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Schneed10 10-08-2008 02:15 PM

Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Amidst all the excitement, the Redskins buzz on the airways, the cheers by the fans, the positive press from national media, amidst high hopes and the praise for new coach Jim Zorn; amidst all of that I just wanted to stop and smell the roses while we sit here at 4-1, and say thank you to the man most responsible for the Redskins' success this season...

Joe Gibbs.

This is in no way to take away from the job Jim Zorn has done/is doing, and in no way to take away from the sound decisions Vinny Cerrato has made since taking the reins as the football boss. It is because of Jim Zorn that our offensive schemes are creative, balanced and unpredictable. It is largely because of Jim Zorn's tutelage that Jason Campbell has taken his game to the next level, winning four out of five tough games without committing a single turnover. It is because of Vinny Cerrato that rookie Chris Horton now mans the safety spot, generating four takeaways for the Redskins through five games. Jim Zorn and Vinny Cerrato have been a success thus far, and we're all excited for what's to come with them at the helm.

But as I watch Clinton Portis put up nearly 150 yards on the Eagles in Philly, I can't help but think of the day Joe Gibbs traded for him. As I watch Shawn Springs shut down Terrell Owens in Dallas, I can't help but think of the day Joe Gibbs flew on Redskins One to sign him as a free agent. As I watch Chris Cooley (who Gibbs traded up to acquire in the 2004 draft) catch a TD pass against the Eagles from Antwaan Randle-El (who Gibbs acquired as a free agent in 2006) I can't help but think of Joe. And especially as I watch Jason Campbell develop into a star QB, making key plays on third down to move the chains and ice games, I think back to the day Gibbs traded three picks to jump up and take him 25th overall.

Marcus Washington. Cornelius Griffin. Rocky McIntosh. LaRon Landry. London Fletcher. Carlos Rogers. Fred Smoot. Casey Rabach. Santana Moss. In addition to the players mentioned above, these guys all have three things in common:

- They're 4-1.
- We love them.
- Joe Gibbs acquired them.

Joe Gibbs built the foundation of this team, but more than that, he restored the pride and character in this team.

How can this team still keep fighting hard every week despite the constant turnover amongst the coaching staff over the years? The change in offensive systems? The departure of star defensive coordinators? How can this team keep fighting hard when they're down 14 on the road to the Eagles? Lesser men would have quit when down 14 on the road against the Eagles. But these are not lesser men, they are Joe Gibbs' men. They were guided first hand by the steadiness of their great coach who picked them up after tragically losing a star teammate and guided them to a December push for a playoff berth. They saw what it meant to come together, to appreciate one another, to demand hard work and commitment from one another.

Far be it for a Redskin fan to draw comparisons to the hated Cowboys, but when Bill Parcells left the Cowboys he left them with a foundation that allowed Wade Phillips to guide them to a 13-3 record. Likewise, Joe Gibbs has left Jim Zorn with a young franchise QB in the making, an experienced and cohesive offensive line, a star running back, a star tight end, and a playmaking wide receiver. He left a defense in capable hands by building a deep coaching staff and who retained players and schemes that have been successful in the past. The only difference between these Redskins and those Cowboys? A better man built these Redskins, and a better coach is taking the reins of these Redskins. And hopefully, results will be better than a divisional round loss at home.

Whatever is in store for the Redskins this season, whether a playoff berth, a division championship, a conference championship, or a Super Bowl victory, Joe Gibbs deserves much praise. Without his work we wouldn't be 4-1 today. He's left his fingerprints all over Zorn's team. Make no mistake, this is Zorn's team now, and the excitement surrounding him is justified. But without you, Joe, we are nothing.

Thank you for all you've done. Your tenure was a resounding success - you've given this team the chance to do something special. Even if you're no longer part of the Redskins, you've left your mark. So enjoy your retirement, and root alongside us for [U]your[/U] Redskins to do something special this year.

