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Gibbs Lays Groundwork For Offseason

Now that the Redskins have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, team officials have begun to cast an eye toward evaluating the roster.

Head coach Joe Gibbs said that he expects to meet with coaches and scouts shortly after this Sunday's season finale against the Minnesota Vikings to mull over the talent level and forge a cohesive offseason strategy.

"The thing we're going to do next week is, we're going to get everything we need to get squared away with the players on Monday," Gibbs said. "Then we're going to have Tuesday meetings and we're going to lay out everything where we think we stand."

Gibbs suggested he expects the team to identify need areas next week.

"We've got to be geared up for, where can we help the team the most?" Gibbs said. "So by the end of next week, our goal is to have it all listed and then progress from there."

"We have a great group to build around. We have great character. We have a great locker room and I give a lot of credit to our veteran guys for keeping everybody together."

Gibbs and the coaching staff have fostered a team that has battled hard every week. The players' attitude and work ethic makes losses like the one on Sunday to Dallas especially heart-wrenching. The Cowboys won the game 13-10 on a 39-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left.

"I feel bad for everybody because I think we fought extremely hard," Gibbs said. "We didn't get the victory and that is about as tough as one that I have gone through with everybody in the organization.

"These are tough lessons and I think maybe the best part of this is as you learn the different lessons that our football has to learn--about finishing the game, not turning the ball over earlier in the year, and our penalty situation--I think we're going to have a real burning desire to win football games at some point."

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