When the Redskins look across the field at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon, they'll see one of their own on the opposing sidelines.
Russ Grimm is one of the Redskin greats, an offensive guard who played for head coach Joe Gibbs from 1981-91 and was one of the original Hogs under then-offensive line coach Joe Bugel. After retiring, Grimm served as a tight ends coach and offensive line coach for the Redskins, then departed to the Steelers in 2001 as offensive line coach.
Grimm is currently the assistant head coach/offensive line coach for the Steelers.
"I think he is a top line coach in the league," Steelers' head coach Bill Cowher said this week. "I think that what he has been able to do since he has been here is take young players and develop them. He has a great feel for the running game and protections. He does a great job with getting those players. Having played the game he knows how to relate to them."
Grimm is also one of 25 semi-finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of his biggest proponents for that honor is Gibbs, himself a Hall of Famer. Grimm earned four consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl from 1983-86 and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1980s.
"I do think Russ deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Gibbs said this week. "I think we had several linemen, Russ being one of those in that group, that for years was a dominant group. Everybody recognized it. You would think of that group, Russ would certainly deserve consideration to be in the Hall of Fame."
Cowher admitted that he and Grimm have had discussions about the ex-Hog returning to coach in Washington at some point, given Grimm's ties to Gibbs, Bugel and the organization.
"He has so much respect for the Redskins and Joe Gibbs and has great memories back there," Cowher said. "Who wouldn't have respect? He's a Hall of Fame coach. We talked about it, but Russ is happy here. He knows how important he is to this organization. We have a good relationship. There's no question we all have great respect for Coach Gibbs."