The Washington Times - March 17, 2008, 01:01PM
coach Joe Gibbs

\ On Gibbs’ retirement:\


\ “It came as a shock to all of us. Obviously everyone in the locker room would’ve loved to have coach [Gibbs] back. I’m sure everybody around here learned something from coach Gibbs. Maybe we didn’t do the things that he set out to accomplish, but at the same time, people became men and learned that from coach Gibbs and that will last a lifetime.”\

\ On new coach Jim Zorn:\

\ “With Coach Zorn on board, I think it’s going to be a more relaxed setting and things are going to open up. I think you’re going to see a lot of players go wild this year. I mean, wild as [in] stats, not trouble. I think there will be more opportunity to open it up and spread it out, get Cooley in great position and Santana. We’ll be exploiting matchups which we really didn’t do a lot of [the past four seasons under Gibbs].\

\ “He’s a relaxed person. Coach Gibbs was a great coach, motivationally and everything else, but he tended to worry. Coach Zorn is just going to let it rip whether it work or not. If it don’t work, he’ll try it again.”\

\ On rumors that his pal, standout receiver Chad Johnson, wants to leave Cincinnati for Washington:\

\ “I talk to Chad a lot. I might call Chad him just to tell him how relaxed we are here Hopeflly, he can get out of Cincinnati and come join us. You always want to play with a guy like Chad. He’s a great guy, very talented. Trying to top his antics week-in and week-out, I’m sure that would bring a lot of excitement.”\

\ What this kind of offense could mean for him:\

\ “[I’ll be] the Tasmanian devil. If [Shaun Alexander] did great in this system, I’m sure I’ll be all right. I just gotta get my wheels back. I’m training with the Olympic team right now [joking]. I’m gonna be flying with sprinter-type speed.”\

\ On having a clear offensive boss as opposed to Gibbs and former associate coach Al Saunders:\

\ “This system will be more like a spread, Denver system, pretty much the same play-calling, the same strategies. One idea, one philosophy, everybody get on the same page. There won’t be people pulling at each other about whatever the call is going to be.”\

\ On offseason preparations:\

\ “I’ve got to [take the offseason more seriously]. I’m getting older [27 in September] and wiser. I’m trying to work on team unity. A lot of the guys are here [today]. I’m sure over that over the next week, everybody will be around. It’s an early jump and we’re having fun.”\

\ On the absence of late safety Sean Taylor, whose locker netx to that of Portis remains encased in plexiglas:\

\ “Sean’s not here. You can talk to him, but he won’t respond. You come to work with a different attitude. You don’t have a day to waste. You come in every day and make the most of it.”\

\ On the NFC East rival New York Giants winning the Suiper Bowl\

\ “At first, I didn’t want them to win, but then I found myself cheering for them. It just gives us all the hope in the world. We basically ran over the Giants, dominated both games [ in 2007]. For them to go and win [the Super Bowl], show us where we at. … If we can come together and get on the same page like they did, that can be us this year.”