His players distracted, Gibbs glad to get away Redskins notes fTC

MINNEAPOLIS — MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Gibbs had an unusual twist on Super Bowl distractions last night.

Although most coaches worry about the distractions of Super Bowl week, the Washington Redskins coach said he felt his team was distracted during practice at Redskin Park yesterday because the players were looking forward to their departure.


"To tell you the truth, I was kind of glad to get going and get up here. I think we'll probably have a little better practices and hope we'll have a little quieter time when we get a chance to get off and be by ourselves," Gibbs said.

He said he hopes to have a "regular work week," except for the players being off for interviews today.


Although Gibbs gave the Redskins some work on Buffalo yesterday, he won't give them what he called the "extensive game plan" until tomorrow. He doesn't want them to get bored practicing for the Bills too soon.

It's the same strategy Gibbs used to blow out the Denver Broncos, 42-10, four years ago.

What the Redskins had that week in San Diego once they got the game plan was three days of intense practices. The Redskins hope to duplicate that this week.

Quarterback Mark Rypien was on the injured reserve list four years ago and only did some work on the scout team impersonating John Elway, but he remembers those practices.

"The thing you remember is that week of practice, the way we went after things. I think that whole week of practice you could kind of see ourselves elevate our level," he said.

He also said he figured quarterback Doug Williams was going to have a good game by watching him in practice.

"Doug was sharp all week in practice. He knew going in he had a lot of confidence," Rypien said.

Williams wound up being the game's MVP. Rypien wouldn't mind duplicating that.


* An inside joke in Washington is that it's always "Redskins weather."

No matter what the weather is -- cold, hot or rainy -- Gibbs always says it's Redskins weather. They always practice outside regardless of the weather.

They'll practice indoors this week, but they easily could practice outside if the weather stays the way it was yesterday when the Redskins and Bills arrived. The temperature was in the 30s with no snow.

* "Indians are people. We are not mascots for America's fun and games," was the message from several Indian groups who passed out a four-page flier protesting Washington's use of the name Redskins.

The release noted that dictionaries say the word Redskin is "offensive" and said they will protest the "racist and ignorant" remarks of Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke. They quoted Cooke as saying: "I find it difficult to accept your statement that Redskins is racist. I am totally out of sympathy with your project."

The groups plan to picket the NFL Alumni Player of the Year awards dinner Saturday night and will march and rally on Super Bowl Sunday.


* Rod Dowhower, the quarterbacks and passing game coach of the Redskins the past two years, could be moving up to an offensive coordinator's job next year. George Seifert, the San Francisco 49ers coach, who lost Mike Holmgren to the Green Bay Packers, and new Minnesota coach Dennis Green reportedly are interested in Dowhower.


Analysis: Green, the fastest man in the NFL, is the Redskins' cornerback who covers the opposing team's top receiver. He has the speed to cover receivers deep all over the field. Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys, who beat him on inside routes, was the only receiver all year to burn Green. The Bills may try the same tactic because even though Reed is usually a deep threat, Green can match any receiver stride for stride down the sidelines. Reed caught 8 passes in last year's Super Bowl, but only gained 62 yards when the Giants used a technique of hitting him after every catch. Green doesn't use that style, but figures to have the edge in this matchup with his speed.