January 8, 2008
Just three days after a playoff loss ended one of the toughest seasons of his career, Joe Gibbs is resigning as head coach and team president of the Washington Redskins.
Gibbs will remain as a special adviser to owner Dan Snyder. He is expected to discuss his resignation at a news conference this afternoon at Redskins Park.
Gibbs came out of NFL retirement in 2004 when he signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Redskins. Since then he had a record of 31-36.
Some have argued that his performance as a coach this year was the best of his career. After the death of Sean Taylor on November
27, the Redskins lost a game to Buffalo in which Gibbs was flagged
for a vital 15-yard penalty for trying to call back-to-back
timeouts in the final moments. Gibbs said he wasn't aware of the
rule, giving more fodder to the argument that his game management
skills had waned.
But, following Taylor's funeral, Gibbs and his team rallied to win won the final four regular-season games, going from 5-7 to 9-7 to claim the final playoff berth in the NFC. The emotional run ended Saturday, when the Redskins lost 35-14 at Seattle in the wild-card playoffs.
"It was the toughest (season) for me," Gibbs said Monday.
"When you go through a season like that, for a while it's kind of
hard to re-grasp reality."
Gibbs has also endured a personal crisis for a year. One of his grandsons, Taylor, was diagnosed with leukemia last January at age
2. Gibbs frequently talks lovingly about his "grandbabies," and he made an overnight trip to North Carolina on Sunday to be with his family, interrupting the post-season routine of meetings that usually follow the final game of the season.
The Hall of Fame coach went 124-60 during the regular season and 16-5 during the playoffs during his first term with the Redskins. He won Super Bowls following the 1981, 1987 and 1991 seasons with three
The Redskins will search for a new coach immediately. Among the
certain candidates are two former head coaches on Gibbs' staff,
Gregg Williams and Al Saunders.
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