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Gibbs, Turner Share Much In Common

Joe Gibbs and Norv Turner presided over distinctly different eras in Redskins history, but both made their mark on the franchise.

On Sunday, Gibbs and Turner will be on opposite sidelines, Gibbs back with the Redskins and Turner as head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

Gibbs, of course, won three Super Bowl championships from 1981-92.

Turner, offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys and architect of an offense that won two Super Bowls, was hired to help rebuild the team in 1994. He lasted seven seasons and posted a 49-59-1 regular-season record.

The early part of Turner's tenure was shaped by the Heath Shuler-Gus Frerotte quarterback controversy. The latter part was shaped by an ownership change, the development of Stephen Davis as one of the top running backs in team history, a playoff season in 1999 and the pressure of Super Bowl expectations in the 2000 season.

Gibbs said on Wednesday that although he does not know Turner well, he has great respect for him.

In the 1970s in San Diego, and again last season in Washington, Gibbs worked with Ernie Zampese, who tutored Turner in the late 1980s when both were in Dallas.

"Ernie had great respect for him," Gibbs said. "I have always kind of admired Norv. He is one of those guys in our profession who has been very professional. He has a great reputation as far as calling plays and being an offensive coach. He worked here for a long time. I think there is a mutual respect there."

Turner will be making his return to FedExField for the first time since Dec. 3, 2000, when the Redskins lost 9-7 to the New York Giants.

It was the Redskins' fourth loss in five games and dropped the team's record to 7-6 in a season with Super Bowl expectations.

Turner was fired the next day.

The following year, he signed on as offensive coordinator with the San Diego Chargers, then served in the same capacity with the Miami Dolphins for several seasons. Oakland hired him as head coach in 2004. The Raiders were 5-11 last season and enter Sunday's game against the Redskins with a 3-6 record.

On Wednesday, Turner was asked by Washington, D.C., media if this week's game against the Redskins at FedExField would be an emotional one.

"I wouldn't be truthful if I said no," he said. "I spent seven years with the organization, and the last four were in that stadium. The thing I always go back to were the people and the experiences I had. We had some great times. My family was raised in Washington, my kids went to school there, and we have an awful lot of friends there in football and out of football. That part of it, being there for the weekend, I'll think about."

The 1999 season, in which he coached Washington to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title, is perhaps Turner's fondest memory of his time in Washington. That squad defeated the Detroit Lions 27-13 at FedExField in the first round of the playoffs, but narrowly lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Playoff round.

"We had some great experiences at FedExField, such as winning the playoff game," he said. "Beating Detroit was a great night for me and my family."

What kind of welcome does he expect from the FedExField crowd on Sunday?

"Good question," he replied. "You never know. It's hard to give you an answer because I haven't given it much thought."

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