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Transcript: Gibbs Retirement Press Conference

Head Coach Joe Gibbs

"Let me say up front that I'm sure I am going to leave a lot out. This probably won't come across as smooth as I want it to. I have so many people to thank and so many feelings that I want to get across to everybody so I say first of all, it has been a long three days. I apologize up front if I don't get across exactly what I want to say. I want to say for Dan (Snyder, Redskins Owner)--he really didn't want this to happen. I really appreciate him, again, over this last day and a half. I also apologize for the timing on this and the way everything took place. I want to give everybody my reasoning and feeling and what happened so that maybe it makes a little bit more sense."

"I was so focused on the fact that I really thought we were going to go all the way. I was so focused on the season, everything was going to happen. I think our team felt the same way. [I am] so proud of our guys. The way they fought. They way we played in those last four games of the season and I really was totally focused on just that. I thought we had a great chance. I know our coaching staff and all the guys were working extremely hard. All of us were totally devoted to giving ourselves the best chance to go all the way. I felt like that was a real possibility. The Seahawk game obviously was a shock for all of us. None of us liked the way that happened. Then of course we get back early in the morning, and as I mentioned the next day, what Dan and I had both talked over, we were totally focused on our free-agency, the players that we needed to talk to. The next day at the team meeting- I want to say to all of our players, I apologize to them for not getting to say something to all of them, but at that point I was not in any position where I felt like I was ready to say anything. We had the players meeting, Dan and myself spoke to the players, most of them, in the afternoon."

"At that point I ran home. I felt like I wanted to talk to Pat (wife) and JD (son) and Coy (son), Melissa (daughter-in-law), Heather (daughter-in-law), (grandchildren) Jackson, Miller, Jason, Taylor, Ty, Elle and Case. I have been pretty fortunate only having two boys, I have a pretty good row there and we have one on the way too, so whatever his name is going to be. I had real good visits with everybody. At that point, when I started back to DC and got on the plane that afternoon, I kind of had a real strong feeling in my heart of what I felt like I should do."

"I want to stop right there and just say that my feelings, I love the Redskins. I am a Redskin. I am a Washingtonian. So much of our life, Pat and the kids and as we grew up here and they grew up here, the youth home- which is a huge part of our life- so this is what we love and this is where we want to be. I felt like also another part of me with the family and everything there in Charlotte. I think everybody here is aware of the fact that when I originally came here four years ago, my family situation since then has dramatically changed. Some of you followed that and know what I am talking about. Having gone through that change, this job and the only way that I know to do it is you're going after it night and day. It is something you think about all the time. Dan and the coaches here all know, they certainly pay a huge price. As you go through that, during the season it really takes every minute. In the off-season every time you sit down, you think about something, you are always saying to yourself, at least I am, 'I really shouldn't be sitting here, I should be doing something for the Redskins.' I think the thrill of it is just that- it's how hard it is. I loved it. I think it is one of the all-time great opportunities in the world, is to be the coach of the Washington Redskins. The greatest sports franchise in the world. The greatest fans in the world and a place where football is really, really important. That is the way I tried to treat it."

"Knowing when I came back from that visit and having visited with the family, I knew that, and I told Dan, that if I sat down, if I do this, then obviously there is no turning back. You go as hard as you can because so many people count on you. Having weighed that, I felt like what I wanted to talk to Dan about, and I apologize for the awkwardness of yesterday's press conference because we hadn't had a chance to talk yet. So, I went through that press conference and we talked a little bit and then last night Dan and I went until about 2 o'clock or 2:30 in the morning. He is one of the few guys I think can keep up with me at night. As we went through that process and I shared with him that I felt like with my family and what I felt with them- I have always said that the most important thing I am going to leave on this earth, Pat and I, are going to be our kids, our grandkids and the influence you have on others. My family situation being what it is right now, I told him that I just did not feel like I could make the kind of commitment that I needed to make going forward this year knowing what my family situation was and I felt like they needed me. Dan, we had great conversations last night, and talked late in the night. At that point, sometime real late there, I think he kind of felt what I was feeling and understood. I don't think he necessarily agreed with it, but certainly I think he felt like and he understood what I was saying to him."

