The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

Len Pasquarelli

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com

Vote: Definitely No (1/10)

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 10, 1991
U’-word is taboo for 9-0 Redskins; That’s as in unbeaten’ . . . something the NFL hasn’t seen since 1972
Len Pasquarelli

In a league where some observers rate the overall talent level the lowest in two decades, where perennial powerhouses like the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have fallen on hard times, that just may be enough to catapult Washington into its fourth Super Bowl appearance in 10 years.

Not that the Redskins are without talent. Quarterback Mark Rypien’s season-long streak of late-career consistency has enhanced the team’s “Posse” trio of receivers, consisting of fire (the explosive Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders) and ice (the cool Art Monk, No. 2 all-time pass- catcher). There are three running backs – including future star Ricky Ervins – who have all run Gibbs’s trademark “counter-trey” play enough to have more than 200 yards each. The latter-day “Hogs” offensive line is staunch.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 24, 1992
Skins’ single-minded Gibbs no ordinary Joe
Len Pasquarelli

Minneapolis – First, for those who believe Joe Gibbs’s only real passions are coaching the Washington Redskins, managing a fledgling NASCAR team, memorizing Bible passages and keeping careful tabs on his wife’s spending habits at the Super Bowl, a revelation:

“Despite the public perceptions that he’s strictly one-dimensional,” said Redskins passing-game coach Rod Dowhower, “the guy has a ton of outside interests. He’ll disappear for three or four days at a time during the offseason, just to get away from it. The thing about Joe is, he can get himself totally focused – and I mean totally – on whatever aspect of his life he’s dealing with at the present time.

“Just ask him about his racquetball game sometime if you want to get him going on a subject.”

Racquetball? Why not?

In 1976, Gibbs, then the running backs coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, won the 35-and-older national racquetball championship. The following year, he was national runner-up.

Nearly 15 years after he stopped playing seriously, Gibbs admits he still occasionally wakes at 3 a.m. in his in-season bed – the sofa in his office, where he normally crashes at least three nights a week. He’ll shake out the cobwebs with a couple of sit-ups, climb down into the antiquated court at Redskins Park and smack a few shots off the wall.

Then, his angst released at least for a few hours, he usually pulls out a videocassette and starts fine-tuning the week’s game plan.

“The last time I played racquetball against the only guy I can beat anymore, which is me, I think I pulled just about every muscle in my body,” said Gibbs, 51, as he prepared his Redskins to meet the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s Super Bowl. “I still like to play, because it helps relieve the tension. But I get the impression my body’s trying to tell me it’s time to just be a spectator.”

In football terms, he has been just that for the past 19 seasons – an unaffected witness to the NFL’s ever-changing landscape. Philosophies, methods and strategies come and go, but Gibbs stays the only course he has ever known, holed up in his office/bunker in Herndon, Va., and adhering to the kind of relentless work ethic that has driven some of his coaching colleagues out of the game.

Along the way, Gibbs, in his 11th season in Washington, has managed to become the league’s most consistent coach. He has won four conference championships and can become only the third coach to claim three Super Bowl titles.

His career record, 129-57, including 14-4 in the postseason, makes him the league’s No. 2 active coach in terms of winning percentage, behind San Francisco’s George Seifert. Of course, Seifert has compiled his .792 percentage in only three seasons; Gibbs has achieved his .693 mark in 11. With Chuck Noll having retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gibbs ranks second only to Miami’s Don Shula among active head coaches in longevity with one club. Shula has 11 years on him, having begun with the Dolphins in 1970.

Clearly, Gibbs is no ordinary Joe.

Gibbs’s entry into the NFL in 1973 came courtesy of Don Coryell, his old college coach at San Diego State. Gibbs, who had been a college assistant at San Diego State, Florida State, Southern Cal and Arkansas, accepted a job on Coryell’s St. Louis Cardinals staff, figuring he’d stay only until an attractive college head coaching job opened up. Almost two decades later, he’s still hanging around the NFL.

But not for much longer, he hinted this week.

“Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Don Shula are still the guys you certainly look up to, and I’m not on the same layer as them,” he said. “You look in their faces and they have a hardness that’s different from me, I think. They’re in it for the long haul. Me, maybe I’ll have to be dragged away from it, because I still enjoy what I’m doing quite a bit.  But if I’m here for 25 years, take me over to a goalpost and hang me from it. I still wake up every day thinking of myself as a short-timer in this game. I guess that mindset lends a certain sense of urgency to what I do.”

Examples of Gibbs’s in-season single-mindedness – “I prefer absent- mindedness,” said his wife, Pat – are legendary. Gibbs’s reading is limited to the Bible and the sports pages. He rarely attends a movie or the theater. For several years, Pat would make him audio tapes, detailing his sons’ daily activities, so that he could keep up with the home-front goings-on. He listened to them in his car on the way to and from work.

In October, Gibbs was uncertain which two teams were playing in the World Series. He recently asked one of his assistants about “that JFK movie, the one that Oliver North actually Oliver Stone produced.” Several times, he has pulled into the wrong driveway and almost walked into the wrong living room.

On New Year’s Eve, preparing for his team’s NFC semifinal game against the Atlanta Falcons, he called Pat at their home in Virginia, told her to wish his two college-age sons well and returned to work.

“Actually,” said offensive line coach Jim Hanifan, “he was so out of it, he kissed me on the lips, said, Happy New Year, Pat,’ and then suddenly came to his senses and said, Whoa. OK, let’s get back to work guys.’

“Nah, I’m only kidding, but, hey, it could have happened. You know how Joe can get immersed in stuff.”

Said Gibbs: “When I come home after six months and start telling Pat, We need to do this and do that,’ she’ll say, Joe, shut up. You’re not in charge here.’ You know, there are some negatives to a season that stretches to the Super Bowl. But Pat and me and the boys, we still have a strong relationship.”

Somehow, Gibbs has found time to maintain stable relationships in every facet of his life, even while working his way to the top of his profession.

One of his strengths is his ability to find top people for his staff, and to keep them happy. His NFL-high 14 assistants – the norm is closer to 10 – comprise one of the finest staffs ever assembled, and are fiercely loyal. They appreciate his willingness to delegate authority as well as responsibility. “He’s responsible for the output, but he gives all the rest of us plenty of input,” said Richie Petitbon, Gibb’s assistant head coach/defense. “This isn’t a one-voice operation. Joe allows his coaches to coach.” Because few of his aides ever leave the Redskins, the club has a continuity rarely seen in professional sports.

Another factor in Gibbs’s success is the respect and compassion he has demonstrated toward his players.

“A coach is supposed to be above his players, but he shows enough respect to come to your level when he’s talking to you,” said defensive end Charles Mann. “I mean, when Joe walks into the locker room, it’s not like we have to stop talking or whisper.”

Said wide receiver Art Monk: “Joe’s mellowed over the years, and nobody feels intimidated by him. He’s still high-energy in his own way, but the older he gets, the calmer he gets. He’s the kind of guy you could play for forever.”

Which, of course, won’t happen. The older Gibbs gets, the more likely it becomes that his major sports involvement will be with stock car racing, not the NFL.

“One of the thrills of my life,” he noted, “will come next month when they go into the first turn at Daytona, and my car’s running.”

The Joe Gibbs Racing team, sponsored by Interstate Battery, will consist of Chevys driven by Dale Jarrett.

Gibbs acquired his love of fast cars during his boyhood in the heart of NASCAR country – he used to go with his father, the sheriff of Mocksville, N.C., on late-night raids to catch moonshiners – and his teenage years in California amid “hot rods and hamburger joints.”

He does not see himself pacing the sidelines at age 60.

“I know when it’s time to walk away,” he said.

And then?

“And then I guess I’ll work about 10 years to get my racquetball  game back in shape and go out and try to win the 65-and-over championship.”

