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Joe Jacoby

Legends Profile 
Left, Right Tackle
Louisville, Kentucky
July 6, 1959
310 lbs
NFL Career
13 seasons
Washington 1981-1993


Career Highlights

• High school All-American at Louisville’s Western High
• Captain of the University of Louisville team that went to the 1980 Independence Bowl
• Signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent in 1981
• Was one of eighteen offensive linemen at the Redskins 1981 training camp
• First ever Redskins offensive lineman to score a touchdown (fell on a fumble in the end zone vs. Minnesota, 1984)
• Four Super Bowl appearances
• Was a member of all three Washington Super Bowl winning teams


• Voted to four straight Pro Bowls from 1983-1986
• Four-time All-Madden Team Selection (1984, 1985, 1987, 1991)
• Named to the All-Madden Super Bowl Team
• Inducted into the University of Louisville’s Hall of Fame in 2004
• One of only 12 Louisville players to have thir jersey honored in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
• Inducted into Kentucky’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999



The Legend That Almost Wasn’t

By Frank Hastings

At 6’7″ and nearly 300 pounds, Joe Jacoby has always stood out. He entered high school at 6’2″ and 210 pounds and never really worked on his strength. In his hometown college, Louisville, he just went through the motions when it came to weight training and instead relied on his sheer bulk for blocking ability. In January, after his senior season, Joe Bugel let him know that that wouldn’t cut it in the NFL and explained that he had a chance to make the NFL, but he must get bigger.

Jacoby started lifting weights three days a week and started running stands. Four months later when he went to Redskin minicamp, he had increased his bench from 300 to 400 pounds. He had also put on 30 pounds, from 275 to 305 pounds. Lastly, he had increased his quickness and was running the 40 in 5 seconds flat.

At left tackle as a member of the original Hogs (1982-1993), along with George Starke, Russ Grimm, Mark May and Jeff Bostic, Jacoby made up at that time, the biggest line of the NFL. Jacoby was the final piece of the Hogs puzzle at the 1981 training camp.

A giant raw-talented rookie free agent, Jacoby walked into Coach Gibbs office looking for a job. Gibbs, figuring Jacoby was a defensive tackle, because of his size, agreed to give him a chance.

Apparently it didn’t sit well with Gibbs that Bugel hadn’t corrected the error and allowed Jacoby to come to camp with 17 other offensive linemen.

Things didn’t start off  that well for Big Jake either. Jacoby has said that Gibbs did his best to try and find a way to cut him right away. But didn’t.

Then, the team went 0-5 under Gibbs during his first season as Washington’s head coach.

Here Come The Hogs

By the next training camp Bugle had stuck the “Hogs” moniker on his young lineman. Over the next two seasons the unit known as the Hogs would miss a combined total of just one game. Grimm and Jacoby even roomed together for a few years – in an apartment decorated with pizza boxes and fast-food bags.

More importantly, the Hogs became a powerful, cohesive unit that provided big holes for John Riggins and pass protection for Joe Theismann. After nearly being cut in his first training camp, Jacoby went on to become a 4-time Pro Bowler (1983,1984,1985,1986).


The staying power of the Hogs was their success. Jacoby, along with the other Hogs, were the blocking force behind six of Washington’s greatest offensive seasons (1983, 1991, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1987), and they blocked for 13 different backs rushing for 100+ yards in a game 65 times.

The Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1982 behind a running game that featured Washington’s most famous play, the counter trey, and it was run over Jacoby’s side. The next year, the Redskins were the top team in the NFL and made it to the Super Bowl again, only to be upset by the Raiders. This marked the first of the four straight trips to the Pro Bowl for Jacoby.

Jacoby, along with the other Hogs, including the addition of Raleigh McKenzie after George Starke’s retirement, led the Redskins to four Super Bowls in a 10-year span and dominated the 1980s. Jacoby’s 170 games as a Redskin ranks 11th all-time for Washington.

Life After Football

Jacoby’s playing days ended after the 1993 season. His fans however have not forgotten him.

He currently works full-time as an owner of a Jeep, Chrysler and Plymouth dealership in Warrenton, Virginia and is still involved with football through radio and television work. He admits that he still “gets that feeling on game day, but the body has seen those days, and the body doesn’t want to see those days again”.

After such a long NFL career, he has the usual ailments – two surgically repaired ankles, major knee problem, ailing left elbow and two bad discs in his back. Jacoby lives on a 40-acre spread outside of Warrenton with his wife Irene and his two daughters.

You can find him on Twitter.

Career Statistics

1981 14 1 0
1982 9 1 0
1983 16 0 0
1984 16 1 1
1985 12 0 0
1986 16 0 0
1987 12 0 0
1988 16 1 0
1989 10 0 0
1990 16 0 0
1991 16 0 0
1992 13 0 0
1993 5 0 0
Totals 170 0 0
OWR – Fumbles by own team recovered

Full Career Statistics at Pro Football Reference