WP:Saturday's Quote Sheet

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WP:Saturday's Quote Sheet

Postby Deadskins » Sat Jul 31, 2004 5:07 pm

Quote Sheet From Saturday's Redskins Practice

Compiled by Gene Wang
washingtonpost.com Correspondent
Web Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2004; 2:25 p.m. EDT

Joe Gibbs | James Thrash | Cory Raymer

Coach Joe Gibbs
Q: What are your thoughts about the first practice?
A: First day of practice was kind of rough, but I appreciate all the fans. I’m sorry we can’t give an autograph to everybody. We can’t do that because we’re on such a tight schedule, so I apologize to all the fans. We got a few of them. A few players got to sign things, but we’re so rushed. We've got to get over for meetings, so I feel bad from the standpoint we can’t get a lot of autographs, but we’re off and running and have our second practice this afternoon.

Q: Can you talk about getting into contact drills right away?
A: Well, we’ve got a short time span here. We’re going to open in a little over a week, so we don’t have much time, and we won’t have many practices. That’s the reason why it’s important to get here in shape and ready to go. So we’ll see.

Q: Can you talk about the evaluation process for Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey?
A: We’re just starting. That’ll take a long time. The most important thing will be the games, but everything is important, but that’s going to be a long process.

Q: Do you have jitters on the first day of camp?
A: Yeah, I think everybody first time you get pads on, it’s like anytime any of us has played in any kind of tournament for the first time. You’re nervous and sweating through everything you got. You’re wore out after three swings of a racquetball racket or anything else, so I think coming out here for the veteran guys, they’re a little more conditioned to it. For all the young guys, I think it’s draining.

Q: Can you comment about the number of fans who turned out today?
A: I got to tell you, our fans, I don’t know of any sporting franchise that has the fans that can match us. Like I said, I felt bad for a lot of them because you can’t give them individual attention and give an autograph or something like that. We’re going to have fan day coming up, but we came out at 8 o’clock this morning, and they were already lined up on the road. I think if you want to coach football, it’s great to do it in a place where football is really important.

Q: How different is this camp today as opposed to your first practice in 1981?
A: I can’t remember ’81. I’m too old to remember ’81. I think it’s a lot of the same things, the same emotions. You’re nervous, apprehensive. It’s all the emotions of anybody if you’re trying something for the first time. I think I have the same feeling as I did the first time I came.

Q: Did you like what you saw on the first day of practice?
A: I think we have a good attitude, but very rough.

Q: Were the players not as mentally sharp as you would have liked?
A: I’ll just leave it at that. I thought we had a real good effort in drills and everything, but I thought we’re very rough. It’s rough. We got center exchange problems and things like that. It’s because it’s the first time we’ve gone one-on-one. The center is trying to move to make a block. It’s totally different. That’s the reason why I say you can’t tell a football team until you get in pads and start hitting somebody.

James Thrash
Q: How does the first day of this camp compare with others you’ve been a part of?
A: It’s kind of hard because you've got to forget training camp and take each one as they come. I think this one, the excitement, just coming out with the fans. Even in the locker room, the guys are really excited. There’s high expectations. Not only from the fans, but for everyone. We want to go out and prove we are a quality football team.

Q: What has it been like for you to go from the Eagles to the Redskins to the Eagles and now back to the Redskins?
A: It’s kind of weird. Starting with Philly, then coming back here, then going back to Philly and now back here. I’ve grown to know I-95 south and north pretty well. I got a lot of commuter miles, but it’s great to be back here. We kept a home here even though we were in Philly. We stayed here. This was our community. The people around here are really good to us, and I’m excited to come back here at this point in my career. Hopefully, the next years will be the best of my career, and to finish here would be great.

Q: What are your thoughts on the high expectations?
A: It’s great. This is what this league is all about. All the fans, the community, the players, we have real high expectations. I think everyone is equal. You look around the league, all teams are equal. Everyone has a chance to go to the Super Bowl. What the difference is what you do between the first day and the last day. We can’t look too far ahead. Not look to the playoffs or Super Bowl. Just worry about getting better each day, and we’ll be in good shape.

Cory Raymer
Q: Can you talk about what it was like out there with Joe Bugel?
A: He’s always the first to give you a compliment and the first to jump down your throat. It’s definitely a love-love relationship. He’s there to make sure you play the best possible and to help the team win. He’s one of the best, and we’re happy to have him.

Q: Is it nice to have all the fans out here?
A: Absolutely. It’s a little bit different. Coming back to a football town, it was a bit of a hiatus for the last couple of years, and now you’re back. You feel good putting the shoulder pads and helmet on and doing it in front of the fans, which is always good.

Q: Did you ever regret the decision to sign with San Diego?
A: No, I never regretted anything. That’s always the easy answer, but they knew it, and I knew it. I never wanted to leave, but hey, that’s the way it goes. Financially for myself and my family, that’s what it came down to, and unfortunately I had to be the bad guy and leave. I’m just fortunate that I get a chance to come back.

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