"I want to say to Pat, I really appreciate her, and my whole family. They grew up with me. I don't know how hard it is- I can tell you this, being the son of [a coach] is a tough deal. I appreciate my boys and Pat. I drug her through so many things. I can remember every day when I left the house, I would always say to her, 'You realize this is the most important game of our life.' I think after a while she got fed up with that. She said, 'Okay, I've had it with that.' Then when I went off and started in racing I said 'This is an important race' she goes, 'Shut up, we're not going through that again.' I appreciate my family and everybody going through that. Now I think it is time for me to have a chance to be with them."

"Having said that, I want to say and talk for just a minute because I think it is real important. I went through four years with Dan. He gave me this opportunity. Obviously I want to say a big thanks to Tanya (Snyder), Michele (Snyder), Bob (Rothman), Dwight (Schar), Arlette (Snyder) and Fred (Smith), our ownership team here. I want to say a big thanks to all of them. What I got to experience in four years- what happens in football and the coaching staff, the reason why you wind up so close with the coaches that you have here is because in life, you may go 10 or 12 years with a friend and not know what kind of friend he is or she is because you haven't been through tough times. In football, you're going to go through tough times. Over that period of four years--I never had one excuse here, never one excuse. Every single thing we wanted, a great partner in sitting and talking about all the decisions we made because here, in the period of time over the last four years, we made the decisions together. I say a big thanks to Vinny (Cerrato, Vice President of Football Operations) and his staff and everybody there in the scouting organization, we made decisions together. It was never one person."

"Over that period of time of four years I got to witness a lot about Dan. First of all, I'll give an example, last night when we were sitting there talking, he was going through every coach, everybody really in the football end over here, by name, knew them, talked about them, cared about them and he cares about this franchise. For me personally, as we embarked on that I leaned a lot on Dwight (Schar) when I first came here because you don't know somebody until you go to work with them. Working with Dan as I started out, we went through some tough times. I can remember just six weeks ago when I was probably at my lowest point and he came to me right outside the press room before I came in and talked to everybody here and encouraged me. We have been through some tough things together. That makes for a life-long friendship. I appreciate him and I can honestly say he has a winner's heart. He wants to win. For everybody here in Washington, I want to say, I witnessed it, I saw it, I was a part of it and I think Dan cares about winning. He cares about this organization. He loves the Redskins. He knows he owns one of the most prized possessions in all of sports. To Dan, I just say a big appreciation for those times. I really appreciate the good times and certainly appreciate his support as we went through everything. We developed a relationship that is one of those things that we'll be able to carry on for a lifetime."

"About 2:30 this morning we reached an agreement of what to do. As a part of that, I want to say to everybody here, I probably had the greatest job in the world for fifteen years. I told Dan, I was kind of totaling it up, he was kidding me because he was saying 'You're young, you're young.' And I was saying, 'Do you realize if I live to be the normal age for a human being, I would have spent the last five percent of my life with you and in that room locked between those walls where I can hear the commode wash and everything else going on up and down the hall and hearing Coach Breaux (Offensive Coordinator) eat ice and all the other things I go though.' It is not a thrill. I tried to give him my appreciation. Then, when you stop to think about it, I have actually spent 15 years here with the Redskins. It is the greatest job in the world and probably is about 20 percent of my life and I couldn't have had a better time. It is one of the great experiences in the world and I want to thank everybody here."

"Our fans, I just want to say to our fans, to all of you that encouraged me, and always gave me the thumbs up- they might have been calling me some nasty names on Sunday in front of the TV, but they were pretty good and friendly when they saw me. I want to say to the fans here, we have the greatest fans in the world. They are always there. It doesn't matter what the weather is. A battle-tested fan that understands good football, that appreciates this franchise and that stood out here at four o'clock in the morning and welcomed us home in freezing temperature. I saw them at different times standing on top of the cars at Redskins Park, caving in our roof tops when we came back from Super Bowls. The greatest fans and the greatest sports franchise in the world- I want to thank them for the ride. I want to say to them, I was always treated better than I deserved in Washington. I just appreciate them and what I got to experience with them. I still remember Pat talking about the guy that used to get up in front and do the hula every time we scored a touch down and all the things that we get to take with us for our whole life, JD and Coy and everybody and all of us experiencing all of the things that we got to enjoy here in Washington. I tried to paint a picture of that. Thanks to our fans."

