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Q. Why did Joe Gibbs retire with a year left on his contract?

A: Gibbs’ 3-year-old grandson, Taylor, suffers from leukemia. Gibbs wants to be with him and the rest of his family (Gibbs’ wife, Pat, didn’t move with him back to Washington four years ago).

Q. Will Gregg Williams be the Redskins’ next coach?

A: Yes, if the players have any say in the matter. However, Dan Snyder and Gibbs both left the door wide open for an outside hire. And the Redskins must interview a minority candidate under the NFL’s Rooney Rule.

Q. If Williams doesn’t get the job, then who?

A: Ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher is the obvious outside candidate. Redskins associate head coach Al Saunders also has experience as an NFL coach. Other possibilities: ex-Redskins player and current Cardinals assistant Russ Grimm and Southern California coach Pete Carroll.

Q. What kind of shape are the Redskins in for 2008?

A: All the players expected to start next season are under contract, and the Redskins retain all their picks in this year’s draft except the third-rounder. However, they also are $21 million over the salary cap, and half the starters are in their 30s.

Q. If Williams takes over, what happens to Saunders?

A: Redskins sources say the coaches get along well, and Saunders is as well paid as any assistant in the league. But Saunders might not want to work for a coach who had been his equal.

Q. Will Snyder give his next coach as much power as he gave Gibbs?

A: Williams and Saunders, like Gibbs, would want a big say over personnel. Cowher wouldn’t take the job without that power and a pay raise. The question is whether Snyder would give anyone except Gibbs, one of his heroes, so much authority.

Q. What happens to the other assistants?

A: Cowher likely would clean house on the coaching staff and the roster. Williams would keep all of the defensive staff and probably all of the offensive guys, too.

Q. What will Gibbs do now?

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