Top 12 All Time Redskins: Stephen Davis

Trying to get back on track with my Top 12’s.  It’s been a few months since i posted a new player…i guess i just wanted to sit on Santana Moss a little longer than most.  Next up at #7 is Mr. Stephen Davis.  I can’t believe i’m doing this, but i’m gonna post a video of Davis as a Panther.  I apologize for the music…nickelback…i am so so sorry.

This might possibly be the oddest top 12 Redskin on the list.  When most people think of Davis, they probably imagine him running behind Jake Delhomme and not Brad Johnson.  His Redskins career was shorter than it really should have been and if i recall correctly, this was due mostly to a contract dispute.  The Redskins thinking he was another replaceable guy at running back at the end of his career and Davis knowing he had some yards left…well, the Redskins were wrong on this one (and many others, i know) as he made a Super Bowl appearance with the Panthers in his first season with them.

96 SC Stephen Davis

One of the things that i loved about Davis was his powerful running and bulldozing style, very similar to the Diesel, but also a great way to shorten your career.  Davis’ pounding running style was a major force for the 1999 Redskin team that won the NFC East and were a bobbled snap from playing the Rams in the NFC championship game…

96 SB Stephen Davis

Another point of interest for me and Stephen Davis is that he is from Spartanburg, South Carolina!  My pops and all his family are from Spartanburg and with me being born in Myrtle Beach, I’m always drawn to football talent from SC.  Although i’m more of a Tigers fan than an Gamecocks fan, i can respect Clowney.  Good thing Davis went to Auburn.  As a side note, Auburn’s architectural design/build program, the Rural Studio is a fantastic group of young architects doing great things in rural Alabama and Mississippi.  Wish i could have been a part of that program when i was an undergrad.

96 PP Stephen Davis

Not much to add about Davis, other than i just loved the way he played.  Loved the mashers…kind of reminds me of Alfred Morris.  And the beat goes on!

00 UD Stephen Davis

if you are still reading…this music is so so much better.

 

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Santana Moss

In the next installment of my all-time favorite Washington Redskins players, Santana Moss checks in at #8.

12 TC Santana Moss NFL Captain Patch

TanaMan came to the Redskins in a trade that sent Laveranues Coles back to the Jets in 2004.  I was more than happy to see Coles go.  He had become another prima-donna receiver and complained about everything with the Redskins.  There could have been some behind the scene things I don’t know about, but if you don’t want to play for my favorite team, than I don’t want you to either.  Bringing Moss in was a bit of a coup for the Redskins.  They needed a big play receiver that could stretch the field as well as someone who could become a possession receiver.  Moss ended up filling both roles very nicely and was a part of the late season push for the playoffs in 2005.

12 PS Santana Moss Auto 4:25

Moss will forever be one of my favorite players for what he did on Monday night in Irving, Texas on September 19, 2005.

When the schedule for the 2005 season came out and i saw that the Cowboys and Redskins would be playing on September 19, the day before my 30th birthday, I knew i had to get tickets.  I got them locked down and went overboard on the seats, but was able to justify them by saying it was a gift…to me, because I’m special! 🙂  Finding someone to go with me was difficult and I was turned down by my father (I know…) and a couple other friends.  So, that left my Mom.  Who doesn’t love their mom?  They are the best.  She came through when noone else would and dealt with the 100+ degree temperature in the dumpy old Cowboy stadium to be a part of her son’s favorite team playing their biggest rival.  During the game, I could tell she wanted no part of the action on the field and was more than ready to leave…especially seeing how poorly my guys were playing.  Until the last 4 minutes of the game when the noodle armed Mark Brunell tossed two bombs downfield to a double teamed Santana Moss for game winning touchdowns.  Magnificent.  Not to mention, by the time the touchdowns were made it was actually September 20th…an awesome birthday gift and one that hasn’t been matched since (although my wife came really close three years ago with amazing tickets to a game at FedEx Field.)  One more thing, the Dallas Cowboys Trifecta of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin were inducted in to the ring of fame during halftime of that game…even more reason to have this game at the top of the list!

