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Player Problems Nothing New for Gibbs

Apr 17, 2005, 10:10 PM EDT

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Dexter Manley provided big plays and
big headaches

Poooor Joe Gibbs. He just didn’t know what he was getting into when he came back as an NFL head coach. Sure, he can manipulate the X’s and O’s with the best of them, but he has never deal with the likes of today’s modern-day player with the dollar signs in their eyes and huge egos. Nope, players in Gibbs’ day never created any distractions.

Well, that’s what many would have you believe these days. What short memories some writers have. Issues with players, involving money, the law, and other areas, are nothing new to Joe Gibbs. Some examples from Gibbs Era I:

March 1981: Gibbs goes to John Riggins’ Kansas farm to try to talk the flaky running back out of his one-year, contract-driven retirement. Riggo greets Gibbs on the porch not long after sunrise with a just-opened beer in his hands. The coach left not having any idea whether or not he’d talked Riggins into returining–and not sure if he really wanted him back. A few months later, Riggins showed up at camp, proclaiming that he was “bored, broke and back.”

September 1982: The Redskins, along with the rest of the NFL, go on strike.

August 1983: During training campPro Bowl safety Tony Peters was arrested in the wee hours of the morning in the dorm at Dickenson College on cocaine distribution charges. Peters received a two-year suspension

August 1983: Defensive end Matt Mendenhall, who started every game the year before, walks out of camp.

August 1983: Cornerback Jeris White, who started every game the year before, fails to report to camp due to a contract dispute. He never played for the team again.

August 1984: Mendenhall leaves camp again, this time for good.

August 1986: Dexter Manley ends a holdout that lasted all of training camp by signing a new contract.

September 1987: The Redskins, along with most of the rest of the NFL, go on strike. No veteran crossed the picket line, the only NFL team that didn’t have at least one vet participate in the replacement game.’

August 1988: Manley suspended for all of training camp due to a positive drug test.

August 1988: Markus Koch, who was an occasional starter at defensive end, walked out of camp.

August 1989: Defensive tackle Dean Hamel, citing “burnout”, walked out of training camp.

November 1989: Starting cornerback Barry Wilburn is suspended for four games due to a positive test for cocaine.

November 1989: Manley tested positive for narcotics for the third time and was banned from the NFL.

August 1990: A quartet of Redskins–Gerald Riggs, Raven Caldwell, Darryl Grand, and Markus Koch–fail to report for camp due to contract disputes.

August 1993: Mark Rypien misses the first two weeks of camp in a contract holdout; Jim Lachey, Darrel Green, and rookie Desmond Howard didn’t report until the team had broken camp.

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