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Russ Grimm Gets The Hall Call

Cardinals' assistant voted to Canton for years as star lineman

Cardinals' assistant head coach Russ Grimm, a four-time Pro Bowler as an offensive lineman with the Redskins, was voted into the Hall of Fame Saturday.
Cardinals' assistant head coach Russ Grimm, a four-time Pro Bowler as an offensive lineman with the Redskins, was voted into the Hall of Fame Saturday.

Russ Grimm will enjoy his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, but – knowing it comes Aug. 7 and in the heart of training camp with the Arizona Cardinals – won't let it take him away from his current job too long.

"I don't plan on bailing out – my bailing out will be at the minimum," said the Cards' assistant head coach/offensive line coach/run game coordinator, who was elected to the Hall of Fame Saturday for his days as a Pro Bowl offensive lineman with the Washington Redskins. "There are certain thing I have to do (in Canton) but there are certain things I have to do back here.

"Hopefully coach Whiz and I can mesh that, but I think I can work around it. I've been with this group (of players) for three years, so they should know how to go over the bags and run some of these plays by now."

It's likely the Cardinals' offensive linemen and Ken Whisenhunt will be just fine with Grimm leaving Flagstaff for a couple of days, given the magnitude of Saturday's news.

Grimm became the first member of the Redskins' famed "Hogs" offensive line – which led Washington to four Super Bowls -- to make the Hall.

Besides Grimm, the Hall of Fame class of 2010 included running back and NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, who played the final two seasons of his stellar career with the Cardinals. Also in the class was shoo-in Jerry Rice at wide receiver, linebacker Rickey Jackson, defensive tackle John Randle and senior committee choices Dick LeBeau, a defensive back, and Floyd Little, a running back.

Grimm played for the Redskins from 1981-91, anchoring a line to three Super Bowl victories.

It was the sixth year in a row Grimm had made the 15 finalists in the Hall vote. The induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, will take place Aug. 7, and Grimm said he will have his long-time offensive line coach with the Redskins, Joe Bugel, present him.

Bugel, coincidentally, also served as head coach of the Cardinals from 1990-93.

"Russ was one of the most complete football players, and people, I ever coached," Bugel said. "He was the leader by example. He wasn't a loudmouth. He just came to work every day. (The Hall of Fame) is a well-deserved honor."

Indeed, Grimm wasn't loud after getting the news. He insisted he was "elated" to be elected, but you'd have to take his word for it. As usual, Grimm was laid-back about the process, saying the excitement was about a "50-50" split between he and his family and friends.

Grimm mentioned most of the linemen he played with in Washington -- particularly Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic – and noted the unique place of an offensive line on a football team.

"Just like at training camp here (with the Cardinals), the offensive line stays down in a corner by ourselves and it is like, 'Call us when you need us,' " Grimm said. "It is that attitude. The thing you miss most about the game is not so much the highs and lows of winning, it is missing the camaraderie, the moments you spend with some of those guys that you have played with for a long time. I still miss it to this day."

Grimm was able to spend the moment of announcement with his two sons, Chad – a fellow assistant coach with the Cardinals – and Cody, in town training for the NFL scouting combine after a solid career as a linebacker with Virginia Tech.

Grimm said his sons congratulated their dad and then told him they were going fishing. Grimm, meanwhile, was left to talk to the media about an honor he said hadn't set in.

"To be enshrined in Canton, I don't think that part has hit me yet," Grimm said. "I played the game because I did it ever since I was a kid and I had fun playing it.

"I remember saying in grade school I was going to play in the pros and that was a dream just to do that. … This is a great day in my life."

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