Joe Gibbs' fall featured one of the toughest seasons in his career, faced with the death of Sean Taylor, injuries to Jason Campbell, and rising questions about his coaching acumen.
And still, his Redskins rallied. After Taylor's funeral, the team won four straight games to improve their record to 9-7 and clinching the last playoff spot in the NFC.
Gibbs says that his family needs him. One of his grandsons was diagnosed with leukemia about a year ago. He made an overnight trip to North Carolina to spend some time with his family, skipping the postseason routine of meetings that follow the final game of the season.
Gibbs finishes his second term with the Redskins with a 31-36 record including his 1-2 playoff record. He had one more year left on the five year, $27.5 million deal that brought him out of his first retirement from football.
Almost certainly, this is Gibbs' final farewell to the Redskins, a team he's been synonymous with, off and on, for much of the last 30 years. Gibbs coached the Redskins from 1981 to 1992, going 140-65, including his stellar 16-5 playoff run and three Super Bowl wins.
There are three main candidates to replace him as head coach for next year: Bill Cowher, Gregg Williams, and Al Saunders.