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Dec. 9: Joe Bugel


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Love this chat because we learn something we haven't seen elsewhere. Bugel was a GREAT, fun guy to chat with.

From DjTj

Coach Bugel,

In the old days, it seemed like we closed out every game with the Hogs pushing people around and the power running game eating up the clock. This year, we've had a lot of trouble getting those crucial first downs at the end of games. Even in games that we've won, it seems like we always have to punt it back to the other team at the end. Why do you think we have so much trouble running out the clock, and is there anything we can do to improve in that aspect of the game?

Joe Bugel

Well, I think we’re really much improved in that right now. I think we made a definite stronger commitment to the run game right now. We added some more power type plays with the lead back in there. I think it really showed up last week against the Rams when we controlled the ball for approximately 34 minutes. So it’s an ongoing thing, it’s not a real easy thing in the National Football League. Sometimes 2 yards is like 100 yards when you get in 3rd and 2 situations but you just have to be relentless and work and work at it.

From csgunderson

Buges -- this time 2 years ago, did you ever think that you'd be doing an "online chat" session? Keep up the great work - this coaching staff is making the Redskins a proud organization once again.

Joe Bugel

Well, I’m very appreciative of his kind words. 2 years ago? No. But when Joe Gibbs called and we started talking, I knew something was up. And when he told me ‘We’re going back home’, not only I, but my wife was very very excited about that. Coming back to this area was a real plus because, I tell you what, the fans have always been great to us. We’ve gotta get that product back on the field that they’re used to seeing.

From LiveStrongSkins


Are we going to get back into the rock em', sock em' style of football during this stretch run? It looks to me that Clinton is now hitting stride and is used to running with the extra weight. Also, Do you feel the running game will play a role in getting Moss more touches? Keep up the good work coach and keep reminding our dirtbags to leave the pink panties at home.

Joe Bugel

(laughs)…I love that quote, I tell you what! I think our fans are listening! Yeah, I think the Rams was kind of a tune-up for what we have to do because, after we get back from Arizona, we’ve got three cold weather games as you’re well aware of. I think you’re going to have to run the football…I mean, I don’t think I know you’re going to have to run the football. When they start bringing up more people I think that’s when we can get Santana single-covered out there, its time to pitch the home run, and that’s what we’re looking for.

From TheSteve

The Redskins could use a dominating possession Wide Receiver like Terrell Owens, who would be a great compliment to Santana Moss. Is there any situation where you would approve of Terrell Owens on this football team if it so happened that he were released? Why or why not?

Joe Bugel

As of now, I think we’ve heard so many stories about that young man…I don’t think anyone questions his football ability and how great he is as a football player. But in the locker room, off the field, there are some issues there. I think he’s going to have to really clean up his act, try to find some agents and people to surround himself that are very very good sound people that can help him become a stronger young man off the football field. The biggest thing that’s hurt Terrell Owens is his mouth. I mean, he can play, he can back it up by playing. But off the field, and what he says about players and coaches, I think that he’s going to have a hard time. Somebody’s going to take a chance on him, as of now I don’t believe the Redskins will.

From indatrenches


Do you think that opposing defenses have figured out the counter trey? Will it take more time to get the right players to fit, or is there simply a lack of execution?

My question is because i consistently see either the play being blown up or run down from behind.

Thanks for answering my question Beat the Cowboys and have a great Merry Christmas!

Joe Bugel

Yeah, I tell you what, we’ve made some adjustments on that. We’re really not running it the same way we did back in the 80’s. We’re running more ‘power’ – we call it ‘power’ – we changed the blocking scheme around. We still have some semblance of the counter game, but the one in the past is no longer in use. We’ve made some big time amendments on that.

From SkinsNut73


Thanks a lot for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us. We fans really love these chats with the team.

I was wondering if you could give us some insight into that initial contact from Joe Gibbs letting you know he was returning to coach the Redskins. How did he contact you? Did it catch you off guard? What was the conversation like?


Joe Bugel

He really did catch me off guard. He called me about 4 or 5 times in a row once a week and I knew something was coming on. He asked me one day ‘you think you’d be interested in getting back in coaching?’. I said the only way I’d get back in coaching is if you came back and we both started laughing. I said ‘by the way Joe, you thinking about coming back?’ and he giggled again. And I said ‘Uh-oh, something’s up’. So, the final phone call was about fifteen till 3 a.m. in the morning. He told me ‘Buges, we’re going back home’. I said ‘Really Coach?’ and he said ‘yeah’. When my wife heard that, she started screaming, I started screaming, and I think the next day I flew into Washington. I tell you, we can’t be any happier and I know we’re going to stay here until we get this program resolved and back to the Super Bowl.

From SonnyRules


What is the biggest difference between "The Hogs" and the "Dirtbags"?

Joe Bugel

Well, I tell you what, the Hogs are a great story. When we came to Washington, I believe it was back in 1981, we drafted 4 young football players and we just nurtured them in our program. They were kind of built with shoulder pads on and the hitting, and we kind of grew together, our whole staff and that whole young group. And I’ll tell you what, for 14 years that bunch stayed together. Nowadays, what’s a little bit different is, you’re bringing people in from different teams, they’re not really homegrown like the Hogs were. The Dirtbags, we’ve got some people that played on some other teams and I think it really took us a year to change the culture of that group. And right now, they’ve accepted the way we practice and they’ve definitely accepted the standards that we apply to them. I’m very very happy with the Dirtbags right now. The Hogs are the Hogs. I don’t know if anybody will ever compare to them, but this Dirtbag bunch, they make it very very pleasurable to coach.