11 PP Santana Moss Jersey Auto 4:10

Santana is getting close to the end of his career and I doubt he will suit up for anyone else.  He is still productive and can put up some great numbers with RG3 getting him the ball this season.  I would love to see him put up a 1,000 yard season and 5TD’s this year.  Could be a nice way to round out the career.

09 BS Santana Moss Refractor 53:199

#8 – Santana Moss

#9 – Chris Cooley

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Chris Cooley

Captain Chaos, Chris Cooley is next up on my all time favorite Redskins list, coming in at number 9.

10 LC Chris Cooley  Shirt off my Back 37:50

Cooley was drafted in 2004 and part of Joe Gibbs first draft class since returning to coach the Redskins.  The unheralded TE from Utah State ended up being selected in the 3rd round (81st overall) and was the 6th TE picked behind guys with marginal NFL success such as…Kellen Winslow, Benjamin Watson, Ben Troupe, Kris Wilson and Ben Hartsock.  Not sure why he was able to slip this deep in to the draft?  The only thing i could suspect was his performance at a small school in Utah (football small…)… it could also have been that he played in the Sun Belt conference.  Not exactly the SEC when it comes to talent pools.  This kind of oversight always happens to the small school kids.  You see guys that go to the tradition football powerhouses and get pushed to the top of the draft or taken higher than they should be and fail to meet the high NFL expectations.  I always love it when the small school guys succeed, kind of the all american redemption story.

10 PP Chris Cooley Jersey 94:150

Cooley became one of the leagues premier Tight Ends in 9 short seasons, and putting up solid numbers with a franchise that was nothing short of chaotic.  New coaches, coordinators and QB’s seemed to come through each year, but he always managed to put up solid numbers.

09 TC Chris Cooley Blue Refractor

One of my favorite stories was when the Redskins were looking at drafting him, Joe Gibbs fell in love with the guy and thought he was a Mormon, being from Utah and all, you know?  That’s where they keep the Mormons and all of the fine folks of Utah are indeed Mormon!  Joe Gibbs couldn’t have been more wrong.  Captain Chaos was a beer drinking, prank calling wild child that let everything hang out…literally…or figuratively…whatever.

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One of my favorite Cooley moments was his second season with the Redskins, 2005, agains the Dallas Cowboys.  The Redskins were in the midst of turning around the season and making a late season push, needing to win out to even have hope of making the playoffs.  That game was a huge breakout moment for Cooley as he put up 3 of the Redskins 4 first half TD’s, with the last being a beautiful 30 yard run down the sidelines.  I remember shouting COOOOOOOOLEY as loud as i could at my tv, just in case anyone could hear me.  Such an exciting game and fantastic season.  It’s moments like these that make you love your sports team…and make everything seem so much enjoyable.

11 TT Chris Cooley Auto Jersey 11:25

The Redskins ended up winning the game 35-7 and making the playoffs.  They beat the Buccaneers in Tampa and traveled to Seattle where my wife and I attended our first Redskins game together.  Although the good guys lost, it was great to see my favorite team in a playoff game…how many kids get to do that!

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Cooley is also a bit of a renaissance man.  An artist, a painter and a potter.  He has had multiple gallery exhibits in DC and involved in the art community as well.  But instead of showing his art, i’m choosing to show his crusty heavy metaled out practice shorts…cause that’s just more fun!

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He also married a Redskins cheerleader, which is pretty cool…kind of high school-ish, but cool no less…

Cooley wife

…and eventually ended up wearing this at his wedding…what a guy!

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Last season was more than likely his last.  Cooley was cut just before the start of the season as the development of Fred Davis and transition of Niles Paul to TE made his role less critical.  It became pretty obvious that his tenure was coming to an end.  Cooley ended up coming back for 8 games last year but only caught one pass.  At this point, i’m hoping he hangs it up and does the traditional signing of a one day contract as a Redskin.

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All Cooley fans remember the great stories about him…his oddball personality and all around fun lovin attitude from a one of a kind character.  He reminded me a lot of John Riggins with some of the things he did on and off the field and will alway be one of my favorite Redskins.

