Q&A With: Joe Gibbs

The Redskins' coach talked about Brian Mitchell, releasing players and free agency. And he held out hope about Fred Smoot's return.

Q: What will you remember about Brian Mitchell the most?
A: What I'll remember the most, and this tells you about his nature and the way he played the game, was for whatever reason he would volunteer to run the scout team offense against the first team defense. He's got guys blocking who are free agents against the first team defense and he'd get upset about things and he'd call out guys on the defense, calling guys names. I'm thinking, 'They're gonna kill him.' But I can honestly say he's one of the toughest players I've ever coached.

Q: Are you confident something will get done with Chris Samuels' contract?
A: We always approach it from the standpoint that we want to get it done. we're trying to get it done. But I'm always [cautious] until these things get done.

Q: Does getting his deal done serve as the linchpin for then doing other deals?
A: We have a plan there and there's a lot involved with it. Certainly this deal would sure help us on having the flexibility for sure. It's a sizable contract.

Q: What's the update on Antonio Pierce's deal?
A: The frustrating thing is that it moves slow. We have made progress on some guys. But I won't get into it until we get something done. In general it goes slow because the agents don't want to be the first out. They want to put it closer to the deadline. Then other people start signing so they don't get themselves in a situation that makes them look bad. It's frustrating because we're trying to get everything finished up.

Q: When will you decide which players to release to free up cap room?
A: We don't plan on doing much of that. We're trying to look at all of our options. We're in better position than a lot of teams. We're probably somewhere in the middle.

Q: On your radio show you created a stir when you said you wouldn't be signing the two receivers (Muhsin Muhammed and Plaxico Burress). Some people wondered how you knew what their price tags would be.
A: You got everyone out there in the world talking about those two guys and everyone's throwing out stuff. It's rumors. We're not allowed to talk to them, but that's the rumor. Most of those guys have all said it: 'I'm a free agent, I want a lot of money.'

Q: Is it a done deal that Fred Smoot will test free agency?
A: Again, that's one that we want to try and get done. We've worked hard on that and Eric Schaffer has worked real hard on all that stuff. It's just moving slow.

Q: So you haven't given up on re-signing Fred?
A: We haven't given up on it. I would like to get that done. We're just trying to work on that. We're hoping that when free agency gets closer in another week or so that some of these things start to fall into place.

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