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Beathard On The Hiring Of Joe Gibbs

Posted by Stephen Czarda on March 28, 2013 – 1:12 pm

Bobby Beathard, Pat Bowlen

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.

Led by head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen, the team is seeking to add a fourth Lombardi Trophy to the collection.

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 Joe Gibbsfaith 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!

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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Beathard On The Hiring Of Joe Gibbs”

  1. By scott perry on Mar 29, 2013 | Reply

    As a non-Redskin fan I really appreciate the effort Gibbs put into making this team a winner. i would be more of a fan if Joe could have beat the Raiders and not been able to overcome the early 10-0 lead the Broncos had over them in ’88.

    It is interesting that those 25th and 30th anniversaries are the top two seasons when it comes to effects of players strikes in the NFL. Hard to say, but that may make Gibbs look like an even better coach if you think about all the crap he had to deal with off the field… including the use of replacement guys.

    I have compiled a visual reference book that allows you to flip through it and watch all 32 team’s helmets move up and down based on how they perform over the 664 games played since the merger in 1970. The Redskins peaked in 1992 at the #2 spot, the season after their last title. They managed a record of 9-7 while the Raiders finished 7-9 and fell to #3.

    In the twenty years in the books since then those teams have seen the Steelers, Cowboys,Broncos, 49ers, Vikings, Ravens (it’s based on winning pct.) and Patriots over take them on the list. That last team mentioned was at one point like a pair of barely visible headlights behind them that blew passed at about 90 mph. (on the subject of speed- this is one NASCAR fan that was not happy to see Gibbs move to Toyota from Chevrolet)

    It is ironic that 2012 ended with the ‘Skins(9th) again taking a spot from the Raiders(10th) as they both try to stay in the top 10. In 43 seasons played since the merger the Redskin’s showing up at 14th after one season and 11th after two are the only times either club has been outside the top ten in winning percentage. It’s your call as to how long the they can hold off the Packers lurking in the current 11th spot as a team that has never seen the top 10.

    I wrote the book, NFL since 1970, to see my Broncos get to the top spot from #8 when I started keeping track after they set the record for most wins by a non- playoff team (11 in 1985 & tied by the Brady-less Pats in 2008).

    I’ll end this post by thanking Mike Shanahan for his part in getting Denver to #4.

  2. By therealsmiley on Mar 29, 2013 | Reply

    Still miss The Squire….Hail!

  3. By Bryson Laudenberger on Mar 29, 2013 | Reply

    Joe Gibbs was the Redskins coach for I believe 10 years his first time around. If you look at what he did in those 10 years, we are talking 4 Super Bowl appearances and their was another season where we played the New York Giants in the NFC Title game to see who would represent the NFC, and we lost to them. However, if Gibbs would have won that game, that would have been 5 SB appearances. That is half of his coaching career the first time around, and we are talking that would have been 50% of the time he waould have been in the SB, not just make the play offs. That is phenomenal.

  4. By Dave Hendrix on Mar 30, 2013 | Reply

    My favorite memory of Bobby Beathard is when I got his autograph, at Redskin’s Park.
    There was a TV crew interviewing Bobby for a show. I believe was named Dallas 40.. I asked if they would film Bobby signing an autograph.
    Mr Beathard was a true class act. He not only gave me his autograph, but sent me inside to get a piece of Redskin stationary, to sign his autograph on. Which of course, is in Red ink. Kind of like receiving 1 treasure, on another.
    I was a couple of years younger at that time. Still, a memory that I will take to the grave.
    Thank-you, Mr Bobby Beathard.

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