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Former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard to be inducted into Ring of Fame


Bruce Allen scheduled a team announcement for today, and after some speculation we know it wasn’t about picnics or pants. Former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard will be inducted into the Ring of Fame this year, the 49th person to be honored. Beathard was Redskins GM fro 1978 to 1988.

Beathard will be officially inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime of the Week 10 game against the Minnesota Vikings. This will also serve as the team’s annual “Homecoming” game with a lot of Redskins alumni in attendance.

In total, Beathard appeared in four Super Bowls in the role of general manager, the first three of which came with the Washington Redskins.

Starting on Feb. 24, 1978, when he was named Redskins general manager, Beathard would go on to help Washington earn two Super Bowl titles while accumulating a regular season record of 105-63 before leaving the organization after the 1988 season.

Beathard spoke to the media today, and told some great stories about his decade of service with the Redskins, including the hiring Redskins legend Joe Gibbs:

ALLEN: “So when you told Mr. Cooke that you wanted to hire this guy, Joe Gibbs…”

BEATHARD: “We got rid of Pardee, and then I had a real close friend that I had a lot of faith in, Ernie Zampese, who was a great secondary coach in the NFL. I called Ernie, who was coaching with Joe Gibbs at San Diego, and I asked Ernie if Joe was ready for a head job. He said, ‘Yeah, Joe is ready.’ 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!’ He is talking about not me but he is talking about him. So he did not want us to hire Joe Gibbs. I said, ‘I already told him he could have the job and we have already put the staff together.’

“So we lost our first four games and I would go out, I’d come in Monday with the coaches and look at the tapes – the films of the games – and leave Tuesday to go out to colleges around the country scouting. 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.”

And the drafting of Darrell Green:

ALLEN: “And one more thing for everyone, Bobby was talking – we were joking over a couple brews last night – about really what he thought was his great accomplishment. You were talking about the strike shortened season because you actually had to build two teams in that season. Why don’t you tell them about that?”

BEATHARD: “Well one other thing before that, I’ll tell you about the strike-shortened team. Did I tell you the story about Darrell Green? We had won a Super Bowl, so we had the last pick and I had been down to Texas A&I. It used to be called Texas A&I when Darrell was a corner down there. A little-bitty corner, but he had the fastest 100-meter time in the world that year and all that. I knew that coach down there, Coach [Gil] Steinke, and he had a number of players come out of there. So anyway, I decided Darrell was going to be our guy, if he’s still there. I couldn’t believe he’d still be there. And Richie Petitbon was our secondary coach, our defensive coordinator. I told Richie that I had found a guy and he said, ‘Who is it?’ and I said, ‘I’ll tell you later because somehow it will get out.’

“So we finally get to that part of the draft and I want to take Darrell Green. And I said, ‘Rich, we’re going to take Darrell Green.’ He said, ‘Who in the hell is Darrell Green?’ I said, ‘He’s a corner at Texas A&I.’ He said, ‘What’s he like?’ and I told him, ‘We drafted him.’ He said, ‘Bobby, there’s nobody – nobody – that little that can play in this league.’ And we got Darrell Green and he was even smaller than he thought.”