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                                 Former Washington Redskins player Russ Grimm (left) unveils a bust of himself with help from former Redskins coach Joe Bugel during Grimm's enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Class of 2010
Guard >>> 6-3, 273
1981-1991 Washington Redskins


Selected in 3rd round, 1981 NFL Draft . . .Immediate starter on Redskins offensive line that earned nickname "The Hogs" . . .Speed and strength crucial to Redskins dominating running attack. . .Selected to four straight Pro Bowls . . . Named All-Pro and All-NFC, 1983-1986. . . Appeared in five NFC championship games and four Super Bowls. . .Elected to NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team . . .Born May 2, 1959 in Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

A standout offensive lineman who also served as the reserve punter at the University of Pittsburgh, Russ Grimm easily made the transition from college to the pros. The Washington Redskins selected him in the third round, 69th player overall, of the 1981 National Football League Draft. Originally pegged to play center, the position at which he excelled at Pitt, Grimm was moved to left guard where he earned a starting role as a rookie.

The 6'3", 273-pound Grimm became a steadying force on the Redskins vaunted offensive line of the 1980s that earned the nickname "The Hogs." By his second season in the NFL, Grimm gained much notice from around the league. Teaming with tackle Joe Jacoby, the pair formed what was perhaps the most punishing side of an offensive line in football at the time. With Grimm utilizing his speed and strength, the Redskins rode the success of a dominating running attack all the way to a victory in Super Bowl XVII. In that game, Hall of Fame fullback John Riggins gained a then-record 166 yards. Washington had averaged an astonishing 152 yards during that season's playoffs.

It was in his third pro year, in 1983, that Grimm began reaping the rewards of his efforts. He was selected to the first of four straight Pro Bowls. That season also marked the first of four consecutive years (1983-86) that he earned All-Pro recognition. Grimm was also named All-NFC in each of those seasons.

In 1987, Grimm was moved to center in training camp and started five games at the position before he suffered a torn ligament in his left knee that sidelined him until the season finale. The following year, Grimm again suffered cartilage damage to his left knee which forced him to miss 11 games. Although he remained a guiding force on the Redskins front line he continued to battle various injuries through the remainder of his career.

Grimm appeared in five NFC championship games during his 11-year, 140-game career. He also helped the Redskins to four Super Bowl appearances including wins in Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. It was after the Redskins win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI that Grimm announced his retirement.

One of the most feared guards of his era, Grimm was elected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1980s.

Russ Grimm elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

(Otto Greule Jr./getty Images)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 7, 2010


FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Russ Grimm, who as a member of the "Hogs" in the glory days of the Washington Redskins helped redefine the role of the offensive lineman from obscure grunt to the heart and soul of a modern pro football offense, was elected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Grimm was one of the proud, lunch-pail linemen who were the engine behind the high-powered offenses of Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs that won three Super Bowls in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Hogs are celebrated to this day at FedEx Field by fans who call themselves Hogettes and wear plastic pig noses and dresses to games.

Grimm was chosen for enshrinement on the eve of Super Bowl XLIV and is part of a Hall of Fame class that includes wide receiver Jerry Rice and running back Emmitt Smith. Both Rice, the National Football League's career receiving leader, and Smith, the all-time leading rusher, compiled the kind of gaudy statistics that ensured election in their first year of eligibility. For Grimm, 50, success came in his 14th year.

"I was elated, and I was also relieved," Grimm said in a telephone interview Saturday night from Arizona. "It's been like a 50-50 deal for me for a few years now. I wanted to get in and people would bring it up, but you want to keep an even keel about it so it's not a big letdown for everyone if you don't make it."

The results of the voting -- conducted during an approximately seven-hour meeting Saturday involving media members who serve as Hall of Fame selectors -- were announced at an early-evening news conference at the Super Bowl media center.

"I'm so excited for him," former Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel said. "That's big time. It's long overdue. The guy paid his dues. This is great for the Hogs. That group set a standard for what offensive line play in the NFL should be."

Grimm, now the offensive line coach and assistant head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, played for the Redskins between the 1981 and '91 seasons. He played in four Super Bowls and was elected to four straight Pro Bowls between the 1983 and '86 seasons. Grimm also was selected to the NFL's all-decade team of the 1980s.

Grimm, also a former offensive line coach for the Redskins, said his two oldest sons watched the announcement with him in Arizona. He said his thoughts turned to his former Hogs teammates.

