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Redskins Past To Present: Joe Jacoby


"Redskins Past To Present" is a new series for The Redskins Blog during the offseason that catches up with Redskins alumni – some famous, some forgotten – that have spent time, long and short, in the Redskins organization.

With their time removed from the game, we hope to highlight the many former players and coaches that once wore the burgundy and gold -- we'll talk about their memories, their experiences and what they're up to today, in no particular order, to give a snapshot of their lives as ex-football players.

The list of accolades for Joe Jacoby seems almost unfair. He's been to four Super Bowls and won three of them, was voted to the Pro Bowl four times, made the NFL's 1980s All-Decade team and is part of the Redskins Ring of Fame. This past year he was named a finalist for the Hall of Fame but just missed getting elected. Today, he lives in Charlotte, N.C., where he helps coach high school football and works in insurance. 

How did you feel about being a Hall of Fame finalist this year and just nearly missing the cut?

Wow, I mean that seems so long ago. But the memories are very fresh in your mind. My wife and I and our youngest daughter were there. It was a great weekend. I know it's disappointing, disheartening, that I didn't get in this year. But it was very good. My wife just said, "Enjoy the moment" and we did, we enjoyed the moment. My daughter gets a chance to talk with a lot of the guys that I played against and saw some other guys from the Hall of Fame, so it was kind of neat to sit back and watching her and see her bounce back and forth, talking to different people. It was rewarding on that part to see the off-the-field stuff, and we battled on the field, but to see what all these guys are doing now. My wife and I really enjoyed it. Yeah it was disheartening, but I take a lot of satisfaction in we were close as far as what I heard came out of the room, so that's very encouraging. I'm hoping soon I'll be one of the next enshrinees.


And you just had a grandson enter the world right around that time. I imagine that helped ease the disappointment. **

Yeah, that was neat. Our grandson was born that week of the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 on Groundhog's day, go figure that.

Do you feel like the Hall of Fame is a bit of a popularity contest? Without the stats and flashiness of highlights, it seems stacked against offensive linemen.

I'm not sure how it's stacked against them. Like you said, there's no statistical information unless you base it on – Pro Bowls, I heard they don't look at that any more – but how successful a player is based on high-pressure games, playoff games, Super Bowls, and that aspect. And then the next aspect, how successful are you as an offensive lineman on your offense?

Of course, you have boxes checked off already.

Yeah, quite a few of the others guys when they get to that point – I think I made this point before, I see all these people tweeting and blogging, you know "First Ballot Hall of Fame," "He should have been in," "He should have been in." I wouldn't want to be one of those writers that kind of sit there, because everyone one of these gentlemen that make that list are all qualified. They all have a strong resume. It's not an easy task in the presentation. The voter from your city has got to bring a great presentation on that. Then you've got to make a decision. I'm fine where I'm at. I wouldn't want to be one of those guys that have to make a decision to vote on one of the 15 that get in.

I spoke with Jeff Bostic, who remembered a story about Joe Bugel taking The Hogs into the shower and yelling at you guys during halftime of a preseason game. Do you remember that instance?

Oh yeah. Jeff's correct. It was in the shower. Yeah, we stunk up the joint in the first half. Like you said, it was a preseason game. We were all thinking the same thing. But Buges wasn't. He called us all out, challenged our manhood. And quite a few of us after all that -- after we were flying back home after the game -- got close to just decking him. Yeah we've got memories like that.

There was an incident between Jeff and I, well, not an incident, but a play on the field playing the Cardinals, when the Cardinals were actually in St. Louis. There was a fumble and I fell on it and so did one of the Cardinals. Neither one of us had complete control of it. And Jeff's yelling at me, do I have it? I said, "No." A couple seconds later the ball gets loose from that guy and I ended up with it. That gentleman's running off the field in some pain.  If it was in a boxing match, he would have got a warning, because it was below the belt.

So Jeff knocked the ball away from him?

Well, more than one ball. * *


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.

There was another story Dexter Manley told me about flying in a helicopter over Los Angeles with you after the first Super Bowl victory on your way to a morning show. What was that like?**

That was myself, Dexter and Mark Murphy. It was the CBS Morning Show or whatever they called it back then. That's 1983, I'm a 23 year old kid riding across, in the middle of the night, in L.A. with all these lights, and running down this building with all these stairs and I just remembered they had this huge spread of all this food and fruit and champagne in there for us. And this is in the early morning. It's 7 o'clock back east, 4 o'clock our time and we're going on the show at that time in the morning. That's still a very vivid memory in my mind, too.

A lot of players say their closest relationships with a coach were during high school or college. But was it that way with you and Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel?

I don't think when we played. With Buges, yeah. With Coach Gibbs, it was a little different because he was the head coach. I will say after playing-wise, my relationship with both of them is pretty much the same. I have a great relationship with Coach Gibbs right now. Joe calls and checks in every three or four weeks, to see what's going on, what's going on with the family. It's a neat thing, because what we went through as a team, he stays in touch with some of the guys from that era.

What does that say about your relationship? It seems so unique to me that you could get that kind of connection in the NFL, especially because it would seem hard to get that today.

I think some of our relationship has to be because of our longevity with him. I was with him for 12 years, all 12 of his first go-around, and I think that we were very successful in those 12 years of what we accomplished. There's something of a kindred bond of what we all have because of what we did as a team. That carries over. Those were special times, those were special years and great friendships came out of that.


How much do you keep up with the team today?**

As much as anybody else that's a fan. I read what they still call a newspaper and the social media I guess is more prevalent now as far as -- just besides the journalists that report, now we have players that tweet things out, post them on Facebook, Instagram. You get a better view of it I think…I check different sites. I'll be on the Redskins site, other sites and check different things out. I just can't see sitting there going through hours and hours of stuff. You just can't get through all of it.

What's your daily routine? What are you up to today?

 Well, my wife and I have relocated. We left Chicago. I have stepped down from coaching college football. I am back in the business world dealing with automotive and health and insurance products. It's down in Charlotte, N.C., so we moved just a few weeks ago.

How do you like it there?

Well let's put it this way. I'm loving the weather. It's nice because we have other friends here. And there's quite a few former football players that live down here. Matter of fact, I'm getting ready to walk into my football meeting. I volunteer as a coach at one of the local high schools down there.

Charlotte still has a lot of Redskins fans. Have people recognized you so far?

We've only been out a little bit. Places I've been people have recognized me. I'm kind of hard to hide. It's been a good move, we've been enjoying it. This is it. This is probably where we'll settle down for the rest of the time. We're close to get back up to Washington, close to my girls who still live in Virginia, one's in Richmond, the other's in Northern Virginia. It's closer than we were in Chicago [laughing]. 

Other Redskins Past To Present Interviews:

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