During the month of June, the Last Word On Sports NFL department has began constructing a Mount Rushmore for each team. For this series, we will only consider players. Today, we will present the Washington Redskins Mount Rushmore.
Washington Redskins Mount Rushmore
The Redskins have a long and storied history and really need more than four spots. At least three quarterbacks could get this spot. Joe Theismann and Sonny Jurgensen are two elite quarterbacks that played for the Redskins during the Super Bowl era. Unfortunately for them, though, Baugh is an all-time great NFL quarterback. He is credited with creating the Redskins fandom that remains one of the most devoted in the NFL as well as making the forward pass popular. He played three positions during his NFL career (quarterback, defensive back, and punter) but he shined at quarterback. He was truly an NFL great and a Redskins legend, more so than even the Super Bowl-winning Theismann could achieve. Baugh became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and he was a six-time Pro Bowler.
John Riggins was instrumental during the Redskins 1982 Super Bowl season, including the MVP the Super Bowl itself. He never made a Pro Bowl with the Redskins but he ran for over 1,000 yards five times and had over 13,000 yards in his career. At the time of his retirement, he was one of only two running backs in history to score over 100 touchdowns. Riggins’ name is often on the lips of every Redskins fan, even those who grew up long after he retired. His place in Washington sports lore has been cemented beyond question. Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
If there is one greatest wide receiver in Redskins history, it’s Art Monk. He was the only major player on all three Redskins Super Bowl teams. He was only selected for three Pro Bowls, but he was the first receiver in NFL history to reach 900 receptions, which was a record that stood until Jerry Rice broke it in 1995. Monk might not quite have the same name recognition in Washington as John Riggins, but he is certainly a top player in Redskins history and fandom. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
There is no defensive player in NFL history, let alone Washington Redskins history, like Darrell Green. Green played all 20 of his NFL seasons in Washington, where his speed became legendary. In his first career NFL game, he made a name for himself by doing what everyone believed was impossible–running down Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett. Green was only officially the “NFL’s Fastest Man” four times, but he was one of or the absolute fastest every single one of his seasons. When Green retired at the age of 42, he was the oldest Redskins player ever. In those twenty years he reeled off plenty of highlights, but it is the lack of highlights–the fact that he was a lockdown defender–that should be remembered too. He is widely-respected as one of the best defenders to ever play the game, and that moniker is well-deserved. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.