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CNNSI MMQB: I think he obsesses on the Redskins

Zen-like Todd

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Disclaimer: I don't read MMQB anymore, and I haven't in awhile. I headed over there to see if he had any snide remarks to say about Monk and the upcoming HOF vote.


Pertinent bits:

1) We are magically in Peter King's fine 15. I suppose Gibbs solves all ills, even in the mind of tools like King.

1. New England (16-2). The last time the Pats lost, Grady Little was getting ovations at Fenway.

2. Carolina (14-5). I know everyone thinks the Patriots will win in 13 days. I probably do, too. But this is a dangerous team. It just wins. It hangs around. It plays solid defense. It ball-hawks.

3. Indianapolis (14-5). A shame the Colts laid such an offensive egg. When it was on, Indy had one of the best offenses of our day.

4. Philadelphia (13-5). In the middle of the third quarter, I got this text-message from daughter Mary Beth, who was watching at home: "What is it with McNabb? He's on the field yelling at his receivers! Note to McNabb: Your guys can't catch the ball if you throw it to the other team!''

5. Tennessee (13-5). Frank Wycheck, you got far too little attention last week as you faded into retirement. You've been a great pro. Good luck.

6. Green Bay (11-7). Ed Donatell -- sacrificial coordinator.

7. St. Louis (12-5). I've never seen a coach take so many bullets after a loss than Mike Martz did after the overtime loss to the Panthers.

8. Kansas City (13-4). Find this offseason's Ted Washington, Chiefs, and sign him. Quickly.

9. Seattle (10-7). The 2004 AFC West champs.

10. Baltimore (10-7). The difference between the Ravens being 9-7 and 13-3 in 2004 rests on the maturation and growth of Kyle Boller. Not to put any pressure on you, kid.

11. Dallas (10-7). Corey Dillon desperately wants to play here or in Washington.

12. Washington (5-11). Bulletin: Redskins haven't lost in 23 days.

13. Miami (10-6). Dan Marino is setting an NFL record for coyness, but who plays quarterback for the Dolphins in 2004 is his call. I don't like Jay Fiedler's chances nearly as much as I like Mark Brunell's.

14. Denver (10-7). Broncs want to see if Carmelo Anthony can learn to be a shutdown corner.

15. New Orleans (8-8). Hang a tire in the back yard, Aaron Brooks, and throw through it all offseason.

Another comment...

7. a. Joe Gibbs is really ticked off that the league doesn't automatically let coaches on staffs of fired head coaches out of their contracts. This has prevented him from filling out his coaching roster as quickly as he'd like.

b. This from a colleague of Gibbs' from his old Redskins days: "I have to believe part of his return is (because of) Parcells. Joe never talked about it much, but you always knew his rival was Parcells. He never had a lot of success against Bill. Now he gets another chance to go at him.''

c. Also from ex-Gibbs colleague: "One of the reasons he came back that no one's really talked about is that he wants his son, Coy, to get into coaching. Coy really wants to do it, and Joe's trying to help him.''

His buddy, eh? I'm glad I'm not in that social circle. Not unless I had ingested a poison and needed to induce vomiting.

9. I think Dan Snyder has moved into the U.S. Mint down to Washington, D.C. The dude is going to be printing money soon. My buddy Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and PTI tells me he and his wife own two of the 15,000 club seats at FedEx Field. The club seats are up for renewal in a couple of years. Wilbon pays $125 per seat now, plus $25 for parking. That's $275 per game for the two seats, $2,750 per season, including two exhibition games. Now, he says, Snyder's doubling the price. "And you know what?'' Wilbon said. "People will pay it.''
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Yeah Dallas has the right to be rated ahead of us...afterall, they made the playoffs. You know Parcells is going to get a real QB and RB next season, you team that with their WR's and defense and the team can be really good...the division is going to be dogfight every year like it used to be. I hope Gibbs has the team ready next year...but it may take him two to get his pieces in place.

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I believe the part about Coy wanting to get into coaching. Joe seemed emotional when discussing Coy when he left before. I think that he has really made an effort to establish a bond with Coy and "be there" as a father for the rest of his life. I really admire this. Coy coming with him is a big deal. I just love Gibbs' sense of possibility. What a success story.

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Originally posted by Art

In terms of talent we might be even higher. We now have good coaching. Still, I expect we'll be generally rated far lower when new power polls come out to start next year.

Agreed and Dallas deserved the ranking they got Thier defense was good all year

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Actually, the article the week before was even more glowing about Gibbs. I'll post it below.

Notice the bit in there about Hasselbeck getting in trouble for watching game tape from the Spurrier regime...



FOXBORO, Mass. -- In August 1988, while covering the Giants and the NFL for Newsday, I went to Carlisle, Pa., to write a feature story on Joe Gibbs. Tough duty. Gibbs didn't know me, had no interest in giving much time to some newspaper on Long Island I doubt he'd even heard of, and was less inclined to talk about himself during training camp than he might have during a less-pressured time of the year.

But after spending a couple of days in Carlisle, and after talking to his best friends in the world, I learned a lot about Gibbs. I learned, mostly, that he lives to compete. He's a sicko about competition. That was the theme of my story. I am told Gibbs, at 63, is precisely the same guy I profiled in 1988. If that's so, he will endure some sleepless nights starting right now. Oh, he might say he won't sleep in the office. Poppy****.

"Coaching,'' he said, "is a gut-wrenching, throw-up experience every Sunday.''

