HEAD COACH JOE GIBBS
Opening statement on Chris Samuels extending his contract with the Redskins:
"I want to mention a couple of things about Chris. You can go through the stats here. Five seasons with Washington, he has started 76 games for us, he has only missed four which for us is a big deal. He is someone that you can depend on. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2001 and 2002 and was an alternate in 2003. He won the Redskins 2002 Ed Block Courage award and that goes to someone that we feel is special. He is Outland Trophy winner as a senior at Alabama."
"You go through that list of things but the thing I want to focus on is more important to me and the Redskins. Last year my first year in coming back and the coaching staff and everybody in the front office went through a long hard tough year. What I really
appreciated last year was that we talked about people that we can build around here. That the kind of people that we want and that we are going to try and craft our future around.
"The thing I appreciated about Chris was that we went in that locker room sometimes after some of the toughest losses any teams been a part of. You lose with a last play against Green Bay, we all know how upset we were with that, we lose at the very end of the game against Dallas, we lose in New York when we turn the ball over seven times and we lose Jon Jansen very early. What I appreciated in all of that was Chris' leadership. I think that he was somebody that every week we could count on.
There were times too for him whether it was his ankle or knee, but Chris I thought lined up every game for us last year. He was a big part of us fighting our way though that. Towards the end of the season when the Redskins played better football when a lot of teams would not have been in that situation and would beat somebody like Minnesota at the end of the year.
To play that hard every week after all of those disheartening things to me was a big deal. As we went through that year I appreciated Chris' leadership and the fact that he was always there and we could count on him. Obviously finding someone that can play left tackle in this league is a big deal. Wherever Patrick (Ramsey), Mark (Brunell) and Tim (Hasselbeck) are I am sure they are giving a big thumbs up today because they are protected over there on the left side."
"It is a great day for us. We have a long-term contract with Chris and I will turn this over to Chris, but we certainly appreciate him signing up and being a part of the Redskins future. It is a great day for all of us."
OFFENSIVE TACKLE CHRIS SAMUELS
On resigning with the Redskins:
"First I would like to thank God. This is truly a blessing for me signing a long term contract with the Redskins a great organization and a place that I wanted to be. At the end of the season I did a lot of interviews and a lot of people asked me what I was thinking about the contract. The whole time I knew that things were going to work out. It is just where I wanted to be in my heart when I got drafted here. It is a great place and I am
looking forward to being here for a long term career.
"I want to play well and I won't let these guys down or my coaches down. I would like to thank my teammates. A special thanks to my offensive line unit. Coach Buges, (Joe Bugel) I love him. He really helped me pick my game up and it was in time for me facing a contract year. Coach Gibbs I talked to him in his office one on one and asked him how long he was going to be here and he told me he was going to be here for a while, so I wanted to be here with him.
"I think things are truly going to pick up. I think the organization is going to pick up. It is a great organization. A lot of people have been down on us just a tad bit but I truly believe it is going to turn around. Redskins for life that is what I feel. I am just proud to be here. Thanks Coach."
On what they need to do to improve next season:
"We just have to cut out the silly mistakes out there. One thing that encouraged me this past season was that we did not quit. Late in the year we kept fighting. A lot of people they looked down on us and they thought we were going to give into the pressure and just kind of hang it up and look forward to the next season. We didn't do that. Minnesota they were on the line and they had to win to make the playoffs. We kept fighting and we won that game. They years before that we actually gave up and quit fighting. That is one thing that encouraged me. We have a great group of guys here and great coaches. Things are truly going to turn around."
On the difference in his play from 2003 to 2004:
"It was just a tough year. I did not perform the way I wanted to. I think the coaches helped me out a lot. When Buges came in here I had some bad habits that I had developed in 2003 and Buges broke that right away in the mini camps. I have to give him
credit for a lot of that."
On Coach Bugel:
"I told Buges at the end of the season, I said 'You were right on time.' I hugged him. He came in right on time. He helped me restore my game. When I first came into the league I played extremely well and had one down year in there. When Buges got here he worked with me, stayed patient with me, he believed in me, I believed in myself and things came back and my confidence grew."
On his role as a leader:
"I have been here for a while, have seen a lot, and have been through some ups and downs. It is time for me to shine as a leader and not from a selfish stand point but my teammates need me. We have a lot of young guys that need some guidance and I am here to do that. All I have to say is, I'm a Redskin for life."