"I thought of
it at the end of the third quarter," he said. "But with 9:52 left I
thought I'd give David one more series. Then they held it for seven
In the press room
they were murmuring that Gibbs, in his second year as an NFL coach, had
outcoached Shula, that he had accomplished something against a Bill Arnsparger
defense that almost never happens—he had beaten it primarily with one man,
Riggins. They mentioned to Gibbs that in one three-week series he had beaten a
trio of coaching legends: Bud Grant, Tom Landry and Don Shula.
Gibbs took off his
glasses, rubbed his eyes and smiled. The ghosts of last year's heroes, the
49ers and Coach Bill Walsh, might have been whispering to him to be careful.
"The truly great people in this profession are great for years and
years," he said. "Let's see how I am in 10 years."
Riggins, Coach?" someone asked, and this time there was no hesitation.
John Riggins apart," he said, "is a champion's heart."