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Snyder, Gibbs Address Media On Taylor

On the passing of Sean Taylor:

Dan Snyder: "Obviously, we're going through a real tragedy right now. Our hearts, our prayers, our thoughts are with Sean Taylor's family, his father Pedro, his seven-year girlfriend Jackie and his 18-month old daughter. We really are so saddened by what has taken place. We really will miss Sean. For Joe (Gibbs) and I, it was our first draft pick together, I guess four seasons ago. For me personally and all of us here at Redskins Park, we got to know him so well. Over the last two years I got a chance to really see him grow as a man off the field. He became very important to me, our organization and Coach Gibbs. I think that this obviously is very difficult for all of us. We just want to reiterate that our hearts, our prayers, all of our thoughts are still with them. I spent the last two days with him family, as well as a small group of us that went down there to Miami. We thought we had some hope last night. We were told by a couple of the surgeons that he had made good progress and was responding, but still in obvious extreme critical condition. This morning a little after 5:00 I received a phone call from Drew Rosenhaus telling me that we have lost him. This is a terrible tragedy and we're going to miss him very, very much."

Joe Gibbs: "For me from the coach's standpoint I just want to say thanks to Dan (Snyder), his whole family and everybody, the concern of all our ownership, I just appreciate everybody so much, and Dan's caring. Dan led a contingent down there yesterday and got to spend a lot of time with the family and everything and I appreciate the way he cares about things. He is also going to make it possible for everybody here at the complex to attend the funeral. That is the plan right now. I appreciate him doing all of that and the way that he cares about everything. That means a lot to me. I was going to focus first of all on Sean, as Dan said, we started our journey four years ago. There are two things I wanted to focus on, for me personally, and this is only me personally and not for anybody else, but the way I am going to deal with this, what I am going to try to do is go forward. The two things I wanted to make you aware of with Sean, over the last year and a half Sean really matured. To give you a little feeling, he was in every chapel service that I can remember. I think his life and the way he dealt with everybody showed the real maturity. His child had a lot to do with that. He had a real love for his family and for his child. There were times here in the building where people would say, "hey Sean is in, he has his baby girl with him." I just this morning heard of people talking about him at the shopping center where she was playing and he would be there looking over her. I saw, over the last year and a half, which happens with a lot of young guys when you come in, you're coaching and you see young guys come in here and then they grow up and they mature. I certainly think in Sean's case, his life exemplifies that and what I don't believe, that you can do that on your own. He had a growing relationship with the Lord and the reason why I say that, I didn't spend a lot of time talking to him about that, but I witnessed his life, but Brett Fuller, who is one of our chaplains, I want everybody here to know that we have the greatest group of guys working with us. We have Brett, Lee (Corder) and Jerry (Leachmen) working with the coaches and then the players. Brett had spent a lot of time with Sean over the last couple of years. Brett has handled the coaches here when he came and spoke to us earlier yesterday his feeling is that Sean had a great relationship with the Lord and he feels like he (Sean Taylor) has gone home. For me, personally, it is so hard for us because we are here and we are going to miss it. I'm not talking about as a player; I'm talking about as a person. He was a real leader for us. His teammates had voted him as part of our leadership council, the group that I meet with that gives us suggestions and helps direct the Redskins. Sean was a big part of that. His teammates had voted him that. I felt like he was a real leader. Everybody knows what kind of a player he was. For me personally, the way that I'm going to deal with it is the fact that God tells us that it is going to take 1,000 years to begin to appreciate heaven and that our life on earth is really a puff of smoke compared to the time that we get to spend eternity with Him, if we have a personal relationship with Him. I'm convinced through Sean's life and listening to Brett that is the case. It is going to be a tremendous loss for us and the football team. As we go forward this is a tragedy. The thing that brings this back to me is how fragile life is and for me personally what has touched me is that we need to enjoy each and every day and each and every minute. As far as the team goes, we have never dealt with this. I have never dealt with this. We are going one hour at a time here and so how we'll deal with that is going to be something that we're all just going to band together with Dan's leadership and everybody here and our ownership group. All of us here we are going to work together, go forward together and I think each person here has to deal with it in his own way. I certainly am. I don't know how we'll deal with it, but what we are going to do is go forward as a football team and we'll make our preparations and we'll get ready to play this weekend. For me personally, I don't know how we'll deal with it except that we are all going to do it together. I know we have a great, high-quality bunch of guys here, so we'll move forward and get ready for this weekend."

On how Sean Taylor's family is doing:

Dan Snyder: "I think it is just an incredibly difficult time. This morning I was with his father and his family then I went to visit his daughter and his girlfriend Jackie and I think that as expected it is a shock and it is just a terrible, terrible tragedy. It is pretty rough."

