Telling It Like It Is
By: Fran Farren 
Posted: 2004-01-12
Category: Washington Redskins News
When assessing what type of coach Joe Gibbs was, is and will be, one needs only look at what others have said about him in the past. By reading the following quotes, Redskins fans (young and old) can begin to truly appreciate the level of excellence NFL Coach Joe Gibbs is.

"As a rule, I'm not big on coaches," said former Redskins middle linebacker Matt Millen. "Players play and coaches wish they could. But Gibbs was one guy who made a big difference. We didn't have the best players [in 1991] —— and we still went 17-2 and won the Super Bowl." As to why the Redskins always seemed to play hard under Gibbs, even against less-than-mediocre teams, Millen said: "His biggest asset was the ability to make things real in that meeting room. He'd be talking about the Cardinals, or some other team that the fans kissed off as not being very good. What he said to us wasn't contrived. It was down to earth. All of a sudden, you'd think: 'He's right.' "

"Coaching against him was the ultimate in competition for me," said Bill Parcells.

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Sid Gillman said, "Gibbs was the best game-day coach I have ever seen."

Center Jeff Bostic says of Gibbs, "He may be the best that's ever coached the game....He was organized, articulate, innovative....Above all, he was a hard worker. What you see is what you get."

Bobby Mitchell, who worked with both Gibbs and with coach George Allen, says of Gibbs, "George Allen was known for the Over The Hill Gang.....Joe Gibbs had his Super Bowl rings. Gibbs extended an organization that already knew how to win to the ultimate accomplishments."

"He had an attention to detail bordering on stubbornness," said Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts. "In a game, Joe would call the same play, the same pass play. I'd come over to the sideline and scream: 'Don't you have any other plays?' He'd say: 'This one will work.' And he was right." Fouts continued, "He's the only coach who could run three-wideout sets and also three-tight-end sets with one team and make both of them work. Lots of coaches would say they'd like to use the run-and-shoot but all they had was those big plow horses {tight ends}. Others running the run-and-shoot would say you couldn't have any tight ends around. Joe was the first guy to do both."

"He's got to rank up there with the best, because he won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks {Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien}," said offensive lineman Joe Jacoby. "All that adversity. Two strikes. All those quarterbacks. Taking different teams and winning with them. He was able to handle it all."

"In a game with a lot of liars and cheaters and crooks, he was different," defensive tackle Eric Williams said after learning that Gibbs had resigned and been replaced by his longtime assistant, Richie Petitbon. "He was a shining star. He was honest. He was tough, but honest. He was brilliant at what he did. You couldn't ask for more of a coach or a human being."

"He commands respect by the way he carries himself," defensive tackle Jason Buck said. "He's not a tyrant. He doesn't scream and berate the players. He treats players with respect and gets it in return. No head games. You're talking to players who've been doing this since they were little boys. Those head games don't work on professional athletes. If Joe has a problem, he pulls you aside and talks to you. He doesn't embarrass guys, and it comes back because guys want to play for someone like that. When Joe talks to you, you know it's coming from his heart. I think it contributes to the consistency of the team."

"There was a point when I first got here I didn't play that well for a couple of games," free safety Brad Edwards said. "He didn't come up to me and tell me I was about to get cut if I didn't get it in gear. Nothing like that. He came up to me in private and said, 'I know you can play better and you need to pick it up.' He said, 'I know you can do it.' That's all I needed to hear. I feel it totally changed my whole career. I want to do well and get better, and he realized that. I don't need to be screamed at. It was great and I see it happening with other players."

"His work ethic amazes everyone," guard Mark Schlereth said. "When we come in here to start practice, we see the coaches haven't slept in three days. You know they've put the time in studying the films and preparing to put us in the best possible situation. That's his strongest attribute and the thing that sets him apart."

"I love the guy," Bobby Beathard said. "I have so much respect for him. That’s probably the most fun I’ve had in a relationship with a head coach.......I can’’t imagine him not being successful. He could go into any area and have the same results. He’s a driven guy. I also think his sense of humor really saved us at times. Had we not had those fun moments. . . . I don’t know how you could have gotten through it otherwise.... He has a great way with players. He knows what players want. He’s a guy I call a player’s coach. There’s a good kind of player’s coach and the bad kind. A bad one is loved by players because he lets them get away with everything. They don’t last long. Joe is very demanding and organized. He wouldn’t put up with mistakes. At the same time, he has a real sense of when players need a pat on the back or a kick in the butt. Once we started winning, the players bought into the system and that pretty much carried through the entire time we were together."

"Some of the things seem subtle but they were very well thought out," said Redskins General Manager Charley Casserly, who replaced Beathard in 1989 and helped put together the Super Bowl champions of 1991. "He was an innovative coach and he never stopped trying to improve on what he was doing. His work habits were legendary. He probably hit his second gear about 11 o’’clock or 12 o’’clock at night."

"He had a formula," former Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen said. "He believed it, he stuck with it, he believed it and he won with it."

When you read these quotes, you can only conclude one thing. One of the best coaches that have ever coached in the NFL has returned to the Washington Redskins. His Joe Gibbs.

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