When Joe Gibbs Faced Mike Shanahan

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 5:09 pm

Writing over at the Redskins.com mothership, Larry Weisman notes that Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan are “two of a kind,” and recounts this exchange from today’s joint media availability:

“I wouldn’t give him any advice,” Gibbs said. “Mike’s a proven product in the NFL. You know what’s exciting is he’s got a formula, a scheme, he’s been super-successful. I’ve always really had great respect for him. I used to say, ‘I don’t think I beat you in anything.’ “

To which Shanahan replied: “I just remember 28 points scored in that second quarter. I’m not sure about the rest of it.”

Shanahan was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator for Super Bowl XXII, and that second quarter was as catastrophic for him as it was euphoric for Redskins fans. It makes sense that that’s what he’d remember. But the two weren’t matched up as competing head coaches in that Super Bowl.

That happened only once, in their most recent — and final — onfield meeting.
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Joe Gibbs Has A New Coaching Gig

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 3:02 pm

Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs was at Redskins Park today for the Kick-Off Breakfast for his Youth For Tomorrow organization; when he was done, he and Mike Shanahan came out and briefly addressed the media.

Gibbs began the talk by announcing that college football coaching legend Lou Holtz would be speaking at the Youth For Tomorrow Burgundy and Gold Banquet coming up in April. He thanked Coach Shanahan for speaking at today’s breakfast, and Redskins owners Daniel Snyder and Dwight Schar for supporting Youth For Tomorrow.

And he reiterated — as he always does — just how big of a Redskins fan he is these days. “We’re excited about this year,” he said, “and I’m just excited about being here, being around Redskin Park. I get jacked up when I get around here.”

Then, just before turning the mic over to Shanahan, he dropped this bombshell on the media throng. “I’m still coaching,” he exclaimed. “I’m coaching my eleven year old grandson, okay?”

But don’t think that Joe Gibbs — he of the three Super Bowl rings and the bust in the Hall of Fame — is now the head coach of a Pop Warner football team. Not at all.

“The first thing that happened to me was I got out there with them,” he explained. “My son J.D.’s the head coach, so he told me, ‘You’re the assistant coach.’ And I said, ‘Okay.'”

That’s right: he’s not even the head coach. He’s an assistant coach. A multiple-Super-Bowl-winning, all-time-great, Hall of Fame Pop Warner assistant coach.

So I get out there and I’ve got these kids all looking at me like this. They’re all over the place, picking their nose, they’re looking at everything. They don’t know who I am, they don’t care who I am.

Not that the team particularly cared about his pedigree. “I get out there and I said, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘Everybody get in your stance and take your proper split here.’ And they all looked at me and went” — he made a befuddled face — “and I went, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m used to messing up thirty year-olds, not these guys.'”

Then he told this story:

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Mike Williams Is Relieved Not To Be An Offseason Story

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 11:46 am

Today, in Cheap Irony For Dummies, an offseason story about how glad Mike Williams is not to be an offseason story.

For a stretch during last year’s offseason, Williams was the only thing going. He showed up at Redskins Park weighing northward of 400 pounds, and the next thing you knew there were blog posts about bison meat and graphs with his head on them. Then the season started and Williams moved from position to position, sometimes looking like a guy who had been out of the league, other times looking like he was starting to settle in. The whole time, though, the story was that he was a guy who had lost a bunch of weight.

This offseason, though, is much quieter for Williams. He’s got his deal signed already. There are no writers analyzing his choice of food. No long diet plans or calls for a personal chef. No graphs with his head on them. And he’s okay with that.

“That’s pretty much last year’s story,” Williams told me. He declined to reveal his current weight — “I’m definitely nowhere near where I was when I came in in April, put it like that,” he said — but he looks like a completely different guy. Leaner, with a bit more muscle definition than previously. Oh, and the jacket he’s wearing is baggy and ill-fitting, because he hasn’t replaced his whole wardrobe from a year ago.
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Redskins Sign Rex Grossman

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 9:44 am

Today was bound to be a big day for quarterbacks from the University of Florida, but this is a little unexpected. The Redskins have signed quarterback Rex Grossman; terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Grossman has had a strange NFL career: he’s only started more than eight games in a season once, but that year he led the Bears to a 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl XLI while throwing for 3,193 yards. Two seasons later, he was holding a clipboard behind Matt Schaub in Houston, where got into one game and went 3-for-9 with an interception.

That one-year stint in Houston probably explains a lot about this signing, though: Grossman’s offensive coordinator there was a young up-and-comer named Kyle Shanahan. Grossman knows the system, and it’s not unusual for a new coach to bring in one of his guys in a backup role to help demonstrate how he likes things done. (In fact, that’s how Todd Collins got to town, as a guy who was familiar with Al Saunders’ system.)

If nothing else, I’m thrilled with the signing because it led me to find this hilariously dramatic over-the-top video of Grossman’s career highlights. Any excuse to listen to “Eye Of The Tiger” is a good one.

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