More Than Money

Steve Spurrier's resignation as the head coach of the Washington Redskins was the best thing for everyone involved.

Updated: December 1, 2004, 11:55 AM ET
By Merril Hoge | Special to ESPN.com

When push comes to shove, it's not always about the money. All things considered, Steve Spurrier's resignation as head coach of the Washington Redskins was the best thing for everyone involved. Remember, Spurrier already has collected $10 million from the Redskins and he made plenty of money while he was in Florida. This decision was about much more than dollars.

Steve Spurrier
Spurrier

Many people attributed Spurrier's lack of success to the learning curve that goes along with being a new head coach. But this season, we watched first-year head coach Marvin Lewis turn the losing Cincinnati Bengals into playoff contenders. Meanwhile, it took Spurrier two years to drive the Redskins right into the ground. He didn't learn anything. Spurrier tried to do things his way -- the college way. Well, the college way doesn't fly in the NFL.

The NFL doesn't determine its champion by a computer, and coaches don't get to select their schedule or the easiest teams to play against. Heck, in the NFL, there are no easy teams. Spurrier never learned how to prepare in this league. He didn't even have a playbook, which is the staple of any organization. Spurrier never established a direction, and therefore his players never knew where they were going.

Ultimately, it all starts at the top, and while I'm not sure that Dan Snyder is any better, if he can get an NFL staff in place -- experienced personnel who know what it takes to win at the professional level -- the Redskins have as good a shot as any team next year. Certainly, they need to fill some holes, but they've got a lot of talent on that team as well. With the right coach to manage that personnel, some semblance of hope can be restored in Washington.

You can mask the fact that Spurrier quit by using the word "resign," but it just goes to show that if you're not a real man, the NFL will chew you up and spit you out. It doesn't matter how much money you're making, it's not worth it. You'll want to quit, and that's exactly what Spurrier did.

Former NFL running back Merril Hoge is an ESPN analyst on EA NFL Matchup and NFL Live.

Former NFL fullback Merril Hoge is an analyst for a wide variety of NFL programs on television and ESPN Radio. An eight-year NFL veteran, Hoge spent 1987-93 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and joined ESPN in 1996.