Redskins' Gibbs says he's here to stay

Coach: 5 years `minimum'

team not going after Moss

Pro Football

February 01, 2005|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Lashing out at critics who questioned his desire and motivation to coach in the NFL again, Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs emphasized yesterday that he plans to stay with the franchise through the end of his five-year contract.

Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl-winning Hall of Famer who guided Washington to a 6-10 record in his first season with the team since 1991, spoke at a hastily organized media briefing at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. He used a considerable amount of time challenging critics who used a comment he had made last Tuesday to suggest that he planned to get out of football sooner rather than later.

Gibbs, a NASCAR owner who handles five race teams, told a media gathering in Huntersville, N.C., last week that he had reservations about returning to coaching during the season and acknowledged that his "time in football will be short."

Yesterday, Gibbs said he meant to say his time would be short if the Redskins did not win more games and that his original comment was misconstrued.

"The thing that does upset me about it is that evidently some people went from me making a simple statement like that and joking about that, and they took it and ran with it," said Gibbs, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract last January. "My commitment to the Redskins is that I want to do every single thing I can to restore the Redskins to winning football games. I would say that my commitment is a minimum of five years."

Gibbs also confirmed the franchise has given wide receiver Rod Gardner and his agent permission to seek a trade. Gardner, the 15th overall pick in the 2001 draft, made 51 catches for 650 yards last season and has surpassed the 60-reception, 1,000-yard mark just once in four years with the Redskins.

Gibbs added that the team would not be involved in the pursuit of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss, who has reportedly been shopped around by the Vikings. It is likely Washington would use the ninth overall pick in the coming draft to select a wide receiver such as Southern California's Mike Williams or Michigan's Braylon Edwards.

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