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News & Notes: Bugel's Daughter Passes Away

It was a somber Thursday at Redskins Park, as it was learned that Joe Bugel's daughter Holly had passed away.

Holly, 35, had been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and was in treatment for months.

"I really feel like every player, coach and person in this organization is sad about the passing of Joe Bugel's daughter," head coach Jim Zorn said.

"Watching him be strong through the illness, and then getting many reports on how Holly battled with the disease, and then to have her succumb to it this morning, it was very sad.

"Our hope is that there can be peace in their family in the midst of this tragedy, and that is the thing everyone is wishing Joe and [his wife] Brenda during a very difficult time in their lives."

Added Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder: "Our hearts and prayers go out to Joe and his family. He will be leaving shortly from Redskins Park to fly out to Arizona. We just want to wish them the best."

Coaches and players learned about Holly's death before practice.

Zorn gathered the team around for a moment of silence

Bugel was at Redskins Park on Thursday morning and coached the offensive line during the morning practice.

He traveled to Arizona afterwards.

"It was surprising that he would be on the football field, but he felt this is where he had to be because of the comfort of his familiar surroundings," Zorn said.

"It was being here around the guys that made him feel comfortable. Everybody rallied around him and showed him the love that we have for him."

It's uncertain if Bugel will be in attendance at this Saturday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

Bugel spent the week of Aug. 11-17 in Arizona with Holly and his family. He had returned to Redskins Park on Aug. 18.

Bugel's players vowed to be there for him, whenever he needed the support.

"We have a real tight family in the building here," right tackle Jon Jansen said. "When you lose a member, it obviously hurts a lot more when you are tight knit.

"But you also know that you have a lot of people around to support you and everybody in this building is going to be there for Coach Bugel, if need be."


As a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks from 1976-84, Jim Zorn frequently competed against Gene Upshaw, the Hall of Fame defensive lineman with the Raiders.

When Zorn heard that Upshaw, who was executive director of the NFL Players Association, had died, he said "it really took my breath away."

"I stopped and thought about the times we played against each other," Zorn said. "He was a tremendous athlete and leader. He was an inspiration to the Oakland Raiders.

"His leadership in the NFL Players Association and the amount of change he created in the NFL was dramatic to say the least. He made a very deep mark in the history of the NFL and he will be greatly missed."


James Thrash is the Redskins' player representative to the NFL Players Association. The 12-year veteran wide receiver spoke about the passing of Gene Upshaw on Thursday.

"Everybody was really shocked," he said. "I think everyone was really just thinking about his wife and his three boys."

The players union made "tremendous strides" under Upshaw, Thrash said.

"From a player's perspective, and what he has done for me personally as a player in terms of benefits, working environment and working conditions--it's unparallelled," he said.

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