Bobby Beathard left an indelible mark on the Washington Redskins organization. In his 11 years as general manager [1978-88], Beathard led Washington to three Super Bowl appearances, including victories in Super Bowls XVII and XXII. Many of the players Beathard acquired remained on the roster for the team's Super Bowl XXVI victory also.
During Beathard's time as general manager, the Redskins averaged 9.5 wins a year. The team posted a regular season winning percentage of .625 (105-63) in that time frame, best in the NFC, and second-best in the NFL. In addition, no team in that time frame posted a better postseason winning percentage (.786) than the Redskins, who went 11-3 in postseason play under his watch.
With all those numbers out there on the table, are they enough for Beathard to be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
That topic was discussed on Talk of Fame Network's latest podcast, as Redskins President Bruce Allen joined hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge.
With Allen recently announcing that Beathard would be the 49th member of the Redskins' Ring of Fame, the panel asked Allen if any consideration was given to Beathard being put into the Ring of Fame because of the Hall of Fame talk that's been surrounding Beathard.
"No, not really," Allen said. "We strongly believe that Bobby belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame. His contribution to the entire NFL, and seven Super Bowl appearances, he's in rare company."
The panel made a note of Beathard not being that concerned about his status in Canton, Ohio. Allen was asked if he thinks about Beathard not being in the Hall of Fame. He says Beathard being there is a no-brainer.
"Oh, I think he's a perfect fit for the Hall of Fame," Allen said. "I think the Hall did a great justice for itself [in] adding Bill Polian, and Ron Wolf, and Bobby doesn't have to take a backseat to anyone. His contributions to Super Bowl champions, as well as a contributor for just conference champions, it would be a well-deserved honor."
An interesting question that was posed to Allen was if this year's version of the Redskins would be a team that Beathard would've built if he was the general manager, and if it would be a team that he could be proud to place his stamp of approval on.
"We talked about it when he was here," Allen said. "The previous two general managers to Bobby Beathard were Vince Lombardi, and my father [Hall of Famer George Allen], and obviously they built the team in different ways, but Bobby came in in the era of free agency, so he utilized the [NFL] draft in the core of the team, but complemented it through trades and free agents. I think this team has a lot of [those] same characteristics."
Allen was fortunate enough to have one of the greatest head coaches in NFL history as a father. Everything Allen's learned, and put to work during his career, came from his late father. It was a huge shadow to emerge from, but Allen's done it, and he's creating his own shadow now with the Redskins.
When asked if he's trying to get beyond the enormous shadow of success that Beathard's cast in Washington, and get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl, Allen said no, because his father's shadow was big enough for him to navigate past.
"Growing up as George Allen's kid, and the first head coach I've ever met was George Halas. That's more than a shadow, that's a cloud," Allen said. "We want to emulate the success that those people had before us. I thought it was interesting this year [that] our offensive line, on their own, made "Hogs 2.0" t-shirts. That's tipping their hat to the original "Hogs," and trying to emulate their success."
With legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it would only make sense that Beathard should join him, considering the two were joined at the hip, as they made the Redskins one of the premier franchises in the NFL during their run together.
That was the thought process of the panel, so they wanted to know if Allen agreed with them.
"I think they're both great on their own merits," Allen said. "Bobby participating with the [Kansas City] Chiefs' Super Bowl appearance [Super Bowl I], and the [Miami] Dolphins' Super Bowl appearances [Super Bowl VI & VII], and also the [San Diego] Chargers' only Super Bowl appearance [Super Bowl XXIX], Bobby's much more than just his Redskin legacy, and I think you have to tip your hat to Bobby for hiring Joe Gibbs."
Obviously, it's been a long time since Beathard was with the Redskins, so the current generation of NFL fans may or may not know much about him, as things in the NFL change on a second-by-second basis.
Allen was asked if Beathard is still a recognizable name and face in the Washington, D.C., area, to which Allen emphatically replied:
"Oh absolutely!" Allen said. "After we announced his induction [into the Redskins' Ring of Fame], he was out at practice, and if we didn't pull him in, he'd still be signing autographs. Our fans absolutely treasure his contributions to the game."