Tereshinski: "No doubt in my mind that was a very important reason we did not reach ultimate success."
One factor that did distinguish many of those 1957-1961 Redskins teams was the number of players who later became NFL head coaches: cornerback Don Shula (Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins), end Joe Walton (New York Jets), Hecker (Atlanta Falcons) and defensive lineman Ed Khayat (Philadelphia Eagles). In addition, guard Dick Stanfel and defensive lineman Torgeson went on to become longtime NFL assistants. Torgeson spent nearly 20 years of his coaching career working with Redskins' defensive linemen.
But the Redskins coaches they played under in the 1950s and 1960s rarely had distinguished records. After their 4-7-1 season in 1958, the Redskins lost Kuharich to his alma mater, Notre Dame. He was replaced by Mike Nixon, who said at one luncheon: "The fans don't ask for much in this city." Despite an occasional aberration (as with the Redskins' 27-24 upset of the powerful Baltimore Colts in November of 1959), he helped see to it that the fans' low expectations were met. His were the teams that went 3-9 and 1-9-2.
Nixon was replaced before the 1961 season by Bill McPeak, who was elevated from assistant coach. The Redskins moved into their new stadium that year and in typical fashion. In the home opener, after losses to the San Francisco 49ers and the Eagles, they initially rolled up a 21-0 lead over the Giants. They then blew the game, 24-21.
The only success during that 1-12-1 year was against the Cowboys, then in their second season. The Redskins had tied the Cowboys on the road and, in the final game of the season, won at home. Not surprisingly, the only team the Redskins could beat in 26 games during the 1960 and 1961 seasons was Dallas.
In the fall of 1961, "I was leaving military duty every weekend and starting for the Browns," said Bobby Mitchell, who was to become assistant general manager of the Redskins. "I'd get there Saturday morning, find out what the game plan was and play the game the next day."
He added: "I came home, with two games to go, and Jim Brown came up to me and said: `All this stuff you been hearing, I had nothing to do with.' What had happened was they had in the papers that Jim had gone up to Syracuse to talk with Ernie Davis about playing with the Browns. I guess he thought I'd already heard about it. I hadn't."