How Russ Grimm could be the the key to a Titans Super Bowl Birth
Merriam-Webster defines catalyst as the following :
- A substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions (as at a lower temperature) than otherwise possible.
- An agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.
The Tennessee Titans hired the catalyst to their postseason and Super Bowl aspirations last season.
If you are a football aficionado, you are familiar with Russ Grimm. If you are a Redskins fan, there’s a good chance you have a framed burgundy and gold #68 jersey hung up somewhere in your house. Or at least a pig nose lying around somewhere.
The leader of – and arguably – what many consider to be the best offensive line of all time, Grimm was a bully in the trenches during his playing days. Known as the “Hogs”, Grimm and fellow offensive linemen loved to punish defenses every Sunday.
“There’s no greater feeling than moving a man from Point A to Point B, against his will.” – Russ Grimm.
It’s impossible to read that quote and not love the guy. Through that phrase, you can see the character of the man, the mentality of a champion, and the determination of imposing one’s will.
“I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl.” – Russ Grimm.
Well, he didn’t run over Mama Hog. He did, however, win 3 Super Bowls during his 11 career. Grimm received the Pro Bowl nod 4 times during his illustrious career. His love of the game would prevent him from walking away from football after his final season.
Grimm remained on the Redskins in a coaching capacity. He began his coaching career by mentoring the Tight End group. Eventually, he took over the Offensive line group. He helped Washington secure a division title in 1999.
The trench legend moved on to Pittsburgh and provided stability and wisdom to Offensive line which was a key to multiple postseason appearances and a Super Bowl title in the early 2000s. He was a key factor in helping the Steelers become efficient and effective in the run game.
Grimm earned the title of Assistant Head Coach to then Head Coach Bill Cowher due to what he provided the team. He maintained responsibility of the offensive line, but could now influence other positions with his character and personality.
Following the 2005-06 season, Cowher stepped down as Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Grimm was considered as a potential replacement. After losing out on the Head Coaching spot, Grimm then followed fellow coaching staff member and potential suitor for the Steelers head coaching vacancy – Ken Whisenhunt -to Arizona to help their trench warriors figure things out.
During his time in Arizona, he was able to help the team win a few division titles and secured a Super Bowl appearance against his former team, the Steelers. Although the Cardinals weren’t able to hoist the Lombardi trophy, they did participate in one of the most memorable Super Bowls of recent memory.
Grimm spent 6 seasons with the Cardinals and helped the team to one Super Bowl birth and two division crowns. He stepped away from the game and in an article published by Jim Wyatt (Senior Writer/Editor for titansonline.com), Grimm felt like the situation had to be perfect in order to persuade him to get back into the swing of things.
Fast forward to 2016, the perfect storm came knocking on Grimm’s front doorstep. He was familiar with many of the faces on the Titans coaching staff as he had experience working with them throughout his 21 year coaching tour.
Grimm was the perfect candidate for Tennessee’s Offensive line unit. In 2016, Grimm helped transform the Titans Offensive line group into the league’s best. He was instrumental in production of the unit as a whole.
With two young studs at the Tackle Position in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin, veteran presence and physicality of Center Ben Jones, and production from Guards Quinton “Huggy Bear” Spain and Josh Kline, the best is yet to come. Through Grimm’s tutelage, this group has the potential to be the “Hogs 2.0” as they look to making a living controlling the line of scrimmage and dominating the trenches.
I prefer to call them “Grimm’s Reapers”.
Grimm’s objective will be to continue to build on last years success. He is the quintessential piece of the Offensive line’s evolution. Grimm’s playing/coaching resume demands the respect of the young offensive group.
His wisdom can help each player on the unit elevate their level of play knowing that they are receiving technique tips from a “Hog” that left his pig-print in the muddy trenches of the NFL.
And Canton has his bust to prove it.
The biggest – almost mythological – aspect of Grimm is the fact that every place he’s been – whether it be as a player or in a coaching capacity – he’s always found himself in the NFL’s biggest game – the Super Bowl. He’s appeared wearing burgundy/gold, black/gold, and red/white.
If history is any indication to what the future hold, there is a good chance Grimm will be on the Super Bowl sidelines wearing two-tone blue.