"My boys were out here watching it with me," said Grimm, who was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to the Miami area Saturday night. "When they announced it, there was some elation and a bunch of high-fives. Then they said, 'We're going fishing,' and that was it. I guess that's what happens when you spend all those years not making a big deal about it.

"It's one of those things where I know I didn't get to this point by myself. I tell that to people all the time. I was lucky enough to be drafted by a team with a new head coach that was giving young guys a chance to play. I was fortunate to play with great players, and we had to live up to that nickname they gave us when we got to our first Super Bowl. This is about all the success we had there."

The Redskins teams that reached four Super Bowls and won three of them between the 1982-83 and 1991-92 seasons under Gibbs already were represented in the Hall of Fame by Gibbs, running back John Riggins, wide receiver Art Monk and cornerback Darrell Green.

But there had been growing sentiment among voters that a member of the Hogs deserved to be in enshrined in the Canton, Ohio, museum as well, given that those offensive lines were the foundation of the Redskins teams that won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. Bugel and other observers said in recent days that the election of one of the Hogs to the Hall of Fame was overdue.

"It was a tear-jerker, man," Bugel, who retired as the Redskins' offensive line coach on Jan. 14, said by telephone Saturday. "I love the guy. It's gonna be a lot of fun in Canton."
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Fun and hijinks were always high on the Hogs' agenda. "Grimmie!" Rick "Doc" Walker, a tight end on those teams, yelled when he heard the news. "Grimy. He had so many nicknames. I'm so happy for him. Russ was not only an elite player, he was that rare cross between Hell's Angel and football player."

Grimm and offensive tackle Joe Jacoby were two mainstays on the Hogs, whose members, if not their antics, changed over the years. The group is credited by many observers with elevating public awareness to the nuances and importance of offensive-line play in the NFL, and some have called the Hogs the greatest groups of blockers in the history of the sport.

"I'm thrilled for Russ," Gibbs said in a written statement released by the Redskins. "He is very deserving. He was a big part of our success and our three Super Bowl championships. He was a versatile performer that could play center, guard and tackle and was a great leader. He is a great addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and I know there are a lot of Redskins fans that are very happy right now and I'm sure many of them will be in Canton this summer to cheer him on."

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said in a written statement: "Our Redskins fans have always appreciated the Hogs. This is a long deserved honor and we are proud to have Russ as a member of the Hall of Fame. Hopefully Russ is the first of the Hogs to be inducted in Canton representing one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history."

Jacoby called it "a great moment" and said: "It's a start. It's long overdue. I'm really happy for him. August 7 is going to be a great day. I'll be sittin' up there in the stands, yellin' and screamin' for him."


Russ Grimm Induction Speech

Thank you.  Of all the guys I probably could have picked, I knew picking Joe (Bugel) would start me out being a little bit emotional, but with the humidity and some of the pollen, if I start to tear up a little bit, that's the reason why (smiling).

First off I'd like to thank the Hall of Fame committee.  I want to congratulate my fellow members of the Class of 2010.  I want to say congratulations to the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame that are sitting up here.  I want to say thank you for setting a standard for the rest of us.  Thank you for protecting the integrity of the game.  Thank you for all the great memories of this sport.

It's a privilege to play in the NFL.  It's been a privilege to coach in the NFL.  It's an honor to be selected here in Canton.  Thank you.

I'd like to thank all the owners, especially the Cooke family, Dan Snyder, the Rooney family, and the Bidwell family.  I'd like to thank the commissioner.  I'd like to thank all the players, past and present, those I played with and those I played against, for making the NFL a special place.

Growing up, I dreamed of playing college football.  In college, I dreamed of playing professional football.  When I was in the NFL, I dreamed of winning Super Bowls.  I dreamed of winning championships.  But I never dreamed that I'd be standing here today.  I want to make sure that I thank the people that made this possible.

First off, I want to thank my two best fans, my two best coaches, my two best friends, mom and dad.  They made sure I had all the spikes that I needed.  They got me to all the practices.  They got me to all the games.

I'd come home from those games, and my mom would be up on that chair giving me her post-game speech on what I did right, on what I did wrong, and my dad would just sit there smoking that cigarette on telling me what I needed to do to get better.  But they taught me family values, they taught me how to respect others, they taught me how to compete and how to be thankful for what I have.  Thank you very much.

