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Redskins HOF Semifinalists

Jim Gehman

Camp Fodder
Jul 19, 2009
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Former Redskins offensive tackle Joe Jacoby and linebacker Dave Robinson [a senior nominee] have been named as semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

The selection committee will reduce the list to 15 finalists in January. No more than five will be inducted into the Hall. The senior nominees [Robinson and Curley Culp] are voted upon separately. The results are scheduled to be announced on Feb. 2, the day prior to Super Bowl XLVII.

I’ve interviewed Jacoby and included him in my Redskins book “Then Gibbs Said to Riggins…”.

Two Impressive Joes

From running back George Rogers, who was chosen first overall by New Orleans, to Phil Nelson, a tight end from Delaware, who was picked 332nd by Oakland, the NFL held its two-day draft in 1981 without Louisville’s 6’7”, 310-pound offensive tackle Joe Jacoby’s name being announced.

But being a free agent was fine with Jacoby because it offered the opportunity to sign a contract with any team. And while several teams were interested, he agreed to a deal with the Redskins mainly for one reason: “[Offensive line coach] Joe Bugel. He’s the one that stayed in contact with me through the whole process when the season was over and the scouting aspect of it went on late into the winter and spring,” Jacoby said. “He just stayed involved with it, stayed on top of it. My mindset coming in, being a free agent and being one of anywhere from 115 to 125 guys in camp, was just to do my best, give it a shot, and see what happens. I guess I did catch their eye because of my ability with my quickness. Not quickness in my feet, but my athletic ability to play on the offensive line.”

Once he was put through training camp drills and scrimmages while competing with seven veterans and five draft choices, some other examples of Jacoby’s abilities surfaced: his work ethic, consistency, and his versatility.

“Yeah, I think that helped,” said Jacoby, who was tried out at every position on the offensive line but center. “It helped during camp and being plugged in when you’re in practice. All of a sudden they’d say, 'All right, go to left tackle.’ Then you’d come out and the next time they put you in at right guard. So [it was] being able to decipher the plays being called and basically it was knowing your right from your left and not making mistakes.”

After alternating between guard and tackle for the first eight weeks, Jacoby was anchored down at left tackle where, he’d become a mainstay and a four-time Pro Bowler.

[From Chapter 3] Super Bowl Sundays

After making the Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 1981, Joe Jacoby played football’s answer to the game musical chairs. He started two games at left guard, three games at right tackle, and then finally settled in at left tackle, where he started eight games. His versatility was recognized and rewarded by being named to the Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie Team.

The following year, during the strike-shortened 1982 campaign, Jacoby and the rest of the team were recognized after winning Super Bowl XVII over Miami.

“You never think you would be involved,” said Jacoby. “First, making a National Football League team and then two years later, playing in the Super Bowl. It went beyond what anybody could’ve imagined. And then during the years I played, to be involved with it more than once, it’s hard to put into words. I guess looking back on it now, you’re the last game of the year besides the Pro Bowl and you’ve got over 100 million people watching you [on television]. So when you think about that, that’s pretty neat.”

Something that was even better than pretty neat for the Redskins and their fans was that over the next nine years they’d play in three more Super Bowls and be crowned as champions twice. Jacoby feels that the successes were as a result of the total team efforts.

“I think the key was Coach [Joe] Gibbs and the staff. Staring with not just Coach Gibbs, but [Redskins owner] Mr. [Jack Kent] Cooke, [general managers] Bobby Beathard and Charley Casserly, and the people we had all the way from Mr. Cooke on down. That’s everybody working towards one common goal. Everybody had their responsibilities and knew what they were supposed to do. Nobody was looking over their shoulder.

“Coach Gibbs ran the offense and had his responsibilities and he had the assistant coaches doing their jobs. So it was everybody working together, and then you had to put the pieces on the field together with the players.”
When I think Hogs, the first face that always comes to mind is Jacoby.

He's earned a spot in the hall no doubt.
While I'll always think of Dave Robinson as a Packer, he was effective during his 2-year stint with the Skins. He was yet another George Allen acquisition. I got the chance to meet him in 1973, along with Charley Taylor, at a personal appearance at some nursery on Rt. 7.

As for Big Jake, there's no question he belongs in the HOF, even if he should have received a razzie award for those TheatreVision commercials. ;)
He should've been the first one in Grimm just got it because he's been coaching in the NFL. Look who started in almost every big game, it wasn't Grimm.
Jacoby (as the rest of the Hogs) should make it. Its just an honest fact. No matter how good Grimm was, he was not that much better than the rest.

There's not a knowledgeable football fan out there that doesn't know who the hogs are (as a unit, they may not know all the names that make it up). They may hate hearing people talk about it, they may hate the redskins, but if someone said 'hogs' in relation to football they know what is being talked about.

That alone tells me the entire line should be in the HOF.

Is there another O line that has a nickname that so well known? I can't think of one that just stood for an O line...

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