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Hog Wire: Gibbs II Comes to an End

By 1niksder | January 11th, 2008

Sooner or later there will be another head coach that will spend his whole career with one team (even if he retires and comes back), there may be another coach with a better than .620 career winning percentage when all is said and done, and there might even be another coach that can repeat the remarkable job that Joe Gibbs did this year, but Gibbs may be the only one to accomplish it all. After getting the Redskins to the 2007 post season Gibbs pretty much put an end to the debate as to weather he could still coach or not. In retirement the debate was back within 48 hours.

After spending 12 years in retirement from the NFL, on January 7, 2004, Joe Gibbs came out of retirement to rejoin the Washington Redskins, signing a 5-year contract. With 365 days left on that $28.5 million deal, Gibbs resigned as Head Coach and Team President this week and headed back into retirement. Gibbs second stint with the team has been viewed with mixed results (depending on who is doing the viewing). There are two groups and with his retirement, opinions will be voiced on both sides, some (Group A) feel he has damaged his legacy or tarnished the Hall of Fame honors he earned after his first tour of duty in the Nations Capital, others (Group B) believes Gibbs could do nothing that would damage his reputation from 1981 to 1992.

This debate will go on for awhile.

Round One
Joe Gibbs won-lost record over the last four years was 30-34 and 1-2 in the post-season.

Group A says he has tarnished his image/legacy by not producing a winning record the second time around. His four year record will be the foundation of their argument.
Group B will generally acknowledge the losing record but will ask “What is it being compared too?”

The four years before his return, the team went 28-36 in the won-lost department (note no mention of a playoff record). The Redskins went through four head coaches in those four years.
I’ll go with Group B on this one, they’ll say Gibbs took the team back to the post season and won more games over the same length of time.

Round Two
During his dozen years of dominance, Gibbs won 124 of 184 games and went to the post season eight out of the twelve seasons.

For Group A this proves that the game had passed him by.
Group B will admit his teams did dominate the 80’s, they are proud of the three Lombardi trophies he brought to Redskins Park.
Group B is so proud they’ll point out that he did it with three different quarterbacks and three different starting running backs.
Group B will then want to know who else could compare to Gibbs I?

Belichick of Patriots can match Gibbs with his three trophies, and four Conference Championships but did it all with Tom Brady, over the past twelve years Bill has won three less games and lost eleven more games than Gibbs did the first time around.
Bill Parcells name will be thrown around but he only has two Super Bowl wins and also has one less Conference Championships than the other two. Parcells won his Super Bowls with different QBs and over his last twelve years he too comes up short of JJG with only 108 victories and fifteen more losses than Joe during his twelve year run.
Mike Shanahan could be a part of this debate with 138 victories and 90 losses over fifteen years as a head coach. Does that compare to the 154 victories and 94 losses that Gibbs has?
Again I’d go with Group B on this one, they will always have memories of Gibbs I, and the fact that Gibbs led the Redskins to the post season twice in the four years that he was back. That may only be fifty percent of the time, but the team went once in the 12 years he was gone.

Here’s a Question:
If the Parcells’, the Shanahans’, and the Belichicks’ of the league have numbers that don’t equal up to Gibbs One numbers over any twelve year span of their careers, how can anyone compare the four years of Gibbs Two to Gibbs One?

News, Notes and Quotes

— “You really don’t know what’s going to happen,’ “You’ve just got to play it by ear and to me if you’re going to start panicking right now you should have been panicking when we lost those four games in a row. And to me I think because we didn’t do that you’ve got to have some staying power, and if you’ve got that, and if the owners like what you did then they’re going to keep you. And if they don’t then they’re going to let you go anyway.”
Cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray commenting on how the assistant coaches may feel following Gibbs announcement

— “They so, so much – and we all so much – respect Joe, admire him, and have an appreciation for him,’ “The players, man, I tell ya, they’d go through a wall for this guy. The bond that he created here was very, very special. They have such admiration and respect for him … This is something that no one wanted to see happen but all of us respect it and understand it.”
Team Owner “the Danny” commenting on how the players felt about Coach Gibbs

— “I think to a man everyone is disappointed with the outcome of the game,’ “It’s really disappointing because we really didn’t think this was going to end without us reaching the Super Bowl. We were so confident, we felt like we were playing so well, that we weren’t going to be defeated without getting to the Super Bowl. ‘”We battled, battled, battled, and then we got the lead against Seattle. Then we got the football on the kickoff and we’re thinking, ‘We’re going to Dallas next week.’ We know what we were going to do to them. ‘”It didn’t work out for us. It just doesn’t seem right that it’s over for us.”
Middle Linebacker London Fletcher commenting on the season coming to an end

— “I think he did everything he could to get this team and this organization in the direction it’s going in.’ “There’s an appreciation of a man, “You can look at his coaching career and the accolades, but you understand what he brings to the table as a man and the standards that he causes you to live by’. “He brings the best out of everybody, young players and old players. I think it’s just inspiration alone that you get out of Coach Gibbs.”
Running back Clinton Portis reacting to Gibbs retiring

— “Coach Williams has done a good job. It’s not my decision, but I think he is deserving. It would make things easier in the sense of transition. Coach Williams has always been a guy who’s been steady in what he does. He’s a hard worker.’ “But at the end of the day, we’re players. We’ve just got to respond to what we’re asked to do.”
Quarterback Jason Campbell comments about Gregg William being the next head coach

— “Guys are talking about all the indicators they all saw, and some of the things that happened in different games that said this might be coming down the pike. Some guys are on the phone talking to different people trying to size up what-ifs and all different things.’ “For a lot of people it is difficult, but things have a way of working themselves out. It will work out. Everything will be OK.”… “Gregg has a lot of support from a lot of people on the coaching staff as well,’ “Gregg is one of those guys who has a real good understanding of the team. Snyder has said he wants to keep continuity and Gregg is one of those guys who definitely has an understanding of what’s needed to be a coach.”
Running backs Coach Earnest Byner on Joe Gibbs’ decision to retire and the possibility of Gregg William being the next head coach

— Linebacker Rocky McIntosh underwent successful surgery on his left knee last Friday. Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Alabama performed the surgery. McIntosh who suffered the knee injury in Week 15, had started 14 games at weak-side linebacker before the season ending injury occurred. He is expected to be ready for the start of the 2008 season.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Bernie Marshall

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