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Joe Gibbs Season-Ending Press Conference

On the meeting he had today with the players:

"We had out last meeting with the team but I think we went over some things that I think were really important for them to understand. I think everybody here feels the same way. We are all disappointed. Certainly we didn't feel like this is where we wanted to wind up this year. We did a lot of great things but we wound up falling short. What I talked to the team about today was about how proud I was and all of the coaching staff was about our players. As I have said before in front of this group and I want to say to the fans you would be proud of them. I think we have great chemistry and character. I said to our players that I think in the two years that we have been together that we have one game where we didn't play up to the hard hitting standard and didn't go after things. I have to tell you I told them I couldn't be prouder. I told them with the core group that we have here our goal now would be to try and keep everybody together. That is my job and I started early this morning. That is with the coaching staff and players. What I told them was that my commitment to them was to try and keep everybody together and hopefully improve and step up again next year."

On the season:

"This year the facts are that we wound up 11-7 and we were 10-6 in the regular season. We went to the playoffs and made it one round in the playoffs. I don't think anybody here was satisfied with that. I think everybody here has a burning desire to come back next year and try and improve upon that. I told them that this year does not really buy us anything next year other then it gives us the confidence of knowing what kind of character and what kind of guys we have on our football team and knowing what we are capable of. In general it was just a meeting where I try to convey to them what I thought of them and what the coaching staff thought of them. I had a meeting with a number of players afterwards. I gave them yesterday off that is the reason why no one was here yesterday. We wanted to do everything today. Everyone had their final physicals and we got everything taken care of there. It was kind of a day where we had a chance to talk to everyone and they had a chance to talk with me. They all met with their individual coaches. Then the coaches and I started to lay out a little bit of a game plan for our off season."

On the off-season:

"Our off season I told them March 20th is the first day that we could be back. I don't know if anyone wanted to hear that. I told them that we would need to get a good break and that we would notify them because we did go into the playoffs and went a couple of weeks after the regular season. I am going to take a long hard look at when we think we should start up."

On what he was pleased with this season:

"Some of the places that I was really pleased this year obviously were our division record. I think that will be tough to duplicate in the future. The teams we go up against, Dallas, New York and Philly, I think have excellent organizations and are extremely well coached. I think we play in the toughest division in football. I think you can see all of those teams are working hard, very capable, smart and do very good things. It is our job to stay ahead of them, which is not going to be easy. We talked about our division record and our record during the season. The cold hard facts are up here we are judged on wins and losses and this year we wound up 10-6 and won one game in the playoffs. We had a real good talk about it and I think I have a real good feeling about how the players feel, which is very important to me."

On the players:

"I visited with a number of the players and had a chance to talk about a lot of things with them. I think I have a real good feeling of what they think we have going here. I told them that last year I felt like that was not something that happened during the season. I felt like it happened last year during the off season. I felt like that was the best attended off season program that I have been a part of. We had great cooperation from our players and I think it carried over to the regular season. I think our guys were well prepared and went extremely hard."

On if he had a chance to talk with #56 LB LaVar Arrington's about his future with the team:

"No, but I think today was awful quick to talk about something like that. I met with some of the players in particularly the free agents and things of that nature. That is awful quick too. We still have a bargaining agreement to get signed hopefully and things like that. I think today was more of a day to get the physicals out of the way and having a chance to chat with a few of the guys. We didn't get into any specifics. It is pretty early after the season to start making any decisions. I think basically what we will do is head over these next few weeks and we will be thinking about all of those things as we go. One of the first things that the coaches are going to do is towards the end of this week we will all sit and evaluate our team and kind of see what we think will be the key areas where we feel like we can help ourselves. Obviously the first thing up is free agency so we will take a long hard look at that and making our preparations there."

On if it is going to be quiet in terms of free agency:

"I don't think you ever know in the NFL if it is going to be quiet or not. I met with a number of the free agent guys. Robert (Royal) is a very key guy for us. Ryan (Clark), Demetric (Evans), Rock (Cartwright) are also. We think they are Redskins guys. I have expressed to them what the organization felt, what I felt and what the coaches felt of them. As we go forward that is one of the most important things for us to try and keep everyone together and certainly that is going to be our goal. Last year we wound up with those two situations where both players had a chance to stay and just one of those things where they felt like their options were better some where else. What we will do is work extremely hard. I am committed as I have said when I came here. Everybody told me when I came back that they have a salary cap and you can't keep the team together and I don't believe that. We are going to work extremely hard to try and keep everyone here together. I think you build with a core group of guys, obviously from time to time there might be something that happens because there are so many players involved. Our goal is to keep everyone together and hopefully improve in some areas like we did this off season. Continue to improve the football team and improve what we are doing strategy wise, keep the coaching staff together and have stability. Then you hopefully you take another step forward."

On whether he expects less roster turnover than in recent seasons:

"I hope so. I hope there wouldn't be too many guys that we lose."

On whether his wife is still on board for his "five-year coaching plan":

"Pat [Gibbs] wavered a little bit during the year. Right now, she's looking forward to a getaway. I went home for one day. I jumped the plane when we got in and went home yesterday. I spent some time down in Charlotte with her and the grandbabies. I have to tell you -- Pat's a warrior. She's been dragged through a lot of locker rooms. She does pretty good. I cleared that with her. The contract is still on board. As long as I don't play golf, we're okay. If she catches me on a golf course, it could be serious."

