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Posted at 9:22 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Joe Gibbs on the Redskins and labor strife

By Dan Steinberg

(By Tracy A. Woodward - TWP)

I'm not sure why I've been too dense to note this before now, but the prospect of NFL labor strife disrupting the 2011 season is just dandy for Redskins fans, right? The Redskins totally dominate the league whenever there's labor strife. This is like a guaranteed Super Bowl season.

Sirius NFL Radio's Bob Papa, Peter King and Ross Tucker are less dense than me, so they asked Joe Gibbs this week about his amazing success during labor-strife years in the '80s.

"I told everybody, I said my last go-around there, those four years, what I really needed was a strike in there," Gibbs joked. "That would have helped me get to the Super Bowl. But here was the key for us with the Redskins, it was pretty simple really: I got all the players together and I said 'Look, you guys stick together. Whatever you do, everybody do it together.'

"And they really did. I think our guys practiced together, they made their decision not to cross any lines [together], and I think as a consequence, when we came back, everybody was united. So that was kind of the approach I took, and it worked out great for us.

"But I think this could be the one thing that could really hurt the league and hurt the game. When you go through that, the fans out there -- the key to all sports are the fans -- and they're not gonna take this lightly, and I think we've got some huge issues there that are on the table. So this is gonna be very interesting to see what happens here, and I think it's one thing that could hurt the sport."

At the end of the interview, Gibbs was asked about the current direction of the franchise under Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan, and he yet again strongly defended the team's owner.

"I've got to tell you, Dan and I are good friends. I told everybody when I was there, Dan did every single thing he could to help us win," Gibbs said. "If we lost games, it was my fault, not his, and I say that to everybody. I think this guy has a burning desire, I think he's the right kind of owner, and I was fortunate enough to have him.

"I think with Mike, I had a chance to visit with him some....I think he's a proven guy. Yeah, it was another year with the Redskins where you've got a lot going on, but I will say this: almost every first year for coaches, that's what happens. It did for me, it did for Mike. I think they'll get settled down now. He's had a year with the players, I think he knows where the problems are. I think they'll go to work. And I know Dan, it'll be the same thing he did with me, he'll give him whatever. And so I have really hope here as a Redskin fan that we're gonna come bouncing back here. I got to go to a couple of the games late, I think the team fought hard all year, and I think the second go-around here we're gonna take a step up."

Tucker then chimed in, thanking Gibbs for his comments on Snyder and saying that other owners around the league let the bottom line cloud their football decisions, unlike Snyder.

"I played for five teams, including the Redskins twice," Tucker said, "and the thing I always tell people is it's the really easy thing to do to rag on Mr. Snyder. And I know that some of the signings have not panned out, there's no question about that. But at least when you're a player for the Redskins, you know that your owner is completely consumed by winning, and you know that all he wants to do is win, and he'll do whatever it takes. Now sometimes that might be misguided, but he'll do whatever he thinks it takes to win."

"I've seen Dan give airplanes to players that have problems and let them travel back home, I've seen him send his wife Tanya to the hospital when Renaldo Wynn broke his forearm in our playoff game and stayed there with him," Gibbs agreed. "There's a lot of great stories about Dan. It's just unfortunate, there's been a lot of things that have happened with the team, and what have you, and everybody's so passionate.

"But I really think in the end, we're gonna see, this guy has a burning passion to win, and I think he's matched up now with a proven guy, and I think we'll make some steady progress here....I think we're gonna have good days in front of us for Redskins fans. That's my hope."

By Dan Steinberg  | February 2, 2011; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Snyder has to go

Posted by: Kev29 | February 2, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

If he paid me $5million a year, it would be all rainbows and sunshine, too! Screw FatAlbert to special teams, bye-bye Donovan.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

If he paid me $5million a year, it would be all rainbows and sunshine, too! Screw FatAlbert to special teams, bye-bye Donovan.

