January 5, 2008

AND IN SUCH A WEAK CONFERENCE, WHY NOT THE 'SKINS?:

At Darkest Moment, Gibbs Found Spark: Show of Confidence Lifted the Redskins (Mike Wise, 1/05/08, Washington Post)

The day after the Washington Redskins buried Sean Taylor, Coach Joe Gibbs strode into the team's conference room in Ashburn with a single purpose in mind: He needed to drastically change how his emotionally wounded team felt about itself.

He decided to shake up the players with an uncharacteristic departure from the routine that has characterized his 40-plus years of coaching. Instead of simply displaying images of that week's opponent, the Chicago Bears, on the screen, Gibbs detailed the fallibility of the Redskins' next four opponents -- a rarity in the one-game-at-a-time world of the National Football League.

On top of that, he boldly showed a list of every team ahead of Washington in the conference standings and told the team that the margin between Redskins and the top clubs was minimal.

"You've shown you can play with these guys," Gibbs told his players, adding that if the Redskins ran the table they had a good shot at making the playoffs. From there, he said, his message was clear: "Somebody is going to represent the NFC" in the Super Bowl.

Four straight victories set in motion an improbable NFC first-round playoff matchup with the Seattle Seahawks this afternoon, where a once-reeling team has been transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. At the center of that transformation is Gibbs, the 67-year-old coach who took an emphatic detour in the tone and style of his methods and, he acknowledged in an interview this week, reevaluated his understanding of his own religious faith to meet the needs of a grieving team in shock over the loss of Taylor, who was just 24 when he was shot during a home invasion in suburban Miami.

"Our confidence was hurting at that point," Gibbs said. "I was trying to say, 'If you take a look at this, Why not? This is who we played.' I was trying to say, 'Somebody is going to represent the NFC.' And I said, 'Do we belong to that group?' So I'm proud of the last four weeks. We stepped up and earned it."


Someone's winning a 4th ring in February.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2008 7:55 AM
Comments

Wow, what a terrible prediction.

Posted by: Brandon at January 5, 2008 9:11 PM

Why? Bellichick has three.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2008 11:13 PM
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