Due to that, it is pretty clear that this franchise has seen a lot of greatness walk through its doors. With that greatness comes legend.
Who are the biggest legends in team history though? Let’s take a look back at Redskins’ of the past and try to figure that out. We’ll narrow it down to five. And just for fun, let’s point out two things.
First of all, this does not mean the greatest players. Second, we are counting coaches. And I think everyone now knows at least one person that will be making the cut. Finally, remember that this list is subjective.
At the same time though, it will be pretty hard to argue with any of the entries on the list.
5. Sammy Baugh
Some people will probably be upset to see Baugh this low on the list. And the crazy thing is, there were actually two other people fighting with him for this spot.
First, was running back John Riggins. Baugh has the ever-important jersey retired though. In fact, he is just one of two players that Washington has retired numbers for.
The other is Bobby Mitchell, who was the other person fighting for this spot. The big difference here was that Baugh spent his entire career with the Redskins.
Now, let’s get to the man himself.
Baugh spent all 16 seasons in the NFL with the Redskins. In that time, the quarterback did some incredible things.
Sure, the numbers were not fantastic. Baugh threw for 21,886 yards and 187 touchdowns, compared to 203 interceptions.
However, for the time (1937-1952) those are not terrible. And he did more than just that. Baugh was also a punter, and an incredible one at that.
Oh, and he had 31 career interceptions on defense.
Baugh was a six-time Pro Bowler and a four-time first team All-Pro. He won two championships with the Redskins (before Super Bowls) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.
The reason Baugh is ranked so low is the quarterback numbers. Over time, as passing numbers get more-and-more absurd, they will only hurt his legacy. Not much, but there will still be people that bring the numbers into the argument.
4. Art Monk
The Redskins have had some great wide receivers in their franchise history. Art Monk stands above them all though.
In fact, Monk stands above most wide receivers in NFL history – no matter the team.
Monk spent 14 of his 16 NFL seasons in Washington. And in that time, he put up some absurd numbers.
Counting the two seasons outside of the franchise, the wide receiver finished his career with 940 receptions for 12,721 yards and 68 receiving touchdowns.
Those numbers are bananas.
Monk made just three Pro Bowls and was only a first team All-Pro one time. However, he is a member of the Hall of Fame (2008). And perhaps most importantly, he was a member of ALL THREE Super Bowl-winning teams in Washington.
That definitely adds to his legacy right there.
Monk is second all-time in receiving touchdowns in Redskins history with 65 (second only to the great Charley Taylor who had 79). Meanwhile, he is in a comfortable lead in receptions (888) and receiving yards (12,026).
One of the greatest of all-time, and an amazing legacy.
3. Sean Taylor
I was going to have a rule that the players had to be with the franchise for at least five years. Then I realized two things.
First, if they weren’t with the team that long, they probably aren’t legends connected that heavily to the franchise.
And second, it would force me to hide just how important Sean Taylor is to the franchise.
It sounds like hyperbole but any Washington fan will say it, and most football fans will agree. Taylor was on a fast-track to becoming one of the greatest defensive backs of all-time.
In four years (the fourth year cut short) in the NFL, Taylor had 305 tackles (six for loss) and two sacks. He also had 12 interceptions and 43 pass deflections, as well as eight forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown.
Oh, and he was possibly the most feared defender in the league. Not only could Taylor hit harder than anyone, he was a great ballhawk. He could cover a receiver or stop a running back right in his tracks for no yards.
Taylor was amazing. The “Meast”.
In his fourth season however, he was tragically shot and killed while trying to protect his family from a home invasion.
It was a death that shook the sports world and gives goosebumps to this day. Many remember just how great he was. The scary thing is, he had not even reached his prime yet. Taylor was only going to get better.
He might have topped the list if he was given the chance.
2. Darrell Green
Darrell Green is the most legendary player the Redskins have ever had for a few reasons.
Let’s get the “silly” one out of the way first. Green was fast. Not just fast, but silly fast. When Green was in his 40s he was still smoking any youngster that tried to race him.
Okay, now onto the “real” stuff. The defensive back spent his 20-year career with the Redskins. During that time, he was one of the best in the NFL.
Green made it to seven Pro Bowls and was a first team All-Pro once. He was also a two time Super Bowl champion and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Green was the greatest cornerback in franchise history. And you could make a case the greatest player as well. He was also a great person though, and teammate. His legacy continues to grow to this day.
1. Joe Gibbs
That’s where we stop with the players though because the number one spot had to go to head coach Joe Gibbs.
Gibbs spent 16 years as the Redskins head coach. In that time, the team went 154-94. He was the head coach of all three Super Bowl-winning teams in Washington.
And it’s not like it was just a quick run either. Gibbs made the playoffs in 10 of the 16 seasons. Oh, and his playoff record? 17-7.
Remember how bad the Redskins were in the early 2000s? Gibbs came out of retirement to take the team over again. And in his second year, he already had them back in the playoffs at 10-6.
Then he coached the 2007 team that had to deal with the terrible Sean Taylor tragedy. Gibbs helped rally the team to win the last four games of the season and sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. That was his last year with the team, and he gave them one more magical run.
Gibbs is easily one of the greatest coaches of all-time. And absolutely the greatest the Redskins ever had.
Two-time Coach of the Year, three-time Super Bowl champion and a Hall of Famer (1996). A legend by any standard.