Head Coach Joe Gibbs
On the health of the team:
"We are in pretty good shape. Of course we walked
through so I think we are in good shape."
On the Seattle Seahawks:
"The problem with Seattle on offense is that they have
a Pro Bowl quarterback, two running backs and one has been the MVP of
the League. They have a big playmaker at receiver. They have a control
passing receiver who does a great job. All the way around it is a
tough assignment for us. Their return guy on teams is exceptional. He
runs back punts and kickoffs. Defensively they are one of the top
teams in the League at taking the ball away. We have a short work
week, have to travel all the way to Seattle and play them at home.
That is a tough assignment all the way around. They won four division
titles in a row. I would say to Coach (Mike )Holmgren that is a big
congratulations on that because that is hard to do."
On if he has any good stories on Seattle Head Coach
"Not really, the trouble with coaches is that you just
don’t hang out together. You are normally trying to take each others
jobs and that doesn’t lend to spending a lot of time together. We have
the League meetings but they are normally a bunch of meetings. I have
known him for a long time and I have great respect for him. I have
watched him over the years. He is one of the best play callers in the
game. He has done a great job putting that whole deal together out
there. We do know each other kind of conversationally but you just
don’t get to spend a lot of time with other coaches it seems like."
On if the winning streak that occurred at the end of
the season reminds him of the winning streak to get into the playoffs
during the 2005 season:
"What is probably similar is playing well at the end
of the year. We got in real trouble in the middle of the year in ’05.
The guys got together and we won six in a row there. That portion of
it is definitely the same. This team also, like that team, has over
come a lot of injuries. The thing that is really different is losing
Sean (Taylor). That was a totally different deal for us. This team has
had to deal with that. I think there are some similarities. Certainly
our veteran guys that came in with that first group have been here for
four years. Now they remember that and of course they remember going
to Seattle because we had a tough time out there and they knocked us
On if he is leaning on the guys more this year than he
has in the past:
"I have always felt the best football teams that we
have had are when they are player driven and it wasn’t the coaches
trying to get something done. It was more or less the players taking
it upon themselves. Having said that you try and do that and they try
and do that but it is hard to get and grasp. Since I have been here it
has probably happened five times out of the 15 times that I have been
here where the players take responsibility.
You can hear them in the meetings and hear them at
halftime. Like I said we meet with a committee of the players to talk
about a little bit of everything. I think they have done a great job
this year with leadership of directing things. This team has that. It
is player driven. They took it upon themselves and they are the ones
making sure things get done."
On the double timeout being the worst moment of his
career and what it meant to him when he tried to take responsibility
in front of the team and they wouldn’t let him:
"I really appreciated later on in the week a number of
the players saying things to me. I felt like it was important at that
point. You always hold them accountable and you want to make sure that
if you have a bad moment that you acknowledge that. I felt like that
is what happened there and I said what I felt."
On if he can talk about the philosophy these last four
weeks of letting them have walk-thru’s instead of full practices:
"What happened was it was our short work week when we
played the Bears. We had everything going on that week and the team
was emotionally at that point going through a lot. We made a decision
on it as a coaching staff to just walk thru that week. I will say this
on the sideline before the Bears game they had a lot of excitement on
that short work week. I could notice it on the sideline. Coaches are a
product of if it works you stay with it. That is kind of what
happened. Clinton (Portis, RB #26) and a bunch of them have been on
me, they just want to be in pajamas all week and show up and draw some
stuff on the ground. As a coach you are a product of if it works you
stay with it. Certainly our guys looked fresh to me and they had a
great attitude on the sideline. I talked it over with them and we
proceeded with taking that approach. What we normally do is walk-thru
the first day back, than have a normal practice and a normal practice.
This week we will have Friday work tomorrow, which is Thursday if you
can figure all of that out."
On if he believes momentum carries over when a team is
playing well at the end of the season and going into the playoffs:
"Each game for me I have always tried to guess what
teams are going to do and I can’t. We were dressing in the locker room
on one away game and I am going ‘oh my gosh’ because it did not look
like we were mentally with it. Then we went out and played great. It
is hard to determine. Each one of these games when you get into the
playoffs is a season in itself. You know you have to have it. We have
actually been in that environment for four weeks. I am hoping that
plays in our favor. We have been under the gun since the Chicago game
where we had to have it or we are out. Our guys have really responded
and I am hoping that carries over."
On if he says anything to the young guys or if he lets
the veteran guys handle them:
"I do talk to the young guys particularly in the
meeting. Lots of times I address them. You leave it to the veteran
guys too. The danger with the young guys is that they think it is
going to go on forever, we are in the playoffs and are going to be in
the playoffs every year. The veteran guys know that is not the case.
They have been around for a while and it is hard to get. Another thing
for young guys is that they are normally just happy to be on the team
sometimes. We have some that have really stepped up and filled
important roles for us this year. It is a little bit different for a
younger guy than the veteran guy. I have noticed that the veteran guys
yesterday were here the longest in meetings themselves. They realize
how important this is. You kind of worry more about young guys."
Todd Collins (QB, #15)
On what about the Seattle defense pops out to him:
"Fast, quick on the outside, opportunistic, lots of
turnovers, sacks, capitalizing on mistakes of the offense, creating
On the crowd noise in Seattle:
"I guess Minnesota was pretty loud- that’s indoors. I
would think that an indoor facility would be louder than outdoor, but
I hear that Seattle is louder. The last time I was out there in a game
was in Kansas City in I think ’03 or ’04. It sure is pretty loud, but
you just deal with it. You can’t do anything about it. Guys have to
pay attention and listen and try to make plays in your favor to quiet
On how important is it to continue not making
"It’s real important. It is just a basic principle of
football. You just try to protect the ball and not put your defense in
a bad situation and be smart with the football, make good decisions."
