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Bobby Beathard loathed first-round draft picks and reveled in taking chances on players from out-of-the-way colleges.
It was a formula that paid off with two victories in four trips to the Super Bowl as general manager of the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers.
He also loathes dressing up [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jarvis-landry-jersey]Jarvis Landry Jersey[/url] , meaning the gold blazer he’ll wear when he’s inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame won’t get much use after Saturday night’s ceremony.
”I don’t think I’ll be wearing it many places except there,” Beathard said. ”I don’t think I’ll be going out to dinner with that coat on.”
That’s Beathard, 81, who always was more comfortable dressed as a Southern California beach bum. In jobs ranging from scout to general manager, he helped build seven Super Bowl teams for four franchises, including four winners, during a career lasting nearly four decades.
Beathard was so low-key that when Kevin Gilbride was hired as Chargers coach in 1997 and insisted that everyone wear a coat and tie on road trips, even the GM, Beathard reached into his pocket on one trip and found an NFL schedule from 1989. That had been the last time he wore a blazer, when he worked on NBC’s pregame show.
Beathard certainly didn’t need a blazer for scouting trips to small colleges, or to bodysurf in his beloved Pacific Ocean, run the Boston Marathon or have a few beers once a week with his buddies in Franklin, Tennessee, where he’s lived for several years.
But he’ll have to wear one Saturday night.
His presenter will be Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, hired by Beathard with Washington before the 1981 season.
”I would have had one of my sons but I think it was more appropriate to have Joe,” Beathard said. ”We spent a long time together.”
Gibbs, inducted in 1996, coached the Redskins to victory in two of the three Super Bowls the Redskins reached in the 1980s. Those are the teams Beathard is best-remembered for building.
He also built the San Diego Chargers’ only Super Bowl team [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-a.j.-bouye-jersey]A.J. Bouye Jersey[/url] , which was routed by San Francisco in the 1995 game.
He began his career as a part-time scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963 before leaving to scout in the AFL. He returned to the Chiefs in 1966, when they played in the first Super Bowl. In 1972, Beathard was hired as director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins, who won consecutive Super Bowls.
The Redskins hired him as GM in 1978 and he began doing things his way. He viewed first-round draft picks a commodity to be traded away to stockpile lower picks. He also worked the free agent market. In 1982, the Redskins team that won the Super Bowl included 27 free agents signed by Beathard since he was hired. In his 11 years in Washington, the Redskins used their first-round pick only three times.
In 1988, Sports Illustrated called him ”The Smartest Man in the NFL.”
Beathard didn’t like the title.
”That was kind of embarrassing,” Beathard said. ”Whoever put that in there, I told them when it first came out, `Well, you better go back and ask my high school and college teachers if that’s true, and I don’t think they’d agree with that.’ ”
Taking Beathard’s entire career as a whole, the label certainly fit.
”If I ever got into that position, I had a plan how I wanted to do it and it wasn’t that the No. 1 draft pick was the most important thing,” Beathard said about becoming a GM. ”Every year we’d go out all year to all the colleges, scouting and looking at the players. And if it was a draft that was deep in talent I thought it was more valuable to get some of the later picks, because there were real good players down there, not only in the first round. If you had a high pick in the first round [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-da_norris-searcy-jersey]Da'Norris Searcy Jersey[/url] , trade that and get multiple picks where all the other players were. Fortunately it worked out for us. The only grief I got from it was from Darrell Green.”
Of all his draft picks and free agent signings, Beathard said his favorite was Green, the 5-foot-8 defensive back from Texas A&I who was taken with the 28th pick overall – the last pick in the first round – of the 1983 draft. Green went on to a Hall of Fame career.
”That doesn’t mean the other guys, the Art Monks, the Russ Grimms and the Jeff Bostics, all those other guys, it doesn’t mean those weren’t just as important,” Beathard said. ”When we took Darrell Green, I’ll never forget the phone call. When I called Darrell he was down at Texas A&I and I called Darrell and said, `Hey Darrell, it’s Bobby; we took you.’ He got mad at me and said, `Why did you wait until last pick to take me?’ And I said, `The way the draft works, we won the Super Bowl so we had the last pick, so blame the other (27) teams that didn’t take you. Don’t blame us.”’
