Beathard: "It's a terrific move"
There's definitely a
2005 2004 feeling in the air, the sense that the broken-down Ikea couch has been cleared out, and a nice piece of classy, restored actual furniture put in its place. This is a little bit different than the '05 '04 hiring of Joe Gibbs -- Bruce Allen has the right last name, while Gibbs had the first and last names--but yet again, it's a time where you want to hear from the Redskins greats.
Like Bobby Beathard, for example. The longtime Skins general manager was on Mike Wise's 106.7 The Fan show Thursday morning, and he was nearly effusive, in words if not in tone.
"I think it's a terrific move, I really do," said Beathard, who had heard about Allen's hiring only moments before via a phone call from Sonny Jurgensen. "I know Bruce and I think a lot of Bruce. He works well with people, he's a smart guy, he's a listener. As long as he doesn't get interference and [ownership] lets him do his job, I think that was a terrific move by Dan."
The big question, of course, is whether that lack of interference is possible with this franchise. Beathard, who previously had discussions with owner Dan Snyder about re-joining the organization, said he thought it was.
"Yeah, I do," he told Wise. "We all learn from things, and Dan's a smart guy. Bruce has so much experience, he's worked with so many good people and he grew up in that [area]. Bruce is very knowledgeable, and the good thing getting Bruce is also it's not just a guy that's coming in to head up the team, it's a guy that's been involved in drafts, and I think that's really important. There's a lot of general managers that are business people and really aren't football people, and that's the key with getting a guy like Bruce. Knowing Bruce, he's a nice guy, the name there brings a lot of credibility to the Redskins. And I just know from where he's been before, he works well with everybody and he's a guy that knows what's going on and let's people do their jobs. I think it's a terrific move. I'm excited about that."
Eventually, this led to a discussion of the benefits of hands-off ownership, and this might as well be posted on laminated wallet-sized cards for a certain type of fan to bring to games.
"I've been around owners that were not hands-off, and Joe [Gibbs] and I just made something [clear] to Mr. Cooke: we said just let us do this our way, and if we screw it up, fire us. And we almost screwed it up. We were 0-5 that first year, and we were almost out of there before it started. But he was a wonderful owner, and John Cooke was the same. We had a lot of meetings with them, and Mr. Cooke was really tough. There were times my stomach was in knots.
"But he was great. He never once that I can remember interfered with any decisions we made. I could explain the decisions that we were thinking of doing, and he really helped us make better decisions or the right decisions, because he would ask you questions, but never second-guessed you. During the season he only came over to the office on Thursdays, and he'd come in, say hello, or sometimes you'd never see him. I don't even know if he ever went in the football part of [the building] back there except to say 'Hey guys, how you doing,' and that's it."
Beathard sort of shied away from evaluating Cerrato's performance with the Skins, saying when he met with Snyder, "I expressed my feelings about it, [and] I don't want to say any more." He wouldn't address Cerrato's reluctance to draft offensive linemen, either, but he did say his heart goes out to Skins fans.
"I felt for Washington," Beathard said. "I mean, the fans were the best, it's the best experience we've ever had in football, [my wife] and me and the kids. That town deserves the best. So that hurt, to see the team not get back to the top. But I think now this will bring a lot of new life to it, and I think the fans really have something to look forward to now. I think it's a great move."
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