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 12, 1992
All-time receptions record within Monk’s reach
Len Pasquarelli

Even against the Atlanta Falcons’ struggling secondary, Art Monk doesn’t figure to have any chance of breaking Steve Largent’s record for most career receptions Sunday in Washington.

After all, during his celebrated 13-year career with the Redskins, the cagey veteran has never caught more than 13 passes in a game. And Largent’s 819 catches is still 16 more than Monk has accomplished.

Still, nothing about his performance surprises Monk’s teammates anymore. A fellow receiver, in fact, will bring to the game a small memento he plans to award Monk when the record is broken.

“The thing about Art,” Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien says, “is that he’s almost as quiet on the field as he is off it. You can play the game and be thinking, ‘Geez, we haven’t gotten the ball to him much today.’ But then you look at the stat sheet afterwards and he’s got his usual six or seven catches.

“He just sort of sneaks up on you, I guess.”

The publicity-shy Monk, 34, has crept up on the record with little hoopla. This summer, cognizant of the place he is about to soon occupy in league history, he has granted the media a bit more of his time.

But not much more.

The son of a welder and a part-time domestic worker, Monk grew up in White Plains, N.Y., learning not only the lessons of discipline but of humility. His favorite subject matter: Anything but Art Monk.

“I’d rather just go out and do something than have to talk about doing it, or how I did it, or how I planned to do it,” said Monk. “Sure, I’m excited about the record. But the most enjoyable thing is just getting open and catching the ball.”

How Monk does it is simply explained. At 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, he uses his size and fluid yet subtle movements, rather than speed, to break free.

Although he still works hours each week on “the Redskin drill” – a regimen in which the receivers run downfield time after time, hauling in long passes – Monk’s success over the last half of his career has come on the fairly pedestrian pattern called “Dodge.” He goes 5 to 7 yards off the line, looking for a seam in the secondary.

The “Dodge” may be a large part of the Redskins’ game plan Sunday. Coming off an embarrassing 23-10 loss at Dallas, coach Joe Gibbs is stressing fundamentals this week.

Said flamboyant wide receiver Gary Clark, the antithesis of Monk: “We’re back to the basics, and that always includes getting the ball to Art.”

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 11, 1994
INSIDE THE NFL; Enforcing 5-yard rule helps bump up scoring
Len Pasquarelli

In an effort to increase scoring for his moribund league, commissioner Paul Tagliabue, ably assisted by competition committee co- chairmen Don Shula and George Young, ramrodded through a package of rules changes at the NFL owners’ meetings in March. Turns out, though, that the rule that figures to have the most effect has been on the books since 1978.

That’s the year the league implemented the so-called “Isaac Curtis rule,” whi ch prohibits defensive backs from making contact with receivers beyond five yards downfield. But for years, officials generally ignored the rule. And their reluctance to enforce it helped spur the return of the “bigger” cornerback – more physical players like Larry Brown (Dallas), Tom Carter (Washington), Cris Dishman (Houston), James Hasty (N.Y. Jets), Reggie Jones (New Orleans), Todd Lyght (L.A. Rams), Robert Massey (Detroit), Troy Vincent (Miami), Lionel Washington (L.A. Raiders) and Rod Woodson (Pittsburgh).

This year, however, director of officiating Jerry Seeman decided to re-emphasize the rule. And, though coaches say the enforcement is still uneven, the results of Seeman’s efforts were obvious last weekend.

“It’s like we’re handcuffed with no contact after five yards,” said Miami cornerback J.B. Brown. Added Denver defensive coordinator Charlie Waters: “You can hardly touch a guy. It’s pretty easy for them to get open.”

How easy? Consider:

With receivers running unchecked through secondaries at times, seven quarterbacks had 300-yard performances, more than in any single week of the 1993 season. Two quarterbacks – Miami’s Dan Marino and New England’s Drew Bledsoe – each threw for over 400 yards in the same game, and their combined 874 yards was the third-best total in league history. Six quarterbacks had three or more touchdown passes. The aggregate quarterback rating for the league last week was 85.0. For the ’93 season, it was 76.4.

