Football Outsiders outdid themselves tracking down some brilliant quotes from the 1983 draft (which had a number of good players, including the one listed above). Although I realize how easy it is to get something profoundly wrong when analyzing the NFL -- I do it daily, I believe I have more practice at the craft than virtually anyone -- I don't know if I've yet been this totally, absolutely wrong on anything. Perhaps there simply isn't enough history between my statements and emerging realities, as this blog opened just years ago. One day, if I ever read my own print so absolutely ruined by subsequent history, I hope I was wrong about all the right things, as was this guy:
“For a Super Bowl winner, ‘Skins need help all over. It doesn’t look like they got it. Darrell Green, the No. 1 from Texas A&I, is an excellent returner … but only 5-8, which might be too small for the corner. Grade: D-Plus.”
– Gary Myers, Dallas Morning News. The Redskins also drafted Charles Mann that year
What in the word-smithery is a D-Plus? Even if interpreted in the author's favor, he's still only two grades removed from the wrongest possible post-draft grading in history. Darrell Green, first ballot HoFer and perhaps greatest defensive back in the game's history, unquestionably represents an A+ if that grade should ever be applied. You simply can't succeed on draft day much more than the 'Skins did with Green. And lest you think Gary was just following the conventional wisdom, FO has others who were a bit savvier on the pick:
“He does stuff that is physically impossible. He’ll turn people completely around and then cut across the grain and just flat outrun folks. When he takes the field, people hold their breath, because they know something exciting is going to happen.”
– Fred Bleil, defensive coordinator of Texas A&I, on Darrell Green
“I want to start and go to the Super Bowl. I want to be a starter and a great player, not just a mediocre one.”
“You really stole one with Green. You can ship Nelms out tomorrow”
– Oilers coach Bum Philips to Redskins exec Bobby Beatheard. Return man Mike Nelms soon demanded a trade
None of this is meant to be meanie face to Mr. Myers, who simply wasn't in a position to predict where Green's career would ultimately take him (who can, really? If anyone accuses one of our 2008 picks of being a future first ballot hall of famer, I'd probably accuse them of homerism... I also encourage it, incidentally, so please please please homer-away). But I'll repeat that when I am this wrong, and history is going to mistreat so, so many of my god-awful predictions, I only hope that I'm proper wrong, in that I underestimate the greatness of my team's players. Also my grading scales, no matter how wrong, will never deviate from clear D- or D+; never D-plus. Thank me later.
Also a quote in the FO article about how Baltimore may be trying to steal New Jersey Eagles (or others?) fans with its draft picks. I find that theory a bit far-fetched (especially when I watch a team like the Houston Texans pass on a Vince Young) but did enjoy the quip in there about how better entrenched Redskins fans are than NJ Eagles fans, and how this fan base is a tough egg to crack, even for the geographically close Baltimore Ravens.
Also, I'm done with Law School but starving. Since this is a post about Darrell Green, remember that you can still purchase signed Darrell Green memorabilia. Full disclosure: If you purchase through that link, I may get paid in part for your purchases.