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WP Insider - Ritchie Petitbon to join Redskins Ring of Fame


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By Rick Maese

Richie Petitbon, the Redskins long-time defensive coordinator who helped the team win three Super Bowls, will be inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame this month.

“We’re just ecstatic,” owner Daniel Snyder said.

The team announced Petitbon as its newest inductee at an afternoon news conference Thursday at Redskins Park. He’ll be formally honored during the halftime of the Redskins’ final home game of the season, Dec. 24 against Minnesota.

“This is really great honor for me, a surprising honor, so to speak,” Petitbon said.

“To be included with the great coaches and players that are up there, I find it very difficult to imagine going in something like that,” Petitbon continued.

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Good for Ritchie. He was one of the best defensive minds of the '80s

We always talk about Gibbs' legendary adjustments at halftime in the first go around. The thing people don't recognize, many of those were on the D side of the ball. Think of how few points teams scored on those teams in the 2nd half.

Superbowl 17- Shutout the Dolphins in the 2nd half

Superbowl 22- Shutout Elway after the first 10 minutes of the 1st quarter

Superbowl 26- Had such a big lead in the 2nd half that Buffalo got a couple of garbage time TDs after it was already 37-10

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Dec. 15, 2011 — The Washington Redskins announced today that the organization 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

A native of New Orleans, La., Petitbon is one of two sons of his late French immigrant father and American mother. He remained in New Orleans to attend Loyola of New Orleans on a track scholarship. After his freshman year, he transferred to Tulane University, where he was an all-Southeastern Conference quarterback as a senior.

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Surprising and I already assumed he was in there. Nice choice and happy to be wrong that Snyder didn't put one of his cronies in there. I was thinking maybe Portis.

I always thought Petibone was put in a terrible position in his one year as coach. That was a very old team that was not prepared to deal with the salary cap at all. Still, he was an old dog and at that point it might have been tough for him to learn some new tricks.

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First, congrats to Richie for his impending induction into the Ring......well deserved.

But I can't help but think of the symbolism of Petitbon being inducted in our last home game of the year against the Vikings. Richie's one season as HC was the first post-Gibbs I year and arguably was the worst season of the largely 19 years of crap we have endured since Joe left the first time. That season concluded with a home game played on New Years Eve against the Vikings, played on an odd day (Friday) and started at an odd time (3 pm). The Redskins lost a lethargic 14-9 affair, a game much like many that had preceded it that awful season. I remember being at work that day and having a TV on, but barely paying attention. IIRC, there was one juncture in the game where the Skins had a 3rd and 15 and called a draw play, which showed a lot about our anemic offense that year.

Again, congrats to our D coordinator during our glory years, but lets hope we are turning the page of sorts from what has been a brutal era for the Skins.

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At least a decade late. He was the Dick Lebeau of his era. If he'd been given another year and hired a competent OC, the team might not have suffered all those years under Norvo the Clown. They should've fired Casserly in 94 instead. Thank you Bruce Allen! (I doubt Dano would ever have the intelligence to realize how much Ritchie meant to all those SBs).

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