Chris Cooley

#9 – Chris Cooley

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Gary Clark

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Next up on my list of all time favorite Redskins is Gary Clark, not that super cool Rock/Blues/Hip Hop/Soul singer from Texas.  No, it’s the diminutive, but physically talented wide receiver from the glory days of the Redskins.  The history of the franchise is littered with small receivers and he was one of the best, playing with the Redskins from 1985 to 1992 and being named an All Pro in three of those 8 seasons.  He was also a member of the Super Bowl XXII and XXVI winning teams and a member of the ’70 Greatest Redskins’.  Quite an accomplishment for a guy that was a second round supplemental draft from the defunct USFL.

89 S Gary Clark

As a kid i remember Gary Clark flying down the sidelines and he always seemed to catch a bomb from Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams or Mark Rypien.  A burner in my mind and someone that had a similar playing style to another fave of mine, Santana Moss.

Never thought i would say this, but I really miss the high five…especially the kind where you jump.

Clark was also known for his toughness and superior blocking ability that led to him being named to the All-Madden team numerous times.  Gotta love a receiver that is willing to go all out even when his number isn’t called…but that was what those Redskins teams were all about thanks to Joe Gibbs leadership.  The trio of receivers at the time of the Redskins dominance were these guys, Ricky Sanders, Gary Clark and Art Monk.  One is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and i believe Gary Clark should be as well…although he won’t make it.  At least he has made the top 10 of my all time list, that is pretty impressive.

Clark-Sanders-Monk

Looking at Clarks Wikipedia page, he was the first receiver in history to catch at least 50 passes in his first 10 NFL seasons…pretty amazing.  In fact, the only other receivers to achieve this in their career are Marvin Harrison and Torry Holt.  Impressive no less.  Here is another link to his biography by Hogs.net that is a little more in depth than i’ve gone.

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Apparently Clark is going to coach a Lingerie football team, so that’s a thing.  Good luck with that Mr. Clark.  Regardless of your coaching decisions, you will always be a favorite of mine and thank you for your time with my Washington Redskins…never mind the Cardinals and Dolphins seasons.

#10 – Gary Clark

#11 – Brian Orakpo

#12 – The Hogs

Top 12 All Time Redskins: Brian Orakpo

The second installment of my all time favorite Redskins is Brian Orakpo, or ‘Rak!

09 UB Brian Orakpo Lustrous Rookie Signature

Rak is entering his 5 year as a Redskin after being selected 13th overall in the 2009 draft.  The fact that he slipped to the Redskins at no. 13 was a complete shock to me as he was someone i followed at the University of Texas.  He was a beast of a talent at UT and dominated so many games for the Longhorns.  There were quite a few mock drafts that had him going in the top 5 and being the first or second DE taken that year.  I don’t believe there has ever been a real explanation for why he slipped, but i’ve always felt that many NFL scouts saw him as one of those ‘workout warrior’ guys that looked better working out than actually playing the game.  Rak was drafted as a DE which is what he played in college, but was drafted to play LB for the Redskins next to London Fletcher.  The transition has for him has worked well, but it has also exposed some of his limitations as a football player.  When the Redskins drafted Ryan Kerrigan in 2011, they developed a nice bookend with each other that were able to get to the QB and apply pressure throughout the season.  As with all football players, he does have limitations, but has proven to be well worth his high selection…in my opinion.

09 LL Brian Orakpo Phenoms Auto

Brian Orakpo would be higher on my list, but with the injuries he’s suffered in the past two seasons…i’m not really sure when he will be 100% again.  He has always managed to bring an extremely high level of intensity to the field and passion to the sidelines.  Watching him on the sidelines most of last season without football equipment was heartbreaking, especially with the new found success the Washington Redskins experienced last year.  I’m hoping he is able to get healthy and create a dominating tandem with Kerrigan and some of the other guys that stepped up in his place this year (Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Jackson and Perry Riley).

09 LC Brian Orakpo New Generation Auto

When Rak joined the Redskins i was all in on his cards and bid on his autos regularly on ebay as well as some game used jersey cards that will look great once i have a sports room to display them!

