Q & A with: Joe Gibbs

The Redskins coach addressed the media at the scouting combine, talking about the rumored trade of receiver Laveranues Coles and a host of other topics.

Q&A With: Joe Gibbs

The Redskins coach addressed the media at the scouting combine, talking about the rumored trade of receiver Laveranues Coles.

Here's his opening statement:

''From a Redskins standpoint, I don't have a lot so this should be quick. We don't have a lot to say. We're working hard in a bunch of areas as I'm sure a lot of teams are. We're focusing on getting our guys signed that are free agents and making preparations for the draft and free agents. I'll go ahead and address the LC (Coles) situation because I'm sure I'll get some questions.  For us, Laveranues Coles is a very valuable guy. If we can work something out with somebody that would be fine. If not, he'll probably remain a Redskin. He's very valuable and we think we would have to have some real value (for him). That's a simple statement and I won't elaborate on anything else. We're working hard in a bunch of areas. We have made some progress with our own guys and it's a very important time. When you come here, you're working on free agency and you're all excited as a coach because you're looking at where you need help and you're excited about the draft and seeing the young guys here. It's a really exciting time for me because you're looking to get your team positioned for next year.''

Q: How is Coles' toe?

A: All you have to do is watch him play. He had a shot mid-year and he has the best toe specialist in the world look at it and they felt like it was something that would remedy the situation and he played great and it did. He feels great about it right now. (Will not have surgery).

Q: Will Coles have to pass a physical to finalize a trade?

A: There's no sense me addressing any of that. That's not on the horizon. It's a simple statement from us - he has real value and if we work out something with somebody, that would be great and if not, we'll go down the road with LC being a Redskin. Whatever happens, both teams would have to be happy with it.

Q: What's the possibility of a Coles for Moss trade?

A: I'd say it's not very likely. That's my general feeling on it. But like I said, we value him so if we work out something with a team, we would do that.

Q: Are there other teams in the mix for Coles?

A: Anything like that, there's no sense talking about it.

Q: How much does Coles' $5 million bonus affect a trade?

A: Like I said, it's a situation where, simply stated, he's a very valuable guy. There is a lot to it. There is no sense getting into discussing every single part of it. Something would have to be worked out between two teams and I don't know if that's going to happen or not.

Q: Is there a deadline for a Coles trade?

A: No (deadline).

Q: What's Pierce's status?

A: When we finished the year, I thought the most important thing for us as Redskins is having a certain group of guys to build around. That's been our main focus. We want to honor those guys that played hard for us that we feel like are Redskins and want to build around. Antonio is one of those. We're doing everything we can to get that resolved and get it done. What happens in today's football, it becomes where the value of the player and where we think he fits in and what's most important to me isn't the money, the money is valuable because you can only spend so much but it's the players. Hopefully we can get all those guys taking care of. The only time I think we'll lose somebody is if it's totally unworkable. We want to do that and everybody knows who we value as real Redskins. We've had a number of guys in free agency we have something really close with.

Q: And Fred Smoot?

A: Fred Smoot is definitely a Redskin. Freddy came in last week and I had a great talk with Dan and myself. The defensive coaches think a lot of him and we're working hard on that.

Q: How is Jon Jansen progressing?

A: Jon has been cleared by the doctors and we think he's 100 percent and ready to go. I hate that it got cut short for him last year because he's a valuable football player and it hurt us last year getting the (right tackle) situation resolved. Getting Jon back gives us more flexibility and gives our starting right tackle back. He adds a lot to our football team.

Q: What does ''not very likely" as far as trade of Coles mean?

A: My statement covers it. He's a very valuable guy and we're working to see if anything could be done.

Q: Would Coles report to camp if he's not traded?

A: Laveranues and I have talked all along and what I said last week - we've had really good talks. He understands how I feel and I understand how he feels. We have a good understanding of how each other feels about this. It's one of those things in life you work through.

Q: Have you talked with him about his role in the offense?