Hail.

joethiesmanfan 10-08-2008 02:19 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
I agree 100%.

2BIG2BSKINNY 10-08-2008 02:22 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
I can get behind this letter...Gibbs is one of the bricks being layed here that will soon be a great foundation that will serve us for the future.

I also think Gibbs got the players here but Zorn is providing the killer instict that great players need to have to succeed. When I watch these skins this year I think of images of a bull fighter finishing off the bull to the applause of the masses...before we did not have that killer instinct. Now together with the players and drive we will go farther than previous seasons.

SFREDSKIN 10-08-2008 02:22 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Amen brother!! A man who gets it!!

SmootSmack 10-08-2008 02:22 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Well put Schneed

hesscl34 10-08-2008 02:30 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Nice post.. my sig sums it up!! :)

ingibbswetrust 10-08-2008 02:32 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Also, please dont forget that he taught the redskins how to beat dallas again. He left with a 4-2 record over previous 6 games and arrived with a 1-15 record over the previous 16 games.

Thank you Joe Gibbs.

Hog1 10-08-2008 02:47 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Not to hot, not to cold............just right!
HTTR

billyredskin 10-08-2008 02:50 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
On the day they announced that Joe Gibbs was coming back to coach the skins, I just about wrecked my car with excitement. That afternoon, I downloaded a classic Redskins arrow logo from the 1960s and that night had it tattooed on my shoulder. There has not been one day that I have regretted doing it. You just KNEW Joe would lead us back to respectability...on the field and in the front office. This is all because of him. Snyder would have NEVER hired Zorn if he had not learned what to look for from Gibbs.
I know Joe was worried that he might tarnish his legacy by coming back. But what he has done is solidify his place in NFL history, and save this franchise at the same time. I hope one day to have the honor of shaking his hand and telling him this.

JoeRedskin 10-08-2008 03:03 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Amen. Thank you Joe for making success possible again.


Hail To The Redskins!!

Mattyk 10-08-2008 03:08 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Gibbs definitely deserves some credit for building the foundation of this team. Recently I've wondered if we would be 4-1 right now if he stayed on. I honestly think we might be. When you look back at the end of last year and compare it to what the team is doing right now, 3 things stand out. Solid defense, a good running game, and good play at the QB position. When you have those 3 things working for you, chances are you're going to be a very good team.

Before this blows up into a Zorn vs. Gibbs debate which I'm really not trying to start, I just want to say I think Zorn was a breath of fresh air this team really needed. But, you can't deny that this was basically a turnkey type of take over for Zorn. All the pieces were in place, he just need to find [I]his[/I] way to make it work. And I definitely give Zorn a ton of credit for making it such a smooth transition, because as the first week showed the potential for a disaster was there.

Gibbs built this hotrod and handed over the keys. Zorn is the one putting the pedal to the metal.

GhettoDogAllStars 10-08-2008 03:10 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
Good post, Schneed.

SFREDSKIN 10-08-2008 03:17 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
[quote=Mattyk72;487378] Solid defense, a good running game, and good play at the QB position. When you have those 3 things working for you, chances are you're going to be a very good team. [/quote]

The most important thing you forgot to mention that makes the offense function, is a healthy OL with all the original starters

Mattyk 10-08-2008 03:18 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
[quote=SFREDSKIN;487383]The most important thing you forgot to mention that makes the offense function, is a healthy OL with all the original starters[/quote]

Of course, but I was comparing things with last year. A healthy OL with all of our starters was something we didn't have last year.

SFREDSKIN 10-08-2008 03:22 PM

Re: Thank You - An Open Letter
 
[quote=Mattyk72;487384]Of course, but I was comparing things with last year. A healthy OL with all of our starters was something we didn't have last year.[/quote]

Yes I know, but that was the factor for the teams shortcomings and the Gibbs criticism last year and the health of Santana Moss. What a difference a healthy team makes. This is what makes me appreciate more the coaching job that Gibbs performed last year.


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