Russ Grimm talks about nut-cuttin’ time

(John McDonnell / Washington Post)
(John McDonnell / Washington Post)

Russ Grimm has been mentioned in conjunction with several head coaching jobs over the years, including the one in D.C. It never happened, though. And so after losing his job in Arizona in late 2012, Grimm is, for now, not coaching at all.

Will he attempt to coach again? The Hall of Famer talked about that issue with his old teammate Doc Walker and Scott Jackson on ESPN 980 recently.

“I always keep it open,” Grimm said. “You know, the game’s changing a little bit as far as what the owners want, what the general managers want. I have a certain path that I want to follow, that I think will be a successful one. If somebody wants to give me a chance, then I’ll do it. If it’s not the right situation, then I’m not gonna do it. My agent keeps telling me ‘Well, there’s only 32 jobs, quit turning these [interviews] down. Well if it not’s the job that I want, if it’s not the situation that I want, I’m not gonna put my name up there.

“You want me to put my name up there, then let me hire the coaches that I want and do stuff like that, and then we’ll roll from there,” Grimm said. “So I’m gonna wait and see. I’m 55, I’ve got my players’ pension, I’m enjoying life. I don’t need a lot. A couple of cold beers, see the guys, a sandwich, whatever — I’m good to go.”

I mean, who doesn’t like beer and sandwiches? They’re both definitely better than jobs. Grimm went on to explain that “I don’t need to have total control, but I would like to have a say so in things.” And when Jackson asked Grimm about the NFL’s move away from the running game that made Washington great and toward a more pass-heavy embrace, the former lineman had some thoughts.

“I mean it changes every year. The league changes,” Grimm said. “But the bottom line is, bigger is always better. And I’m gonna live and die with that. The toughness factor, when it comes to nut-cutting time, you want tough guys playing for you. You can take some of these Cadillacs or whatever, he runs a 4.3, but he runs a 4.3 every fifth time he runs a route, you know what I’m saying?

“Perfect example — I loved the guy, I coached him out in Arizona — Anquan Boldin. We got rid of him, which was a mistake, and I said it’s a mistake. Anquan Boldin, he goes to Baltimore, he wins them a Super Bowl, he goes to San Francisco, he gets them in the playoffs. He is a football player. He may not test well, but he’s a football player. What you need is football players. They don’t have to be the top athletes, but you need a team.

“That’s the biggest thing that I was lucky to be a apart of with the group that I played with with the Redskins,” Grimm said. “I mean, we were not the greatest athletes in the world. I tell people all the time, there was probably 2000 guys that could play my position better than I could…

“I’ve always believed that you can’t buy a football team,” Grimm said later. “You’ve got to build a football team. You’ve got to build a football team, because the 20-25 guys in that locker room, that’s your blue collar group….Don’t build from the outside-in. Build from the inside-out. Because those 20-25 guys, they’re gonna give you their heart and soul the whole time. That receiver, that cornerback, that top linebacker, whatever, he may be the most talented, but he may not give it to you all the time, because he’s not part of the whole group. You’ve got to put that whole group together.

“Joe Gibbs told me one time…his toughest job was not the Xs and Os, it was making sure that he picked the right 45 guys. May not be the most talented 45 guys, but it was the 45 guys that he could count on the most week in and week out.”

Grimm also said he’s happy with his current life.

“I mean, I miss it, but then you really don’t miss it when you get a chance to come back and see people you havent’ seen for a long time,” he said. “I will be at FedEx [Field] this year, because I have nothing else to do, and I’m enjoying it.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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