Canton Bound

Art Monk had to wait a while; Darrell Green did not. But the end result is this: they'll enter the Hall of Fame together, which almost seems right.



Both were voted into the Hall of Fame earlier today, where they'll join John Riggins and coach Joe Gibbs from the Super Bowl teams of the 1980s. Also, former Redskins assistant coach, Emmitt Thomas earned a spot from his playing days as a corner.

While Green was considered a safe bet, Monk was not. Some feared this day would not come after Michael Irvin was voted in ahead of him last year. But several voters started to change their mind over the past two years, giving his bid momentum. "All of us have been hoping this was going to happen," Gibbs said. "The thing I wanted to emphasize about Art was what kind of person he was. He was one of our leaders, a first-class guy. Someone the kids can look up to. … A major portion of his time here, he played the inside portion. We asked him to block in there and run inside routes. It took away some of the average per catch. He was always unselfish, willing to do what it took to be a great teammate."

Monk spent 13 years in Washington and retired as the NFL's all-time leading receiver with 820 receptions. But the fact that he wasn't considered the scariest receiver on the team – many thought Gary Clark worried defenses more – kept him out of Canton.

In time, though, the appreciation for Monk's consistency grew.

"Whether I deserved to play in the NFL or deserve even to be in Hall of Fame, I just loved the game, loved to play, loved being out there," Monk said.

Gibbs also helped with persuasive efforts while talking to some who had votes.

"It wasn't politicking," Gibbs said. "[But] anyone who called me I was trying to explain his role and why his average per catch did not reflect what some of the pure outside receivers did. [But] Art got in the right way; the people voted him in."

Green didn't need such help. Not after playing 20 years with the Redskins. He made seven Pro Bowls and finished with 54 interceptions.

"This is incredible. This is so special," Green said. "This is out of this world. This literally transcends football, everything I have gone through to do what I was able to do. It was more than the ability to run and cover. It just goes so far beyond that."

Green's ability as a shutdown corner transformed the Redskins' defense.


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