News | Washington Football Team - WashingtonFootball.com

Gibbs Welcomes In Start Of Training Camp

Opening Statement:

"I think we've put it off as long as we can. I'd like to have another three months here, but we'll get going tomorrow. We're all excited about it-all of the coaches are, I don't know about the players-but we'll start with two-a-days tomorrow. I think it'll be kind of fun, the fans are going to be a part of it. They'll see their team up close, so we'll spend a couple of weeks with our fans here, which is great. We owe them a lot. Our fan support-nobody's got what we have."

"I thought I'd mention that I don't know anybody has done more to prepare for the season than Dan [Snyder] has. It started with our coaching staff-that was an arduous deal and it went for a long time. It demanded a lot from him. His support in free agency-I couldn't have asked for anything more. We turned around and now all of our draft picks are all signed.

"The two practice fields we were concerned about-we tore up the sod and redid it. We had a situation this week with practice on the turf. We had a situation and he said, 'Let's tear out this whole side and redo it.' I can honestly say Dan has done his part. So from here on out, it's going to be players playing and I have to do my job.

"I think the Super Bowl trophies--that's great, but it was a long time ago. It's great for the franchise and it's neat to be a part of a franchise that has a history like this. When I think of these, I think of all the great players who were here before who gave us these trophies. I think all of us here now are focused on the future, not the Super Bowls. I believe that our players want to achieve and build something great in modern times. And that's what we want to do as a coaching staff.

"I've been embarrassed a little bit by all of the attention, but the good thing about sports is that it quickly goes away if you don't do well. So I'm going to get mine pretty quick, I would imagine. Now it's good to get out there and start matching up. We have a lot of franchises out there that have won a lot of games and won a lot of Super Bowls. So when the talk comes around to who's getting it done, they are. We have to see if we can match up.

"We're coming to camp late. It's going to require a lot of hard work. Basically we'll be going two-a-days, and the second day will be a one-a-day with a rest and weights in the morning. We'll be trying to go at night once or twice a week."

On the number of changes to the roster and coaching staff from last season:

"I think our team has changed quite a bit. I think we are a first-year staff and [his last coaching tenure was] long enough away that there is no player here who I coached before or any of our coaches have coached before, with the exception of Kirk [Olivadotti]. I think the problem that normally comes along with that, one of the hardest things in coaching is to get a perception of what the talents are of your players so that you can start putting them in roles where they can really excel. That's extremely hard when you're trying to get accustomed to the team.

"We've also had a situation where a lot of our guys have missed practice with injuries, so we're just getting them back. I think this will definitely be a first-year situation. I remember back to our first year, hopefully we're not going to go through that."

On Sean Taylor's availability:

"I think Sean is kind of day to day. It's probably close whether he goes or not. Walt Harris will not. He'll continue to work and rehab. I think he's coming along. We're encouraged there by everything we see. I think we'll continue to work with the trainers."

On whether there's a timetable for Walt Harris:

"No, not really. With any player like that, we want them to be chomping at the bit and totally healthy. They'll normally tell you--particularly guys who have been around as long as he has. I talked to him this morning. I told him, 'It's kind of up to you.' We're going to try and give him all work we can and see how he progresses."

On Laveranues Coles' toe injury:

"I think that's something we'll monitor from practice to practice. We'll just see how his toe does. It's been something that constantly seems to get irritated. What we tried to do is give him a big break. We've done a bunch of stuff in the training room and we've given him new padding for his shoe. And we're hoping that he takes right off."

On the youth of the team:

"I can tell you last year it was the youngest team in the league. To me, that was a plus when I came. Obviously you have a bunch of good, young football players. Every time you look at a guy in free agency, you do evaluate that. How old is he? How long do you think he can play? We didn't make a conscious effort to get older guys, but we did wind up getting some who are real leaders and guys who you can kind of lean on. We didn't purposely try and go do that, we were just trying to get the absolute best player to fit holes. As we looked at that, it was very important to us.

"I was also going to say that the other person who couldn't have done more in preparation for this season was Vinny [Cerrato] and the scouts. Vinny's been terrific. I think we have a great relationship. It's been a real partnership. I think all of the coaches loved what we went through with the scouts.

"Everybody put grades on players, everybody discussed it, and we came up to a conclusion of what we thought was the best for our football team. Vinny led that process. He's been on top of everything as far as working out players and keeping track of everybody in the league. I really feel good about it in what we've established there from the front office standpoint.

"We've had a great relationship with the front office and really everybody in this building. The people in this building, I don't think we could have had any more support from them. We know how much effort it takes in marketing to pay for what we're doing here. The cooperation we've had has been terrific."

"One thing I left out is, we've almost completely redid the building. We have a new kitchen in there that excites everybody going in to get coffee in the morning. We've got a new Players Club lounge downstairs. We redid the fields. This whole building has been very cooperative and everybody here has been busting it."

