The Washington Redskins are ramping up preparations for their 81st campaign, looking to defend their NFC East crown after an improbable seven-game winning streak to end the 2012 regular season. Five of those wins came against division foes.
Winning a second consecutive division crown is certainly on the team’s goals sheet for the 2013 season, but this team has their sights set on a bigger prize.
The first two Super Bowl team’s were assembled by Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs and general manager Bobby Beathard.
Beathard’s hiring of Gibbs is hands down one of the great moves in franchise history as the Burgundy and Gold dominated the NFC during the 1980’s.
Find out what Beathard had to say about prying Gibbs away from the San Diego Chargers and tapping him to be the lead man of the Washington Redskins here:
Beathard took over general manager duties for the Redskins in 1978 along with Jack Pardee after he was hired to be head coach.
Pardee struggled during his three-year tenure at the helm, going 24-24 in 48 games and failing to make the playoffs. After being let go, the Redskins were looking to find their twentieth head coach in franchise history and Beathard was put in charge of the search process.
Gibbs was the offensive coordinator for the Chargers for the 1979 and 1980 seasons. During his two years in Southern California, the Chargers went 23-9 and ranked in the top-five in total offense. In 1980, San Diego averaged 400 yards of offense per game, nearly 25 more yards than any other team.
With Joe Theismann, Joe Washington, John Riggins and Art Monk, the Redskins had a plethora of talented offensive weapons that were ready to trample opponents. The final piece to the puzzle was hiring a football mind that could construct an offense that utilized the potency of the offense. Beathard found one in Gibbs.
“I called Joe, they were going to be in the playoffs and I called [Chargers] coach [Don] Coryell and I said ‘Don what do you think of Joe?’ and he gave me his endorsement which I had appreciated. I called Ernie Zampese who I had a lot of faith in and he said the same thing,” Beathard said when he talked to the Chargers brass. “So I talked to Joe and said ‘Look if you guys lose this playoff game I’m going to be there. We’re getting on a plane and coming back to meet [Redskins Owner] Mr. Cooke.”
For those of you who either don’t remember or may have not even been born when Gibbs took over for the Burgundy and Gold, his adjustment to the Nation’s Capital didn’t start out very well. In fact, it took months for him to notch his first career victory as a head coach.
“Well we lost the first five games and after the first game, for five weeks I had to go out to Mr. Cooke’s house, after the third week I said ‘Mr. Cooke I can’t come out there because I have to go scouting and he said ‘well do you own the team’ and I said no sir,” Beathard said with a chuckle. “He chewed us out. He told Joe ‘I should have fired both of you and all that.’ So we went 0-5 and then went 8-8 and the next year won the Super Bowl. The whole story turned around and Mr. Cooke said ‘Dear Joe, you were the coach I always wanted that’s why I hired you.”
The Redskins have 80 years of incredible memories, including the 25th and 30th anniversaries of the team’s first two Super Bowl victories. In 2012, the team added 10 men to their Greatest Redskins list. Beathard was one of the select few and was thankful to be included due to Redskins Nation voting him in.
“It’s a real honor. It was really nice to even be considered and much less to be on there so it’s great. [It was] the best time I had in my NFL career.”
Tell us what you thought when Gibbs was hired or what your favorite memory of Beathard was below.
Hail to the Redskins!
Tags: Bobby Beathard, bruce allen, Joe Gibbs, mike shanahan
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