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Brian Mitchell Retirement Press Conference

-- Joe Gibbs Introduces Brian Mitchell:

"It was kind of funny when Brian signed his contract, it had a space there for agent and I said that I want to be the agent. I want ten percent. In any case it is a fun day for the Redskins and for all of us. I want to make a comment or two about Brian and the fact that we are thrilled. We just went back and met with Dan (Snyder) for a while and talked to him. Dan expressed the fact that he appreciates what Brian has done for the Redskins and so do we."

"Obviously you can read the stats here. Redskin records for most combined yards ever with 16, 900 and most punt returns for touchdown with seven. Then you can take his 13 NFL records that he holds right now. Combined kick return yards over 19,000, combined kick returns, combined kick returns for a TD with 13, kickoff return yards and kickoff returns, punt return yards and punt returns, and fair catches. If you go down through all of that it is pretty remarkable stuff. What is even more important than that and some of the things that I will always remember are the fun things. We were talking about some of our guys in our group, and when I say "our guys" I mean during Brian's years here that he went to Super Bowls with, whether it's Jacoby, Grimm, and all of the guys we think back to. I was telling him I think we are doing pretty well as a group we are doing great out there. Certainly, it is neat to see Brian come back."

"The thing I remember about Brian the most, which tells you a little about his nature and the way he played the game, was that he actually volunteered to run the opposing teams offense, when you run the dummy offense against the first team defense. We would be in practice and he would be over there carrying the ball and you have guys blocking for you that are free agents and you are going against the first team defense. Brian, being the kind of person he is would get upset about things and would be calling out the defense. I mean he is, calling guys names and I am going, 'They are going to kill him.'

The bottom line on that is and I can honestly say this is, he is one of the toughest guys that I have been around. He played extremely tough, it meant a lot to him and he was very emotional when it came to what he put into the game. I think he meant a lot to our team just for those reasons. We had an unusual award around here that I cant mention the name of because it is a little bit off color, but there were only five people ever that we voted into that club and this is one of them. You had to have a 100 percent vote and everybody in the entire complex had to vote for it. There is another one right there. Earnest Byner got one of them."

"The other thing is that he has a hand like a catcher's mitt. So the other thing he could do was throw the football. I don't know if you remember. I am still tying to forget the body bag game but in that game we got down to Brian playing quarterback. I have to tell you he looked pretty good there and I started going 'Maybe we ought to play this guy at quarterback'. I think that tells you a little about Brian. The biggest thing is that we are proud of our history with the Redskins. I think it is one of the greatest sports franchises that have ever been. I think we have people who have made a huge contribution to that. Brian is one of those so it is a real thrill for us that he gets to come back and retire as a Redskin. It is a big deal for us."

-- Brian Mitchell on his career and his retirement

"I think back now and coach has brought up some memories of 15 years ago when I came to the Washington Redskins. It was always the talk of what school you came from and I always would tell people Southwest Louisiana. They would chuckle and things of the sort but they didn't understand. I came from a small school and I was a small person but I had the biggest heart of anyone in this building. I knew back then that by people doubting that I was going to be someone special because I like to prove people wrong. I would say that my 10 years here were great. I left and I would try to do the same things wherever I went because one thing about me is it did not make a difference what uniform I put on. I was always going to be the same person and that is a person that goes out and gives his all.

"I thank Coach Gibbs for giving me the opportunity to come into the NFL. He drafted me and gave me a chance when a lot of people backed off of me because they didn't think I could move from quarterback to another position. I guess they saw something about the toughness. I was not the typical quarterback. I didn't slide or jump out of bounds. I tried to take you out. The Cooke family and everybody that was around helped me to just go on. My 14 years I had a lot of people that helped me along. Even the guys at the Eagles--the Lurie family, Andy Reid--would give me opportunities, as well as the Mara's."

"When I was a rookie Earnest (Byner) took me under his wing. He was like my teacher in the ninth grade. She saw me hanging with the wrong crew and pulled me away from them. I began to watch Earnest and watch everything he did. I would number his moves and try and do everything he did. I keep telling you that I would never have played 14 years without you.

"When I left here it was not a good time or a good thing but you get over things. I went and kept playing. Every time I came home it was Brett and Roger constantly saying that you have to come back. You have to come back and retire as a Redskin. I had a little animosity and say things but I always knew this would be the thing I would do. I thank them for constantly letting me know about the fans and how important it was. When I came back the love I received from the fans in this area and everybody let me know that you can't do it any other way. I walk out now and I have been gone for five years and you would think I am still dressing in the uniform every weekend because I think they understood what I gave them. I gained so much because I watched them and they gave a lot.

When you talk about great fans you can say that Philadelphia is a great organization and you can say the New England Patriots is great. The fans here are just as good and probably the best. They are going to welcome you with open arms whether you are still playing or not. That is why so many guys that retire as Redskins come back to this area because they know they are going to get the love."

"Coach Gibbs and I had a talk earlier and I say some off kilter things sometimes but I mean well. He knows that I want to see this team succeed as much as anyone else. I know if anybody can do it he can. So I want to say Brian Mitchell is retiring as a Redskin and hopefully if I make it to the Hall of Fame one day, people say I will and I hope I do, it would be a great gesture back to this community to say thank you and to go into that arena as a Redskin."

On if he has had any thought about going into coaching:

"To be honest with you, as Coach Gibbs will tell you, I slept in all of my meetings. I would get stuff through osmosis. I don't think the coaching deal is my deal. I want to stay involved with football. That is why I have been doing the radio and TV thing and all of that type of stuff. I want to stay involved and I think I can bring something that a lot of people may not be able to because I lived it and was always there. I am doing some business things now. I think I am going to get involved in football. I am going to try something that no one else has tried. You have heard of the D.C. Divas and I am going to get involved and bring my know-how to them. I watched the ladies play on some film and they have a person on their team who's like LaVar Arrington. It is an opportunity for me to try and do something different."

On if he believes he will make it to the Hall of Fame:

"To be honest with you, I don't know what the criteria is. I would always tell young guys when they come in to leave the best resume you possibly can so someone has to make that decision. I would say that my resume is one of the best. If it happens I would be totally thrilled. I think I deserve it. If it doesn't, I did a lot of stuff. Just like my career. My career did not end exactly how I want. Everybody dreams about running a touchdown and going into the tunnel and winning a Super Bowl. It went a lot better than I ever could have thought. I came into this league as a former quarterback wanting to play four years and played 14. I am thrilled about that. I just hope that the NFL Hall of Fame would view the whole football, it is not just offense and defense, it is the whole team and I think everybody needs to be represented."

On how he went about mending fences with the Redskins organization:

"When I decided this is what I wanted to do and it was over for me, you put pride aside. I made the first phone call. I asked B.J. to get a message to Mr. Snyder for me and that's what happened. He called me back and I was on the golf course and I had to call him back because there was an intense competition going on. I called him back and we talked about it and we both had the same kind of ideas in respect to get it on. As disappointed as I was when I left when you start thinking about it this is the NFL. Nothing is really promised and people are going to move around. I just thought it could have been done a different way but it wasn't and that is history. It made me a better person and a tougher person."

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