On how are individual players dealing with the loss of Sean Taylor:

Joe Gibbs: "We just had a meeting with players the day after the game like we normally do, but we had a brief meeting and I told them that they were excused after that meeting to deal with this however they felt like they needed to. We obviously have our chaplains here dealing with them on an individual basis here. There are going to be other things made available to them, but in particular our chaplains are the ones that I feel like, they have certainly been available and are willing to spend time with our guys. Really, as far as individual contact, I have had very little individual contact because we have been here at the complex and most of them have either been at different parts of the complex or somewhere else."

On how they will prepare for two games in a short amount of time:

Joe Gibbs: "My answer is we don't know. They haven't been through it. We will go as hard as we can. The thing that I take great heart in is the way our team fights and the kind of people we have on our football team. We have gone through some stuff, everybody knows, this year. What I have admired about our guys is they come out swinging every week. How we deal with this, I don't know. This will be something nobody can be prepared for. We will just take it one hour at a time. We go forward and see what we can do."

On if they have talked to the League about the game on Thursday:

Dan Snyder: "No, we have not had any discussions. I have just been back an hour and a half or so. We haven't had time."

On when the funeral will be:

Dan Snyder: "We believe sometime early next week. We will be taking everyone."

On if there is a possibility they will not play on Sunday:

Dan Snyder: "I just got here. We will be sitting down and figuring out we are doing as an organization."

On if they were given any more information as to why Sean Taylor went back to Miami:

Joe Gibbs: "I haven't. We had known that the week before Sean was here for both of his treatments on Saturday after the team left. He called me first thing Monday morning because he was supposed to be back in treatment Monday and he said ?Hey Coach somebody broke into my house. I need to get this straightened out. I'll be there first thing in the morning.' I said, ?Hey great Sean, I'm sorry. Do whatever you have to do.' We had a real good conversation. He was great. We talked about how we played against Dallas. He was excited about getting back. I said, ?Well we sure miss you' and I said, ?Okay, we'll see you in the morning,' and then he came first thing in the morning. Last Saturday he made both of his treatments, worked out extremely hard and then I don't know. I have no other information other than that."

On their favorite Sean Taylor memory:

Dan Snyder: "We have a lot of great stories and memories."

Joe Gibbs: "For me personally, I think I can honestly say this, Sean felt like God made him to play football. The reason why I say that, the things I remember most about him, when our guys don't like to go to practice- it is freezing cold out there, a little muddy, it is a miserable day- and I can remember Sean out there flying around, throwing his body around, leaving his feet, going after things. He was one of those guys that he felt like this was where he belonged. The things I remember most about Sean were his excitement about playing. He loved to compete. He was always talking to me about how he was going to play receiver and do things like that, which we did put him over there. The defensive coaches were going to kill me. To me, he loved and thrived on the competition part of it. He was one of those guys that was made to play football. He felt it and felt like this is where he belonged. He had an athletic arrogance about that. He said, 'Hey this is where I belong. I belong on the big stage.' I remember those things about him, not as much funny things, but just that."

On if they will talk to other coaches who have had similar tragedies about moving on:

Joe Gibbs: "I have had one call from a coach who had gone through something similar to that and I'm going to call him. I think we're all going through something like this for the first time. We will probably deal with it. We have a great group of people here. I feel great about that."

On how the players are dealing with the passing of Sean Taylor:

Joe Gibbs: "For me to answer what the players are going to do individually or how they feel about it, I don't think I can guess. We are all going to try to get through it together."

On how he has been able to focus on football:

Joe Gibbs: "What happens to you during something like this -- from the time Dan called me -- probably makes you reflect on a lot of things for yourself personally. Where do you put your occupation? Where do you put your friends? Your family? Your kids? Your grandkids? And you realize life is so fragile. That for me is what I'm dealing with most of the time. It's hard to concentrate on football. Sean, he loved football. He loved these guys here. He loved competing. As I'm going to go forward- I can't speak for other people because each player is going to be different, each coach is going to be different- for me personally I'm going to think about where he is. I take great heart in that."

On if he has spoken to Gregg Williams, Assistant Head Coach Defense:

Joe Gibbs: "I spent quite a bit of time this morning with him. We talked and shared things."

Dan Snyder: "I haven't talked to him or seen him yet. I spoke to him this morning and told him. After speaking to Joe he was our next call."

On how Clinton Portis (RB, #26) is handling the loss of Sean Taylor:

Dan Snyder: "It is tough. They were very close."

