Bobby Mitchell, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983, played 11 years in the NFL, including four years with the Cleveland Browns and seven with the Washington Redskins, from 1962 to '68. As a wide receiver and running back, he played in four Pro Bowls. Mitchell, 70, joined the Redskins' front office in 1969 and served as a college scout, director of pro scouting, assistant to the president and assistant general manager. He retired from the Redskins organization in 2003.
This weekend he hosts his annual Hall of Fame golf classic to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Lansdowne Resort in Loudoun County.
GS: With all the Hall of Famers of your era in town, what separates them from today's stars?
BM: Today's players are much faster and better athletes. We might have been better football players, but their skills and movements are superior.
GS: Joe Gibbs, with whom you worked, has come back to coach the Redskins after 11 years out of the game. Your view of that decision?
BM: I was surprised. But I think he can do it. He was successful with players who would do what he'd ask of them, like Donnie Warren making a certain block for years. Kids today can make that block, but will they want to?
GS: Steve Spurrier, who was one of the most successful college coaches in the country, was not able to succeed in his two years with the Redskins. Why?
BM: I don't believe he thought there was much difference coaching the pros from college. When he saw there was a tremendous difference, he couldn't do anything about it because he had a staff with too many coaches without pro experience.
GS: You left the Redskins last year with some bitterness toward management, having felt slighted, including seeing someone briefly wearing your jersey number (49). Have those negative feelings changed?
BM: I don't know if we can ever get together again. After 40 years, I did not leave with a good feeling toward the organization. I didn't go to one game last year.