Gibbs: Colts "Very Different to Prepare For"

Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs answered questions from the media about Tony Dungy, the difficulty in preparing for the Colts, why they have an advantage heading into Sunday's contest, and much more...

(on their season)
"We started off 2-4 which I think was a surprise to all of us. We've got a group of hard-working guys. I think they're dedicated to what they do. We had a very good offseason and started off the year and for whatever reason we just couldn't get it going. We lost all four of our preseason games. Going into the regular season, we lose our first two, we bounced back and won a couple, now we lose two more. It's a real struggle for us. In sports it's something that can happen to you. One week doesn't guarantee you the next week up here and certainly one year doesn't guarantee you anything the next year. You have to earn it every year and I think you have to earn it every week and we haven't done that four times, so as a consequence you get yourself in a hole."

(on being a running team)
"We have a good feel for what we want to be. I would say balanced. If you go into any game up here and you were to say with the exception of Indy, ‘We're going to throw it every down,' you're going to get beat. They (Indy) happen to be one of the teams that can that go out if they want to throw it every down, they can throw it every down and probably win games. If they really wanted to run it they could probably do that too every down. I think for us personally what we feel like is we need to be balanced. When we've played well this year, we've been balanced."

(on running the ball until being stopped by an opponent)
"If you made up your mind to run the ball on every down you're going to get into real trouble. I don't think you can do it. I don't think anybody up here is good enough to do that. If you look at the two games we won and how many times we ran it and how many times we threw it, I think that would be the perfect mix for us which was about 40 runs and 35 passes. Generally when we play well that's what we do, we're balanced. We haven't been able to do that in other games because other people, first of all they stopped us and secondly we were behind in the second half and things like that, that kind of happens to you."

(on LB Marcus Washington)
"If we had 53 Marcus Washingtons, we wouldn't need a coach. He has as much excitement for playing as any player I've ever been around. He loves football. We can be out there in the dead of winter, mud all over the place and he's chest pumping guys and high-fiving. He loves to play. I think Marcus is somebody, the Lord made him to play football. He's got a great enthusiasm about it. He was our only real Pro Bowl guy last year. He's an exceptional player. He's one of our leaders. That's why when you talk about free agency I don't know what we would do here if we hadn't been active in free agency. We wouldn't have Phillip Daniels, Marcus, we wouldn't have Cornelius Griffin. Those are some of the core players here that we feel are our leaders."

(on advantages/disadvantages of playing outside of the conference)
"I think they (Colts) definitely have an advantage. First of all they're playing at home and that (RCA Dome) is a tough place to play. They're very different to prepare for. They have a very unusual offensive style. They've got one of the premier guys that's ever played the game playing quarterback, he's phenomenal, super smart, does all the right things. They're well balanced if you try to take away the pass on them, and to be quite truthful they'll give you the run. They're a very unusual team to get ready for because obviously there's a lot of no-huddle and stuff that's different for you. Defensively they also present a very unusual style. They've got a lot of stunts which makes it very, very tough to get ready for them. I think people, when they have a short workweek, it's a major problem. I think it is going to be for us."

(on his relationship with Tony Dungy)
"When the times have come that we've been able to visit at different times, we've been at some FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) functions and things like that together. I have tremendous respect for him. I have a lot of friends who know him. I feel like we share a lot of things in common. I have tremendous respect for him. I think he's a great person which is first and foremost. I think he's a great football coach. It's funny, you don't in general get a lot of time to spend with other head coaches. I don't know why it works out that way. I guess it's because you're locked away here for five months and when you get out of here you spend most of your time with your family. I've got great respect for him and they certainly got a great football team. I think we're probably the biggest underdog we've been in a long time, deservedly so. I think they've got a great football team. I think they're tough on special teams. They're very solid and sound they do a great job there. I think they've got a high quality defensive scheme that I think Coach Dungy has a lot to do with that. I think their offense is dynamic you can't put it any other way. And their undefeated. I think that kind of proves it all out."

(on the toughest stadiums to play in)
"I haven't played there in Indy in a regular season. I know how tough it is because you talk to coaches and everybody that's been there. I think most of the places in the NFL are extremely tough to play in. It's a home base and most of them are packed. The NFL has packed crowds and it's always tough to go against. I don't know that I would pick any one place. You can look at our record and see the places where we had the most trouble."


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