Joe Gibbs resignation today will have an obvious ripple effect through the coaching staff and resonate for years to come throughout the organization. It was difficult enough to witness Gibbs departure the first go around. I recall that Steve Buckhantz was one of the first to discover and break the story. This time around there was no story to break. Joe Gibbs announced his resignation as not just coach, but also as President of the Washington Redskins.
Joe's influence, integrity, and coaching ability can't be matched but only goals to strive for in a future coach. Not since Gibbs last coached the Skins have the organization, structure, players, and coaches had such a philosophy of winning that everyone believed in and bought into.
Some may have questioned his coaching ability in his second term, but this time around Joe had more pressure and bore more challenges and more responsibility then his first term. He successfully brought back a Redskins tradition of football and winning. He brought back a team with heart and will power. Joe brought back most of the structure that was in place when he left after his last super bowl victory that was in disarray from John Kent Cooke, Charlie Casserly, and Dan Snyder.
Joe assembled some of the best coaches in the league and was able to get more out of a team during injuries and tragedy than most other coaches. Joe was able to find 'his' guys. He found smart guys and guys with heart. He was able to mold role players into players that were able to provide valuable minutes and start when needed. This is a proud signature of a Gibbs team and hall of fame coach.
The most disheartening aspect of Gibbs departure is he will no longer be President of the team. Just as the Redskins wandering in the wilderness appeared to be over and the time in purgatory was coming to an end, Joe has called it quits.
After this season ended, it appeared that the future was bright and the real hopes of true contention returned with some help at a couple of key positions and renewed health along the team. This was not to be just as Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey would draw near home, the heavens would open up and blow his ship away or the sea would swell up and cast him far from home, the mission of returning to greatness isn't complete.
Whether Joe felt the time was right to step down as coach this season or next, a decision as President to undertake the last step necessary to return to glory by bringing back the position of General Manager by a qualified and competent individual has been missed. With the departure of President Gibbs a vacuum of power within the organization now exists.
The challenge facing the team and owner now is about resisting temptation and make the smart decision not the flashy decision. For an owner who cares deeply about winning, the winning decision is bringing back the GM position and demoting Vinny Cerrato to scouting talent and leave the decision making to great decision makers.
As we look back on Joe Gibbs, no one can argue much like the first time he left the team is his devotion to family. Family always comes first with Joe and he has given the Redskins family that includes players past and present and all of their fans plenty to remember. His legacy shouldn't be tarnished, but just as shiny as when he first left. He restored what it meant for players to wear the burgundy and gold and how to play the game of football. This was absent between his two terms and no one should forget this fact. Thank you Joe Gibbs for making watching Redskins football fun, again!