A: As I've said many times, the offense falls on me. We weren't very productive last year so I really hope we can help our football team this year and step up offensively. That's my fault and my problem and I need to take the blame for everything that happens. It's certainly an area that I'm hoping we can correct and be very productive next year. If we can, that will help our football team.

Q: What do you think of Bledsoe joining Dallas?

A: Gregg Williams likes Drew and thinks he's a heck of a player. I'd say that Dallas made a decision there and the rest of us in the division aren't looking forward to it.

Q: How important was it to get that first year under your belt?

A: The first year for me was a tough first year. Getting it under my belt, I wished I could have gotten it under my belt a lot different way. You dive into something and there is no way you can anticipate what was going to happen when you come back to coaching in the NFL. The way I always looked at it is dive into it and take one problem at a time and take off on it. When I started, I didn't have a clue about how to get the coaching staff and I've gone through that and I think I understand that really good right now. Free agency the first time was exciting for me. We got to add 11 players and that was phenomenal because, before when I was here, you couldn't do that. I loved it. I think we'll do a lot less (in free agency), but we'll certainly be prepared and try get done what we think will help our football team. It was a tough first year. I got some lumps put on me. We'll see what happens in the future.

Q: What's the update on trading Rod Gardner?

A: We're working with Rod and his agent on that. I don't think there's anything to report. People have called and we're talking.

Q: An update on Chris Samuels' contract?

A: Chris Samuels' is a very valuable guy for us and he has one more year on his contract but we're interested in Chris Samuels being with us for a long time.

Q: Is there a chance you'd have Samuels, Smoot and Pierce taken care of by Tuesday?

A: I'm sure hoping (it can be done). That's what we would like to do. In the NFL and free agency, it's hard to say what will happen. You lay out your game plan. I can tell you this – Dan (Snyder) and Vinny (Cerrato) are busting to get this done.  It's a lot, but you work as hard as you can. We have a very focused, together group. We make decisions as a group. No one individual makes decisions with the Redskins. It's all of us talking it over. We've laid out a game plan and the thing about this, you get curveballs thrown. We're dedicated to doing what's best for the Redskins. I think we have a good game plan and we'll see what happens.

Q: How was Clinton Portis' adjustment to the offense?

A: The thing I said after the season is it's amazing, in the analysis of things, I went back and looked at Clinton's year and you rated it based on his production with Denver. We weren't as productive offensively as Denver had been. Clinton missed the last game of the year, rushed for over 1,300 yards and in the history of the Redskins, it's one of the best years a running back has had. We think the world of Clinton and I see really bright things in the future for him and us. He's really key to what we do. What I'm looking for offensively is we have to get our production up in the passing game and big plays. If we do that, we have a chance to help our football team. Clinton played his guts out last year and had a heck of a year. He's had over 1,500 yards twice and over 1,300 yards last year - that's impressive stuff

Q: What are your thoughts on free agency and the draft?

A: When you come out of the year and sit down, the most important thing is evaluating the team and where you're at and this is where we need somebody as a starter, this is where we need somebody as a solid backup. It's a series of needs you want to fill. My way of looking at it is, I would like to solve every problem we could - as we did last year - in free agency. I think we'll do a lot less than last year because our needs are not nearly as many as last year. You dive into that, try to solve everything we can, and we're trying to do our homework on the draft so whatever is left, you go into the draft with the idea, 'Here's our series of needs, what's the best player?'

Q: What happens if Coles says he doesn't want to play somewhere?

A: There's no sense really talking about that. First, it's very hard to do. We have a very valuable guy. Sorry to sidestep that. In the words of Don Coryell, ‘how I answer that and not say anything?'

Q: Would you trade within the division?

A: I don't think anybody likes trading inside your division. You could create a lot of problems there. I don't think you want to do that. Could it happen? Yeah.

Q: Would Coles be a distraction if he comes back?

A: I've made my statement and that's what we're going to go with.

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