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10 For 80: Bobby Beathard

Posted by Andrew Walker on May 23, 2012 – 4:36 pm

Note: The Redskins Blog will be profiling several former players, coaches and team officials eligible to be voted by you, the fans, in this year’s Redskins 80th Anniversary celebration. To vote for Bobby Beathard or your 10 other all-timers to join the already-chosen list of the 70 Greatest Redskins, go to http://www.redskins80th.com/

Who could’ve guessed a man with a surfer-boy image would help lead the Redskins to their most successful period in franchise history?

Former Redskins’ general manager Bobby Beathard was one of the chief architects of the Redskins’ three Super Bowl-winning teams of the 1980s and early 1990s.

His drafting prowess — which included the likes of Art Monk, Russ Grimm and Darrell Green — was second to none, including the Redskins’ 1981 draft class that is regarded as one of the greatest ever.

In his illustrious front-office career, according to Redskins’ historian Mike Richman, Beathard helped lead franchises to seven Super Bowls in four decades.

Beathard caught up with Richman Jan. 8 on his show “Burgundy & Gold Flashback,” and talked about — among other things — the Redskins’ front-office strategies of the glory years:

“Joe and I had agreement — when we brought Joe Gibbs in — that no matter where we took a player, whether it was a first-round pick or a free agent, a kid that wasn’t drafted, that coaching staff has to give them the same chance to make the team. And, boy, they did. … We ended up that first Super Bowl with 19 or 22 kids that we didn’t draft; just signed them as college kids that weren’t drafted, and they coached them just like they were coaching a first- or second-rounder. And because of that, these kids developed into stars. It was the way that Joe and the coaching staff handled all of that, and the scouts that we had seemed to do a very good job evaluating and picking the players for our coaches and our system.”

Beathard also talked about working with team owner Jack Kent Cooke, especially during the team’s 0-5 start to the 1981 season:

“He was a tough guy to work for, but you know what, in my experience, he was the best owner I ever worked with. He was great to us. It was a lot of fun. It was just tough after losing. When we were 0-5 that first year, holy cow, and I had to go out to his house every week and then told Joe (Gibbs), ‘You have to go with me.’ Oh my gosh, that wasn’t fun. I think that scared us out of that rut, and we thought we oughtta win or we have to go out to his house after the games.”

You can listen to Richman’s entire interview with Beathard here:


By the way, that 1981 Washington Redskins’ draft class was recently ranked the seventh best in NFL History.

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