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When Joe Gibbs stepped down as Redskins head coach after the 1992 season, he didn’t just leave his shadow on the sidelines. In the 11 years since, five different coaches have stood in the Skins’ locker room, stared down the microphones, and tried to answer the same question: “What happened out there, coach?” Their explanations and apologia offer a tidy recap of the Gibbs interregnum. —Josh Levin

Richie Petitbon, 1993 (4-12)

Oct. 10, 1993

Lost to Giants 41-7, the worst loss in RFK history:

“We obviously got our ass kicked. We were beat in every department. I think this may have been the longest day I ever spent at RFK Stadium. From the coaching staff right down to the players, we obviously stunk.”

Norv Turner, 1994–2000


Nov. 23, 1997

Tied Giants 7-7;

QB Gus Frerotte sprained neck

head-butting a wall after TD:

“I never thought to tell a guy not to do that.”

Oct. 18, 1998

Lost to Vikings 41-7:

“Offensively we’re just totally inept. We can’t snap two plays together in a row and not jump offsides. When we do get the ball snapped properly and a guy’s open, we can’t get him the ball. When we get him the ball, he doesn’t catch it. We’ve got guys going the wrong way. We’re just not capable of performing offensively right now.”

Terry Robiskie, 2000 (1-2)

Dec. 10, 2000

Lost to Cowboys


“All week, we talked about focus. We talked about competing. We talked about coming out here to fight a war. We didn’t do that. Obviously I’m responsible.”


Schottenheimer, 2001 (8-8)

Sept. 30, 2001

Lost to Chiefs 45-13:

“I’m as disappointed as I have been at any time in my coaching experience. I don’t think I’ve ever been through anything like this. It just deepens my resolve, to be honest with you. It really does. It’s going to be a lot of hard work. But if that’s all it takes, then we’ll get it done.”

Steve Spurrier, 2002–2003


Nov. 23, 2003

Lost to Dolphins


“[Tim Hasselbeck] deserved to be a winner tonight. But it didn’t work out tonight for all of us. We’re all losers now.”