On what he likes about Santana Moss (WR, #89):
"He is just a play maker. We have a lot of them on
this team but you can just tell he gets excited when he gets the
football. He is one of those guys who can change the game in one play.
That is his demeanor. When he is getting the ball I think he is even
On if he is surprised that the chemistry has been so
good, so quick with Santana Moss (WR, #89):
"I’m not really surprised because he is a great
player. I just try to get the ball to him, put it in the right spot.
If he gets there, if he beats his guy then he is going to get to the
On the check-down pass to Clinton Portis (RB, #26):
"It is just something that is going through my
progressions. If it is not downfield I am going to check it down, so
that is one of the basic things you do playing quarterback. He has
done a great job of being there. You can’t even get your check-down if
you don’t have the proper protection and that is what has been
happening. Proper time to get through the progressions, get through to
the second, third, fourth read and get it down to Clinton and he is
making guys miss."
On the offensive line:
"That is a great story. Our whole right side of our
line guys, Randy Thomas (OL, #77) and Jon Jansen (OT, #76), guys that
have been here for years, cornerstones of the offensive line go down.
Then we put Fabini (Jason, OL, #69) in and a rookie (Stephon Heyer, OL,
#74) and Todd Wade (OL, #71), how they have held that together- the
right side of the line- has just been phenomenal. It takes a lot."
On what has been going through his mind the past
couple of weeks:
"This is great. I’m just taking it one day at a time
though, just one game at a time. I’m not trying to get too caught up.
I know the last four weeks if we don’t win we go home and now it is
the playoffs and that is
definitely the case. Just putting in our days
preparing to play and then try to go out there and play with great
emotion on Sunday’s."
On suddenly becoming a starter and getting media
"It has been great. The attention is fine. You realize
you have it when you are successful and then you get the flip side
when you are not successful. It is really not why I play. I played for
a long time without that. There are other things about the game that
drive me rather than just the attention. Everyone likes to be
recognized, but I think what is important with this is it has been the
whole team that has been recognized as opposed to an individual."
On if he were another team in the NFC, would he want
to be playing the Redskins in the first round:
"You want to be playing your best football at the end
of the season. It looks like right now we are doing that. [We] won
four in a row, so that is where you want to be. Every game is
different. What you do the week before has no impact on what happens
next week. We look to continue our momentum and I’m sure obviously
Seattle is trying to keep their momentum going."
On if he would rather have kept the team’s success a
"No, if you win four in a row and the story of the
team and what has happened and after losing four in a row it is going
to be a story. Teams that get hot toward the end of the season are
going to make news and that is what we have been doing. What is great
about it is the team. It is just not one aspect that is overwhelming
the other. It is all three phases of the game coming together and
playing well when we had to."
On what he knows about the stadium and how tough it is
to play there:
"I have played in it a few times. I know it is tough.
I hear the noise is incredible. It is a good stadium. I don’t know
what the weather conditions are going to be, but personally I like the
design of the stadium. The few times I have played there I have
On what he felt like coming off the field after the
Buffalo game when Coach Gibbs called back-to-back timeouts:
"It was hard to believe. The double timeout I don’t
really think that cost us the game. The guy made the field goal. I
think he was going to make it regardless. In terms of the double
timeout I didn’t really see that as the reason why we lost the game.
We had chances early in the game to score and we didn’t. Then they had
that great drive at the end with that pass, that 35-yard pass. That is
the one that kind of broke our backs a little bit. You just can’t boil
it down to one play. I felt bad for him (Coach Gibbs) personally,
because you could tell how badly he felt. He felt like he cost us the
game. Personally and I know a few of the other guys, we didn’t feel
that way at all. No one call wins or loses a game and especially not
that call. The guy made the field goal and I think he was going to
make it no matter what. We lost the game before that happened."
On the feel in the building right now:
"I kind of noticed the difference the last few weeks.
Preparing for games and on game days guys just seem to be playing
loose. They seem to be having fun playing, even practicing. There just
seems to be an upbeat nature to the team right now. It is really fun
to be around."
On if he thinks he will have butterflies before the
"You always have some butterflies. That is part of the
game. You experience that ever since you’ve been playing football.
Once you get into the game it is just football. We have kind of been
playing playoff football for the last four weeks. This is going to be
the playoffs now, but in terms of you have to win to keep playing,
that hasn’t changed."
On if he ever thought that he would get the chance to
be the starting quarterback again:
"There was no guarantee that I was going to get
another start, but I thought that the odds had to be in my favor that
at some point I would get a chance. I knew it might be my last chance
so that is how I prepared every game
getting ready this could be it. I didn’t know when it
was going to come. It took a long time but I just wanted to be ready
for that time so I had no regrets."
On what Al Saunders (Associate Head Coach- Offense,)
has meant to his career:
"He has meant a lot to my career. I wouldn’t be here
in Washington right now if it wasn’t for him. When Dick Vermeil
(Kansas City Head Coach) brought Al in Kansas City and the quarterback
coach Terry Shea, I thought I really improved as a player greatly over
those years. I didn’t get a chance to show it a lot in regular season
games because I had a guy in front of me, but he has made a great
impact on my career. There is no question about it."
On Clinton Portis’ (RB, #26) performance the last
couple of weeks:
"He has been running great. I think what has helped
him a little bit too is I think he is enjoying catching some of those
passes out of the backfield. He realizes that is almost an easier
opportunity for him to make yards than slamming it up in there every
time. I think he is in a rhythm right now. Like the other guys, he
enjoys making plays and the more he makes the more excited he gets and
I expect him to make some more."