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Joe Gibbs Media Session

On whether he expects K, #10 John Hall to kick against the Giants:

"Tomorrow [Thursday], we do most of our field goal and kickoff stuff. We'll give him real good work tomorrow. He did quite a bit today. It's something that's on-going. We'll just monitor it. Last week [before the 49ers game], [special teams coach] Danny [Smith] felt like he was real close. John felt like he could go, but we wanted to wait one more week. We'll just look at it towards the end of the week and then make a decision."

On Giants QB, #10 Eli Manning's performance this season compared to last:

"[The Giants] are the number one point-scoring team in the league. You don't do that unless your quarterback is really operating. From the things I've read, I don't blame them for being extremely excited as a coaching staff that they have a young guy who is going to be there forever. His performance has been outstanding this year. Anytime someone gets confidence and comes back to beat a team like Denver, which we weren't able to do, says a lot about him. It was a comeback win, with him making key plays at the end. We all know his pedigree and background. You have to think that is bad for the rest of us in the division because [the Giants] have a good, young quarterback who is showing that he has a lot of stuff."

On the leadership Redskins QB, #8 Mark Brunell provides:

"He is a born leader. He has a lot of confidence. He has been there, done that. He's been in really tough situations. All of those reasons instill confidence in those around him. The quarterback [position]--I don't care about personality or anything else--comes down to production. Can you play? None of us are going to be able to talk a team into believing in something. It means a lot if a team believes a quarterback--just like any other position--can do it. Quarterbacks have a lot to do with it because they're running the show. They get the ball on every snap. [The game depends on] what they do with it. He's been producing, so that has been good for us. [But] we're just getting started here and we have a tough assignment this week [in the Giants]."

On whether he prefers to rely on a veteran quarterback in divisional road games:

"It depends on the guy. Certainly, anyone who is a producer and can play well [deserves to play]. This thing comes down to who can get it done. We're comfortable with where we are with Mark. I'm sure [the Giants] feel like they have a great, young one [in Eli Manning]. Both teams have a lot at stake here. They're the favorites. They should be. We're going to a tough place to play. We'll just have to see what happens."

On his memories from playing the New York Giants in the 1980s:

"[I have] bad ones. It's easy to put into words. It has not been a pretty picture. I have a lot of memories. Today's practice [in windy conditions] was good because it's normally windy [in Giants Stadium]. There are tough conditions [there]. You have to expect that when you go to New York. I remember some of those games, like the 'Wind Game.' It's a tough place to play. You [face] a tough crowd and very good football teams that are well coached. Coach Coughlin has done a great job there. We have a tough assignment. I think that's why people generally feel that we're the underdogs in this. Rightly so."

On whether the Redskins are still riding high from their victory over the 49ers:

"I think that's over with. You have to put that behind you in quick order up here [in the NFL]. The looming importance of this game [expedites that process]. Everyone knows the NFC, the division, and our records are at stake here. It's a big deal for both of these teams."

On whether he was concerned about the team's middle linebacker position entering this season:

"[The coaches and I] talked about that [concern]. All of that probably had to do with my mistake [regarding] Antonio and the circumstances that we went through [surrounding his departure]. When we entered this year, we had a lot of scenarios [for middle linebacker] at the start. It wound up being [LB, #98] Lemar [Marshall]. One of the most important ingredients to this year is Lemar playing middle linebacker. He's very conscientious. He studies extremely hard. It was a big step for him to go from starting outside to starting inside. He's a very dedicated guy who adds a lot to our defense. His play has been a big deal for us."

On any voids left by Giants LB, #58 Antonio Pierce's departure from the Redskins:

"Things that have happened are over with. They're done. You can't worry about things. You make decisions on what you think is best at the time. You go on from there. Up here [in the NFL], there are probably a million scenarios of 'What ifs.' I don't think you can live with that. It's constantly changing up here. You're going to have huge decisions every year. Sometimes you make bad ones; sometimes you make good ones. In general, what you hope for as an organization, if you're working yourself silly and as hard as you can, is to make a lot more good decisions than bad. Then, you gradually move forward and try to build things."

On Giants RB, #21 Tiki Barber:

"We think he is very, very productive. We have real respect for him. We're going to have our hands full. Last year, he was phenomenal in all of the things that he did to get the ball in his hands. Their offense last year wasn't [even] the way it is this year. He can do a lot. He's extremely productive catching the ball. That gives them a heck of a receiver [at running back]. We have a couple of guys in our division who are like that. They're very good coming out of the backfield. They do a lot of their damage once they get past the line of scrimmage and get the ball in their hands. Statistically, [the Giants] score more points than anyone else, so we know what we're in for. We've given up some big plays in the past two games, so that scares us because they're a big-play team."

On former Giants and current Redskins DT, #96 Cornelius Griffin:

"What Cornelius has brought here has just been phenomenal. To be able to get him, [LB, #53] Marcus [Washington], [DL, #93] Phillip Daniels, and people like that out of free agency is one of the most important things I've been a part of in the NFL. That [free agency] class--11 free agents--is pretty phenomenal. To get a high-quality person like that who can play inside and give you great pressure [is phenomenal]. He's a real man. I don't think you can say enough good things about him. He's [in a class] with any [other defensive tackle] I've coached. He's a pretty remarkable guy in there. I'm always hesitant to compare people, but he's outstanding and has been a big deal for us."

On whether success against NFC East opponents historically foretells success in the playoffs:

"I'd be willing to say that everyone in [the 1980s] that won the NFC East did extremely well in the playoffs. They were battle-tested in six really tough [division] games. In order to come out of there and win that thing, you have to be battle-tested and able to play on the road and play physical. The nature of those football teams was a little bit like they are today. They were physical, got after people, and believed in a lot of the same things. You have to be a pretty studly group to get out of there. If you can do it, it really enhances your chances in the playoffs because you've gone through a really tough deal."

On the aftermath of the Redskins' two fourth-quarter touchdowns against Dallas:

"It's still early. We don't know where we'll wind up. [The offense] has been much improved, we know that. We don't know how far we're going to go or if, at the end of year, we're going to be in the low, middle, or high portion of what's going on in the league. Production-wise, it's been really good so far. We've been pleased. But this game [against the Giants] is the only one you think about. Up here [in the NFL], you can have a real disappointment and get headed in the wrong way or you can have a great experience and get headed in the right way. Sometimes, it's back and forth, back and forth. [The game] is really fickle. It changes in a heartbeat. We see teams every week for which it changes dramatically one way or the other."

On Redskins HB, #45 Mike Sellers:

"He's a very physical, big guy who can run. You don't get many of those. Plus, he has a great attitude. He loves football. He's a tough guy. He's what football players should be like. As you keep getting him to do [different] things, you kind of see that this guy is an unusual talent in a lot of ways. I don't know that we've thrown a ball at him that he hasn't caught. When he catches it, most people are trying to get out of the way. They're not trying to figure out how to tackle him because he's so big. The more you're around him, the more you respect him."

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