Chapter 3, Page 104

Eventually, however, Allen would return Kilmer to his starting spot. Jurgensen, suffering from injuries, would play in only three more games, including a fourth-quarter relief appearance in the dreary playoff loss to the Rams to end the 1974 season.

One day in the off-season, Jurgensen was summoned to a meeting with Allen at the Dulles Airport Marriott. Kilmer also had been asked to go to the hotel for an earlier meeting with the coach, and the two quarterbacks had arranged to meet at a designated location after Kilmer had finished his session to discuss their situations.

"When I got to the hotel, George told me the plans were to go with Billy and Joe," Jurgensen said. "I already knew it. Billy had already told me about it when we met out on Route 28. They said I was too much of a luxury to have around, but there was a little catch. Billy told them he wanted to be traded. He was tired of the controversy, the fans had been on him, and he wanted out. They told me if Billy demanded to be traded, they wanted me back. I told them nah, I'm going to retire, and that was it. I'd had a lot of wonderful years, and I really wasn't ready to stop. It didn't end like I wanted it to. It ended on a real sour note." Kilmer ultimately decided to stay, managing to keep his starting job in 1975.

Before the start of that season, Allen also had given away two No. 1 draft choices and a second-round pick to acquire defensive tackle Dave Butz from the St. Louis Cardinals. That became a controversial trade because the huge Butz — 6 feet, 8 inches and 325 pounds — hardly played that first season and often was teased unmercifully by team veterans. Ultimately Butz, nephew of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz, would play a major defensive role in the team's 1980s success story. But that didn't help the Redskins in 1975.

Although the team began with six victories in the first eight games that year, it ended with an 8-6 record.

For the first time in Allen's tenure, the Redskins missed the playoffs in 1975, a season in which years of pounding finally took their toll on Larry Brown. He spent most games nursing injuries while rookie Mike Thomas gained 919 yards. If 1975 didn't close with a playoff berth, it did end with Charley Taylor catching the 634th pass of his career, shattering the NFL's all-time reception record then held by Don Maynard and long since broken again such players as the Redskins' Art Monk and San Francisco's Jerry Rice.

Page 104 | Next Page: 105

Other Pages in Chapter 3:
79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz

Redskins | NFL | Sports

Home page Site Index Search Help!