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Grimm Preps For Hall

Cardinals' offensive line coach already garnered deep respect before Canton called


Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm addresses the media in Flagstaff Tuesday.

FLAGSTAFF – Maybe, one day, Russ Grimm will walk into the meeting room of the offensive line, sporting his Hall of Fame blazer. You know, just for impact.

"No way," Cardinals guard Alan Faneca said, smiling and shaking his head. "No way."

"He's going to enjoy the moment," Faneca said of his coach, who will be inducted Saturday in Canton. "But he will be modest about it."

Grimm doesn't need the Hall of Fame on his résumé to impress his players. That came a long time ago. Even the young players who have no memory of Grimm's all-pro days as a guard for the Washington Redskins learn about Grimm's history quickly.

The Hall call doesn't add much.

"I don't really think of that as a bonus," Grimm said. "They still have to know you are confident in what you are teaching, and you still have to be consistent in your coaching. It helps that you played, because I have been through that situation, I have been through the two-a-days, I know how their body feels, I know the struggles that come mentally sometimes."

That doesn't mean Grimm isn't looking forward to this weekend. He will leave Flagstaff after the night practice Wednesday and board an early Thursday morning flight to Ohio before returning Monday. He hasn't finished his speech yet, and there is a mixture of nervousness and excitement as the official day comes closer.

There will probably be some emotions for the big ex-lineman, and maybe even some tears – although Grimm said he won't admit to it. "I'll just blame it on the humidity in Cleveland," he said.

He joked about not having any idea what he was doing while in Canton. Even his clothes have been marked – he had someone ready a suit for Thursday night's activities, a suit for Friday, and so on.

"I just know when I am leaving and when I am coming back," Grimm said. "Everything in between, we're just going to wing it."

Grimm was a finalist for the Hall five years in a row without making the final group before the sixth time became the charm.

"Having been with Russ for a long time, we already thought of him as a Hall of Famer," said Faneca, who spent six seasons with Grimm in Pittsburgh before reuniting in Arizona this season. "It was a matter of time. There are guys that are Hall of Famers and they just aren't in there yet, you know? They just haven't given the speech yet."

As for the jacket, Grimm said one day, he might wear it somewhere. But it won't be in a meeting room.

"Right now, I am coaching football," Grimm said. "Saturday may be a little different, but then get my butt back here and let's get ready to go."

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