Here's a guy who probably said the least of any guy on the team, yet he was one of our best leaders. I know the couple of times he did say something, it stirred the whole team up."
Had he chosen to be more outgoing, Monk might have become a prominent personality from coast to coast. Instead, he kept to himself, gave about one interview a year and, on a veteran team that shunned the spotlight, worked harder at shunning it than almost anyone.
"I took the approach that I was going to be myself," Monk said. "I hope people appreciate someone who is honest and is themselves."
When he did speak, people listened. In 1990, when the Redskins were 6-5 and struggling to make the playoffs, Monk asked Gibbs for permission to call a players-only meeting the night before a home game against Miami. The Redskins had missed the playoffs two straight years and now were watching their season slip away after losses to Dallas and Philadelphia. Monk apparently sensed that the time was right to say something.
Words came slowly and evenly. Monk reminded his teammates that the Redskins were in danger of missing the playoffs a third straight season. He said that they had enough good players but for some reason were losing close games. He said he was re-dedicating himself to football and suggested others might do the same. He said it was time to put up or shut up.
Some of his younger teammates had heard him say barely two words. Now, here he was challenging the entire squad.
"If he was in a real good mood, he might nod to you," wide receiver Gary Clark said. "I thought he hated me the first couple of years I was around, and then I discovered that was just the way Art is. I remember one game he got real carried away. I think he said, `Let's go' about twice. Art is the only player who can walk into a room and get absolute respect from everyone in that room."
Monk took charge of the Redskins that night, helping to pull them together at a time when they were unraveling. The Redskins credit that meeting and the weekly ones that followed, with Monk talking less with a lot of the good things that happened the next two seasons.