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Joe Gibbs Post-Game Press Conference

On the victory:

"All of us obviously are thrilled. I have to tell you that Philadelphia played their hearts out from where I was standing. I think they played extremely hard, and they didn't have anything on the line. That says a lot about their coaching staff and their players. It was very hard-fought for us as everybody could tell. They had the upper hand for quite a while, and we had a tough time getting anything done against their defense. They're very, very good on defense. They have a heck of scheme, and they're very well coached. For us, I'd say the whole year thinking back to being 5-6 what do you say? We talked at that time, we got all of the players together and we said that if we lost another game, we'd be out [of the playoffs], and sure enough that's what happened. Had we lost any game in there over the five-game stretch we would have been out of it. For us, it was our players and their guts, determination and character. I think playing at home really helped us in front of our fans. I want to say a big thanks to our fans for all that they did for us to get us here. Tonight I feel humbled and really thankful. The Lord's blessed us with a great bunch of guys. It was a great experience tonight, extremely hard-fought, and I'm just thrilled that we came out on the right end of it."

On the Redskins earning their first playoff appearance since 1999:

"Anytime you get into the playoffs it's a huge deal. I think we play in a division that is extremely tough. I don't know of a tougher division. I think you're battle-tested in [the NFC East] because you play against very good football teams and all it takes is a little bit one way or the other for you to win or lose. We played a lot of very close ballgames. We lost a lot of close ones, and we won a bunch of close ones. I don't know what to say about other than we're just thrilled. It's hard to get into the playoffs, and we just feel blessed that we got in."

On the comeback season of quarterback Mark Brunell:

"I think it's a great story for Mark. If you look into his eyes out there, he's every bit the competitor. He's got a lot of confidence, and everybody knows that he missed four days of work this week. He really only practiced on Friday. I was really concerned, but as the week went along he looked better and better. He went through a lot last year and sometimes that happens. Mark has experienced a lot of things, and I think he really appreciates what's happened this year. He's played extremely well for us. I think in every key game that we've had to have he's scrambled and made some kind of a run out there, and he did it again tonight. I think it's been a big story for not only Mark but all of the players. We don't have many players that have been to the playoffs and we know we're going to have a tough road, but it's a thrill to be in."

On Brunell's play despite being injured for most of the week:

"You're never quite sure. He wears a knee brace all the time, and a matter of fact he thought it saved him last week because he got hit right on it. I think he probably was high on a couple of throws early, but he kept fighting and he kept swinging. I thought on Friday, to be quite truthful, he threw it extremely well. He had four days of rest and it looked like it helped him. I can't say enough about our defense today. They kept us in it, they kept slugging and Philly played extremely well on offense. Special teams did their part, so I thought it was a total team effort. It's kind of fitting for us because we have been kind of a total team all year long. It's been kind of all of us together. There hasn't been any one part that's been outstanding or disappointing."

On the personal criticism he received last year in his first season back coaching in the NFL:

"I felt like this. I was starting all over again and it was my first year back, and to be quite truthful, I felt that there were a lot of other first-year coaches who did a lot better job than I did. You have to understand that if you're [an NFL head coach] you are going to take some criticism if things don't go well. I just feel very fortunate. We worked real hard in the offseason as a coaching staff to do smart things and I think we added some players that helped us. This is a real tough road to hoe up here. Last year, for whatever reason I probably deserved it."

On what makes Clinton Portis a special running back:

"Obviously he's got great ability, but I have to tell you that with his heart he is a competitor from the word go. I mentioned it over and over again, but I don't know of another running back that plays the way he does when he doesn't have the ball under his arm like Clinton does. He's very physical. He'll pass protect and he'll try to hunt people down to get blocks for his buddies. He's very, very aggressive. If you want to know what he wants, all you have to do is walk over to the bench because he tells me. He'll scream two plays at me or three plays. Last week, his comment was, 'It's gut and power if you want to win the game, do you?' And I said, 'Yeah, I want to win the game.' I think he's just very much a competitor. A lot of guys have ability, but very few have that kind of competitive nature to them."

On how the blocking of Portis affects his teammates:

"What happens when you have a back that plays that hard when he's blocking, I think our entire team takes off on that. The quarterback loves it because he knows he's going to get protection. Our linemen say if that guys that tough and he's going to block like that, we're going to block for him in the running game. The receivers, the same thing. I think it's a big deal--how tough he is."

On adjustments that the Redskins made at halftime:

"I don't think there was anything in particular. We just tried to trim things down on offense like we normally do. The defense had a few things that they looked at halftime like they normally do. Our players got together right before they went out and they knew it. They said, we have one more half and we're either going [to the playoffs] or we're not going. It's a tribute to the players. It's the same thing that happened against St. Louis at halftime. It's a tribute to the players that we're here."

On the injuries sustained by Lemar Marshall and Shawn Springs:

"I didn't get a report on Lemar, but Shawn did have to come out. It may be worse, I don't know. That's what the trainers seem to sense."

On the playoff matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

"I think their defense is killers. They were number one in the NFL when we played them last time, and I don't know where they rank now but they've got to be way up there. [Defensive coordinator] Monty [Kiffen] and all of the coaches down there, Coach [Jon] Gruden have them extremely well-coached. It's a tough place to go and play. I thought we played one of our best games down there, but we couldn't win the ballgame down there. We know it's going to be stacked against us, but at least we have the opportunity and the chance."

On whether he was surprised that the Redskins-Tampa Bay regular season game was as high-scoring as it was (Tampa win, 36-35):

"I was, to be truthful."

On the tough task of trying to win five consecutive games:

"It scared me going into this game because trying to win five straight is a tough deal. Human nature being what it is, when you win a few games you feel better about yourself and people bag on you, and then you back off a little bit. Somewhere in there it leads to having real problems. But our guys seemed to understand what it was going to take. Our backs have been against the wall for five straight weeks and they seemed to respond and play better. I think they knew after the Raider game that if we would have lost another game, we would have been done."

On the physical play of Portis:

"He is extremely physical. I go back to this because the very first time we felt we had the chance to trade for Clinton we went and got the films, and if you ask him the plays he likes the best he'll tell you it's inside running. Even though he's very good on the edge and he's got great speed, he is a physical inside runner. From that standpoint, I'm not surprised that he runs that well inside. Even with the crease plays in Denver, if you watched him, he'd start outside for most of them and slam it back inside. He's a good inside runner and I think that comes with being tough. "

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