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A Grimm Outlook on Saturday?

A Grimm Outlook on Saturday?

A year ago this coming Saturday, Darrell Green was in Arizona in order to attend the announcement of the Class of 2009 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Art Monk didn't go West with his former Washington Redskins teammate but there's no doubt that he kept his cell phone on just in case his name was called in that press conference. As we know, both Green and Monk ended up on the list for enshrinement.

This coming Saturday, Russ Grimm, another member of those storied Redskins teams, will not be hanging around any media gatherings. He will be tough to reach by phone. During that time he and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff will be making final preparations for the Super Bowl.

Will Grimm, who is one of the 15 modern-day finalists, get that call this year?

His resume for Canton is solid but it makes him far from a slam dunk. Since his position does not involve statistics, at least not his own, one must look at other, much more subjective criteria get examined by the committee.

The major strength in Grimm's case is that he was chosen as a guard on the NFL's All-1980's team. That's an impressive feather in his helmet. It means that there is an affirmative answer to this question considered to be key for induction: Was he among the very best at his position for an extended period of time?

While making such a team is a strong resume enhancement, it's not a guarantee of induction. Of the 22 offensive players on the all-80's team, 16 are in the Hall and a 17th, Jerry Rice, will sail to induction when he's eligible next year. Of the four guards on that team, two are in, John Hannah and Mike Munchak, are in while Grimm and Bill Fralic are not.

The four consecutive berths on the AP All-Pro team—that's the best among both conferences—earned by Grimm from 1983-1986 speaks to a period of dominance at his position as well.

After receiving that honor in 1986, Grimm figured to be aboard the express train to Canton but then injuries started to derail his chances. He missed 27 games from 1987 through 1989 and, although he did get back into the lineup for the Redskins' last Super Bowl run in 1991, he never again made any kind of all-pro or all-conference team and he didn't play in another Pro Bowl.

The fact that Grimm appeared in just four Pro Bowls in the major factor working against his induction. The members of the selection committee like to have numbers to justify their decisions and multiple Pro Bowls are big for offensive linemen. There is no magic number but eight to ten seems to where that stat works strongly in favor of a potential enshrinee.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated, a member of the committee, puts the odds of Grimm getting in at 6:1. He seems to be a supporter of Grimm:

Hard to believe there's no Washington Hog in the Hall from maybe the greatest offensive line in history, but I don't sense much traction for Grimm. I hope I'm wrong.

The key number always is five. That's the maximum number of the 15 finalists that can get in in one year. (There are two veterans' committee nominees but they are considered separately). Bruce Smith, who finished his career in Washington, will certainly get in. Rod Woodson has a very strong case and is likely to get selected.

Beyond that the outlook is murky. It may come down to whether or not they decide to give one of the five spots to a contributor—Paul Tagliabue and Ralph Wilson also are finalists. That almost certainly would leave Grimm on the outside looking in.

Even if a guard is selected, Grimm's case is about the same as that of Bob Kuechenberg of the Dolphins and Kuechenberg seems to be more likely to get selected. He went to six Pro Bowls, played for a winning team, and he has been waiting longer than Grimm. Since the committee tends to take things like that into consideration the presence of Kuechenberg makes Grimm's selection unlikely.

Grimm's best chance is if the committee decides to indulge in another of its quirks, clearing a backlog. Occasionally when there are few certain first-ballot candidates they will take advantage of the opportunity to put in multiple nominees who played one position in order to get them in before their Hall of Fame fate goes into the hands of the veterans committee.

That's a slim possibility, one that's not great enough to make watching the telecast of the announcement of the selections must-watch TV like it was last year. But keep you ears open to see if the long shot comes through and a deserving Hog gets the call to Canton.

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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

It looks like the Redskins are moving on from Junior Galette.

Citing a team source, Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the team has withdrawn its contract offer to Galette, the veteran pass rusher who finally got on the field last year after missing all of his first two seasons in Washington with injuries. He is an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins may have a replacement for Galette lined up. They had former Bear Pernell McPhee in for a visit earlier this week and there was a report that they made him a contract offer after that. McPhee subsequently visited the Falcons facility, but he has not signed anywhere. However, there have been no reports that a deal is imminent as of this morning.


As for Galette, Hernandez mentions two possible destinations. One is the Browns, who have two key connections to Galette. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who signed Galette after he was cut by the Saints after the 2014 season is in the personnel department in Cleveland. In addition, Gregg Williams, who was the Saints’ defensive coordinator when Galette made the team as an undrafted rookie, currently has the same position with the Browns.

Another possibility is the Rams. The connections there are Joe Barry, the linebackers coach in LA who was Redskins’ defensive coordinator during Galette’s first two years with the team, and head coach Sean McVay, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington while Galette was on the other side of the ball.

Galette has said on social media lately that his first choice is to remain with the Redskins but that the money had to be “fair”. The interest in a return to Washington was mutual but evidently, the organization’s idea of fair and Galette’s differed by too great a margin to bridge the gap.  

Last year, Galette didn’t have an impressive sack total, getting three in a backup role. But he got plenty of pressure on the quarterback and that can be just as important as sacks.


Galette developed into a feared pass rusher with the Saints, getting double-digit sacks his last two seasons there. After signing him to a lucrative contract extension, the Saints abruptly released Galette due to some off-field issues. McCloughan and the Redskins signed him soon after the start of training camp in 2015 but before he could even play in a preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice and he was out for the year.

His much-anticipated return the following year ended before it even started. Shortly before it was time to report to training camp, he tore the other Achilles and he was on the shelf again.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.