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Snyder: Redskins Building For Short And Long Term

From the addition of 10 promising draft picks to the blockbuster trade for 12-year veteran Jason Taylor, the Redskins are building a team for "both the short term and the long term," owner Daniel M. Snyder said.

In a wide-ranging Q&A interview with The Wall Street Journal published online on Aug. 21, Snyder said that early in his tenure as Redskins owner he was "too eager to swing for the fences" in constructing a championship-caliber team.

Now, as Snyder begins his 10th year as owner of the team he cheered for as a youth, he has taken a pragmatic approach.

"It really is a building process," Snyder said. "You build through free agency and the draft and I think if you can look over the years you'd see a lot of improvement over how the club goes about getting players and keeping players and re-signing our existing players.

"Look at the way we've handled the development of our young quarterback [Jason Campbell], the way we've drafted additional players, this season the way we've handled re-signing a lot of our coaching staff and making sure that we kept a lot of the Joe Gibbs coaching staff."

The Redskins retained 12 of their 17 assistant coaches from last season, including promoting defensive line coach Greg Blache to defensive coordinator.

Last offseason, the Redskins added 10 players in the NFL Draft, starting with three second-round picks in Devin Thomas, Fred Davis and Malcolm Kelly.

Third-round pick Chad Rinehart, fourth-round pick J.T. Tyron, sixth-round picks Kareem Moore, Durant Brooks and Colt Brennan and seventh-round picks Rob Jackson and Chris Horton have all flashed potential in preseason.

When defensive end Phillip Daniels suffered a devastating knee ligament injury on the first day of training camp, the Redskins quickly completed a trade for Taylor, one of the elite pass rushers in football.

Last offseason, Snyder named Vinny Cerrato as the executive vice president of football operations and Jim Zorn as head coach.

In this new era of Redskins football, Snyder has maintained a similar role as when Gibbs was team president and head coach of the team from 2004-07. He said he assists the coaches, scouting staff and salary cap specialists in negotiating player contracts with agents.

"I let the scouts scout and the coaches coach," Snyder told The Wall Street Journal. "What I try to do is help get the deals on the business side done."

Snyder said he has been impressed with how Zorn has established himself as a leader of the team in the last six months.

"[Zorn is] very qualified, very straightforward, someone that has tremendous leadership skills," Snyder said. "I think the team, when you look at Joe Gibbs and what the team responded to, it was he was sincere and real. And Jim Zorn is sincere and real.

"There's no hoopla, there's none of this fake leadership."

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