| Dan and I watching practice Aug 19, 2003
l to r: Dan Snyder, Terry Robiski and me at hiring announcement
THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS
OF The National Football League AS Vice-President of Football Operations
Skins' Pepper stays sunny
Criticizing owner Dan Snyder's hands-on style, Schottenheimer said he couldn't - he wouldn't - work in such a climate.
But Pepper Rodgers, Snyder's newest confidant, said that the team knew better than to be offended. Instead, the Redskins pursued and persuaded Schottenheimer, signing him to a four-year, $10 million contract.
"That's show biz," said Rodgers, dismissing Schottenheimer's early harsh words. "In my lifetime, if I had never talked to somebody who said something ugly about me - including my kids and my wife, at times - I wouldn't have anybody to talk to."
Rodgers, 68, who last month was named the team's vice president of football operations, said he was an "adviser" to Snyder during the coaching search.
Rodgers declined to discuss his role in detail, but said, "I was happy to be a help to Dan. ... Everybody needs somebody they trust. We have a good thing going here."
Rodgers, a longtime college coach, made his mark in Memphis by coaching the USFL's Showboats and as point man for the city's unsuccessful NFL expansion bid. He left Memphis last summer after 16 years, taking a public relations job at FedEx Field, where the Redskins play.
That job - and a friendship that followed with Snyder - led to him joining the Redskins' front office. Since Schottenheimer also was named director of football operations, Rodgers's role - and his title - could change.
Rodgers expects to remain with the team.
"If not," he said with a laugh, "that would be the shortest marriage in history."
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