The Washington Redskins' fortunes are about to turn around.
That was Joe Gibbs' message to the team's fans Thursday from the Super Bowl Media Center in New York. The winningest coach in Redskins history believes owner Daniel Snyder will bring the Redskins back to a Super Bowl, and that he made a shrewd hire with Jay Gruden.
"Every time I get a chance to talk about Dan, I try to tell people that when I was there he did every single thing he could do to help me win," Gibbs said, via The Washington Post. "And when we lost football games, it was my responsibility, not his. He did his part. And if it was (midnight) on free agency, he was there with me and we wouldn't leave until 8 in the morning.
"So I really feel like Dan -- all it takes is the right combination," Gibbs added. "If we get the right combination together, I think Dan will do what he needs to do as an owner. That's for sure."
Gibbs won three Lombardi Trophies with the Redskins in the 1980s and '90s before he retired from football in 1992. Gibbs, of course, returned to the team in 2004 under Snyder. While he had some success in his second stint, bringing the team to two playoff appearances in four seasons, his performance paled in comparison to the lofty accomplishments he set in his first run.
So after failed experiments with Mike Shanhan, Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn, among others, the Redskins are on their eighth coach under Snyder's watch. However, Gibbs feels that Gruden could be part of the elixir that heals what ails the long-tortured franchise.
"You pick up on all the things he says and the fact he's actually been running an offense, making the calls from the sideline and he's going to do the same thing with the Redskins. So you have a good feeling about the offense," Gibbs said of Gruden. "And he went out aggressively, went after his defensive staff and special teams. That's a crucial thing to go with his skills because he'll be on offense. I think everybody seems to be excited about it, and I think he is.
Redskins fans can only hope Gibbs' enthusiasm for the next era in Washington is a harbinger of good fortune.