While we all wish that the Redskins were the NFC representative in Super Bowl XLIII, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a team to root for. Let’s take a look at the ties the Redskins have to the Cardinals and Steelers:
The Cardinals don’t have any former Redskins on their roster, although if you believe the Anquan Boldin rumors, they may have some future Redskins. However, their coaching staff is full of men who once sported burgundy and gold:
Ken Whisenhunt: Head Coach
Whisenhut was a fringe player, being cut and re-signed frequently by the Redskins. He only actually appeared in two games in 1990 as an H-back, but failed to record a reception or rushing attempt.
Role on Team:10
Status as Redskin: 1
Overall Factor: 5.5
Russ Grimm: Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach
Played for the Redskins for 11 years, won three Super Bowls, was a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first team All-Pro. Member of the 1980s All-Decade Team. Generally considered the best lineman of the famed Hogs, and is the closest to Hall of Fame enshrinement (he finished as a finalist the past three years). Coached for the Redskins for 9 years, serving as tight ends coach from 1992-1996 and offensive line coach from 1997-2000. Inexplicably allowed to leave following Norv Turner’s ourster, and inexplicably not interviewed for the vacant head coaching job prior to the 2008 season.
Role on team: 6
Status as Redskin: 10
Jeff Rutledge: Quarterbacks Coach
Served as third-string quarterback for the Redskins from 1990-1992. Enginereed one of the greatest comebacks in team history: Down 35-14 in a 1990 game against the Lions, Rutledge entered the game following an injured Mark Rypien and an ineffective Stan Humphries. Rutledge finished passed for 363 yards in the final two quarters and overtime, leading Washington to a 41-38 victory. Earned a Super Bowl XXVI ring as a holder. Finished his Redskins career with 644 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 85.6 quarterback rating.
Role on team: 2
Status as Redskin: 3
Team Total: 17
Ryan Clark: Free Safety
Clark stepped in for an injured Matt Bowen in 2004 and developed into a nice player for the Redskins. He led the team in tackles in 2004 with 91, and added 57 tackles and three interceptions in 2005. Despite solid play and the fact that Clark wanted to return to the team, the Redskins decided to sign Adam Archuleta instead. Clark signed with Pittsburgh, and has continued to be a valuable starter.
Role on team: 6
Status as Redskin: 6
Ray Horton: Defensive Backs Coach
Horton served as the Redskins’ defensive backs coach from 1994-1997, guiding the team pass defense rankings of 20th, 7th, 20th and 3rd. Darrell Green and Chris Dishman both went to Pro Bowls under Horton’s watch.
Role on team: 4
Status as Redskin: 2
Kirby Wilson: Running Backs Coach
Redskins running backs coach in 2000. The Redskins finished 19th in rushing, as Pro Bowler had a “down” year (1318 yards). Larry Centers added 81 receptions for 600 yards.
Role on team: 3
Status as Redskins: 1
Team Total: 11
So there you have it. Russ Grimm and his 1990 teammates take precedent over Ryan Clark and the two assistant coaches. A Cardinals win on Sunday will be a small victory for the burgundy and gold faithful.