09 DT Brian Orakpo Rookie Class Auto Relic 09 SP Brian Orakpo Threads Letterman Auto Relic

One of my best memories of Rak was being at the first game of the 2010 season in Landover, MD against the rival Dallas Cowboys.  My first home Redskins game ever!  I had been to a few Cowboy vs. Redskins games, but they were always in Irving.  Rak was having a really good game and putting a ton of pressure on Romo all night long, but just couldn’t get to him…mainly because he was being held on nearly every play.  On the final play of the game with about 13 seconds and the Cowboys in the redzone threatening to score a touchdown and win the game.  Rak came around from the left side and just missed sacking Romo…as Romo completed a pass in the end zone to Roy Williams to tie the game.  BUT WAIT!  There was a flag!  The officials finally called holding on the Cowboys offensive line.  Game over.  Redskins win 13-7 on Sunday night in Landover.  Fantastic finish!

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#12 – The Hogs

#11 – Brian Orakpo

Top 12 All Time Redskins: The Hogs

One list I’ve always wanted to put together was my all-time favorite Redskins.  Each month I will list a new player until the end of the year when I name my favorite Washington Redskins player of all time.  Coming up with twelve names isn’t really that easy when you start to break it down, so I did the best I could and had very few rules for the list.  The first one being that they had to be playing when I became a fan in 1982.  There are many legendary players like Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, Chris Hanburger, Charley Taylor, Bobby Mitchell and so on.  All of these guys are legendary Redskins and I love the history they bring to the organization, but I never saw them play…so I can’t really sort them out for this list.  The other rule was that they have to been a part of the Redskins at least three years…so for now that means no RGIII or Alfred Morris.

That’s it, two simple rules…I like to keep things as simple as possible.

So, for January, my #12 All-Time favorite Washington Redskin is…are The Hogs.  First name on the list and I’m bending my rules…guess I’m a little scatter brained sometimes.  I’m sticking with The Hogs on this one though.  They are the main reason for the name of the blog and a major reason why I became a fan of the Redskins in the first place.  As a kid, I loved the name…but couldn’t really figure out why they were called The Hogs if they played for a team with a (racist) Native American moniker as their mascot…until I understood that it was due to their nastiness and scrappiness on the offensive line.  Ah yes, Pigs…Hogs…mud…getting dirty, I get it now.  This makes total sense.  This group of men was led by Joe Bugel and played as a unit from 1982 to 1984 as the first iteration of The Hogs.  As players retired and other guys came in, they remained The Hogs but the core of guys I remember were a part of the back to back NFC Championship teams in 1982 and 1983.

They lined up from Left to right as…

The Hogs Cards 1

LT Joe Jacoby

LG Russ Grimm

C Jeff Bostic

RG Mark May

RT George Starke

RB John Riggins – an honorary member

TE’s Doc Walker and Donny Warren – honorary members

The Hogs Cards Riggo Warren

Working on my team sets, I’ve come to realize that most card companies don’t have offensive lineman cards since they don’t typically collect stats and they are mostly unnamed guys.  I guess if you hear the name of an O-Line guy than he’s probably not doing a very good job…right?  They seem to appreciate that as well and love the lack of attention and working as one unit rather than being pieces on a team.  The great thing about the O-Linemen is that they seem to develop a bond tighter than any other team on the field since they have to work in unison each and every play and be aware of what is being run behind them.  They set up the skills guys to have their spotlight and rarely get a light for them to stand under…but that comes with the territory I guess.

Sadly Russ Grimm is the only Hog to be inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.  Joe Jacoby has been on the list many years, but just can get enough votes to get in…which is sad.  If the Redskins had won Super Bowl XVIII against the Raiders I believe Jacoby would be in and possibly Bostic and May…unfortunately that just didn’t happen.  All Redskin fans know these guys and appreciate what they brought to the team and the glory days of Joes Gibbs I, RFK and Jack Kent Cooke.  Hopefully a new Hog chapter will develop with Trent Williams, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis, and Erik Cooke.

Although The Hogs carried on until the early 1990’s, they were the core and the #12 favorite Redskins for me. –HTTR!

#12 – The Hogs