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 2, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Attention Washington Post readers:

Today, the Washington Post published a piece on last year's Md-Duke post game celebrations that has to go down as one of the most ridiculous pieces of reporting ever printed in this paper. Anyone who was actually there on Route 1 last year in College Park knows that there was no riot, there was no fires, there was no bottle throwing. What occurred were peaceful MD students celebrating the Terps win by filing out of Comcast Center, the dorms, frat/sorority houses etc, and out towards the bars on Route 1.

That's when the PG county police came in in full riot gear ready for a fight and made announcements like "Go home or go to jail" repeatedly. Then, the PG County police started attacking innocent bystanders at random with their batons. There is video footage of the incidents all over youtube (please see

4 PG County police were suspended. An official investigation into the county police was launched, and the FBI joined in investigating the department's disgraceful handling of the events that night. Yet, all of this was covered up today by the Washington Post, in their lame and pathetic attempts to continue the sensational (and false) storyline that Maryland fans are the ones out of control.

The fact is: MD fans haven't "rioted" in nearly a decade, despite what the Post wants you to believe. Things have changed at MD, and it's sad the WaPost won't let go of their false storyline.

If you want to see what really happened in College Park last year on the night of the "rioting" by Md fans, please see this youtube video and read this article:

Or take a look at the links and testimony from those who were there on this facebook page:!/group.php?gid=367161936941

As you can see, the events of that night have been completely distorted by the Washington Post in today's one-sided hit piece. A video summary of the entire night, full of images of police attacking peaceful bystanders can be seen here:

The Washington Post should be ashamed to have printed that piece of propaganda today.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Dan, if this your wet kiss apology to Dan Snyder as a result of that little misunderstanding with the City Paper (as reported today by Paul Fahri), I'm good with it. I'm sure that Snyder is personally generous and a credit to his community. It's just his 10 year record as an NFL owner with which I would take issue. All this happy talk from Joe Gibbs does not change my judgment on the Snyder record as the owner of the Skins.

Posted by: rkrouse1 | February 2, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If the 'skins were winning, Snyder would be a hero.

Posted by: Badwisky | February 2, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll take the bait: Looks like "St." Joe is still on the payroll.

Posted by: rodeorob | February 2, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

If the 'skins were winning, Snyder would be a hero.

Posted by: Badwisky | February 2, 2011 1:21 PM

If my Aunt Fannie had three wheels she'd be a tricycle

Posted by: Kev29 | February 2, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg: “On the advice of counsel, I have written this suck up piece.”

Posted by: ECUPirate68 | February 2, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Barno - Much better for the Post if students pass on UMD and stay safely at home taking online courses at their ripoff Kaplan U.

Posted by: zimbar | February 2, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone always fall back on that tired apology for Dan Snyder, that he "just wants to win", has a "burning desire to win", etc.?

Think about the worst owners in pro sports (Al Davis, Jerry Jones, et al.). Does anybody actually think the problem is that they don't have ENOUGH desire to win? Or is the issue that they want too much too soon and don't know how to build it?

I understand that Joe Gibbs is probably actually on some level friends with Dan Snyder, but every time I have to read his stilted justifications for Dan Snyder's behavior I just kind of turn away and let the awkwardness dissipate like a fart.

Posted by: biggerthanjesus | February 2, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

If your aunt had balls she would be your uncle !

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | February 2, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

But they fought hard and played their guts out.

Posted by: WaPoPimp | February 3, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg: “On the advice of counsel, I have written this suck up piece.”

Posted by: ECUPirate68 | February 2, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Shocking that an ECU grad has such a ridiculous take on this piece. Steinberg calls it as he sees it. No need to question Steinz's motive simply because Snyder made the mistake of filing this lawsuit.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If I had a dime for everytime I heard someone defending Snyder with, "He just wants to win/Really wants to win" crap, I could afford to go to a Redskins game at FedEx field. If you really want something you are going to do what it takes, perhaps Dan is just now realizing what that is.

Posted by: eello | February 3, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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