The Best — As I See It!
Part V: Defensive Linemen
What is really fun about being a fan of a long established pro sports franchise is that you have an ever filling reservoir of players from which to choose for your list of best in a particular position. And, being a fan of the team whether it is for 50 years or five years means that you can fall back on your own personal opinion when making your own list of the best.
What follows is my list of the best Washington Redskins by squad.
Part I will cover the offensive line.
Part II will identify the best receivers.
Part III will list the best quarterbacks.
Part IV will describe the best running backs.
Part V goes into the best defensive linemen.
Part VI covers the linebackers.
Part VII will i.d. the best defensive backs.
Part VIII will discuss the best punters and field goal kickers.
Part IX will identify the best tight ends.
Again, this is my opinion. I encourage you to post your list of the best in a particular position as a comment to my article that covers that position. For example, no doubt you have your own opinions on who were the best Washington Redskins defensive linemen. Post your picks as a comment to my article.
The Best Lines
Before we make a list of individual greats who played on the defensive line, let’s take a look at the best lines.
I think the best place to start off is to select the years the Redskins made it to the Super Bowl — 1972, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1991.
The defensive line of 1972 included some of the overall best in Redskins history as well as some who may not be remembered, but deserve some acknowledgment.
DE Verlon Biggs
DT Bill Brundige
DT Diron Talbert
DE Ron McDole
The defensive line of 1982 consisted of players who made an indelible mark on our memories. Example, Darryl Grant intercepting a tipped pass from Danny White and lumbering into the endzone to clinch the NFC title.
DE Dexter Manley (6.5 sacks)
DT Darryl Grant (2.5 sacks)
DT Dave Butz (4.5 sacks)
DE Matt Mendenhall (1.0 sacks)
Tony McGee (6.5 sacks)
The 1983 defensive line included a number of potential hall of famers.
DE Dexter Manley (11.0 sacks)
DT Dave Butz (11.5 sacks)
DT Darryl Grant (2.5 sacks)
DE Charles Mann (3.0 sacks)
Tony McGee (10.0 sacks)
The 1987 squad pretty much continued the tradition set in 1983.
DE Charles Mann (9.5 sacks)
DT Dave Butz (3.0 sacks)
DT Darryl Grant (2.0 sacks)
DE Dexter Manley (8.5 sacks)
Marcus Koch (2.0 sacks)
And the 1991 line shows somewhat of a break from tradition and shows transition from 87 to 91.
DE Charles Mann (11.5 sacks)
DT Bobby Wilson (4.5 sacks)
DT Tim Johnson (3.5 sacks)
DE Marcus Koch (1.0 sacks)
Fred Stokes (6.5 sacks)
Jumpy Geathers (4.5 sacks)
It is difficult to analyze the 1972 defensive line because back then the NFL didn’t keep statistics on sacks. The later lines consisted pretty much of the same players.
Still, taking sacks into account, and the fact that many of them deserve to be in the Hall, I would select the 1983 line as the best followed by the 1987 line and then the 1991 line.
Now in terms of individuals, I took a look at the list of the 70 Greatest Redskins. It includes the following DLs:
Gene Brito (1951-1953, 1955-1958)
Bill Brundige (1970-1977)
Dave Butz (1975-1988)
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