On how much rejuvenation time he needs:

"I just ran on a treadmill. I can tell you that it wasn't pretty. So, [the season] did take a toll. But I feel good. I already had a long conversation today with [Redskins owner] Dan [Snyder] and most of the coaches. We have a lot of work to do. I'm anxious to dive into a lot of things as we get started this week. Up here, you never rest because there are so many critical things that come up. We dive right into free agency. We'll start getting ready for that. I'm real anxious that, if we have any type of [corrective] surgeries [for players] this year--I think there are a few minor things--I want to get those done right now. I talked to the medical team about that. We don't want to put anything off where it would drag on for a while. If there is stuff that needs to be done, our guys are going to get it done in a hurry. We are trying to fast-pace everything. You go as hard as you can. My favorite question is, 'What do you do in the off-season?' I used to say, 'Nothing. Just hang around the house.'"

On whether the current Redskins have an equivalent to Art Monk at wide receiver:

"One thing that hurt us this year was injuries at receiver. [WR, #83] James Thrash is a real producer for us. He's a tough guy. He plays on [special] teams. He means a lot to the team from a character standpoint. He missed seven or eight games. It was a big injury for us there at the end with his thumb. He was going to try to play [against Seattle], but there was no way. When you have surgery and get a little plate put in there, there's no way you can play. He was probably willing to try it. Losing [WR, #80] David [Patten] in the middle of the year was a big blow for us. Certainly, losing [OL, #77] Randy [Thomas] was a big deal for us. That took a toll. Having said that, I don't think you ever have a set team that maybe would mirror one in the past. Certainly, I'd love to have Art Monk. We'll take a long, hard look at everything. I'm excited about David being back and getting him healthy. I think we'll have a healthy James Thrash and [S, #21 Sean] Taylor. Then, we'll move forward and see what the best decision is that we can make in each one of those areas."

On the Redskins offense's increased production this season:

"We did make a dramatic jump in plays over 20 yards--running and throwing. We came a long way--up to 11th in total offense. It's not any one thing. It's adding [C, #61] Casey Rabach in there. It's getting [OL, #76] Jon Jansen back. That was very important for us. [OL, #77] Randy [Thomas] had a great year, but got hurt towards the end. [We got WR, #80] David [Patten]. [WR, #89] Santana [Moss] was a huge deal for us. We knew that we really wanted Santana. We evaluated things and knew that was going to be a big price to pay for us. We felt like it was something that we needed to do. It was just a phenomenal year for the guy. Not only that, [but he also] has such a great attitude toward things. His and David's attitudes helped all the way around on our football team and in the locker room. Their production was one of the best years I've been a part of for a receiver. We'll take a look at it as we go. I think we'll do a good job of evaluating our football team and seeing what we can do to help ourselves. A lot of it, too, is research. In the off-season, one of the most important things we do is break down everyone's top-five running, passing, and pass protection. Then, we review everything that we do [as coaches] and see what we can add. Everything is on the table as far as I'm concerned. We didn't have the production we wanted--particularly late in the year--but we made a big jump. It's a matter of us evaluating everything and seeing what ways we can help ourselves now. We'll [try] to continue to get more production. It's a little bit of strategy and thinking. It's personnel, certainly. Personnel always has a lot to do with it."

On whether he regrets placing WR, #80 David Patten on Injured Reserve:

"Sure, I would've liked to have had him towards the end. Our problem was that, when you have the surgery that he had, [recovery] could have been anywhere from four weeks to six weeks. We weren't going to get in the playoffs had we lost one of those next games. We were in a situation where we couldn't afford holding that spot. We certainly would've liked to have had him, but I don't think you can look back on that and say that we could have done anything else. At least, I don't feel that we could have."

On QB, #17 Jason Campbell's development this season:

"Many times, you say to yourself, 'Okay, they're not getting to take snaps from a regular offense.' But what they are doing is [attending] meetings. They're getting all of Coach Musgrave's coaching. They're getting all of the reps in practice as far as throwing all of the practice reps. They get the whole off-season program, where they do get to work with the first-team receivers. They get to play in pre-season. Because you have to absorb the whole offense and get everyone lined up in the right place, it's a lot to do from a mental standpoint. I feel confident that, if Jason had been thrust into things this year, he would have played well. It's probably best that he got to sit through a whole year. In my experience, when [former Redskins QBs Stan]Humphries, [Mark] Rypien, or Jay Schroeder went through that process and got put in there, they were amazingly prepared. I think it comes from just sitting there, hearing it all, watching somebody else--you can learn a lot from someone else throwing a football and making a mistake -- being at the games, and being around the pressure. You realize that they could be in there. I know that there are guys that just stepped right in and had a great year, but not many. It's probably best for him to hear it, see it, go through it. They gain some confidence and know what to do. Then, they're kind of chomping at the bit -- rather than saying, 'Hey, am I ready for this?' Well, we see in practice. We see a lot. My impression is that he's very accurate. I think he's going to be a guy that can really roam with a football. I think he's going to make plays with his feet. I think he has a sense of what the pocket is. He'll slide. He's going to be hard to sack because he's so big. We've seen a lot out of him. Now, he needs to play. We'll get into that. I laughingly told him, 'Take the hat off and throw it away. You're getting ready to go work. You're going to have to earn your money.' [CB, #22] Carlos [Rogers] was yelling at him, too. He said, 'I told my buddy that he has to start earning his money. The rest of us are out there playing.' Anyway, I think Jason had a year that was probably good for him. He got to hear it, see it, and go through it. He probably learned a lot."

On QB, #11 Patrick Ramsey's future with the team:

"Patrick and I had a good talk. We did talk afterwards. He felt a little bit like I did -- the season is just over with. He hadn't had much chance to think about anything. I hadn't either. We agreed to continue to talk over these next few weeks. He'll probably do a little thinking. I'll do some thinking. Then, we'll do some talking over the next few weeks."

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