Before the 1952 season, the Redskins heard that a few teams, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions among them, actually were paying players for preseason games. Anywhere from $30 to $50 a game. Marshall was scheduling up to six exhibitions a year and wasn't shelling out a penny for them. Demao and Baugh were part of a committee formed to broach the idea of exhibition pay to Marshall. But Marshall would have none of it. At practice later that day, Demao said, Marshall emphasized his decision to the entire squad. He even pointed to a gate and told the players they were free to go if they disagreed with his policy. Nobody left.
Despite such varied and memorable moments, however, the Redskins' defining char-acteristic in those two decades was a seeming determination to lose, with periodic lapses into victory along the way.
Early in the 1950s and at the end of the 1960s, the Redskins tried the same maneuver to kick-start team performances: They hired legendary coaches who had made their marks with the Green Bay Packers. The first was Lambeau, in 1952.
Herman Ball had been retained as coach for the start of the 1951 season, even though his record the previous two years had been a sorry 4-12. After three straight losses by a combined 115-31 points he was replaced by former running back Dick Todd. The team responded, winning five of the remaining nine games in Baugh's final season as the regular quarterback.
Impatient after two preseason losses, though, Marshall fired Todd the next year and brought in Lambeau. Lambeau had helped found the Packers in 1919 and had led them to six NFL championships in 31 years as their coach. He was part of the first class in the Hall of Fame. Lambeau left the Packers after the 1949 season over a financial dispute and had coached the Chicago Cardinals, though to no great effect. He had 5-7 and 3-9 records the previous two seasons.