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Gibbs On HOF Game: 'It'll Be Special'

Joe Gibbs said Tuesday that participating in the 2004 Hall of Fame Game will be a "great experience," not only for himself but also the entire team.

The Redskins will play the Denver Broncos in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Monday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. EST. The preseason game will be broadcast to a national audience on ABC.

It will be the first time Gibbs returns to the coaching sidelines for a NFL game after departing the league in 1993.

Gibbs, of course, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 after leading the Redskins to three Super Bowl championships in the 1982, 1987 and 1991 seasons.

"I think back to the Hall of Fame--it was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had," he said. "It was a great weekend and being a part of that was a thrill. Going back, getting to coach in the Hall of Fame Game, it'll be special."

"Preseason will mean a lot to us," Gibbs added. "I know a lot of people say nothing means less than preseason--and I go along with that to a certain extent. But for us preseason will be extra special because I'll be going for the first time with our players."

The Redskins will play five preseason games in 2004. After the Hall of Fame Game, the team hosts Carolina at FedExField (Aug. 12-16, date/time to be determined), then travel to Miami (Aug. 19-23, date/time to be determined). The Redskins will head to St. Louis to play the Rams on Aug. 27 at 8 p.m., then return to FedExField for a game against the Atlanta Falcons (Sept. 2-5, date/time to be determined).

In addition to the Redskins-Broncos game, the Hall of Fame will enshrine John Elway, Barry Sanders, Carl Eller and Bob Brown that weekend.

The ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 8, a day before the Redskins-Broncos game. As is customary, the four new inductees are expected to be in attendance at the Hall of Fame Game.

Gibbs said Tuesday that he still hopes that wide receiver Art Monk eventually gets into the Hall of Fame. Monk fell short of induction into the Hall of Fame last January, although he made the list of the final 15 inductees.

"I felt like he deserved it and I was hoping he would get in," Gibbs said. "I think there was a good presentation made on his part. But what I tried to tell people when Art got presented was that he sacrificed for the team because he was the inside receiver. A lot of his passes were inside where you're going to get hit a lot and not get as many yards per catch.

"I certainly feel like he was one of the premiere [wide receivers]," Gibbs added. "I had two of my players just this morning walk by and mention Art Monk to me. Art's a big part of the Redskins and a big part of what we stood for when I coached here before [from 1981-93]. Hopefully he'll get in."

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