On how his schedule will be different from years past:

"I'd say that you have the best intentions starting out. The first time we lose a game, it'll go out the window and we'll be back to everything that we did before. For us, on offense, what we do is go through everything together. We never divide up. In doing that, I think it's good because you come out on the other side with everybody understanding everything. Our offense is geared that way.

"Special teams with Danny [Smith], he does a terrific job of taking everything a part. That portion of it is up to him. Our defensive staff is pretty much like what it was before--they operate on their own pretty much. I let them go."

"We have a little bit of a different scheme in trying to get work done in advance, which I think is real important. With Ernie Zampese and Don Breaux, and the fact that they don't have specific positions to coach, and they're two of the brightest people I've ever been around offensively, they'll be assigned to do work in advance. Hopefully we have some plans there of trying to do things a little differently."

On how much Gibbs has noticed football has changed since he last coached:

"That's a hard one to answer. Football has changed a lot. The first year, it's a big learning experience for me. Defenses have totally changed, which has caused the offenses to change. The way you acquire talent has changed. All of that was going from one thing to another as fast as we could go. It's more like a first-year learning experience compared to what I remember when I was here before.

"For instance, we were just thinking about preseason. In those days, I had one approach. This year, it's going to be totally different because you're kind of like a first-year team. You're trying to establish yourself. It's kind of like being new. It's a new deal for me. I don't relate much to the past except when we get behind closed doors and there are offensive schemes and we're talking schemes and beliefs and what you believe in about football.

"And I'm always impressed with, no matter whether it's business or sports, human nature doesn't change. People are motivated by most of the same things. And I haven't seen that change in 30, 40 years. You're looking for the same qualities in a person. It's a little bit of a balance. As Richie Petitbon said, you can't get in all of the lines to heaven."

On his emotions heading into camp:

"I think anybody going back to something where you have a lot of pride at stake could imagine the emotions I'm feeling. You're nervous about it. You personally want to do well. I never understood when I got the job the first time. I thought if I got the job the first time, my life was going to be fulfilled. If I got fired, at least I got my opportunity. But that wasn't it at all. When I got this job, with Dan picking me and Vinny and all the front office people counting on you, all the fans are counting on you. Certainly all of the coaches that we recruited here, their lives and careers are at stake.

"I worry about letting everybody down. I want to do well and I know all of the coaches feel the same way about it. You take on a responsibility and the reason why football is so hard is when you lose games, it's not as much me, it's everybody. You let everybody down and the whole town here is counting on something happening. One of the things you worry about is everybody's perception of what's going to happen. There are high expectations, and you realize those high expectations are good to get everybody excited, but it's pretty hard to live up to.

"You have to go back to last year with a pretty talented team and a talented coaching staff that didn't win many games. All of those emotions, it's hard to put into words, but that's what I feel. It's the feeling of everybody else."

On the QB competition:

"I fully expect it to go to the last week. What we're committed to there is, we have a plan--it's not something I want to say--but we know how we're going to handle everything and we hopefully know how we're going to play the games. Hopefully what will happen there&Hey, we all know it could come down to a toss up.

"But I would like to emphasize that it's not only at quarterback. We have a number of open positions and a new coaching staff, and so hopefully the more of those real battles that you have, the better your football team is going to be. Most players appreciate that they have to win a job. I don't care where you were drafted or how much money you make, that would be stupid for us as coaches to play somebody because of where we drafted him.

"This league is littered with people who didn't make it and were drafted high. That's the first thing the team is going to look at. 'Who are they picking to start? Is it the guys who deserve it?' They're looking at the films with us. Every single film and every single play, they're going to be graded, it's written and the coaches write it. It's handed to them in writing. It's a constant evaluation process. Hopefully there'll be a lot of positions like that that'll be real close.

"At a lot of positions, it's going to be real close. And then guys fight it out and then we'll decide who's going to start. That's the great thing about football-that may last two weeks and somebody else gets the spot.

On minimizing distractions at camp:

"What I've always wanted is peace and quiet when you're working. All of you know that when you have any distractions, all of us as human beings, we're looking at the distraction. If there's anything out there to look at, we're going to be looking at it. When you go to work, it's being able to go someplace quiet and being able to get done what you need to do where everybody's focused on something on the field.

"I think what we have here is a very secure facility. To be truthful, the years I was at Carlisle, I worried. We covered all of the fences, but we had people peeking through the fences. So I think this is a secure facility from that standpoint. We're used to practicing here. We have a turf field we can work on in bad weather.

"There are also plenty of distractions here, too. People in and out. You have all of the things you can imagine in your hometown. You're not away, where you can get focused on concentrate on things. I'm anxious to see how this works."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising