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Coach Joe's Last Chapel Service As Coach

While the prevailing sentiment among the staff and players was utter surprise about Joe Gibbs's departure, I spoke to someone who attended the team's chapel service over the weekend, before the Seattle game, who said the scene there made him pause and consider that this was the end. Gibbs spoke at length at the service, recounting his life in vivid detail, pouring out his heart, and talking about how much lives are changed by tragedy.

"It was extraordinary," the person said. "I've never seen anything like it from him. After that I thought that this might be it."

Also spent some time on the phone with Mark Brunell this morning. Brunell was the first player Gibbs went after when he returned to coaching, flying to his home in Jacksonville, identifying him as the QB for the team and working out a trade with the Jaguars to get him. Mark believed that Joe was coming back based on his address to the team on Sunday, but said that once you think about all that he went through this season, with the loss of Sean Taylor, his grandson being sick, Bill Walsh dying, Joe's age ... well, it didn't really surprise him in that regard.

"Coach has said time and time again how important his family is to him, and I think this year really took a toll on him and the whole staff. I am just glad we got to finish with a playoff run at the end," said backup quarterback Mark Brunell, the first player Gibbs sought to acquire after his return to coaching. "He is one of the best to ever coach, and I am proud to have played for him. I always thought he was a good coach and a better person."

Brunell was the starting quarterback for the bulk of Gibbs 2.0 and the coach showed extreme faith in him, sticking with Brunell when others were clamoring for a quarterback change. Brunell rewarded him with about 14 weeks of excellent play in 2005 to help get the team back in the playoffs, but then hit the wall late in the season and the passing offense was non-existent in the postseason that year.

By Jason La Canfora  |  January 8, 2008; 1:52 PM ET
 
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Next: The Rooney Rule

Comments

1ST

Posted by: Gltek01 | January 8, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Unhitch the hamster, double-mov--ooops--posting.

Posted by: Megskin | January 8, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Gosh,
Major thread loss.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | January 8, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

TE- hilarious. I'm pretty sure that you get .01% off your next purchase at any Redskins Store with any $100+ order from Papa's.

4-12- I'm holding a "burning of the season ticket invoice party" in March. Interested in attending? Honestly, it all depends. If tickets go up, I'm out. If I can't find someone to go with me on a regular basis, I'm out. I just hope those "visiting team" returns keep coming back from stubhub, I mean the visiting teams.

Posted by: RickyBobby | January 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's at TE style save from the long lost thread.

Sween,
Here's another story.

Zilla and I are waiting in the line for a cup of Joe (Chai for me), cause let's face it we're freezing our SJK's off. Z is decked out in Skins wear and a SHehawks stops to talk smack. Z is above it (naturally).

Then, another hawk fans bumps the Shehawk smack talker, who drops two beers. SPlash!

Okay, but that wasn't funny because the Seahawk fans and Redskins fans came together to mourn the loss of beer.

What a waste.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | January 8, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Phillip Daniels was just on the radio. He said some players are already talking about how they will base their decisions to re-sign or restructure their contracts here on who is named head coach.

Posted by: JustMe | January 8, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is just another holier-than-thou preening narcissist whose "needs" take precedence over every shred of responsibility to others. He has more in common with TO than he does with Lombardi.

I have no ties to the Redskins emotionally, but I feel for you fans.

-ross in stl

Posted by: deSitter1 | January 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: 4thFloor | January 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"What was Don Breaux's job title? ..."

Posted by: Original_etrod | January 8, 2008 01:53 PM

I don't think he had a precise title ... his role has been to be The Todd of the coaches. No one out-avunculars Don Breaux.

HEY ... what happened to the first 50 posts on this thread????

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Players that must leave FedEx after this season.....

Mark Brunel
Ethan Albright
Jason Fabini
Randall Godfrey
Brian Kozlowski
Omar Stoutmire
David Macklin
Rick Demulling

this list consists of has beens and never was...

Keenan McCardell even though the old guy had a few nice catches

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

To everyone that says blowing it up is a bad decision....

What makes you think we are 3 guys (in the draft) away from greatness? 90% of the time guys that are drafted either A. suck or B. take a minimum of 2 years to even be a factor. Given those circumstances coupled with a QB that has not proven he can carry this team or even master the playbook.... I ask you what will change next year???

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 01:53 PM


trailblazer658

what you just said is not blowing it up... it is making adjustments to your roster. That is what people are referring to. As far as you comparison of Jason to Romo, Romo played in the same system in Dallas for 3.5 years before Parcells put him in the game. he had more of a chance to learn the offense. If Jason is has not made the same amount of improvement from year 2-3 that he made from year 1-2 then we will have a problem.

Posted by: roweq | January 8, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Maybe Snyder will find a winner this time. Most successful coach to date in the Snyder era: Norv Turner. A winning record, home playoff game. He was canned sitting at 7-6. Has any other Sndyer coach been better than 7-6 after 13 games? Nope. Maybe next year.

Posted by: SDakD-RayFan | January 8, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Players that must leave FedEx after this season.....

Ethan Albright ..."

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 02:06 PM

Mr. blazer, I've been abiding some of stuff you've been posting today in the spirit of potentially busting a single day blog post total, but RIGHT HERE --> Ethan Albright

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If there is a god please don't hire Brian Billick DANNY!!!

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Maybe Snyder will find a winner this time. Most successful coach to date in the Snyder era: Norv Turner. A winning record, home playoff game. He was canned sitting at 7-6. Has any other Sndyer coach been better than 7-6 after 13 games? Nope. Maybe next year.

Posted by: SDakD-RayFan | January 8, 2008 02:09 PM

Yes

Joe Gibbs 2005

Posted by: roweq | January 8, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Trailblazer- Red Snapper? Really? Hasn't had a bad snap in the past 5 or 6 years. Why hate on him?

Posted by: 4-12 | January 8, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

damnable weird evolution of loseable type!

RIGHT THERE --> Ethan Albright

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Why are you hating the "red Snapper" all he does is snap the ball and I cant ever remember a time when he screwed up!

Posted by: JChrisRod | January 8, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

maybe I got a bit carried away there....

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Note to self ... do not do less than sign plus two dashes ... it deletes the rest of the text.

Anyway, by calling out the Red Snapper, mr. blazer, you demonstrate your lack of chops.

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Sween, that's kind of what i thought. He's the George Costanza of the coaching staff. All that's missing is the flesh colored body suit.

Posted by: Original_etrod | January 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

LOL ok ok...

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I seriously think Ethan Albright has another good ten years in him! Anytime no one talks about the long snapper, it is a very good thing.

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Body suit man

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs made the right decision. I don't like it, but you have to respect the man because he knows it takes everything you've got in the NFL. He has other priorities right now.

Gibbs has been the best coach since Gibbs (hands down).

Posted by: _Stumped_ | January 8, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

maybe I got a bit carried away there....

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 02:13 PM


Ya think, Forrest

Posted by: roweq | January 8, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Anybody think they'll name the new coach at the 3pm presser?

Posted by: 4-12 | January 8, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

wow I am really taking a beating

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What about Joe Bugel as Offensive Coordinator? [Its not like Russ Grimm has anything on Buges.]

The chemistry on the offensive side of the ball has been off for a while. This year's version of peace and harmony was (1) rushing till across the 50, then (2) pass. Wouldn't Buges be something of a bridge btwn Saunders and Grilliams? [By the second Giants game, it seemed like Saunders and Portis finally bought into each other's "system".]

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Randall Godfrey was a great signing for this year, with Washington hurting and McIntosh. If we don't sign an all star OLB free agent he should come back.

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Players that must leave FedEx after this season.....

Mark Brunel
Ethan Albright
Jason Fabini
Randall Godfrey
Brian Kozlowski
Omar Stoutmire
David Macklin
Rick Demulling

this list consists of has beens and never was...

Keenan McCardell even though the old guy had a few nice catches

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 02:06 PM

I disagree with Albright (good long snappers are worth at least the vet minimum, which is all Ethan is making), Godfrey (whom Grilliams coaxed out of retirement to help the D-line), and Fabini (give him a bit more time).

Posted by: jaradel | January 8, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Lots of excitement and enthusiasm up here today. Any chance we could get a one-day Boren Ultimatum thrown in for good measure?

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 01:44 PM

Sween, no! We can't have a Boren Ultimatum while Nate is 3,000 miles from home, preoccupied with something called "work."

Posted by: freakzilla | January 8, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

However, if Fabini is a starter at an time in 08 I will be very sad.

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

freakzilla, he can't work ALL day. Frankly, he's popped up a couple few times already. He will re-emerge down the home stretch as twilight approaches.

Also, in order for there to be a one-day record, SOMEONE needs to figure out what the highest existing one-day total is.

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

" ... he can't work ALL day. ..."

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 02:24 PM

I know this because even I can't NOT work for an entire day.

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I will respectfully retract my Albright statement... and own up to the fact that I was fully unaware he was our long snapper...

I stand by the others though... Yeah Godfrey stepped in in the crunch but cant we replace him with some younger talent?

Posted by: trailblazer658 | January 8, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

And do we count all of the comments on the previous chapel service post, which disappeared?

I saved that one for posterity. I still had it open on another tab, and PDF'd it after it disappeared from the site.

I believe that qualifies for me an Allstate Good Hands Award.

Posted by: freakzilla | January 8, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Also, in order for there to be a one-day record, SOMEONE needs to figure out what the highest existing one-day total is.

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 02:24 PM

Paging MV Dame... Paging MV Dame...

Posted by: 4-12 | January 8, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that Godfrey (and Daniels) will voluntarily cash in their chips. Or re-negotiate such that its a very fair expectation that they don't play unless some gets hurt.

Godfrey already retired once. Daniels (a college teammate) was one of the guys who talked him into un-retiring b/c of Marcus' injury (elbow? groin? hammy? hemmy?)

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

i would like one wish for season '08-09. an offensive coach who doesn't have a fcking SYSTEM. instead molds his offense around what he's got. and i would like to outlaw the word "system" from this blog for 08-09.

then again jc's apologists will complain about how many "systems" jason has had to endure. and poor jason has to learn yet another system. and to give him another year or two in the same "system". OMG! heaven help us!

Say No to System coaches!

Posted by: dealer | January 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

freakzilla,

you say All State Good Hands Award...

I say Uber-dork.

IMHO ;)

Posted by: Dorf | January 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"And do we count all of the comments on the previous chapel service post, which disappeared?

I saved that one for posterity. I still had it open on another tab, and PDF'd it after it disappeared from the site.

I believe that qualifies for me an Allstate Good Hands Award."

Posted by: freakzilla | January 8, 2008 02:28 PM

Dude, there is a Latin American despot somewhere who is looking for you. When things disappear, they are supposed to STAY disappeared.

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Zilla and I are waiting in the line for a cup of Joe (Chai for me), cause let's face it we're freezing our SJK's off. Z is decked out in Skins wear and a SHehawks stops to talk smack. Z is above it (naturally).

Then, another hawk fans bumps the Shehawk smack talker, who drops two beers. SPlash!

Posted by: _Stumped_ | January 8, 2008 02:02 PM

Also, there was a pretty big guy in front of us in line who was a Seahawks fan, but very sympathetic to Sean Taylor. When we all heard the beers come crashing down, he turned around, saw the beers, and thought the guy had thrown them on me. He was ready to go pound the other Seahawks fan.

So there's at least one good fan in Seattle.

