Jeff Bostic was an undrafted free agent from Clemson when he joined the team in 1980 as a long snapper. He became the starting center in 1981 and was that for most of the next 13 years. Dave Butz was still an anchor in the middle of the defensive line, and George Starke was the solid veteran at right offensive tackle.
Theismann was the quarterback. Although he had had an excellent season in 1979, he had slipped a bit in 1980 and nearly was traded in 1981 for Detroit's Gary Danielson, according to Casserly. Mark Moseley was still the kicker, but his poor 1980 season (18 of 33 field goal attempts) put him in danger of being cut as well.
The 1981 draft class was one of Beathard's best. It included offensive linemen Mark May and Russ Grimm, defensive end Dexter Manley, wide receiver Charlie Brown, guard Darryl Grant (who was switched to defensive tackle) and wide receiver Clint Didier (switched to tight end). Next, Beathard traded the team's second-round pick to Baltimore for running back Joe Washington, who had been to the 1979 Pro Bowl.
Finally, there was the case of Joe Jacoby. Casserly had seen the big offensive tackle at the University of Louisville in 1979. Like other scouts, he figured that Jacoby wasn't likely to be drafted but that he might get a contract as a free agent. When the draft ended, Jacoby still was unclaimed and a Seattle scout was at Jacoby's house, hoping to sign him. But the Redskins called and wanted Jacoby to visit Washington. In a move that he surely regretted later, the Seattle scout drove Jacoby to the airport.
When Jacoby got to Redskin Park and met Gibbs, however, the new head coach who was meeting a slew of rookies for the first time mistakenly thought that Jacoby was a defensive tackle.
"I didn't want to correct him and ruin my chances," Jacoby said with a laugh at his Virginia auto dealership. Jacoby left the Gibbs meeting a bit bewildered, but he had signed a contract. "Five or six years later, [offensive line coach Joe] Bugel told me that Joe tried to get out of the deal because he only wanted to bring 18 offensive linemen to camp, and I was the 19th. It's amazing how these things work out."
Gibbs also had done some critical recruiting of his own. However glorious his passing credentials, Gibbs knew that he needed a dominating runner. So, months before the Class of 1981 was chosen, Gibbs went to see Riggins in Kansas. When he arrived, Riggins' wife told him that John was out and would be back the next day, so Gibbs checked into a motel and returned in the morning.