On April 22, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder praised the new energy at Redskins Park under new head coach Jay Gruden, and defended free-agent signee DeSean Jackson during an event in Loudon County, Va.
"I think there is a lot of positive energy, and it's great to see," Snyder said of the atmosphere at Redskins Park. "Everyone's enthusiastic every day, and we just need to translate that to the field, and I think that everyone's excited. I'm excited. I think we have a great future."
Snyder spoke with the media at Park View High School in Sterling, Va., where he was announcing a funding partnership for a new turf field. The team's charitable foundation contributed $100,000 toward the project. Video of his session with reporters was posted on redskins.com.
Preferring to look forward rather than back at last year's 3-13 campaign, Snyder opted not to comment when asked about the tension between quarterback Robert Griffin III and former head coach Mike Shanahan.
"First of all, we're moving forward," Snyder said. "We're proud of our quarterback. We're proud of our head coach. Jay Gruden is working very hard every day, and I think that we've got a great future, so we're looking forward to it."
Much of the media availability involved questions related to Jackson, a wide receiver who formerly played for the Eagles. During an April 21 appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show," Jackson said, "There's going to be something special," when talking about the Redskins' two games against his old team in 2014.
Snyder said it would be exciting to watch Jackson in the Washington offense.
"We got tired of seeing him score a lot of touchdowns against us," Snyder said, "and watching him on TV. So it's great to have him here."
Snyder said Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen had convinced him to sign Jackson following Jackson's release from the Eagles amid stories about his off-field conduct with the team and his alleged gang ties.
"I think that when you look at the fact that the head coach and the general manager said this is the best move, the only thing I can do is support it, and that's what I've done," Snyder said. "It's been great. I've spent a little time with him, and he's really a good guy."
When asked about the alleged gang ties, Snyder said the media should look at Jackson's work in the community.
"I was reading this morning that he's got a book on bullying out, and I look forward to reading that," Snyder said. "I think he's someone that's done a lot in the community. I think you'll see him here for the Redskins for many years, and he'll be part of this community. And what we're going to look forward to is obviously great play, but also the fact that, the stuff that I'd love to see to reported is really deservedly so regarding all of his charitable work."
Speaking of Allen, Snyder was also asked whether he has any areas he'd like the Redskins to address during the NFL Draft May 8-10.
"Well, I've told that to Bruce, but Bruce is in charge of that and doing a great job," Snyder said, "and the scouting department is working 24/7, and they've done a lot of work, as they do every year. We'll follow the draft board as we always believe in."
Snyder was also asked about criticism he's received regarding the Original Americans Foundation, the organization he recently formed to assist Native Americans.
Snyder referred to the letter he wrote to fans announcing the foundation.
"I wrote a letter to the fans, and I think it speaks for itself," Snyder said. "And I think it tells you that we did our homework, unlike a lot of people. And we understand the issues out there, and we're not an issue. The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it's time that people focus on the reality."
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