave much time to throw.
So IMO, Cooley & CP are correct but they should have spoke to JC and offered assistance. That's what real leader would do...

Posted by: priceisright | January 6, 2010 11:50 PM

thank you redskinswillie hit it right on he head> Instead of Portis and Cooley questioning Campbell. And Campbell lashing out which obviously was holding in for a while. The main issue is the oline of this football team which cooley and portis maybe should talked about because those guys wherent get hit and sacked as much as Campbell. Leadership comes in many fashions and to think Campbell needs to scream and yell is not always the way to go. You know how Campbell lead this year by his toughness getting up after a vicous hit and getting back in the huddle waiting to hear play call from 3 different guys. By not complaining to the media about certain issues like some players did. He lead like that its not his fault there some guys on this team that may or may not be egomanics

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | January 6, 2010 11:40 PM

To hate a player is foolish and immature. To demand that a player be traded because he speaks his mind is naive and destructive.
None of these players would be saying what they're saying if the team were winning. Winning solves all the problems.
Trouble is, in the NFL you need a good O line and a good D line. Not one or the other, but both.
Until Snidely gets this, he'll never have a consistent winner.
How can a guy who grew up on the Hogs miss this simple but critical fact?
It ain't about Portis or Cooley or Campbell or whoever. If there's no blocking, it's all for nothing.

Posted by: RedskinWillie | January 6, 2010 10:13 PM

Face it,Campbell was not a leader, and he will not be at least here. A number of players have said it, and there has not been a big defense by anyone. The most you get are excuses or he was a quiet leader. You could even see it on TV. The skins make an occasional big drive, a nice TD. No back slapping, no congratulations by Campbell. Instead he walks over by himself to the bench.

The excuse that he needed managements "support" to be a leader is ridiculous. A real leader doesnt need anyones permission to lead, he does it in spite of what anyone says. The fact is Campbell not a bad guy, but he is not a leader either.

Posted by: Flredskin1 | January 6, 2010 9:55 PM

do not trade cooley/trade davis@thomas for b marshall.those 2 bum peacocks suck.the little success they had will vanish now that teams have film on them.they cant get open on thier own,they think they are great when they make the simpelest play,and they dont block.they are bums.really you couldnt get marshall for them,maybe a 9th rd pick.get rid of the peacock dogs,and get real football players

Posted by: DLESMonday | January 6, 2010 9:18 PM

Well Cooley I am not a fan of yours anymore! I think that you should take your opinion and move on! Maybe the Redskins can get a draft pick out of your butt and trade you to another team! SHUT UP! BTW, I am a portis hater also! Time to cut the cancer out of this team!!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | January 6, 2010 9:10 PM

What is Cooley worth in trade value ?

Hes another nitwit on this team that needs to hit the bricks.

Go with Davis and Yoder,,,pick up a late round and/ a free agent TE.

Posted by: dashriprock | January 6, 2010 6:34 PM

i have a problem when guys who where hurt 2nd half of the season question leadership when they werent there. I understand what Cooley meet with Campbell and leadership and what Campbell thinking is am i the guy here, will players listen to me when got management trying to replace and never endorse me. I feel if this management now Allen and Shanahan embrace Campbell make feel he is the guy , then more Leadership will leak out and will see it next year. Campbell might not be the guy to yell scream at players i rather no thats happening in practice and in the locker then on the field. But either way Campbell leadership is mute because he could have yelled and screamed at his oline and would not have helped the protection would still broke down , run blocking would still suck.

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | January 6, 2010 6:21 PM

I have heard too many player on offence say that they needed a leader. That in itself tels me that no one wanted to step up and that they really didnt recognize leadership when they saw it.

Posted by: Badwisky | January 6, 2010 3:23 PM

Cooley, why don't you take on a leadership role instead of waiting for somebody else?

Posted by: atidwell | January 6, 2010 3:00 PM

I think part of this is that Cooley and Portis can't see a guy without a big, long-term financial endorsement by upper management as an equal, much less a leader. At the same time, Campbell could help himself a fair bit by being more vocal and outgoing.

Posted by: DCUnited2 | January 6, 2010 2:47 PM

JC is Timex cheese OLine getting him killed, he gets up and comes right back to it but he's not a leader?

Why aren't all the 'we need leader' cryers not leaders THEMSELVES? Did anyone of them take the offense by the throat? No...

Posted by: kahlua87 | January 6, 2010 2:16 PM

I think Cooley was saying that Campbell couldn't lead because of the lack of support he received from organization. Campbell could try and lead but players wouldn't follow because of doubts created by front office looking to replace him.

Makes sense to me. It was stupid of Dan and Vinny to hire an offensive coordinator before hiring a head coach two years ago. at least they didn't make that mistake with Shanahan - he is able to bring in the assistants he wants.

Posted by: Pensfans | January 6, 2010 2:07 PM

Cooley needs to go as well. He is one of the few players with trade value. Get picks or an o-lineman for him.

