It was here that Gibbs stopped coaching the team he wished he had--the Dan Fouts-led Chargers--and started coaching the one he had. He began to mold his system around the talents that his players had and finding ways to make each of them successful in a role.
October 11, 1981
Soldier Field—Finally, after mistake-filled 0-5 start to Joe Gibbs' head coaching tenure, the Redskins found an opponent that would hand a game to them. After having been killed by its own turnovers during the first five went games, the Redskins gladly accepted three Bears gifts to build a 17-0 halftime lead.
Joe Lavender's interception of a Vince Evans pass led to a Mark Moseley field goal late in the first quarter. Twenty four seconds later, Evans was intercepted again, this time by Neil Olkewicz, who ran it into the endzone from 10 yards out and it was 10-0. Late in the first half, it was Dave Butz' turn to pick off Evans and he rumbled to the Bears' one. John Riggins scored from there, and the lead grew to 17-0.
The Redskins expanded it to 24-0 with 4:45 left in the fourth quarter by putting together their only scoring drive of the game that was unaided by aChicago turnover. Riggins capped it off with another short TD run. The Bears averted the shutout when Mike Phipps hit Marcus Anderson for a 43-yard touchdown with 1:43 left.
October 12, 1982
Gibbs in a Giving Mood After First Win
"Things are a lot more relaxed today. We can laugh and have some fun."
Almost any member of the Redskins could have said that in the glow of their first win of the year. It happened that Joe Gibbs said it and, evidently, his idea of having fun is giving away some swag to his players.
A lot of merchandise has been piling up in the attic at Redskins Park waiting to be awarded to outstanding players after a win. Portable TV's, sport coats, dinners, watches, and shirts were all dished out to deserving gladiators. In return, the players gave Gibbs a game ball.
Gibbs, who came to the Redskins touted as a master of the passing game, attributed the team's success on Sunday to old-fashioned ball control and solid, opportunistic defense.
"We did prove that we can run the ball, that we can move it out from the goal line in tough situations and that we can control it for a long drive," hesaid. "And our defense also found out that it really is a great unit."