Some per-game totals for last weekend, and, in parentheses, how they compared to the first weekend of play last year: 46.6 points (37.4), 5.6 touchdowns (4.5), 445.4 net passing yards (401.8), 154.1 offensive snaps (150.8).

“It’s only one weekend, but it’s also a sign of things to come,” said former Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson. “It’s going to put greater urgency than ever on finding the pure cover cornerback in the draft every year.”

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 9, 1995
INSIDE THE NFL; Falcons not alone in soph dependence
Len Pasquarelli

New York Jets WR Ryan Yarborough: He’s a guy who had six catches in his debut season being projected to replace future Hall of Famer Art Monk.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 30, 1995
Mathis’ mission: Show ’94 no fluke; Breakthrough: Last season saw receiver post numbers among the elite; detractors need encore to believe in it
Len Pasquarelli

Still, despite a breakthrough season in which he became only the eighth player in the NFL’s 75-year history to register 100 or more catches – his name forever linked with those of future Hall of Famers like Art Monk, Jerry Rice and Sterling Sharpe – the knocks just keep on coming for Terance Mathis.

No…..Player……….. Team……..Yr.
122….Cris Carter……..Vikings… ’94
112….Jerry Rice……. 49ers….. ’94
112….Sterling Sharpe….Packers… ’93
111….Terance Mathis… Falcons… ’94
108….Sterling Sharpe….Packers… ’92
106….Art Monk……… Redskins….’84
101….Charley Hennigan.. (a)Oilers.. ’64
100….Haywood Jeffires.. Oilers……’91
100….Jerry Rice……. 49ers….. ’90
100….Lionel Taylor……(a)Broncos..’61

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 3, 1995
INSIDE THE NFL; Winning’s not easier second time around
Len Pasquarelli

Last week’s signing of Art Monk by the Philadelphia Eagles will afford
the NFL’s all-time leading pass-catcher a chance to pad his total of 934
receptions. It might also permit him to add to his record for
consecutives games with at least one catch. The top streaks in league
history:
 
Player……….. Pos…Games
Art Monk……… WR….180(*)
Steve Largent……WR….177
Jerry Rice……. WR….155(*)
Ozzie Newsome……TE….150
Harold Carmichael..WR….127
Keith Byars……..FB….124(*)
Mel Gray……… WR….121
Eric Martin……..WR….107
Danny Abramowicz.. WR….105
Anthony Carter… WR….105
Gary Clark……. WR….105
Note: (*) Indicates streak is still active.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 11, 1996
FALCONS REPORT; Takeaways keep slipping away
Len Pasquarelli

Kicker Morten Andersen was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Blue-Gray college all-star game this week in Montgomery, Ala. Among the other inductees: Art Monk, Cedrick Hardman and Jack Pardee. Andersen appeared in the 1981 Blue-Gray game and also handled the punting chores for coach Mike White.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 30, 1996
NFL REPORT; Lions unsupportive of Fontes after he shows up Mitchell
Len Pasquarelli

Nobody ever mentions Henry Ellard as a potential Hall of Fame candidate, but the 14-year veteran has put together a portfolio with the Rams and Redskins that makes him worthy of consideration. Ellard needs just one catch Sunday at Buffalo to move past Hall of Fame receiver Charlie Joyner into fifth place on the all-time receptions list with 751. Ellard is 21 yards shy of supplanting Art Monk, who certainly will be in the Hall of Fame, for fourth place in receiving yards. “Watching him is like watching a ballet,” said former Rams teammate Flipper Anderson. Added current Washington mate Bill Brooks of the 35-year-old Ellard: “He keeps himself in such great shape, he might be able to play three or four more years if he wanted.” With ’95 first-rounder Michael Westbrook a major disappointment, every defense in the league knows Ellard is the “go- to” guy for Gus Frerotte, but no one is able to adequately cover him.

