Goldberg, Grimm Look For Hall Call

Former Pitt football players Russ Grimm and Marshall Goldberg are among the list of 17 finalists for induction this year into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Selectors will meet Saturday, the day before Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, to vote on the inductees, with induction requiring 80 percent voting support on the final ballot. The Class of 2008 will include between four and seven members.

To be considered for Hall of Fame election, players and coaches must be retired at least five years. There is no mandatory retirement period for contributors. Enshrinement for the Class of 2008 will be Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio.

Marshall Goldberg joined former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Emmitt Thomas were added to the list by the Senior Committee. Goldberg has been eligible for 46 years, while Thomas is in his 25th year. Russ Grimm has been eligible for 12 years now.

Goldberg, an Elkins, W.Va. native, died April 3, 2006 at age 88, was a member of two "Dream Backfields.'' He became a starter as a sophomore at Pittsburgh in 1936 and was an All-American the following season. As a senior, he asked to be moved to fullback to help the Panthers' depth. So, legendary coach Jock Sutherland put together a backfield with Goldberg at fullback, quarterback John Chickerneo and halfbacks Dick Cassiano and Harold Stebbins. Pitt went 8-2, and Goldberg was an All-American again.

During his career at Pitt, Goldberg rushed for 1,957 yards, a school record that wasn't broken until Tony Dorsett came along. In 1939, Goldberg joined the NFL's Chicago Cardinals. He missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons while in military service during World War II, then returned to the Cardinals in 1946 and played through 1948.

The team's 1946 "Dream Backfield'' was made up of Paul Christman at quarterback, Goldberg and Elmer Angsman at halfback and Pat Harder at fullback. In his last two seasons, Goldberg was replaced by Charlie Trippi, but remained with the team as a valuable backup. As a pro, Goldberg gained 1,644 yards on 476 carries and scored 11 touchdowns. He caught 60 passes for 775 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Grimm, 48, a Scottdale, Pa. native, is the assistant head coach and offensive line coach with the Arizona Cardinals. An All-American center at Pitt, Grimm's Panthers were 22-2 over his junior and senior seasons (1979-80). He was a third-round NFL Draft pick by the Washington Redskins in 1981 (69th overall).

Grimm started 11 seasons at guard for the Redskins (1981-91) and helped lead them to four Super Bowl appearances and three wins. He was voted to four straight Pro Bowls (1983-86), was a first-teamer on the 1980s all-decade team and an original member of Washington's renowned "Hogs'' offensive line.

After his playing career ended, Grimm became an assistant coach with the Redskins. He also coached six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and just completed his first season as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach with the Arizona Cardinals. He has been an NFL assistant for 16 seasons.

Also on the list, as a contributor, is former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver and Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green are in their first years of eligibility. Remaining finalists are Randy Gradishar (20 years), Bob Kuechenberg (19), Fred Dean (18), Ray Guy (17), Andre Tippett (10), Andre Reed, Richard Dent, Derrick Thomas, Art Monk, Randall McDaniel and Gary Zimmerman.

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