An easy one for sure.
#28 - Darrell Green
For just about every single Redskins fan out there, there is only one #28. I grew up never knowing a Redskins team that Darrell was not a part of, and for a while there, it seemed there might never be a time when he would call it quits. Here are some of the accolades Darrell collected in his 20-year career (see below for Q&A with Darrell):
Pro Bowls - 7
All-Pro Selection - 4
NFL 1990's All-Decade Team
19 seasons with at least 1 INT (NFL record)
20 seasons all with one NFL team (tied with Jackie Slater)
To us, he was the greatest cornerback in the league, and we would find ourselves in absolute shock when fans of other teams would argue for Rod Woodson, or Deion Sanders, or even Aeneas Williams depending on when you had the debate. Sacrilege! Imagine the envy of every fan in the country when we entered the season with Deion Sanders, Champ Bailey and Darrell Green as our top 3 corners.
Over the course of his career, Darrell Green developed quite the "it" factor. Starting with the famous play on Monday Night Football when a rookie corner wearing #28 ran down Tony Dorsett from behind, to the punt return touchdown against the Bears in the playoffs, to the countless passes defensed--Darrell Green's presence on the field meant anything could happen.
We had a chance to get through to Darrell after his visit to Canton last week.
HH: What player in the league today reminds you most of yourself and the way you played the game?
Darrell: I can't think of anyone.
HH: What--specifically on defense-- has changed the most since you joined the league over 20 years ago? What position has evolved the most on defense?
Darrell: The defensive game is always rotating like clothes or fashion. For a while they were with guys like Monk when they wanted the big WR but then during the run and shoot era, they played the smaller WR. Then they went back to the big guys in Irvin and T.O. So it's not really evolving...it's rotating like bellbottoms to straight leg. There's not really anything new. There's only so much you can do on the field. The game just becomes more specialized depending on the leadership of the coach...like a Dungy or a Belichick.
We LOVE that he doesn't see anyone in the league today that reminds him of himself.
Finally, since we are on the subject, I highly recommend making it out to Canton, Ohio for a Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Kevin and I went out for the ceremony inducting Art Monk and Darrell Green and the trip was amazing. Judging by the turnout that weekend, most of you did go, but in case some of you reading have not had the chance to get there, put it on the list. The next time a former Redskin gets inducted, make sure you do your best to see if you can make it out there.