That's what life will be like for the Redskins. Here's what else I can tell you about Gibbs:

He's a jock, even now. He plays golf, racquetball and cards, hunts, and jogs. He has parasailed, snow-skied, water-skied, gone skindiving, drag-raced, motocrossed, stock-car raced and built a funny car.

He has passed his love of competition on to his kids.

As he told me in 1988: "My son, Coy, had a great statement one night. I was talking to him in his room, talking about heaven. He was about 8. He said, `Hey, I'm not sure I'm going to like heaven.' I said, `What do you mean, Coy?' He said, 'There's not going to be any thrill.' I asked him what he meant and he said, 'You can't die.' "My answer to this was: 'I guarantee you, Coy, for guys like you and me, there'll be some thrill up there. We'll drive race cars or something. God'll make something for us.'

"What he was saying, really, was he can't die because there's no risk after death. There's no losing, no winning. He'd hate that. I think [risk] is a big factor in our society. There are a lot of guys working in an office who are extremely competitive. [When] I started getting older and people would say, `Are you going to grow up?' I'd say, `No. I'm going to keep playing something.' "

Coy will join his dad on the Redskins' staff.

Gibbs keeps no clocks in the coaches' offices. Moral of the story: You work until you get the job done. "It's like Las Vegas,'' his offensive line coach, Joe Bugel, said. "Time doesn't matter.'' (Not to pick on Steve Spurrier, who is such an easy target these days, but my favorite story of the Spurrier regime is that one of his assistants saw newly signed quarterback Tim Hasselbeck in the office one Tuesday, an off-day, at 4 in the afternoon studying tape. The assistant said: "What are you doing in here? It's your day off! Get out of here.'' Hasselbeck, sadly, obeyed, even though he realized he was going to be playing soon, and he knew next-to-nothing about the offense. Instead of studying six more hours so he would know his stuff when practice began the next day, Hasselbeck left the office. That would've never happened under Gibbs.)

The devout Gibbs won't curse. He will look down on those who do. Dadgum is OK. So is goldang. Someone curses and he'll say something like: "Don't curse. Bad luck to curse.''

Though he often paid scant attention to his own personal life during his first go-round as Redskins coach, Gibbs felt his players' relationships with their families were as important as any X's and O's. "Whatever your business is, we all have a drama going on in our own lives," Gibbs said. "We're all unhappy about something. You have sickness, marital problems, a myriad of things going wrong in everybody's life. You have to deal with those things right away. You have to get their full concentration on football. I'd like to be able to communicate even more with my players when things aren't going bad, but it's just like everything else in life. The problems take over, and you wind up chasing the problems. I'd say handling people is the most important thing you do as a coach. Dealing with people, really, is all football is.''

He has to win. He's a miserable loser. At age 29, when he was an assistant coach at USC, Gibbs took up racquetball. He became obsessed with the game. In 1973, while coaching the St. Louis Cardinals, after night meetings ended, Gibbs sometimes played in the racquetball court inside Busch Stadium until the wee hours. In 1976, at age 35, he won the national 35-and-over U.S. Racquetball Championship. "After I finished with team sports," Gibbs said, "it was almost like I was crazed. I had to have something to do. Racquetball filled a void in my life, a personal competitive thing. I started driving all over the country to tournaments. After the fourth or fifth year, I'm sitting up there at the national tournament in Milwaukee in some hotel room playing cards with 16-year-old kids. I said to myself, `What am I doing?' ''

Back to football. He thinks you quite literally can't win without a good coaching staff. "You're with the guys every day for six months. You're in the same little old room, the same 12-by-12 room, and you're in a pressure cooker. And you depend on them so much to succeed. If you've got someone who's a jerk, a real jerk, you'd be in real trouble."

I have an acquaintance who knows the Redskins and owner Dan Snyder very well. On Friday, my acquaintance and I spoke, and I asked him if he thinks, finally, Snyder has gotten his team right with the hire of Gibbs.

"There is no question in my mind or in anyone's mind that Dan has hit a home run by hiring Joe,'' Deep Redskin told me. "This is the best move he's made since he bought the team.''

But ...

"But there are two questions. First, the honeymoon isn't the time any hard questions can be answered. Wait till the bullets start flying, and wait till Dan gets pissed off at something Joe does, or after some big loss. That's when you'll be able to judge if this relationship's going to work. Second, this hire had better work. This team is the king of the offseason, but then what happens? First it was signing Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith in 2000, then Marty Schottenheimer in 2001, then Steve Spurrier in 2002, then Laveranues Coles and the Jets free agents last year. Now Joe. If this doesn't work, who's Dan going to hire next year? The pope?''

Snyder might have hired him last week.


In 1969 when Rich McKay was 8 years old, he and his brother got a new babysitter. Their dad, John, coached Southern Cal at the time, and he had perfected the practice of taking the newest, youngest guy on his staff and making him the boys' babysitter. Potentate coaches could get away with that. In 1969, the new guy on McKay's staff was an obvious choice to handle the job of babysitter. Didn't smoke. Didn't drink. Which, for a 29-year-old assistant in the Peace, Love and Reefer Era, was pretty surprising. The McKay boys liked the new babysitter. He didn't just stick them in front of the TV. He paid attention to them and played with them. Who was the babysitter?

Joe Gibbs.

Geez, I sound like Paul Harvey. And now you know the rest of the story.


12. Washington (5-11). They're back in for a very scientific reason: I like Joe Gibbs, in case you couldn't tell.

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I don't think that a major reason Gibbs came back is to coach with his son. I am sure it is an extra benefit. I am sure that if Joe could have kept his part ownership with the Falcons and asked Mora if he would add his son as a quality control assistant there--it would have been done.

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