On the change in Sean Taylor since he joined the Redskins:

Joe Gibbs: "What I saw when he first came in here was a young guy that had a lot of fun in life. He loved his family. That came across to me. I know he is real close there and it meant a lot to him. As a matter of fact, I think he passed up going to New York so he could stay home and that's where he wanted to be on Draft Day. I remember that. He is very much family-oriented. He loved his group of friends that he had. When he came in he was full of himself and young, but I think what happened. I saw a real maturing process there."

On what it means to see fans lined up down the entrance way:

Dan Snyder: "It's obviously very, very touching for us. We really appreciate it."

On what is being done in terms of a memorial service:

Dan Snyder: "I believe they are able to come to Redskins Park tonight at 6:00."

On where did he see Sean Taylor's career going:

Joe Gibbs: "Really for him the sky was the limit. From every single part of the stories that they were telling here about him taking his dad and showing him where he studied film. The fact that he was in here, Gregg (Williams, Assistant Head Coach) and some of the coaches relayed to me, he was here late at night studying film which is one of the things a lot of guys don't like to do. He made great preparation. He completely changed. He made up his mind that he was a vegetarian. He was going to lose weight. It scared me a little bit he was getting so thin and I'm saying, ?Hey wait!' He said, ?Hey this is the best thing for me.' He would go out to practice and run six laps around both those fields out there before he ever started. The sky was the limit for him. I felt like he could have played on offense should you choose to use that kind of an athlete. What got cut short here was a career that was going to go to a lot of Pro Bowls and have a lot of fun. That's what we're going to miss."

On if there was ever a period in his life when he did a lot of growing up:

Joe Gibbs: "For me, I went forward at nine years old and said, ?God I know you're there and I know I belong to you.' Then there was a period of time for me in college where I didn't live for Him. I ran amuck. Probably some of that is in your background. As far as growing up, I think that certainly happened to me. Part of that process is you have a child. I remember that is the first time I said to myself I totally sacrificed myself for my child and I think Sean was that way. I saw that process in him and a lot of us go through that."

On how the team was told about the passing of Sean Taylor:

Joe Gibbs: "What we did yesterday, the first meeting we had because a lot of them weren't aware of that. We at that point updated them and then what we did is we turned it over to our chaplain because I think they are the best people that are capable of dealing with this. They had a talk for a few minutes then had our prayer, then we said anybody who would like to visit with them can. Our chaplains have been here all day today. Darryl Morrison has been downstairs. Brett (Fuller) has been here. Brett met with the staff today. We had a prayer time here, a memorial prayer with everybody here in the building with Brett and Brett shared some things that he felt were important to the staff here. Dan (Snyder) and Vinny (Cerrato) and Bubba (Tyer, Director of Sports Medicine) met with everybody in the building here and gave them an update on everything that they saw, the family and the situation down there, which I think meant a lot to everybody."

Dan Snyder: "Clinton Portis (RB, #26) this morning in my hotel room about 5:30 started calling players and spent a couple hours calling as many as he could get a hold of this morning."

On what he is planning on telling the team tomorrow:

Joe Gibbs: "By then, most of them will know just about everything that all the rest of us do. We'll have a short meeting and talk that over. Have our chaplains here, have a prayer. After that we will probably organize what we think is the best thing to do the rest of the day."

On the most important thing for the public to know about Sean Taylor:

Joe Gibbs: "He had a great sense of humor. He would joke with me a little bit about different things that he had gone through at different times--just more than that he was one of those gifted guys that loved football. He thrived on competition. That was really what his deal was."

On what it was like for Clinton Portis (RB, #26) to call players this morning:

Dan Snyder: "Difficult. A lot of private thoughts."

On if he wants to play this weekend:

Joe Gibbs: "That's kind of hard to answer. There are things in life you don't control. I don't think that's something I would control. My responsibility I think is I just want to do the best I can to go through this the right way. There are certain things in life you can't control. We couldn't control this and going through and living through this."

On if they will practice tomorrow:

Joe Gibbs: "That is our plan unless I talk to the players and there is something they feel strongly about."

On as more information becomes available will they update the fans:

Dan Snyder: "I think the authorities are best suited to update. We, like everyone, would like to know more and capture the suspects."

On if Sean Taylor needed permission to not be here Sunday:

Joe Gibbs: "Sunday would have been his rest day. No [he did not need specific permission]."

On if players have expressed concern about being able to play on Sunday:

Joe Gibbs: "Like I said, I haven't had a lot of contact with the players since I've been here pretty much working and going through the process we're going through. We will get everybody in here tomorrow then we will take it one step at a time."

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