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Snyder: 'We've Got Momentum'

Entering his eighth season as team owner, Daniel M. Snyder says the Redskins have a new atmosphere as they come off a 10-6 regular season and prepare for 2006.

Said Snyder: "We've got some pretty good momentum. We've got an understanding that we can win."

The team owner spoke with TV's Larry Michael on Wednesday at Redskins Park in a wide-ranging interview that focused on such topics as free agency, the departures of LaVar Arrington and Patrick Ramsey, FedExField ticket prices and what it's like to work with Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.

Snyder characterized the recent period of free agency as a "strange" one in that all NFL clubs were stalled at various points due to labor negotiations between the 32 franchises and the players' union.

"We committed our efforts to what was sort of a stop and start free agency this year," he said. "It was sort of a strange one this year. We were prepared on three separate occasions to go forward at 12 o'clock and get moving. Then it was start, delay, start, delay, start, delay.

"It was a little bit of craziness. But I think the hours that Joe [Gibbs] and Vinny Cerrato and the rest of the folks put in is pretty amazing stuff."

Regarding linebacker LaVar Arrington, who recently left the team following a sometimes tumultuous six years with the Redskins, Snyder said the organization gave thought to having Arrington in the picture for 2006 but that Arrington himself opted to look elsewhere in terms of furthering his career.

Said the Redskins' owner: "LaVar really had to make a decision at the end of the day regarding where we were going and the CBA [collective bargaining agreement] and everything.

"I have a great deal of respect for him. I hope it works out best for everyone. I think it will."

Speaking of the recent deal that sent quarterback Patrick Ramsey to the New York Jets, Snyder said: "We probably could have kept him. I think he needed a different atmosphere, a different place, a new start. We gave him that opportunity."

When Gibbs brought in Al Saunders to direct the club's offense in 2006, Snyder said, the Redskins added a coach whose offensive imagination and track record has all Redskins fans invigorated as they look ahead.

"He's super, super smart," Snyder said of Saunders. "He excites everyone. But we'll wait and see and give him some opportunity and time to get things developed."

Asked about Gibbs, who is entering the third season of his second stint at Redskins head coach, Snyder continued to speak in glowing terms.

The franchise owner said of the Hall of Fame coach: "He's very responsive to any needs. He's just one of those guys who once you get to know him, everything you've heard about him is true and then some. He's an amazing man. We're lucky to have him.

"We try to do everything we can to give Joe Gibbs what he needs from a player personnel perspective, from a coaching perspective, from a support perspective. We hope to field just a good, winning team."

One of the recent initiatives at Redskins Park of which Snyder feels especially proud is the effort to reach out to fans directly through message boards, TV as well as Michael's radio shows and the team's web site,

Said Snyder: "For me, it's always about the fans. It's about the fact that I've been a fan all my life, a Redskins fans every since I was a kid.

From that standpoint, what we want to do with the chats and with TV and everything is just really be able to get people inside the building and help them understand what the Redskins are doing day to day and how they can be involved."

Asked about ticket prices at FedExField, Snyder said: "We're not the most expensive ticket in the NFL by far. There are plenty of teams that are more expensive than we are. But having said that, we did lower the price of some tickets, and we're working hard to deliver as good a team as we can put on the field.

"We appreciate everyone's support. It's been four or five years since we upped the ticket prices. We try to do it a little bit more gradual. But we tried not to do it for several years."

Snyder went on to say that last year's 10-6 regular season and playoff run were memorable--but that there remains work to do.

Asked about going 10-6 in 2005, Snyder remarked: "We thought we could do that. We thought we had a very tough schedule. We got it done but didn't get everywhere we wanted to go. We're looking forward to getting back and going again."

Queried on his business accomplishments and ventures and how they may compare to being in charge of the Redskins, Snyder said: "This is not a business, this is, more than any business, this is fantastic. I'll do this forever."

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