The early 80’s and early part of the 90’s are easily considered the greatest era of Washington Redskins Football. Many of the different corps throughout the team had nicknames. With your receivers you had the “Fun Bunch”, the “Smurfs”, and the “Posse”. On Defense you had the “National Defense” and the “Pearl Harbor Crew”. But the cornerstone to the many years of glory the Skins participated in were “The Hogs” and at the heart of the Hogs was Russ Grimm.
On the eve of the Super Bowl, Redskins Nation came together wondering and hoping that this humble giant would earn his rightful place among the NFL’s greats. Though certain players, such as Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, were considered shoe-ins, Grimm had an excellent shot at getting the call. At about 5:20pm, it was made official. The Associated Press via ESPN.com reported:
They will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7….Rice, the NFL’s career receiving and touchdowns leader, and Smith, the top rusher, were joined in the Hall by John Randle, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau. Little and LeBeau were elected as senior committee nominees.
Grimm, a member of the Washington Redskins‘ famed Hogs offensive line, won three Super Bowls. A guard, he made four Pro Bowls and was selected to the all-decade team of the 1980s.
Russ Grimm was an outstanding player and was considered smart as he was tough. Naturally positioned at Guard, he was versatile and was capable of filling in at Center. Mark May once said of Grimm:
“He was a blue collar stiff and proud of it.”
Grimm appeared in all four of the Redskins’ Super Bowls captained by Head Coach Joe Gibbs, winning three. Grimm also has four Pro-Bowl Selections to his credit and was named to the 1980’s NFL All Decade Team. After Grimm’s career ended he coached the Tight Ends for the Redskins from 1992-1996 and then the Offensive Line from 1997 until 2000 as he was dismissed by incoming Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Grimm then joined on with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he coached the Offensive Line. In the 2005 season he captured his first title as a coach as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. In 2007 he went to Arizona to become Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach. The Cardinals also made it to the Super Bowl in the 2008-2009 season, only to fall short to Grimm’s old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Russ Grimm has been well traveled as a coach and firmly grounded as a player. His induction should signal an awareness to the voting committee on the importance that offensive linemen provide. Grimm was a man who played the game silently, but boasts the hardware most players can only dream of.