On Saturday, the 48-person Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will come together and decide on the Hall of Fame's 2017 class. There are 15 Modern-Era nominees this year, of which former Redskins great Joe Jacoby is one.
There's no question that, based on his body of work with the Redskins, Jacoby deserves to have his bust on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum in Canton, Ohio. It ultimately comes down to those 48 voters, and if they feel that the second time as a finalist is the charm for Jacoby.
There's at least one person that feels Jacoby is worthy of making it into the Hall of Fame, and that's his former head coach, Joe Gibbs, who let his feelings about Jacoby be known to the folks over at Talk of Fame Network on one of their recent broadcasts.
Gibbs told the panelists that the era Jacoby played in (1981-1993) defined who he was as a player, and shaped him into the dominant force that he was on Washington's offensive line for all those years.
"When you think about the people he (Jacoby) went up against, and playing left tackle, we all know what a premium that (was)," Gibbs said. "You think about him, he goes through four Super Bowls with us. He was a mainstay. He could have played guard, but we kept him out there at tackle because he was so valuable out there for us.
"One of the best things Joe has going for himself is that all those guys, Lawrence Taylor, and all those people you talk about playing across from Jacoby, those games were wars," Gibbs said. "I remember those things, and some of the goal-line stands and everything that we had. Joe meant so much to us.
"He played at a time when there were some great players lined up across from him," Gibbs said. "The NFC East in those days, think about it: The Giants, the Redskins, Philly. You think about that defensive line from Philadelphia. Then, of course, Dallas also. He played at a time when it was [a] black-and-blue division, and you have to make it happen. And Joe made it happen for us."
It's incredible to think that Gibbs felt Jacoby was best suited as a defensive lineman in the NFL, and never thought of him playing on his offensive line, until then-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Joe Bugel convinced Gibbs that Jacoby belongs on the first line of the offense.
"Here's what happens with sports," Gibbs said. "We all get caught up in how fast they can run, how high they can jump, how much they weigh. All those things that scouts can tell you. But the one thing you can't weigh is what? Your heart. And what kind of person and what kind of heart they have.
"As a consequence, you have a guy like Tom Brady getting drafted in the (sixth) round and sitting on the bench for two years," Gibbs said. "You talk about our quarterbacks. (Joe) Theismann was a third. Mark Rypien was a fifth. Listen, it is hard to evaluate people."
Gibbs went on to talk more about the evaluation process of a player, and how hit or miss it can be when trying to figure out if said player is ready for the professional ranks and if he'll be a long-term system fit.
"I used to laugh, because in every city when someone takes a first-round draft choice, they say, 'This guy's going to be a Hall of Famer.' And that isn't the case," Gibbs said. "How many times do we miss on picking people? Because it's the intangibles. It's really what makes a person come early, stay late and is willing to pay a price.
"It's so hard to evaluate people because those are the things that you really need to know what's inside of them," Gibbs said. "That's one of the best things Joe's got going for himself. He's an elite player who would pay a price. He was there early, stayed late, he was a mainstay and we could always count on Joe."
Jacoby was a massive man, who played an extremely important position for the Redskins, and he did it better than anyone else for 13 years. That's why Gibbs believes his champion left tackle should finally get the knock on his hotel door and the notification that he's made it to Canton.
"We used to turn out with him on pass protection against 4-3 ends, and, as we all know, you've got to have an athlete at left tackle," Gibbs said. "Joe was an athlete, plus he was super strong and super big. He's a massive guy with a great heart."