Out At Redskins Park

Petitbon In. Landry? Not So Much.

(DC UrbanSports) - The Redskins will induct former coach and safety Richie Petitbon into the team’s Ring of Fame. The ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 24, when the Redskins host the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField.

Petitbon’s legacy is closely intertwined with many of the legends associated with the Redskins in the latter part of the 20th century. Petitbon played for the Redskins from 1971-72, as the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro was brought in to help form the nucleus of the “Over the Hill Gang.” In 1978, he was named as the team’s defensive coordinator, a position he held until 1993, when he was named the 21st head coach in Redskins history.

He is one of only three Redskins to have participated in all five of the franchise’s Super Bowl appearances as either a player or coach, joining Torgy Torgeson and Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor.

"As a coach, Richie Petitbon put up remarkable numbers; incredible, historic numbers. Sixty-one turnovers in 1983, and he was just an amazing, amazing coach. Looking at the history of the franchise, honoring coaches is as important as honoring great players", said franchise owner Daniel Snyder.

Starting as a second-round draft choice by the Chicago Bears in 1959, Petitbon quickly made the conversion from college quarterback to pro safety to earn a spot in the secondary. His place in Chicago history was cemented in the 1963 championship game, when his late fourth quarter inception in the end zone ensured a title for the Bears. As a member of the Chicago Bears, Petitbon played under two men close to the origins of the game in Clark Shaughnessy and George Halas. Then he finished his career under George Allen as a member of the Rams and Redskins. As an assistant, he spent most of his career under another Hall of Famer in Redskins legend Joe Gibbs.

Petibon joins the ranks of Brian Mitchell in the Redskins Ring of Fame.

As defensive coordinator in Washington since 1978, the Redskins were annually ranked among the top defenses in the NFL. During the Redskins’ 1991 Super Bowl season, the defense limited opponents to 224 points (second lowest in the NFL) while holding opponents to 14 points or less 10 times. In 1992, the Skins defense finished seventh overall despite numerous injuries that left only four players starting every game. However, the most impressive feat by a Petitbon coached defense may have come in 1983 when the Skins forced 61 turnovers to finish with a +43 ratio.

"Let me just say that this is really a great honor for me, a very surprising honor, so to speak", said Petitbon. "I just want to thank everyone in the Redskins organization, past and present, obviously, the players that I had the privilege of coaching for so many years. I'd like to thank the defensive staff that was with me the whole time, Larry Peccatiello, 'Torgy' Torgenson, Emmitt Thomas, and Bobby DePaul."

The unpredictable, mix-and-match game plans devised by Petitbon and his defensive staff often created havoc with offenses and their halftime adjustments paved the way for many Redskins wins. The most notable was when he and assistant head coach Larry Peccatiello inserted a blitz on the bus taking the team to Super Bowl XXVI. Utilized on the first play of the second half, the blitz led to a Kurt Gouveia interception to set up a Redskins touchdown.

He began his career as an assistant at Houston, where he spent four years until coming to Washington as defensive coordinator under Jack Pardee. When Gibbs arrived in 1981, Petitbon was the only assistant retained, beginning a partnership that would take the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles and eight playoff appearances in 12 years.

Of his time in Washington, Petibon reflected, "Well, I think the Super Bowls. The reason that you play this game is to win it all, and we had the good fortune to get there four time and win it three. And I think if I had to pick out one moment, it was after we won the first one against Miami in Los Angeles. And the first thing that came to my mind was, I said, 'I'll never get fired again. I can always find a job after that.' And that was a great moment for me. As a defensive coordinator, I never thought I'd be fired."

When he concluded his playing career, Petitbon had a total of 48 interceptions. He played on only two teams that had a losing record.

Petibon joins Brian Mitchell (2009 Ring of Fame honoree), and a host of other memorable Redskins players who fought tooth and nail to give the fans a memorable fan experience, and a Super Bowl to the Nation's Capital.


"Obviously Something Is Seriously Wrong": Landry Placed on Injured Reserved:

Redskin safety LaRon Landry has been placed on IR, pretty much ending his season, due to an Achillies injury.

Safety LaRon Landry placed on Injured Reserve. Photo/CD Brown.

"I talked to LaRon earlier today and he felt that it was quite sore", said head coach Mike Shanahan. "He’s been trying to push it, trying to get back the last couple of weeks and thought it was in his best interest to go on IR. Usually what’s in a player’s best interest is usually what’s in our best interest, so we’re going to put him on IR and hopefully he can get that thing well.”

Landry has been active in rehab, but has been aggravated by the soreness. Although not torn, the severity of the injury isn't quite known at this time forcing Landry and the coaching staff to conclude that "something is obviously wrong".

"He has not been healthy. He’s been trying to get out there. He’s been working extremely hard in rehab. He just hasn’t been able to go.

The potential Defensive Player of the Year, (per Shanahan) will be replaced at safety by DeJon Gomes, with Reed Doughtry at the free safety position.

Moving forward, for Landry and team, coach Shanahan sums it up like this: "I think it’s best for all concerned that he get that operated on or at least go with the experts and get three or four opinions and make this decision, because he’s got to get well."

With just three games remaining this season, and no hopes for the playoffs, the Skins must again make moves that hopefully will give them the best chance of winning, and that gives fans something to hope for.

The Skins face the New York Giants this Sunday in their house. The final two season games include a Christmas Eve home game against Minnesota, and a New Year's Day game with the Eages in Philadelphia.

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