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AP: Close-knit Redskins think they have Super Bowl formula


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Bowling, barbecues and the Super Bowl: Close-knit Redskins think they have Super Bowl formula

06/18/2006

By JOSEPH WHITE / Associated Press

On the way to the locker room after a hot, sweaty minicamp practice, two Washington Redskins linemen stopped to talk about bowling.

Bowling?

"Santana Moss is pretty good," guard Derrick Dockery said. "Derrick Frost, David Patten, myself."

"Stay humble, stay humble," guard Randy Thomas said.

From Tuesday bowling outings to barbecues to offseason workouts, this Redskins team says it has bonded like no other, building a Joe Gibbs-inspired chemistry that has coach and players talking openly about the Super Bowl.

"It's gets better and better with Gibbs back," said Thomas, who recently hosted some 40 players, family and friends to his house for a cookout. "Actually, it's more family-orientated. Everybody really — how can I say it? — loves their teammate. You can't point one guy out that you wouldn't go fight for. Gibbs can point those out that just don't fit."

The team wrapped months of spring workouts this weekend with a three-day minicamp. Five weeks of vacation loom ahead of the July 30 reporting date for training camp, yet many players avoided the temptation to race out of town immediately and instead planned a team get-together Sunday night.

"You want a good working environment, and you can't have that if you don't like the guys you work with," quarterback Mark Brunell said. "Every now and then you get on a team and there's certain individuals who are more interested in their own success than they are in the success of the team.

"We don't have that. We have a bunch of selfless guys with a great attitude. It's offense, defense, not just one side of the ball. It's rare, and so I'm excited about that. I'm probably more excited about the chemistry in the locker room more than anything else."

Of course, every team likes to say how good its chemistry is, especially in June, when everybody's undefeated and untested. Yet the Redskins say they haven't been a part of a group quite like this. They say coach Gibbs, in his third year since emerging from retirement, has completed a personality overhaul that emphasized character and hard work and weeded out as many disruptive players as possible.

"That's one of his strongest points, team chemistry," assistant coach Joe Bugel said. "You've got to be careful who you bring in, because it only takes one bad apple in that locker room to turn people off."

As coach, Gibbs isn't on the invite list when the players got to the bowling alley or get together to order the pay-per-view fight, but he cited the 98 percent attendance rate for the voluntary workouts as evidence that his group has bonded well.

"I'm excited to come to work because I can hang out with a bunch of my buddies," tight end Chris Cooley said. "It's kind of like going back to high school, when I come to Redskins Park. Just come out every day and have a good time."

The camaraderie has coaches and players feeling they can build off last year's playoff appearance and win the NFL title. After all, Hall of Fame coach Gibbs, who already has three Super Bowl rings, didn't come out of retirement just to go 10-6.

"Joe made a statement to the team the other day. He said: 'Winning is good, but we're here to win it all,'" assistant coach Al Saunders said.

Players said they were inspired by Gibbs' remark, but the coach himself couldn't remember saying it when asked about it Sunday. When pressed, however, he said that making the playoffs was just the first goal. "In our division, if you said to the other coaches, 'Hey, are you satisfied making the playoffs?'" Gibbs said. "I don't think many of us want to do this and just make the playoffs."

http://www.wvec.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8IAQAKO0.html

Now thats what "m talking about! :applause: :cheers: I CANT WAIT to see this team gel into a WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION DELIVERING SHOCK AND AWE!!!!1111 meanwhile in other NFC East news, TO is reported to love him some more him, and Eli's and Plexico's lovers spat is simmering to a nice boil. No comment from Burress, but Eli had this to say to Plexico:

eli_tigger.jpg

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