Sideline Battle: Gibbs vs. Childress

Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs made his league debut a quarter century ago and says his stomach was nervous to the point of throwing up on the sidelines. What will Brad Childress be like tonight in his debut? Gibbs, Childress and Brad Johnson all weigh in on the first-time head coach.

They could not have more polar opposite National Football League resumes.

He is the only coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. His 157 wins rank 12th in NFL history, and with a .657 winning percentage (157-82), Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs is ranked third among NFL coaches with more than 125 wins.

Then there is Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who brings a 0-0 career NFL head coaching record into Monday night's showdown in Washington. Yet, if you attempt to delve into the emotional and anxiety tracts of both head coaches, a logical conclusion could be reached that Gibbs, not first-year coach Childress, will need the bigger net to catch the hypothetical butterflies.

Childress makes his official NFL head coaching debut Monday. Gibbs made his in 1981 – a quarter of a century ago.

"I'd say other than throwing up on the sideline, I can't remember much about it," Gibbs said, when asked about his head coaching debut 25 years ago. "I got off to a horrible start; I went 0-5 during my first stretch. It was a very tough adjustment for us, the football team and everybody. That's what I remember about it."

Vomiting on the sidelines… Really?

"I don't know if I actually came to throwing up, but I couldn't have been more nervous," Gibbs said. "Obviously, (Monday is) a big game for both of us and I'll certainly be doing my share of nervous-stomach routine."

Childress, on the other hand, pooh-poohs any discussion about him making his NFL head coaching debut on a national stage. In fact, if you ask Childress about coaching his first NFL game his attitude is been there, done that.

"I don't treat it that way (like his first game)," Childress said. "All the preparation is the same for a preseason game. You are worried about other things than your first game as an NFL head coach."

Since taking over the Vikings ship in January, Childress is convinced he has his players buying into his coaching philosophy.

"You have to tell them how you feel based on your 30 years of coaching and how you believe the game should be played," Childress said. "I told them my expectations for them on and off the field. I want good people that are good football players. I think you can win a lot of football games with those guys. That is what I expect."

Gibbs says he is impressed. Watching film of the Vikings preseason games, Gibbs insists he sees a veteran team that could contend.

"I think they're off to a good start," Gibbs said. "I think they had a very hard, tough camp, and it shows because they're flying all over the place and playing well. What Coach Childress has is a veteran group there that kind of understands and knows what's going on. He has a quarterback that's been around. You could kind of see that in the preseason. I thought they played extremely well."

Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson is impressed with the system Childress has implemented on and off the field.

"He is very direct with what he says and what he wants to get accomplished," Johnson said. "He deals with any controversy head on. He has been upfront with all of us with his expectations. Training camp was a tough one. We practiced in pads every day and he wanted that kind of team that could fight through tough things and be a very physical team. We felt like we accomplished that in training camp."

A veteran in the NFL coaching fraternity, Gibbs attempts to remain humble, refusing to offer any advice to Childress, the rookie.

"As a matter of fact, I need to ask him a few things because he's definitely out-coached me," Gibbs said. "I'd say if anything, I need to be asking him. We have a lot of respect for him, and of course we've gone up against the Tampa defenses, and they pretty much snuffed us the last time we played against them, so we're concerned."

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