In the past few years the Washington Redskins have shuffled around the bottom of the NFL barrel, but that wasn’t always the case and in the early 80’s the team seemed to be riding a winning streak that looked like it would never end, and football insiders all agree on one thing: games are won or lost by the linemen and certainly the redskins had the lineman to back that up with Joe Jacoby.
An offensive tackle, Jacoby was a stand-out athlete at Western High School, enough of a stand-out to warrant a scholarship at the University of Louisville. Having raw talent Jacoby in his early days with the Cards coasted for the most part, that was until Coach Joe Buegel said something that snapped Jacoby’s attention to growing as an athlete explaining that he had the talent needed to make it to the NFL but he hadn’t been displaying the work ethic needed.
Taking that to heart Jacoby got stronger and faster, first in the weight room then on the field and sure enough NFL scouts began to take notice. 6’7 and 305 pounds it was hard not to notice the hometown boys’ stature and strength and sure enough while football coaching great Joe Gibbs was building a dynasty he knew he had to have the offensive line to back up his talented team.
However it wasn’t quite that simple for the young Jacoby who began his pro-career as a free-agent, going to Coach Gibbs personally looking for a spot on the team. Gibbs agreed to give him a chance but Jacoby didn’t stand out like he had in high school and college, and further the only reason that the coach gave him a chance was because he thought he was a defensive lineman. Still, Jacoby had a free agent contract with the Redskins in 1981 and at the very least this gave him the opportunity to prove himself, and proving himself is putting it lightly.
As Jacoby quickly became an integral part of Washington’s “Hogs” a moniker given by an assistant coach for the powerhouse offensive line fans quickly began to take note. Beginning in the early 80’s and lasting for a decade the “Hogs” provided the gridiron toughness that Joe Theisman and his receivers and runners needed to win three super bowls.
During his twelve year career with the Redskins Jacoby went to four pro bowls and to this day is the only Redskin offensive lineman to score a touchdown, after an end zone fumble recovery. With that kind of career there’s no question that Joe Jacoby is a sports legend of the Ville.
Photo Courtesy of UofL Sports
A little about the Hogs and quite possibly more importantly the Hogettes