The offseason has begun. And Joe Gibbs is ready.
The Redskins' head coach was eager to get down to work of reviewing his team after one full season, evaluating the crop of free agents and rookies and building on the core group of players.
"A lot of people say you finished the season at 6-10--how can you be excited about this?" Gibbs said. "I'm excited about the offseason and the way we can improve our football team. I'm excited about our defense and how they played all year. I'm excited because, even though we did not have the production we want on our offense, I think that's something we can fix.
"The next six months will be hugely important for us. I talked to our players about the offseason and what we're going to expect from them. I'm going to keep the offseason as limited as possible, but we want everybody here, we want them to go 100 percent and we want 100 percent participation. I think that's what this group will give us, too."
Gibbs said he expects that, by the end of this week, the team will complete a team "depth chart" on both sides of the ball that will determine "what we're going to need and what we're going after, whether it's a backup or a starter."
Through the course of his first season back as Redskins head caoch, Gibbs has been able to pinpoint those players who are going to be core Redskins, or players who will likely be with the team for the next few years.
Even so, Gibbs does not foresee a dramatic overhaul of the roster--not even the addition of multiple starters, something that occurred last season with the Clinton Portis and Mark Brunell trades and the signings of Shawn Springs, Marcus Washington, Cornelius Griffin, Phillip Daniels and Cory Raymer, among others.
Gibbs said the player personnel process would be "more selective" this offseason.
"We have a great locker room and great character," Gibbs said. "Obviously there will be a few isolated areas that we need to fix. And there'll be a couple of things that we'll need to address right away. To come out of the year, the best thing we have is a real solid group of guys to build around."