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http://espn.go.com/classic/s/2003/0125/1498868.html
ESPN Classic
Saturday, January 25, 2003
‘Convoluted’ logic ends long process
Len Pasquarelli

The Hall of Fame, and justifiably so, has very strict confidentiality rules. And I, like my ESPN.com colleague and fellow Hall of Fame selector John Clayton, am not about to breach those guidelines. Suffice it to say that the debate on Saturday morning was lively and compelling at times. There were a few instances of tedium, and it took nearly two hours to wade through just the first seven candidates, but the experience was a rewarding one.

A few insights, without stepping over the guidelines fashioned by the great Hall of Fame people like Joe Horrigan, from the session: The debate over the merits of quarterback Ken Stabler, who had 28 fewer touchdown passes than interceptions during his 15-year career. The fact that Randy Gradishar and Harry Carson could have been the first inside linebackers from teams that played 3-4 fronts to be inducted (neither made the cut). The fact Art Monk averaged only 13.5 yards per catch in his career and, in 16 seasons with the Redskins, led his team in receptions just six times. The presentation speeches, which typically ranged from eloquent to elongated.

For those unfamiliar with the Hall of Fame selection mechanics, it is a three-tiered process, one that eventually winnows down the field to six modern-day candidates and one hopeful from the seniors committee. That one man this year was Stram, the Energizer Bunny of a coach, and a guy known only to most youngsters as the caricature on the sidelines (“Keep matriculating the ball up the field, boys”) in Super Bowl IV.

The 14 modern-day finalists are first cut to 10 and, falling out on that vote were Monk, Lester Hayes, Stabler and Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson. A subsequent ballot cuts the field to six, exclusive of the seniors candidate, and that lopped off Carson, Gradishar, Claude Humphrey and Bob Kuechenberg.

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http://www.sptimes.com/2003/09/05/Columns/Fame_may_beckon_a_few.shtml
St.Petersburg Times
September 5, 2003
Fame May Beckon a Few Bucs
Gary Shelton

Keyshawn Johnson

Pasquarelli: “I think Key is going to suffer because certain selectors are going to diminish the achievements of wide receivers because of the way the game has evolved. Art Monk may never get in. There is a group of voters who believe receiving totals are so inflated we need to apply different standards. That may hurt him.”

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Florida Times-Union
November 18, 2004
Jags WR stats call for hall?; Smith has been hot, but likely needs more catches, Super Bowl trip to join list of NFL’s finest
Vito Stellino

One of Smith’s problems is that he hasn’t played in a Super Bowl. Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “There’s no Super Bowls, and nothing sticks out as a signature Jimmy Smith play.”

Grossi said he has an open mind on Smith, although he’d have to be persuaded.

Three voters, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com and Ira Miller of the San Francisco Chronicle, don’t appear to be ready to consider Smith at this time.

“Right now, he’s not on my radar screen,” Bouchette said.

“My initial reaction would be no,” Pasquarelli said “I don’t know where we’re going to set the bar for wide receivers.”

Miller said he wouldn’t vote for Smith.

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http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102287
ESPN Radio
May 17, 2005
The Dan Patrick Show

Dan Patrick: (asking about the Hall of Fame balloting) Art Monk?
Len Pasquarelli: No.

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http://origin.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/13790833.htm
Miami Herald
February 4, 2006
The Hall Debate
Jason Cole

”It’s really about whether a guy passes the smell test,” longtime NFL writer and at-large voter Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com said this week. “Stats aren’t always the test, longevity isn’t the best gauge, and some people talk about impact in big games, but there are a lot of guys who did that who aren’t in.

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http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2753225
Sports Illustrated SI.com
February 3, 2007
Lengthy Discussion and Debate on Class of 2007
Len Pasquarelli

But the former commissioner wasn’t the only candidate whose Hall credentials were closely examined. The first round of discussion, in which all 17 candidates are presented, ran more than five hours before the selectors got around to the first “reduction” ballot, narrowing the field to 11. There were the usual procedural issues, the annual ill-advised suggestion that selectors rubber-stamp all of the finalists for induction when the field is reduced to six on the second ballot, plenty of comparative statistics, and subjective assessments of the candidates.

