Joe Gibbs, Charles Mann weigh in on WFT name change

No name is more synonymous with the Washington Football Team’s glory days — and, yes there were glory days — than Joe Gibbs. 

The Hall of Fame coach spoke with 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday to reminiscence about the good times. He also discussed the future — specifically the franchise’s new nickname that will be revealed next Wednesday.

Gibbs coached the franchise for 16 seasons over two stints that included 10 playoff berths, four NFC championships and three Super Bowl wins. He did so with the team’s old logo and nickname front and center as an integral part of the franchise’s identity. 

Joe Gibbs: ‘We’re gonna get behind it’

Host JP Finlay asked Gibbs his thoughts on the name change Wednesday and whether the announcement would be “bittersweet.” Here’s what Gibbs had to say:

“Will it be a little bit bittersweet? Yeah,” Gibbs said. “I grew up in North Carolina, and the only football team we could get on TV was the Redskins. I grew up never thinking I’d ever have a chance to coach them. And everything in my house is Redskins. So I think everybody there that’s a fan, that’s part of our history. 

“But also I think for our fans and all of us that love the Redskins — I feel like I’m the biggest Redskin fan in the world — whatever that name is, we are Washington football fans, and we’re gonna get behind it.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame and Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs discussing a play with Wahington quarterback Joe Theismman (7) during the 4th quarter in the Redskins 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs, seen here with quarterback Joe Theismman in Super Bowl XVII, is ready to ‘get behind’ the new Washington Football Team name. (Nate Fine/Getty Images)

 Washington just wrapped its second season playing as the Washington Football Team after owner Dan Snyder begrudgingly dropped the former nickname that was long criticized as a racist slur. The franchise is slated to reveal the new permanent nickname and logo on Feb. 2. 

Several options have been bandied about, and team president Jason Wright revealed in August that the list had been cut down to three options. Those three options weren’t announced. Wright only revealed that “Wolves” and “Red Wolves” had been taken off the table, citing trademark challenges.

Charles Mann: ‘We crucified’ finalists

But another franchise stalwart got a sneak peak at the finalists along with some other VIPs. Charles Mann won three Super Bowls and earned four Pro Bowl nods terrorizing opposing quarterbacks while playing for Gibbs. He spoke with 106.7 in a separate interview discussing the name change. He’s “not happy” with any of the three finalists. 

“I’m not happy with the name,” Mann said. … “They gave us the three names probably three months ago on a Zoom call, and they asked us about all three of them. We crucified all three names.”

Mann clarified that he is on board with the old name being retired.

“I’m in agreement that they needed to change the name,” Mann continued. “If someone finds it’s offensive, then it’s offensive, and who are we to say it’s not? I get all that. 

“Just like the Wizards. I still hate the Wizards name, but it finally grew on me after a while.”

Mann declined to take the bait when asked to reveal the three finalists.

Christin Hakim

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