"I mentioned that the front office here, all the support people and everybody here--I'm not going to get into names, I mentioned Vinny (Cerrato, Vice President of Football Operations) because we work so closely together on personnel and some of the decisions that we made. I think it has been proven that we made some real good ones. I appreciate them, everybody in the front office. The one person that I do give a big thumbs up to is Cindy (Mangum, Coach Gibbs' Assistant). She was with me in racing. I always used to laugh because Cindy used to always say in racing, 'These people are crazy.' We would get a few notes and few things every now and then. She came up here and we were here about two weeks and down the hall and I am knock down screaming at the coaches. We are having a fight about 12 o'clock in the morning. She walked down there, she stuck her head around the corner and she goes, 'You guys are crazy.' Then, when some of the phone calls came in from the fans, she goes, 'These people are nuts.' So, I appreciate Cindy and her coming up and spending the four years with me and keeping me straight. I said I have an easy life. I get up in the morning and do what Pat tells me. I come into work and do what Cindy tells me, so I live a pretty easy life. I want to say a particular thanks to her and everybody else here at the complex. I'm not going to get into the coaches. Obviously, we have gone to war. I think we have an unbelievable coaching staff. People that care, that work so hard."

"To the players, I had a chance, even though I didn't get a chance to talk to the players in the group, I have had a chance to talk to a lot of players individually. I will be here ongoing for a long time, as long as Dan wants me here, going through the process and everything. I will hopefully get a chance to individually meet with all the players. A lot of them came in today. I had great conversations with them. I want to say to our players here, I think we all feel the same way. Now, I don't want to go out and try and paint a picture here that is going to get the next coach in trouble, but I definitely feel like we have the things in place here to do what we want to do. Over the last four years, you talk about the first year was a typical start up year. The second year was just fantastic. I appreciate all those players. We had a real disappointment the next year. I talked about some of the mistakes that I made. I think we learned from those mistakes. As a group, I remember sitting and talking with Dan and we crafted a plan with all the coaches here and the scouts and Vinny and everybody working hard. We said this is what we need to do. We turned around. I felt like last year, sometimes in life you make big comebacks and I think we did that. I think we have a lot of the pieces in place. I personally want to be a part of that. I want to see it finished. Dan has been gracious to me. I feel like my friendship with him will go on forever. Anything he wants I would always do. Also, for the Redskins, I want to do anything I can to try and help us achieve the goal we want to achieve here. Our fans deserve a winner. Our fans deserve championships. I want to be a part of seeing that that comes to fruition. That is a little bit of how I feel about going forward"

"I mentioned the Youth for Tomorrow. Pat and I and everybody in this community plan on being here. I am a Washingtonian. Even though from times I will be in Charlotte traveling back and forth with the family. I just really want to say a big thanks to everybody. I know I left a lot out. I just hope that my heart came across to everybody here on how I feel about this. The last thing I want to say, it has been amazing for me to experience the fact that- we serve such a wonderful God that looks down and most cases takes a very average person, a physical education major in my case, with ballroom dancing and hand ball, and blesses him with some of the greatest experiences anybody could every have on earth. I have been blessed beyond belief. I want to say thanks to the Lord for letting me be a part of this and I want to say a personal thanks to all of you."

Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder

"There are three words that keep coming to mind. Falling asleep last night thinking about Joe. The first word is appreciation, tremendous appreciation. The second is admiration and the third is respect. I know from working so close with Joe, all the coaches, the scouts, the organization that they so, so much, and we all so much, respect Joe, admire him and have an appreciation for him. The players, they would go through a wall for this guy. The bond that he created here is very, very special. They really, really appreciated every day with him and have such admiration, such respect for him. The community, the fans, best in the world and they know he is the best in the world. His family, my wife Tanya has gotten to know his wife Pat so, so well. They are constantly text- messaging back and forth all the time, in constant communication about us and all the things we are always trying to do in football and rooting us on. Great, great people. Great family. This is something that no one wanted to see happen, but all of us respect it and understand it. Joe will always be the best of Washington."

Head Coach Joe Gibbs

"I mentioned leaving out a lot. I saw Joe Jacoby in the back. Dan has great appreciation for this too, because of this franchise; it's our players from our first go around. I really appreciate those guys. A bunch of them coming back and being a big part of what the Redskins have been about and in this community we are proud of all of them. I want to say a big thanks to them, too. I appreciate each and every one of them. Joe, I appreciate you kind of representing them. I know there are a bunch of others maybe here that I am missing."

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