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Charley Casserly: Joe Jacoby 'Absolutely' Deserves To Be In Pro Football Hall Of Fame


If there's anyone in this world that knows what Joe Jacoby brought to the NFL, the Washington Redskins and its fans in the 13 years he was with the team, it's former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly.

Casserly – who's now an NFL Network analyst – was a scout with the Redskins in 1981 when Jacoby came on as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Louisville. Casserly and Jacoby went on to make some beautiful music together, winning three Super Bowl titles in their time in Washington.

Last Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the 94 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2017, and Jacoby was one of 14 offensive linemen on the list. Jacoby was a finalist for the Class of 2016, but just missed induction.

With all that being said, the question once again has to be put out there: will this finally be Jacoby's turn to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio?

Casserly joined the Talk of Fame Network on their latest podcast, and said it's "absolutely" time for Jacoby to don the gold jacket and get his bust created.

"No question in my mind," Casserly said. "He [Jacoby] was a dominant left tackle in the toughest division in football. Most left tackles can't run block; he could run block. The guy was so big and so long with his arms that he was tough to get around. Plus, this guy ended up starting at more than one position during our championship run. And that's hard to do."

The list of Jacoby's accolades is pretty extensive. The Super Bowl titles were already mentioned, but alongside those championships, Jacoby was a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time AP first-team All-Pro, he was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and he was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.

The panel wanted Casserly to explain why a talent the likes of Jacoby flew under every team's radar except Washington's.

"It's interesting because it was 12 rounds back then," Casserly said. "I was in the right place at the right time with him when I scouted him. In the spring, he wasn't a prospect. A lot of times, when a guy's not on the list, a lot of scouts won't even look at the guy.

"I came here during their last regular season game, and they had played Florida and Pittsburgh," he said. "Pittsburgh had a player named Greg Meisner, who ended up being a third-round pick. Jacoby's a left tackle. He shuts him out. The guy didn't make a play. And he was a third-round player.

Washington Redskins great Joe Jacoby was selected as a 2014 semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame! Here's a look back at his illustrious career in Washington.

"Florida had a guy named [David] Galloway, who was a first-round rated player. He shuts him out. I'm thinking: 'Well, he's shutting these guys out. How's he doing it?' He was so big and so long, and that's when you could start using your arms. If you could stay on your feet and you had balance and long arms and size, you could play offensive line."

Here's a bit of trivia that some Redskins fans might not know: then-head coach Joe Gibbs actually thought Jacoby was a defensive lineman, not an offensive tackle, as Casserly explained to the panel.

"We drafted five offensive linemen, and we didn't draft him," Casserly said. "We go to sign him as a free agent, and Gibbs thought he was a defensive lineman and recruited him as a defensive lineman. You know the speech when a head coach is selling you on the team? Joe [Jacoby] was afraid to tell him he was an offensive lineman."

Casserly went on to tell the panel that the team was very close to losing Jacoby shortly thereafter, due to Gibbs' unhappiness with the whole situation.

"So when we tell him we got him signed, Gibbs goes, 'That's great. We need another defensive lineman.' [And we say], 'No Joe, he's an offensive lineman.' [And Joe says], 'Can we get out of it?' 'No, we can't get out of it.'"

Lucky for the Redskins and their fans that Jacoby stuck around, or fortunes might have been different without him.

"I had been recruiting the guy all spring, trying to get the guy, and [former offensive line coach Joe] Bugel's recruiting him," Casserly said. "And sometimes it's turns around as there are other people we want to draft, and we get that. But that's how he went undrafted. He finished the season strong when people wrote him off early."

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