RICHMOND -- The Redskins teased a special announcement with a press release Friday. New stadium? Uniform changes? Actually, the revelation Saturday wasn't about any forward-thinking plans, but rather about honoring the past. Specifically, the man behind the personnel for Washington's 1980's Super Bowl teams.
Stepping to the podium in all white Redskins gear, Allen introduced former General Manager Bobby Beathard, as the 49th member of the Redskins Ring of Fame.
Beathard served as the Redskins general manager from 1978-88. In that span, he hired an unknown assistant Joe Gibbs for Washington's head coaching job; drafted future Hall of Famers Art Monk, Russ Grimm and Darrell Green and added several other key contributors for a team that reached three Super Bowls and won two during the decade.
The Redskins will officially induct Beathard during halftime of the Week 10 "homecoming" game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Some highlights from Beathard's comments:
On the Redskins
“I was in the NFL a long time with a lot of teams, but our favorite memories were always with the Redskins. ...And in all my years in football, I have never, ever been in an area that has fans like the Redskins have.”
On his draft philosophy
“We did it a little bit different than a lot of people. A lot of people in the league thought I was nuts. Maybe that was true, because I started trading away first-round draft picks and first-round draft picks were valuable. We knew they were valuable, but we figured if it was a draft that we had evaluated before the draft, a group of college players coming out and it was rich in talent, that we could get players in the later rounds, we figured it was worth trading a first-round draft pick away when we could get these players in later rounds. So that was the reason for trading away first-round draft picks."
On hiring Joe Gibbs
“I called Joe and said, ‘Do you want the job?’ He said ‘yeah.’ So, I said, ‘I’ve got some coaches on our staff here at the Redskins that I would like you to keep, you pick some coaches on offense that you want and we will put a staff together.’ So I went into Mr. Cooke and he said, ‘What are we going to do about a coach?’ I said ‘I’ve got a coach.’ He said ‘What do you mean you’ve got a coach? You didn’t even tell me about the coach.’ I said, ‘Well, we haven’t hired him but I got a coach I am thinking of.’ He had some ideas and he said ‘OK, who is it?’ I said ‘Well, you probably haven’t heard of him. It’s a guy named Joe Gibbs.’ He said ‘Joe Gibbs? Who in the hell is Joe Gibbs?’ He said, ‘When we announce a guy named Joe Gibbs, they will crucify me!’...
“So we lost our first four games... I got a call after we had lost a couple games and he said, ‘I want you out at my house to speak,’ and I said, ‘I can’t I’m leaving on a scouting trip.’ And he said, ‘Do you own the team?’ and I said, ‘No sir.’ And he said, ‘You get out to my house right now, and bring your coach. Not my coach, bring your coach out here.’ So he’d ream us out every week. He said, ‘I should fire you both.’ But anyway, we started winning and I’d start to go to his house and he’d bring Joe out once in a while and he’d say, ‘Joe, you’re the coach I always wanted! I told Bobby to get Joe Gibbs – I don’t want you to screw this up. We’ve got to have Joe Gibbs here.’ That was a story I always liked from him.”