When I heard that they weren't there I just said, 'Oh, my god.' The first thing I thought of is me in my second year. All I could think about was coming back into Redskins Park -- we were supposed to be back on March 15 and I took maybe three weeks off and started working out again. We had lost the Super Bowl and I wanted to get that taste out of my mouth and I thought this was my year to step up and start and make my presence felt.
I look at Sean and say, OK, he came in a little late and he had some issues. He missed some stuff, got in trouble a little bit and then in the preseason he made some plays. In the regular season the game is different and he wasn't making all the plays, but he showed potential. Man, I would want to build on that. This is the year to have some individual accolades, correct those little mistakes that you made as a rookie. I can't understand what he's doing.
But all he is doing is alienating himself from the team. His teammates are working out right now, trying to get better. They remember what happened to them last year and they don't want to come up short.
If I were one of his teammates, I would be ticked off and when he did show up I would say, 'What are you doing?' Joe Gibbs shouldn't be getting on him. His teammates should be saying, 'You're letting us down.' I find it baffling. Obviously it's a different era. But Sean made a lot of money last year. I don't care if it's what you expected to make. Now the head coach is calling around trying to find you and you won't return calls? I would have been scared to death that I would be cut for doing that. It's a different time.
Also, the chemistry you build in the offseason is tangible. Look at the Patriots. Can you say they're that much better than everyone? Absolutely not. But what they do have is a team. And team is the intagible thing that is hard to define, but it's amazing how you win with a group of guys that you love and will die for. You don't build that by not being around.
But Joe Gibbs has dealt with these situations in the past. There were always things coming up and there were always issues. What Joe does best is deal with issues as they arise and nip them in the bud quickly.
Joe hasn't fully established his rules and authority. He's still rooting out guys -- some of the riff-raff if you will left over from the previous administration. In order for Joe to win, and I believe he will, he has to have his kind of people. He's working toward getting his kind of people on the team, so what's happened this offseason doesn't surprise me. It shocked me a little about LaVar. He was clearly upset and having had so many knee surgeries, I understand his frustration. Here's a 26-year-old man that could jump 10 feet and do some fantastic things and run over people and now all of a sudden his wheels are letting him down and he can't get back on the field. But I agree with Joe Gibbs. They erred on the side of caution and didn't want him to come back too soon. I remember all those comments at the time. LaVar was just upset.
But Joe has to root out all this garbage from the last few years.
In Their Words: Charles Mann
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