Q&A With: Joe Gibbs

The Redskins' coach wanted to address a topic that stemmed from a press conference last week in Charlotte. Those who covered him this season, and know him well, knew he was joking about his tenure in Washington. Apparently not everyone understood that and started rumors. Gibbs wanted to clear that up and address other topics.

Q: There was a story that said you were sorry you took the job and that you're not going to stay here long. What's your comment on that?
A: The advantage I have in anything when people bring up my health or the length of time or what I'm planning to do with the Redskins and the commitment I made in coming here, is that the people at Redskins Park know. They're here, they're living it with me. They see it. What happened was, I wind up in a press conference in Charlotte and I was joking. I was telling a joke. It's amazing how very few people evidently don't have a sense of humor. I said that because we were focusing on racing and that was the focus of all of us there. I said our dream is to continue forever with the racing. In football you can't do that. My time in football will be shorter, I should have said, meaning I'll spend less time than in racing which will be forever. I was joking. I laughed. It was very similar to my last TV appearance with George [Michael] and I said the same thing, 'It'll be real short if we don't start winning some games. I felt that was one thing I could joke about. Having said that I guess the moral of this story is I can't joke about that. The thing that does upset me about it is that evidently some people then went from me making a simple statement like that and joking about it, they took it and ran with it and started talking about that I'm a short-time guy. Let me address that: I signed a five-year contract when I came here. Most people sign three-year contracts. I want to do everything I can to restore the Redskins to winning football games. And I'd say that my commitment is a minimum of five years. I want to get the Redskins back to winning. Some people said Joe did it for the money. To me if you're gonna say that, you have an obligation to do some research on that. Then they inferred that my time out here at the Park that I don't even spend all my time on football, I'm doing other things. If you're gonna say something that's personal and strikes to what I'm about, you'd think they'd do some research on that. Evidently not. And financially I've been blessed beyond belief. I've actually reached a point where I didn't have to do things based on finances. If you do any research on that it wouldn't hold water. I have a witness. Dwight Schar was there. My financial discussions with Dan Snyder lasted only 60 seconds. My point there is I hope people would take me at my word that I did not do this from a financial standpoint. For someone to come out here and do research and talk to anyone out here, including you guys, they'd have to say my commitment here, I'm giving this every thing I've got. I'm talking hours, time and commitment. Most of you who are here would testify to that. You'd think before you'd say something like that or put it on the airwaves, that they would at least do some research. Is Joe committed to this or not? Those two things I felt like was real important. The time I have to spend in football I'll give it everything I've got. That's my intent. I want to do that and it's important that the fans know.

Q: A story said you told Pat that were you sorry you took the job, that late at night you're thinking about football plays and NASCAR.
A: People are saying things like that and it's ridiculous. If my wife doesn't want you to do something I get it right there. If Pat didn't want me to do something, she would say something and if she doesn't want me to do something then I wouldn't. I don't know where that stuff comes from. You would think before someone would say that, something that's real personal, that they would do their research. That's not been the case, they just say it. I'm glad I get a chance to address it here. Hopefully I won't have to do it again.

Q: Some of us have been living in a hole because we didn't realize all this was going on. Was this a local or national outlet talking about this?
A: I had people telling me about it and I couldn't believe it. It was said. It starts getting written and there was a comment today about it in the paper. I joke around a lot. I guess I was so confident about my commitment and why I took the job that I could joke about it. It's a shame really. But I guess that's what happens when you're in this kind of forum in Washington where things are so important.

Q: Will you tell Rod not to work out here, as you did with Trotter last year?
A: If something hasn't been done as get closer then we'll work our way through it. He requested a trade and we felt it would be best for both of us. We want some value for it now because he was a valuable guy.

Q: Why allow it
A: His general feelings and that was important to us. I feel like it would be good for both of us

Q: Does this put receiver at or near top of the list for the offseason?
A: Yes, I think it would be.

Q: What are you looking for?
A: We're looking for someone who's talented and fits in with us and that we can build around. Taylor Jacobs, think he's one of those guys and James Thrash. We love James. But we'll continue to look at that. It's a high priority for us. We'll give it serious consideration to doing. This was one step with Rod.

Q: Was Rod's late-night activity a factor?
A: No. It was just something he expressed through his agent that he'd like to be traded and we agree with him.

Q: Will Coles have surgery?
A: We ruled out surgery. He feels like his toe, he did get a shot later in the year that made a lot of difference. Surgery was ruled out.

Q: Will you look at wide receiver in free agency or the draft?
A: I believe you keep all the options open as best you can. We're getting our first list with free agency. That's what the coaches will be doing the next two weeks so we're prepared and ready to go. That's something we'll just see. You always start with free agency. You'd like to solve as many of the problem areas there and then go to the draft.

Q: With LaVar, is there a chance of surgery?
A: No, I'm not looking that way. When I talked to him today he said it was definitely getting better. That was our biggest concern. Our biggest concern is making sure he progresses and getting him back healthy. He can make a big difference in there.

Q: What if he doesn't progress?
A: Then we send him back to Dr. Andrews and see what he thinks.

Q: Is there then a possibility of surgery?
A: Anytime something isn't coming along like you want it to then there's a possibility. But as long as he feels like it's getting stable and feels good then that's where we'll wind up.

Q: What's the update on Barrow, will he be part of the team next year?
A: That's something we're going through. Medically he'll be fine. It's just us looking at all our options there and making up our mind as to what direction we'll go in.

Q: You said you had good conversations with Smoot's agent, is there grounds for optimism now?
A: What happens and it's understandable, what the team is trying to do and what we're trying to do you take a player and say where does he fit in. For me, I hope the guys get all the money. But when you do that it costs you players. If you invest a lot in one area it prevents you from taking care of the core group guys. Freddie Smoot is a guy we want to sign. He's been an excellent Redskin and we'd like to have him. But where does Freddie evaluate himself and think he belongs. What happens there is you have to be careful. If we spend more in one area for one player then it costs you over here. That's where I get into it as a coach. The money, wish we didn't have the cap because we'd be in good shape with our owner. Will we lose core group guys, I don't think we'll lose many. It could happen, but we'll fight like mad to get our core group guys signed.

Q: Could you franchise Smoot?
A: We haven't talked about those issues yet, but we're hoping we get something done there.

Q: There's been a lot of speculation from Minnesota that they'd trade Randy Moss. Would you go after him?
A: Obviously he's a heck of a player, but it's not something we'd be interested in. I don't think we'd be in the market for him.


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