From illone


Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, we all appreciate it.

Now on to probably the most important question you will ever have to answer in any interview, EVER.

Gas or charcoal?

Joe Bugel

(laughs)…I’m gonna go charcoal (laughs)

From illone

…We here at extreme are in sort of a quandary with Clinton Portis' recent Thursday acts. Some here think it's great, some think it's childish.

How does the TEAM react to his Thursday press conferences?

Joe Bugel

I think you need some kind of a team clown, someone to keep it real light in the locker room, especially when you’re going through some tough times, like that stretch of 3 games that we lost. I think you need a little bit of a funny bum. Portis is a funny person, the players have a lot of respect for him, he’s good in the locker room, and you need those kind of guys. I don’t think it harmed anybody. It may have offended some people, some fans out there, but our guys get a big kick out of it.

From Monkart

Hi Joe,

During the off season, does the "D" staff get your input on potential FA D-linemen? considering you have to study them for their weakness.

Thanks Joe!!

Joe Bugel

That’s a great question. We sure do sit down and compare notes, because, especially Greg Blache, our defensive line coach. He’ll tell me who the best offensive linemen that they had to face all year and vice-versa, we’ll tell them who the best defensive lineman were. But we exchange ideas. That’s one of the big things we do when the season ends. We make up scouting reports on the people that we’ve played against and that’s been very very helpful in the selection of free agents.

From zoony


Can you tell us, specifically, what it is that Denver does to enjoy so much success in the ground game? And are we trying to do any of that here?

Joe Bugel

I think Denver has a special style. I think every team has their own personality. Mike Shanahans been there double-digit years and I think they do a tremendous job with not real big offensive lineman. They don’t put their lineman in tough situations where they’re dropping back with their quarterback. They get a quarterback that’s a great bootleg type of runner, or outside of the pocket type runner like Plummer is right now, they had John Elway like that. But they run the same plays over and over and over. And they don’t mind making 1 yard, or 2 yards, or 3 yards. All of a sudden in the 4th quarter those 2 yard gains become 15 yard gains. They have a system, they believe in that system, and they really go out and get free agents and draft picks that really fit that system. I think that once you’ve been in a program for 14 years like Shanahan, they bring in a certain style and they just keep that program going.

From SlobberKnockinFootball


Point blank question. Why are we not getting the same if not better production out of Clinton Portis when he was with Denver? Aside from the very first game last year against Tampa he's not getting any long game breaking type of runs. Why is that not happening?

Joe Bugel

That’s really hard to say. I think that anytime a young man changes teams and comes to a new system, it takes him a little bit of time. There’s some things that Denver believes in that we don’t believe in, you know that we’ve been doing a long time. We’ve made some tremendous adjustments for Clinton Portis because he’s our #1 back. And I think he’s becoming more and more comfortable. There’s such a big difference from Clinton Portis’ first year here to this year and it started back in the off-season. Our first year here, you know, we couldn’t find him - those kids from Miami, they like to stay down there and work out with themselves down there. We finally convinced him to be in the program and he spent this summer with us. He gained about 10 more lbs and he’s running harder and more physical than he did last year. I think it takes a little bit of time to get one of those type of backs into our type of system.

From SkinsNumberOne

Joe, can you give us any insight on why Jared Allen had so much success against the Redskins? He has overall had a good year, but that game clearly stands out as his most successful (3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles), and it seemed like he got by various players on the line. Was that just a case of a player having a good day against us, or was anything noticed/corrected following that game? I know that's a performance many Redskin fans think about as embarrassing for our O-Line.

Joe Bugel

Yeah. Jared Allen is one heck of a football player. He’s not just a one-game-wonder. He’s been doing that all season. This kid came out of nowhere and that happens in the National Football League. He’s a tremendous work-ethic, high character, high performance type of football players. A lot of times those guys are dangerous. A lot of times the big name guys are just big names. They don’t come in and dominate like some guys that you pick up off the street that get an opportunity to do something and they bring their lunchbox every day to the office and they’ll spend 9 or 10 hours. And that’s what Jared Allen is right there. We made some tremendous improvements after that because of the speed factor. We let our tackles now at the end of practice go against our wide receivers just to get the idea of what the speed factor is on the edge right there – and this is what Allen had.

Closing Statement from Coach Bugel

I mean this from the bottom of my heart, and I’m speaking for Joe Gibbs also, the reason we came back here is because of the fan base we have. The one thing about the Washington Redskins fans, they’re very very football knowledgeable. We appreciate when they cheer for us, and we certainly feel when they boo for us that we’re not doing our part. I think our football team understands that. The Gibbs era was greatness. They expect to go and win Super Bowls, they don’t expect mediocrity here. So we cannot be a mediocre staff or football team. We have to set the standards very high, just because of our fan base and that’s why we’re proud to come back. What you see is what you get.
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