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Clark Earns His Place In Redskins History

In recent years, Art Monk being overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame has become an annual story. It's one that always disturbs Redskins fans.

Curiously, another Redskin wide receiver from the same period, Gary Clark, doesn't seem to be in Hall of Fame conversations very often. But Clark's statistics compare favorably to candidates such as Monk.

Monk's numbers support his case well: 940 catches, 12,721 yards and 68 TDs in 224 games between 1980 and 1995. His average was 13.5 yards per reception.


The 5-9, 175-pound Clark had a stint in the USFL, starred with the Redskins between 1985 and 1992, and finished up with two seasons in Phoenix/Arizona and one in Miami.

In 167 NFL games, Clark totaled 699 catches, 10,856 receiving yards and 65 scores. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch.

Clark has made a place for himself in Redskins history, and he will be inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame at FedExField during the Oct. 7 game against the Detroit Lions.

Last April 28, Clark was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, along with six others, in ceremonies in Portsmouth, Va. (The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame already includes such football notables as George Allen, Charles Haley, Lawrence Taylor, Roosevelt Brown and Bruce Smith.)

That announcement prompted reflection into the career of Clark, who was born and raised in Pulaski, Va., enjoyed a standout career at James Madison and went on to the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL before entering the NFL with the Redskins.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Clark turned in perhaps his finest moments as a Redskin in Super Bowl XXVI. He caught seven passes for 114 yards and a 30-yard score as the Redskins routed Buffalo 37-24 in Minneapolis.

Another great moment for Clark came in a Nov. 10, 1991 game at RFK Stadium when the Redskins routed Atlanta 56-17. That day, Clark caught three touchdowns. Overall, he had four catches for 203 yards.

During that 1991 season, Clark averaged 19.1 yards per catch. He amassed 70 catches, 1,340 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Monk led the 1991 Redskins with 71 catches.

In recent years, a comparison has been made frequently between Clark and current Redskin Santana Moss in terms of their styles of play.

A fiery player, Clark could beat defenders deep or go over the middle for tough catches.

During his eight-year span in Washington (1985-92), Clark became one of the greatest Redskins receivers ever with 549 catches for 8,742 yards, both third-best in team history, plus 58 scoring catches.

He has been nominated for entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his case never seems to draw the attention it deserves.

Asked about his career, Clark once said: "I was just a very emotional player. I wore my emotions on my sleeve. I pretty much told you how I felt. I didn't mince words."

He continued: "I came from an era when losing really hurt. I didn't see anything good about it."

Doug Williams once called Clark "one of the toughest competitors I've ever been around."

It's fitting that the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame recognized Clark, who along with Monk and Ricky Sanders made up the Redskins' famous "Posse" of wide receivers.

It's just that Clark's name ought to arise in larger conversations as well.

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