Posted by: freakzilla | January 8, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Before we start talking about who we can get rid of, shouldn't we at least come up with their replacements. If rocky can't start till midseason and you get rid of his backup who exactly is going to be starting at OLB? Blades is ok but I'm thinking he's an interior guy more than outside.

Posted by: Skinz | January 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Say No to System coaches!

Posted by: dealer | January 8, 2008 02:31 PM

Sooo ... I'm guessing you never really embraced the metric conversion or the Dewey decimal stuff, am I right?

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Nate needs to pull off one of the ESPN commercials where he's stuck in a meeting, but he's still pulling off post after post. Afterwards, Rachel Nichols could interview him and ask just how he did it.

Come on Nate, get with the program. Where are your priorities.

Posted by: dchandl3 | January 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Dealer,

Who had it worst... Ramsey or Campbell?

No inferences, just bringing up an interesting debate.

Posted by: Dorf | January 8, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Man. I'm going to go sit with trailblazer. Where's the love? ;)

Posted by: freakzilla | January 8, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm fairly certain that Daniels still believes he can play and won't take any sort of a pay cut.

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Well Ramsey had it worse because he sucks.

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ramsey had it far worse, the coach gave him no pass protection by design.

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Feels like the pre-game show for the press conference.

Question: anyone actually found the text of the fabled "Rooney Rule," i.e., whether it actually says anything about hiring in-house? The stuff I found just said "whenever hiring a head coach". I didn't see any exceptions.

[Not that I'm advocating for non-compliance ... I just don't want Cowher to even be interviewed ... I submit that the Steelers, over his tenure, under-performed.]

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Snyder has the opportunity to make a bold and smart move here.

He has the opportunity to hire a true football professional(s) to run his franchise.

He will not do it. He will fail once again.

That is the only thing we know for sure.

Posted by: gdennie | January 8, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Adam Schefter just stated that Cooley has a 11 million roster bonus next year and brunell is 3.5. He said convert Cooley to spread it out over the contract and get rid of Brunell, you just save 11.5 to 12 mil that we are over the cap. Then it is time to resructure others. It is not as bad as it looks cap wise.

Posted by: roweq | January 8, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Adam Schefter just reported that he is a tool.

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Gdennie,

Are you inferring that Gibbs and Shottenheimer were not football professionals?

Posted by: driley | January 8, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hasselbeck has reported that he will play DESPITE his bruised thigh! My God what a warrior!

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"He has the opportunity to hire a true football professional(s) to run his franchise.

He will not do it. He will fail once again."


if gibbs wasn't a true football professional, i don't know what is

Posted by: psps23 | January 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Very somber day.

Three thoughts:

1) at least this might keep Williams from considering the Miami opening.

2) is there any way Gibbs/Redskins were on the hook for Sean Taylor getting the court ruling that he did over the ATV incident -- any promises to the NFL or anything that could have been kept secret? And now that he has died and the season is over, this may come out?

3) the team has largely been in the "denial" phase of loss in the Sean Taylor incident -- I bet Gibbs could see the offseason might change the players more. Loss has to involve the anger stage, too. The players were likely to come back altered, even without the resignation of the head coach.

And another: It is better he steps down now, than collapse in the midst of the next season and put the team through another weird set of circumstances -- not that he WOULD collapse, but he may have been thinking he might.

Posted by: Xlnt | January 8, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Let it be known that I do not have a losing record as the Redskins head coach... why am I not being discussed?

I'm still low on fund to buy the franchise... let me know if you have some assets to spare so I can move the Redskins back to DC and name them the Dorfskins.

