By Michael Bennett
The WFT will update street names closely associated with the organization after two prominent members of its Ring of Fame:
Coach Joe Gibbs and the late Sean Taylor.
A street leading directly to an entrance of FedExField will be renamed Sean Taylor Road, and the club’s mailing address at its Ashburn, Virginia, headquarters will change to 21300 Coach Gibbs Drive. The changes come as part of the team’s massive rebranding effort that began with retirement of its former nickname over the summer.
“As we look forward and build a modern identity that everyone can be proud of, it’s imperative that we revere tremendous individuals who have had a positive influence on the franchise and our fan base. There are no two people more deserving than Sean Taylor and Joe Gibbs,” Washington owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “The renaming of these streets along with all of the changes being made to our stadium are just part of our long-term goal of improving every element of the Washington Football Team, both off and on the field.”
A 2004 first-round pick out of Miami (Florida), Taylor was an All-Pro safety with a bright future with Washington that was tragically cut short in 2007. Taylor was just 24 years old when he was shot by intruders at his Miami area home during a botched burglary attempt. He died the next day.
Gibbs coached in Washington from 1981-1992, winning three Super Bowls in that span and compiling a 124-60 record. He came out of retirement to return to Washington’s sideline in 2004, embarking on a second stint that lasted through the 2007 season and saw him post a mark of 30-34. The two-time Associated Press Coach of the Year was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
“It is an amazing honor to have the organization’s mailing address carry my name,” Gibbs said in the same release from the team. “My time with the team was marked by the strength and courage of our players and assistant coaches, both of whom deserve so much of the credit for the franchise winning three Super Bowl titles. Each of those winning seasons started with the preparation and dedication of practices and workouts at our training facility in the off-season. I had total support from Dan during my four years and I want to thank Dan and Tanya for their friendship to Pat and me.
“The organization has made several positive steps recently to include the additions of Jason Wright as president and Julie Donaldson as senior vice president of media and content that will strengthen the team and support of Coach Rivera. Ron has already gained the respect from the players and all of us Washington fans.”