101104joegibbs.jpgThe football faithful in Washington thought this would be the year the Redskins returned to glory. After all, the legendary Joe Gibbs (right) returned from retirement and NASCAR to helm the hapless football team.

But, so far, the Gibbs magic is missing and the Redskins lost their fourth game in a row Sunday night.

We took a break from packing to watch the debacle and hurled a lot of cuss words at the TV screen as the hapless Redskins bungled one opportunity after another. Where, we screamed, is the explosive offense that marks a Joe Gibbs team? Where’s the innovation?

“Gibbs has come under fire for questionable clock management, his usage of coach challenges and his ability to get the team on the same page,” notes USA Today in its Open Letter section. “Has Gibbs thrown dirt on his Hall of Fame credentials with his coaching comeback?”

Damn good question. As someone who cheered Gibbs in his first tenure as coach of the Redskins (winning three Super Bowls) and later as a NASCAR team owner (winning two championships), I believed Gibbs could restore the Redskins to their long-lost glory.

Now I’m not so sure. Yes, it’s still early in the season but the Gibbs we see on the field today is not the Gibbs of old. The offensive spark that always marked a Joe Gibbs team is gone. The NFL has changed — perhaps more so than even a genius like Gibbs can handle.

Looks like this will be a long season for Redskins fans.

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