Posted by: Dorf | January 8, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who Christopher Ross, the Dark Knight, is, but he REALLY doesn't like Cowher. After this (from this past summer), I'll find some more thoughtful bits.

http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/ChristopherRoss/Pittsburgh_Steelers/27848

"15. The Cro-Magnon in a cheerleader suit returns. Just when we thought cerebral guys like Mike Nolan were the new wave of HC's, look for some "I wanna win now" owner to hire the Missing Link to continue the commitment to mediocrity he pioneered in Pittsburgh. I truly believe that Cowher will end up in Cleveland, though. He's a Schotty Disciple from the Brown days, played ball there and knows like no one else, how to lose big games at home. The fit is perfect. It's clear that Al Lerner knows a good deal more about window-shopping than trap-blocking. Don't rule out Dan Snyder, though. I think Gibbs will finally admit that he never regained the edge he lost before his first retirement."

[I think this was August 2007.]

Posted by: dcsween | January 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand how people are leaving Russ Grimm out of the conversation to replace Joe. He is a Redskin, very intelligent, and would run a similiar system to Gibbs. Why is everyone drinking the Kool-Aid over Cowher and Gregg Williams? I am telling you Russ Grimmm would be the perfect fit. We do not need to make a splashy hire. Even though Cowher went to 2 Super Bowls, there were several seasons where the Steelers did not make the playoffs, his offense was suspect with Neil O'Donnell and Kordell "Michael Westbrook's Boyfriend" Stewart at the helm. Cowher got lucky with Rothelisberger. Gregg Williams is great at being an assistant, and that's it. Give Russ his chance. He's young, eager, and knows what the expectations of Redskins nation will be. He is one of us. Come on Danny Boy, bring Russ back to the organization. Hail to the Redskins!!!!

Posted by: brandest32 | January 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

We need a redskin to take the reins of this thing. I think the Chin would be a bad move. Let Grilliams take the wheel and drive this baby to the promise land.

Posted by: james.harwell | January 8, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

brandest, I don't think the prospect of Russ Grimm has been ignored on this board by any stretch. Were you talking about MSM or?

Posted by: dick | January 8, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I demand, no, I DEMAND, that Cindy restore the first 100 posts that she somehow deleted from this thread. I had three or four in there that I thought might win "Post of the Day" and be in tomorrow's print edition. Now, probably Barno will win with his Looney Tunes theory that Gibbs resigned because of negative vibes coming from this blog and from the stadium.

What do you get, anway, when you win? A tee shirt? Doodley Bopps tickets?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | January 8, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

If they do pick Williams or Grimm then they need to get a GM. I don't want either of those guys being coach and GM. Oh and Serrato sucks.

Posted by: curtmcgurt | January 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I heard that Gibbs retired quickly after he heard the news that Barno not only never got his Cooley signed DVD, but he never recieved the DVD back AT ALL!

Posted by: sams3 | January 8, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone. Anyone got any links to the press conference (other than redskins.com or espnxxx radio) that would not have a sports related url name? (my work blocks those) if not, anywhere i can go to (again, no sportslreated names in the title that will be doing a live transcript.) thanks!

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | January 8, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

dcsween, where have you been? Phillip Daniels has stated several times that he plans to play for 3-4 more years - and he wants to play here.

Guess he may change his mind about playing here now but he will be playing somewhere. Seems like Daniels and Williams have a tight bond, also.

Posted by: Lisa | January 8, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

beep, beep! new post!

Posted by: NCICURN | January 8, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Maybe Snyder will find a winner this time. Most successful coach to date in the Snyder era: Norv Turner. A winning record, home playoff game. He was canned sitting at 7-6. Has any other Sndyer coach been better than 7-6 after 13 games? Nope. Maybe next year.

Posted by: SDakD-RayFan | January 8, 2008 02:09 PM

Yes

Joe Gibbs 2005

Posted by: roweq | January 8, 2008 02:12 PM

Actually, nope. Gibbs managed to tie -- but not better -- Norv in snagging the Sixth Seed in the NFC in the magical 2005 season. And if Gibbs had received the same treatment, he wouldn't have been around for the road playoff games. Incidentally, Norv coached yet another home playoff game last weekend and he'll be wearing a headset this weekend.

Posted by: SDakD-RayFan | January 8, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

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