The storied history of the Washington Redskins includes a host of legendary linemen, from players of yesteryear like Turk Edwards, all the way to current stars like Trent Williams.
Naturally, debating the greatest Redskins lineman of them all is anything but clear-cut. Joe Jacoby is certainly in the conversation. So is Jim Lachey. So is Williams. So are several others spanning generations.
Russ Grimm has as strong an argument as anyone for that honor.
The Redskins drafted Grimm out of Pittsburgh in the third round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He had been a part of the legendary 1980 Pitt Panthers, one of the most talented college football teams ever assembled.
Grimm had been Pitt’s starting center, but, with Jeff Bostic already in the mix, the Redskins would use the larger Grimm as a guard. Grimm earned a starting spot as a rookie. By his third year, he was the best guard in football.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Grimm’s second year saw the Redskins win the Super Bowl, losing only once during the strike-shortened 1982 season. Grimm helped open holes for John Riggins, as the Diesel piled up games of 119, 185, 140, and 166 yards during Washington’s playoff run to the world title.
In 1983, as the Redskins romped to a 14-2 record and a return trip to the Super Bowl, Grimm earned All-Pro honors. He would do so again in 1984. And again in 1985. And again in 1986.
Making four straight Pro Bowls is an impressive accomplishment. But being named first-team All-Pro four years in a row? Incredible.
Grimm began to deal with injury issues in 1987, playing in only six of the Redskins’ 12 non-strike games during the regular season. Nonetheless, he helped Washington to another Super Bowl title that year. He was relatively healthy again by 1990, as the Skins made a run to the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs.
Before the 1991 season, knowing this could be a special group, Grimm decided it would be his last. He became something of a “utility” lineman for Washington, as he was capable of playing any position along the line. He made the most of his final season, contributing in various roles while the Redskins dominated the NFL and earned Grimm a third championship ring.
Grimm has been a successful coach ever since he retired, first with the Redskins, and later with the Steelers (where he earned a fourth ring), the Cardinals, and the Titans. The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Grimm in 2010, after he had previously been named to the NFL’s All-1980s team and to the 70 Greatest Redskins.
For Redskins fans of a certain vintage, Grimm represents the ultimate hog: Blue-collar, exceptionally good, and downright nasty (which I mean in the best way possible). He’s an easy choice for the Redskins’ all-time #68.
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Who is the greatest #68 in Redskins history?
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