I want to say thanks to Karen and my kids, Chad, Cody, Devin, Dylan, for all the sacrifices they made.  Proud of you.

I'd like to thank my brothers Dave and Donn, my sister Carol Sue for their interest they've showed throughout my career.  I'd like to thank you Stacey for putting up with me, putting this weekend together.  It's been special.

I'm proud to say that I'm from a small town in Western PA.  That's right.  It's a special part of the country, like here, where the knowledge and the support for the game of football is unmatched.  They fill the stadiums on Friday night, Saturday afternoons and Sundays.  You created an excitement that growing up as a young man I wanted to be a part of.  Thank you very much.

Scottdale, PA, I will always call you home.  Thank you for all your support.

Southmoreland High School, my coach John Bacha, the administration, the teachers, thank you for creating a strong, healthy, positive environment for myself and the students of Westmoreland County.

The class of '77, we graduated singing Free Bird.  If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?  Not only did you remember me, you took a special interest, you stayed in touch, you supported and followed my career.  For that, I will always remember you.  Thank you.

University of Pittsburgh, I played quarterback and linebacker in high school, I went to the University of Pitt as a linebacker.  After my sophomore year, Jackie Sherrill called me into his office and told me that we had a lot of seniors graduating on the offensive line and he thought it would be an opportunity for me to switch over and play center.

I told him I never had my hand in the dirt, that I'd just stay at linebacker.

He lifted his eyes up and looked at me and he said, son, I'm not asking.

So I moved over.  I wasn't very happy about it.  But I had a great offensive line coach named Joe Moore.  He knew I wasn't happy.  I didn't like the transition.  But he called me in one day, sat me down, talked about it, told me that I was a football player and I should play whatever position that they thought I was best capable of playing.  He told me that playing offensive line, there's no greater feeling than to be able to move a man from Point A to Point B against his will.  I tried it; I liked it; and I was playing offensive line (smiling).

I was fortunate enough to play on a lot of great teams with a lot of great football players, built a lot of friendships.  Thank you, Jackie Sherrill.  Thank you, Joe Moore.  Thank you to all the guys at the University of Pittsburgh.

I got drafted by the Redskins in '81.  I'm a true believer that if you work hard and you have the talent necessary, good things are going to happen.  But I'm also smart enough to realize you have to be a little bit lucky and get the right opportunity.

I was selected to a team that had a new head coach in Joe Gibbs, a staff that included Joe Bugel, and a lot of talented players selected by Bobby Beathard.  We struggled early, started winning some games.  We finished 8-8 the first year.  The next year was the first of three Super Bowl wins.  In my 11-year career, we won a lot of football games.

Through that time I was fortunate because I played with some great veterans, I played with some good young players, I played with some smart veterans.  But I'm sitting there an offensive linemen, usually have no stats.  Offensive linemen go unnoticed.  I know I didn't get here by myself, all right?

Joe Gibbs, thank you very much.  Joe Bugel, you're special.  You always will be.  Bobby Beathard, thank you.

Next I want to mention a few guys that made it possible for me to be here today, a group of guys that grew together, worked together, played together, raised families together, celebrated together, guys that I consider family, a group known as the Hogs.  Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Mark May, Fred Dean, Donnie Warren, George Starke and Rick Walker.  Your names are going to be embroidered on the inside of this jacket so I always remember the things we went through, the tough times we had and the good times we celebrated.

Mark Schlereth, Raleigh McKenzie, Jim Lachey, Jim Hanifan, all the guys I played with up front, thank you very much and thank you for the memories.

Last but not least, to burgundy and gold fans, there's many a time when I closed my eyes and I picture myself still putting on those pads at old RFK Stadium, and those stands are rocking up and down and 50 some thousand chanting, We want Dallas.  I can hear the diesel horns blowing when 44 was carrying the football, and I remember standing there in the pouring rain when everyone was throwing the seat cushions down on the field in the playoff game versus Atlanta.

You provided a lot of memories for me and my teammates.  You made playing for the Redskins special.  You created an atmosphere on game day that was second to none.  The support you showed, the enthusiasm you had, the love you displayed for those teams will always be remembered.  Thank you very much.

To all football fans, no matter who you root for, no matter what level, you're the reason we play the game.  Thank you very much.