Russ Grimm, a Pro Bowl guard for the Redskins each year from 1983-86, was announced today as one of 25 semifinalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 6.
Grimm, who played for the Redskins from 1981-91 and coached for them from 1992-2000, is one of just two offensive linemen to survive the cut from 131 to 25. The other is ex-Pittsburgh Steelers center Dermontti Dawson.
Grimm’s former teammates Gary Clark, Joe Jacoby, Jim Lachey, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, Brian Mitchell, Gerald Riggs, Joe Theismann and Doug Williams were all eliminated from consideration. So were former Redskins Larry Centers, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, Rich Gannon, Ken Harvey, Eric Metcalf, Reggie Roby and Frank Wycheck.
The 50-year-old Grimm, the acknowleged leader of the Hogs who powered the Redskins to Super Bowl titles in 1982, 1987 and 1991 and an NFC Championship in 1983, could be hurt by the injuries which limited him to no more than nine starts in each of his final four seasons.
“There’s no real stats for offensive linemen,” Grimm said before he reached the final 10 but wasn’t elected in 2009. “We won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, three different running backs, three different sets of wide receivers but pretty much the same guys up front. So there’s some [Hall of Fame] merit there. I’d love to see us go in as a group.”
Grimm, now the assistant head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, will compete for just three to five spots this year since alltime rushing leader Emmitt Smith and alltime leading receiver Jerry Rice are gimmes.
Joining Grimm, Dawson, Smith and Rice among the 25 semifinalists, who’ll be reduced to 15 finalists on Jan. 7, are: running backs Roger Craig and Terrell Davis; receivers Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed; tight end Shannon Sharpe; defensive linemen Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy and John Randle; linebackers Kevin Greene and Rickey Jackson; cornerbacks Lester Hayes and Aeneas Williams; special teamer Steve Tasker; punter Ray Guy, coach Don Coryell, owner Art Modell and commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
— David Elfin
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