By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
The Washington Redskins honored new Hall of Famers Darrell Green and Art Monk with a reception yesterday at Redskins Park.
Monk, a longtime standout wide receiver for Washington, and Green, a former star cornerback who played his entire 20-year career with the Redskins, were among six players elected to the Hall of Fame last week. Before the reception, Monk and Green thanked the Redskins, former teammates, family and friends for their support during a news conference for invited guests in the complex's auditorium.
"This organization has been a great blessing to me and my family," said Green, a four-time winner of the NFL's fastest man competition. "I would never in a million years moved up here to Washington, D.C. I'm from Texas. But I sure thank God that . . . he put me in the right place."
Green, 47, was elected in his first year of eligibility. A seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time all-pro selection, Green was Washington's first-round pick in the 1983 draft. He had 54 interceptions and scored six touchdowns.
"It's been a real, real great ride. We are blessed beyond . . . we don't deserve this," Green said. "C'mon. Get real. What have we really done that people would love us the way they do and care for us? We are definitely overpaid with love, kindness, respect and all that God has given to us. It doesn't even make sense. But I'm grateful for that."
Monk was the first player to have more than 900 receptions, finishing his career as the NFL's all-time leader with 940. Jerry Rice broke Monk's mark during the 1995 season.
"This whole induction thing has just taken me by surprise," said Monk, 50, an eight-time Hall of Fame finalist. "I really was not expecting it although there was a lot of expectation from the community. I had just written it off like I had done the past few years, hoping that it would happen but it didn't happen. So when my wife handed me the phone [Saturday] and it was the NFL on the other end, it completely took me off guard."
Monk, the Redskins' first-round pick in the 1980 draft, had 12,721 receiving yards and scored 68 touchdowns. He was a three-time all-pro selection (1984, '85, '86) and was voted to the Hall of Fame's NFL 1980s all-decade team.
"It's been a little bit overwhelming, even though I'm kind of used to all of this," Monk said. "It's been a whirlwind for the last couple of days. But despite all the hype and distractions and the buildup that's taken place because of all of this, the last couple of days I've had time to just kind of sit and reflect on what the Hall of Fame really means. It's about . . . making a commitment to the game, not just playing the game."