Q&A with Redskins coach Joe Gibbs

"I start thinking about our game this week with the Giants, certainly how important it is to us and to them. I know they're anxious to play at home. I think that we have a feel for their football team. I think they had about 400 yards in offense last week and did a lot of good things in that game, it just didn't turn out good for them. I certainly don't want to go play in Philly either, I know what that's like."

Q: Any feelings on coming back to Giants Stadium?

A: Yeah, they're all bad. I'd say it's probably one of the toughest places in the world to coach or play. I think they have a tremendous fan base; they've got terrific...I can remember a number of games there and I've got to tell you, I don't remember a lot of good endings to them. They get great respect for their fans and for their team. We know what were up against and as I told our team today, I think it's one of the toughest places in the world to play.

Q: What did it feel like to be back on the sidelines last week?

A: That was about as emotional as any time I think I've been. For me it was starting over and I said that to everybody...To me it's embarrassing, you know, with the attention and everything I get coming back to coach when there has been other coaches winning the Super Bowl and doing a great job for the last 12 years and I've been totally out of it. For me it's like starting over, I think I have to prove myself all over again. So, it was real emotional last week but at the same time...the one night to enjoy things I start thinking about our game this week with the Giants, certainly how important it is to us and to them. I know they're anxious to play at home. I think that we have a feel for their football team. I think they had about 400 yards in offense last week and did a lot of good things in that game, it just didn't turn out good for them. I certainly don't want to go play in Philly either, I know what that's like.

Q: Are there any changes in the game that have caught you off guard since you have been away?

A: Yeah. Most of it. I would say that the way you acquire talent is totally different. Everybody has the same amount of money - it is how you are going to assign the money. In the old days you used to be - if you could talk the owner into it - you could get whatever you wanted. That is not the case anymore. I think the other thing that is a dramatic change is free agency, which was not there when I was here before. The draft is much smaller. So, the way you acquire talent and then I think on the field, the game has changed a lot, too, because the defenses are forcing the issue. They are not sitting back and reading. There are no sitting back and read defenses anymore. They have forced the issue and because of that I think they have changed the way the offense plays. I think the whole game has changed and it has been a big learning curve for me. I am still learning.

Q: What have you noticed about attitudes of players now versus 12 years ago? How have you had to adjust to the way you like to run your team and the rules that you like to set up to accommodate that?

A: I don't think human nature changes. That is my own personal opinion. My whole life, I am a physical education major - that is ballroom dancing and handball. But the only thing I have worked with has been teams. I love teams and I love team sports. So I have been involved in motor sports or the NFL. And then the other teams I was on in college or a business team - I think human nature doesn't change. We are motivated by the same things. Obviously for us, there is a fear factor. There is wanting to do well. You can give a little sugar to some people and they really respond. I think human nature is the one portion of it. So our players today, to me, are motivated by the same things that they were. I think human nature is the reason for that, because we just don't change. People are motivated by the same things.

Q: How much are you motivated by your fear of failure coming back after being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

A: Well, I think we kidded around about that. I will say this. For me there is no net. But I think also those are some of the fun things in life. To me, I love the competitive part of it. I think for me it is the players, being around the players and trying to build a team. I think the most important thing we do as coaches, and I know Coach Coughlin, would say the same thing, is pick the players. If you pick the right players and they make you look good. That aspect for me is - I enjoy that. I enjoy the team camaraderie but at the same time I think the focus should be on the players and that is where, hopefully, it is going to be. They are the ones making the plays and it is fun to be a part of their deal and to try and help them.

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