Beathard left the Redskins in May 1989 and was out of the NFL only one season before being hired by the Chargers. His first draft pick was Junior Seau and the Chargers reached the Super Bowl five seasons later. Seau was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
When he scouted colleges, Beathard, who retired in April 2000, said he’d look beyond the players recommended by coaches.
”I traveled the whole country to every school that played football to look for players. I got to see the players personally [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-carl-lawson-jersey]Carl Lawson Jersey[/url] , besides the scouting staff. I just had a lot of confidence in my evaluation. I wasn’t afraid to take players from small schools, or small players.
”I think of Darrell Green, we had a little receiver, Alvin Garrett, guys t
As the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils shifts to the Prudential Center for Game 3 Monday night, one team espouses change while the other is quite fine with the status quo.
It is not hard to determine which team is which after the Lightning held serve on home ice, winning the first two games. Now it’s up to the Devils to change the narrative as the series shifts to Newark, but that may be easier said than done.
The Lightning took Game 1 by a 5-2 score and then ran out to a four-goal lead in the second game on Saturday before finishing the Devils off 5-3. Over 120 minutes of playoff hockey, the Lightning have not trailed for a single second.
“You approach every game at a time, and we’re just focused on the next one right now,” said the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson, who scored a goal in each of the first two games. “We’re not focused on what we did the first two games. It’s what we’re going to do in the next one.”
That business-like approach is echoed throughout the experienced Lightning dressing room. Not only did this team finish first in the Eastern Conference this season, but the roster swells with players that played in recent Stanley Cup and conference finals games.
That experience showed in the first two games as the Lightning handled momentum swings in a smoother fashion that far-less experienced Devils. And it could be a big advantage as the Lightning look to put a stranglehold on the series with a win Monday night.
“Just because you won the first two games at home, that’s not a paved path saying you’re going to win Game 3,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “The best we played (Saturday), we’re going to go five percent better to win on the road.”
While the Devils had surges in the opening two games in Tampa, there is much room for improvement up and down their lineup. In fact, the lineup deployed by Devils coach John Hynes in the first two games [url=http://www.brownscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-damarious-randall-jersey]Damarious Randall Jersey[/url] , will be shaken up Monday night.
Hynes told reporters on a conference call Sunday that there will be changes made, though he declined to specify which players might be in or out.
“There are some guys who just haven’t performed well enough to warrant staying in the lineup,” explained Hynes. “We’re a team, we need to play as a group. We can’t have passengers. We can’t have guys not necessarily playing as hard as they need to in the competitive areas of the game.”
Veterans Ben Lovejoy and Michael Grabner might be in danger of watching from the press box in Game 3. Both have struggled, and Grabner logged only 8:56 worth of ice time on Saturday.
Adding some intrigue to who may, or may not, play in Game 3 is that the Devils signed 2016 third-round pick Joey Anderson to an entry-level contract on Sunday. He will skate with the team Monday after recently helping the University of Minnesota-Duluth win the NCAA Championship.
Another area of question is in goal. Keith Kinkaid went 7-0-1 down the stretch between the pipes, helping the Devils secure their first playoff berth in six years, after Cory Schneider was sidelined with a hip injury in January and then failed to win any of his starts upon his return more than a month later.
However, Kinkaid was blitzed by the high-powered Lightning offense in the first two games of this series and was pulled in favor of Schneider after allowing five goals on 15 shots in only 33:12 on Saturday.
Hynes said Sunday he decided on his starting goalie for Game 3 but was not ready to publicly divulge his choice.
“I feel confident in both goalies,” Devils alternate captain Taylor Hall told reporters Sunday. “That’s the least of our worries. Keith down the stretch was great and Cory’s had his times this year, as well.”
No matter who starts in goal, the Devils need to tighten up their overall defensive game and find ways to slow down the potent Lightning power play, which converted on three of its four opportunities in Games 1 and 2.
Despite the daunting task ahead of his team, Hall is excited for Monday night.
“It’s going to be really fun to have our fans behind us,” said Hall, who has one goal and one assist in the series. “Home ice is a huge advantage and using the fans can give is the push we need for Game 3.”
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