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Redskins by the (Jersey) Numbers: #57 - Ken Harvey

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Harvey edges out longtime Redskin Rich Milot to take the honor

1995 NFL Pro Bowl Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

After the conclusion of the Joe Gibbs Era, the Redskins went 4-12 in 1993. A roster overhaul was a necessity, and fans knew it would be years before the team was a contender again.

The first piece of that overhaul effort was to sign Ken Harvey.

Harvey had been a good outside linebacker for the Cardinals for six seasons already. The Redskins picked him up in an effort to try to shore up a defense that had given up a division-worst 345 points the year before.

Although his individual play didn’t initially translate to team success, Harvey was immediately stellar upon joining Washington, exceeding even his previous outstanding performance for Phoenix. Harvey piled up a career-high 13.5 sacks and played in his first Pro Bowl.

That level of individual success would become standard for Harvey as the Redskins gradually improved as a team. Harvey forced a career-best five fumbles in 1995 en route to another Pro Bowl selection. He had nine sacks and a pick to go along with 79 tackles in 1996, making the Pro Bowl for a third straight season. He bested that the following year, with 9.5 sacks and another Pro Bowl appearance.

Harvey played his final season in 1998 as the toll of pro football began to catch up with him. Although the Redskins wouldn’t return to the playoffs until the following season, the contributions that Harvey made in helping Washington return to respectability are unmistakable.

Yet, Harvey has some real competition for the all-time honors at #57. Rich Milot was a solid linebacker for the Redskins during some happier times. Specifically, from 1979 through 1987.

Milot has some points in his favor. He played his entire career with the Redskins. He played on three Super Bowl teams, winning two rings. He also has a higher “Approximate Value” than Harvey did with the Redskins, as indicated on the table above.

I still think Harvey gets the nod, here. While Milot provided solid play on some great teams, Harvey was a true individual standout on some teams that were bad-to-mediocre. Harvey made four consecutive Pro Bowls while in DC, whereas Milot never played in a Pro Bowl.

In the end, I’m picking individual excellence over longer-term but milder contributions to greater team success. That’s why Ken Harvey is the Redskins all-time #57 in my book.

Agree? Disagree? Vote and comment below!

Poll

Who is the greatest #57 in Redskins history?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Ken Harvey
    (62 votes)
  • 40%
    Rich Milot
    (44 votes)
  • 0%
    Dave Crossan
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (comment below)
    (2 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now