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Need to Know: Five Redskins who should be in the Hall of Fame

Feb 1, 2014, 5:33 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 1, 96 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be selected today and announced tonight at the NFL awards dinner. Only one of the 15 finalists has any connection to the Redskins at all. Receiver Andre Reed was a member of the 2000 Redskins (the team that also brought in Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith). Reed capped his distinguished 16-year career by playing in 13 games and catching 10 passes for 103 yards.

So even if Reed gets in we can hardly say that another Redskin got into the Hall. Here are five who could warrant enshrinement in Canton, starting with the most deserving.

1. RB Larry Brown (1969-1976)—The Veteran’s Committee put Broncos running back Floyd Little, a contemporary of Brown’s, in the Hall of Fame and Brown had a very comparable career.  Little lasted one more season than Brown. The Redskins back averaged 743 per season played while Little averaged 702. Little was a first-team All-pro once, Brown had that honor twice. But most of all, Brown was the league MVP in 1972 while Little never came close to getting such an honor.

2. OT Joe Jacoby (1981-1993)—I have no issue with Russ Grimm being in the Hall but if they are only going to end up with one member of The Hogs in Canton it should be Jacoby. He played longer (13 seasons to 11 for Grimm), appeared in more Super Bowls (4 to 2) and was the more dominant player at his position. Grimm was great getting Riggins running room on the 50 Gut. But Jacoby overpowered defensive ends in the run game and protected the blindside for Joe Theismann and Doug Williams, and flipped to right tackle to form one of the best pass-blocking lines ever for Mark Rypien in 1991.

3. KR Brian Mitchell (1990-1999)—If they enshrine punter Ray Guy tonight then at some point they have to have to put in a returner, right? Mitchell is second all-time in all-purpose yards and first in punt return yards and kickoff return yards. If you’re going to put in a returner, he’s the guy.

4. C Len Hauss (1964-1977)—We’re getting into marginal candidates now but someday the Veteran’s Committee should take a good look at Hauss. He started 196 straight games, 14 years for 14-game seasons making five Pro Bowls on the way.

5. TE Jerry Smith (1965-1977)—The fact that Smith’s NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end stood from 1976 (he didn’t catch any TD’s in his last year) until Shannon Sharpe broke it in 2003 is a testament to how good he was. His case for the Hall is diminished by the fact that he made just two Pro Bowls and was first-team All-Pro just once. But if you look down on his page on Pro Football reference you’ll see his career was comparable to those of Hall of Famers Charlie Sanders, Mike Ditka, Jackie Smith, and Dave Casper.

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—It’s been 34 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 218 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 18; NFL Free agency starts 38; Offseason workouts start 65; NFL Draft 96

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  1. kenlinkins - Feb 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    The HOF made a mistake with Little, no since making another by placing Larry Brown in the HOF. Brown was very good but IMO just missed greatness. Len Hauss was another very good center in a time of many very good centers but again, IMO just missed the HOF. Joe Jacoby was a little before his time (over sized LT) and didn’t get credit for all he did, many saw the HOGs as a unit and not a group of great O-linemen. Brian Mitchell has the 2nd best case to make it, but many people can not name the person who leads in all purpose yards. Brian has some PR work ahead of him to make it in. Jerry Smith is the one person listed here who IMO should have been in LONG AGO, but being the first Pro Sports Person to die of Aids has hurt him. And to be frank with you, until the HOF gets Jerry Smith in, I do not care how many other Redskins get in, In fact I wish the 4 other guys listed would push for Jerry Smith, but that would kill any chance they have. Until a gay player comes out in the NFL, jerry Smith has no shot at the HOF (IMO) and that is just sad as he was a great player.

  2. redskinscaio - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Loved Joe Jacoby, I hope he gets in

  3. kenlinkins - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Rich, My statement on Larry Brown is not meant to disrespect what he did as a Washington Redskin. I met Larry Brown a few times and can say that he is one of the very best people I have known. He and Charlie Harraway would help kids with their homework on Mondays and Tuesdays in the lobby of his Apt and then take these younger kids outside to play. No Older kids where allowed and if you didn’t show up for study time you didn’t get to play football with the NFL greats. They were never “full of themselves” or tried to use this time as PR, they just liked helping the kids. If Larry Brown gets into the HOF it would not hurt my feelings nor would I protest in the streets but I do think he was just a hair below the line to get in.

  4. Chuck Young - Feb 1, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Russ Grimm was a member of all four Redskins Super Bowl teams along with Joe Jacoby.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Grimm was indeed a member of those teams but he did not “appear”, as it said in the post, in the SB’s following the ’87 (played 6 games that season) and ’91 (played one game) seasons.

  5. Gordon - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Joe jacoby definatly; ditto for Brian Mitchell! The two Redskins who are not on this list and should be…….Gary Clark and Dave Butz Archives

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