Instead of being a leader he spent his time blogging and dyeing his hair blonde.


Posted by: ATL2 | January 6, 2010 1:52 PM

How could any player on offense be a real leader, when the head coach didn't even have full say over it. The defense has been in place for a while and the philosophy is very similar to Williams. Of course there are leaders on that side of the ball.

If anyone on offense assumed the role of top dog, who would he meet with to get things changed or make things happen? It was the prototypical no-win situation and reflection of Snyder's meddling.

Posted by: Redskinrex | January 6, 2010 1:44 PM

plus CP was the only MAN blocking for he sure missed it when CP went down .... he did too

Posted by: aypub | January 6, 2010 1:13 PM

it's never hard to be a leader ... let me know when a QB was ever in trouble for commanding a team? you won't find one. I've seen pee-wee QB fire back at coach or whoever (and get in trouble and do it again) poor lil nice Jason - ha, so a QB is just to throw?

Posted by: aypub | January 6, 2010 1:12 PM

Funny how some of Campbell's biggest critics rush to his defense when CP says the same thing they've been saying all along.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | January 6, 2010 1:09 PM

John Riggins wasn't a leader...and CP and CC both fall under his gategory.....Cooooley does as much stupid ish as Portis.....But they excel as being themselves...and perform when at the brightest times....And that should be ok for their worked before..

But Campbell is the QB....His demeanor would be OK, ONLY if he were winning...He ain't...And even with a good OLine, he'd still mediocre...

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 6, 2010 1:08 PM

Well cL - you ObVIOUSly fall in my 10% category and my comment need not apply to you....

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 6, 2010 1:04 PM

I agree that what is stopping them from saying hey I will be the leader on offense. I am a CP fan, but his days are numbered and he knows it. You don't go out taking everybody you so called cared for and bring them down with you. Also, remember Gibbs made CP a leader in his days here and CP went to the media and said he didn't want to be considered a leader or captain. Cooley is just like Manny being Manny just live with his antics and he'll perform on Sunday when healthy.

Posted by: Hackersk | January 6, 2010 1:02 PM

Not me 4th, I am a Cooley lover and a Portis lover and have no issue with what either said. Portis may go off, and have some issues himself....but he is usually right.

Posted by: chrislarry | January 6, 2010 1:00 PM

Kind of hard to be a leader when management is puling the rug out from under you. Glad to see Jason has decided not to take any more crap from the likes of Portis. CP is just a child. His comments are so inscrutable it's often hard to decipher their true meaning, if any. Given his awkward communication skills I understand why he believes his statements are frequently misconstrued. The root of the CP problem is his special relationship with Snyder. The sad part is neither one sees this as an organizational problem.

Posted by: SackMan | January 6, 2010 12:59 PM

hey yes for some honesty ... no one can ever say or hasn't yet; that CP did not speak the truth! U can't throw people under the bus if they're already there! Scared cannot be how you are defined if you want to be the QB - winning requires an in your face attitude if/when needed from that position - if you want mild, then be 4-12... no QB was ever in trouble for kicking a....

Posted by: aypub | January 6, 2010 12:53 PM

Wow here's my problem with both CP and CC. No one is stopping you from leading. Shannon Sharpe lead the Ravens Locker room when they went to the Superbowl. No one ever espoused Dilfer's leadership role. So stop saying we lack it and step up and provide it.

Posted by: Hank4 | January 6, 2010 12:51 PM

Sing to American Pie

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How Redskins football used to make me smile.
And I knew if Shanny had a chance
That he could make those fans dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

But January made me shiver
With every website couldn't deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about dead website,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the blog died.

So bye-bye, redskin insider.
Drove my PC to the site
But the site was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this is the day that the blog died.
this is the day the blog died.

Did you write the Redskins playbook,
And do you have faith in Danny's look,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in west coast offense,
Can blitzes save your defense,
And can you teach me how to watch real slow?

Well, I know that Danny's in love with him
`cause I saw you smilin' in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, you ran some routes to show the moves.

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a burgandy carnation and a gold pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the blog died.

I started singin',
bye-bye, redskin insider.
Drove my PC to the site
But the site was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this is the day that the blog died.
this is the day the blog died.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
Wilbon, Maske and Steinberg,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the blog died.

I started singin',
bye-bye, redskin insider.
Drove my PC to the site
But the site was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "this is the day that the blog died.
this is the day the blog died.

Posted by: noonefromtampa | January 6, 2010 12:51 PM

Bringin in Kyle is the best out of all of this...def...

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 6, 2010 12:31 PM

4th, what a day for RI to go down....haha...I'm happy with Shanny, and I think bringing in some young cats, Kyle, GG's kid, is a very good move for the future....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | January 6, 2010 12:29 PM

Where are all the Portis haters? 90% of which I believe Cooley is their favorite player....

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 6, 2010 12:23 PM

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