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10 For 80: Darryl Grant

Posted by Andrew Walker on June 19, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Note: The Redskins Blog will be profiling several former players, coaches and team officials eligible to be voted by you, the fans, in this year’s Redskins 80th Anniversary celebration. To vote for Darryl Grant or your 10 other all-timers to join the already-chosen list of the 70 Greatest Redskins, go to http://www.redskins80th.com/

His rumbling, high-stepping interception return for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship Game did more than thrust Darryl Grant into the national spotlight.

It ignited a solid career for the Redskins’ defensive tackle.

Grant was among the Redskins’ 12 selections in the famous 1981 NFL Draft that also included Mark May, Russ Grimm, Dexter Manley and Charlie Brown — among others.

Grant came to Washington as a ninth-round selection out of Rice, where listing a position was not easy. He played tackle and center on offense for the Owls and linebacker and nose guard on defense. He was drafted by the Redskins as an offensive lineman, but moved to the defensive line, where it took a season before he was officially in the mix as a defensive tackle.

His most memorable play came in the 1982 season. Grant was thrust into the starter’s role in Week 5 after Perry Brooks broke his leg, and in the NFC Championship game against the rival Cowboys, he caught a Dexter Manley-deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown, providing Washington — which was only leading by a touchdown at the time — with the second-half exclamation point it needed to get to the Super Bowl.

His celebratory spike also made Grant a Sports Illustrated cover boy.

Here’s video (via MuztangSteve) of that famous play by Grant. I’d suggest you watch the entire thing, but for Grant’s play only, skip to the 1:06 mark:

The next season, Grant became the first Redskins’ defensive lineman to eclipse 100 tackles in a season (101) — something he did twice in his career (109 in 1988). In his 10-year career with the Redskins, Grant recorded 677 tackles, 27 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and 11 fumble recoveries.

Grant was also known for his devotion to the local community and became famous for playing Santa Claus for the “No Greater Love” Christmas party for children whose parents had been killed in military action.

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2 Responses to “10 For 80: Darryl Grant”

  1. By villred on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    This play was enough to ignite such a passion for a team that even Vinny Cerrato could break despite his best attempts

  2. By Kathy Cheri on Jan 6, 2013 | Reply

    Darryl Grant! Do you remember Kathy Cheri? Bartending School?

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