Gibbs Discusses No Shows
In Part II of Gibbs' latest press conference, the Redskins coach discusses the situation with Santana Moss and Sean Taylor, both of whom aren't attending the voluntary off-season workouts.
Q: Can you update us on Moss and Taylor?
A: Obviously our approach is that both guys have contracts. Sean's was signed last year and is a long-term contract. We want our players to be here. It's non-mandatory, but it is a critical time for us. If you stop and think about it guys are paid a lot of money and they make a commitment that this is part of the agreement. The preparation you make in the offseason is super important to the regular season for this point: in today's football we'll come to camp, scrimmage in a week and play a preseason game in two weeks. You don't have time to get people in shape or mentally prepared so the offseason is critical to that. The union signed onto that. We have shorter preseasons and more work to do in the offseason. We try to operate on common sense. I've tried to condense all the work to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We try to condense their here for the smallest amount of time we can. But the player also, that's part of an understanding today. Every person we interview for the draft, the first thing we ask is, 'Are you willing to make a commitment in the offseason?' We feel this is hugely important. Every person was asked that question and all answered in the affirmative. If someone said they weren't going to be here it would have had a big impact on me. Our players agreed to do that. It is a big time for us. Our deal is if our players have contracts with us we want them to be here. If they're not here it's disappointing to us. In Santana's case, I've talked to him numerous times and I think he wants to be here. It's one of those things where you're trying to work through a process there and you have that side of it and we're trying to work through the process to get him here. In Sean's case he has a long-term contract and we want him to be here.
Q: How much have you talked to them?
A: To Sean, I have not been able to get him. I've probably talked to Santana 10 times.
Q: Is there anyone else not here that you want to be here?
A: I think pretty much everyone else is having babies or something. I told them, 'Look we have an off-week, that's when you have your babies.' For some reason they don't want to cooperate and their wives don't either.
Q: Are you worried that others will say next year if they're not here, why should I show up?
A: When you make the step into pro ball, this is your profession. It's something you've chosen to do and you signed an agreement to be part of the team and to be part of the Redskins team. I would say to any person that's not here, that's not a good statement. I think you have to deal with that. If you told me another player would say that, I would say to him the same thing I'm saying to other players, If you take that stand you put yourself in jeopardy. It's not a good situation. This is not mandatory and I don't threaten anybody. These are two good players and we're trying to work through a situation here. But to our other players' credit, all those guys who are here, I'd be willing to bet we're as close to 100 percent as anyone in the league. The only thing I would say to anybody now or in the future, if you missed offseason work it's not smart for you or your career. We won't threaten you, we don't say you have to be here. It's something we're asking you to do and we think it's important for the Redskins. If you're not here then you're hurting the team.
Q: Do you feel close to a resolution with Santana?
A: I'm not the person who deals with the contracts and the money. We have a good relationship with Drew. He's been a good person for us to work with. It would be my hope he would be here. I think he wants to be here. It's a shame because the player wants to be here. But it winds up being a process where he's not here and we're trying to work through something. How that will be resolved I can't say.
Q: There's no animosity between the team and Drew Rosenhaus?
A: No, we've had a good relationship with Drew. He handles a lot of players. I talked to him last week. I feel I have an open line of communication with him. It's a process to work these things out, sometimes they don't work out the way you want them to.
Q: Their absences are linked to the contract situation, correct?
A: That's probably true; that's a fair statement. In Santana's case, he was a great workout guy. I don't know that he missed anything with the Jets.
Q: Are you working through this process with Sean, too?
A: Yeah, same thing with Sean. I've had conversations with Drew. All of us here, trying to work through a situation. His is different because he does have a deal that was done last year. There are complications that I don't want to talk about in public.
Q: You seem comfortable with what Santana's doing, but Sean has had a bumpy road in Washington, at least when it comes to off-field decisions. Are you getting frustrated with him?
A: I think hopefully as we talked about last year, obviously Sean's background, he's had a terrific football background. It's just last year we had a rocky first year. There were things there that I know Sean wishes hadn't happened and Sean wishes hadn't happened. We tried to work through each one of those and I think lessons learned there, I hope. There's not a frustration. What we're trying to do is get Sean settled down here and being part of this team. That's what we want for him. Sometimes in life you have to deal with things. In this case we have to deal with something we don't want to. I'm hoping any day he shows up.
Q: But he's not returning your calls.
A: Most of the players don't return my calls.
Q: Will they be on the field for training camp?
A: Yeah, both of them.
Q: Even if the contract situation isn't resolved?
A: They do have a contract. That's not going to be a problem. It's getting the offseason work done.
Q: Has Santana's absence hurt his development with Patrick?
A: Absolutely. It's a timing thing. That's important and the players that are here are getting the advantage of that work.
Gibbs Presser, Part 2: Dealing with No-Shows
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