In a week in which the league has celebrated the presence of two African-American coaches in Super Bowl XLI, it would be remiss not to point out that Saturday’s selection meeting was chaired by Steve Perry, a black man. And that, for the first time, the selection committee included two women, veteran scribes Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Nancy Gay.

Congratulations to all of them.

And congratulations, too, to the six new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to the 11 other men who were considered for induction. Know this: Your fates Saturday were discussed with great care and diligence by a committee that collectively takes it charge very seriously.

And Saturday, that meant nearly seven serious hours of serious deliberation.

9 Comments »

  1. When you consider Irvin had Aikman and Emmitt his whole career and Monk had no HOF QB, only had Riggo for 5 yrs, and that he came into the league before receivers started getting the ball a lot, Irvin’s stats being somewhat more than Monk’s doesnt look all that impressive. Monk was the 1st receiver to record 100 catches in a season, 900 in a career,1 catch in 180 straight games(only Rice broke that record),and once ranked 3rd in rcvg yds. Now who do you think was the better receiver? Especially for his time.

    Comment by cdwag — October 27, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

  2. He also reached the 800 catch mark quicker than anyone except Rice and Harrison. But look who they had at QB

    Comment by cdwag — October 27, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

  3. Monk was also a smart player. He was on 3rd down, he always knew where the first down marker was and when he was near the sideline, he was made sure had two feet down before he went out of bounce to make the catch.

    Comment by cdwag — October 27, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

  4. Dont give Andre Reed more consideration than Monk. He had Thomas&Kelly his entire career just about and he was facing much less competitive opponents. Jets,Colts,Pats,Dolphins had horrible defenses back when reed was playing. Cowboys,Eagles,Giants had very tough defenses back in Monk’s era. He also had to face either the 49ers D or Bears D once a year also.

    Comment by Cdawg — November 1, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

  5. 81 Reasons to Induct Art Monk

    1) 12,721 Receiving Yards (#9 all time, eight years after retirement)

    2) 940 Receptions ( was #1, is now #5 eight years after retiring)

    3) 68 Receiving Touchdowns (still in top 30, all time)

    4) 224 Games played

    5) Caught at least one pass in 183 consecutive games (once a record)

    6) Helped Washington to three SB victories in four appearances.

    7) Three consecutive Pro Bowl Selections

    8) “Art was Jerry Rice before Jerry Rice was” – Joe Theismann

    9) Record of 106 receptions in 1984 stood for eight years.

    10) “Quiet about his work, very loud with his results” – Mark Rypien

    11) First to record 106 receptions in one season

    12) First to catch at least one pass in 164 consecutive games

    13) First to catch more than 900 passes.

    14) Caught 58 passes as a rookie, unanimous All-Rookie Selection

    15) Redskins 1984 MVP

    16) 50 or more reception in a season 9 times

    17) 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season 5 times

    18) Master of the medium route over the middle, aka “No Man’s Land”

    19) First Redskin to produce 3 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons

    20) Prototype for the modern receiver

    21) 3-time 1st or 2nd team All-NFC Team selection

    22) In ’85, named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Pro Team

    23) In ’85, named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team

    24) In ’85, named to the UPI All-NFL Team

    25) In ’86, named to the UPI All-NFC Team

    26) Founded the Good Samaritan Foundation, with teammates.

    27) 1, 062 Playoff yards

    28) Largent, Lofton and Stallworth are already in.

    29) The consummate pro; made the big catch, went back to the huddle.

    30) Not a “Hot Dog”; let his play on the field do all the talking.

    31) Nicknamed “Money” by teammates, “Artist” by the fans

    32) Founded the Student Training Opportunity Program, with teammates

    33) Started the Art Monk Football Camp” in 1983, and it’s still going.

    34) 16-year career, 0 arrests.

    35) Named to TSN’s “100 Greatest Football Players” list

    36) Never once disappointed the team or the fans, on the field or off.

    37) A first round draft pick that played like a first round draft pick.

    38) Has more career catches than anyone currently in the Hall.

    39) Putting loud jerks in over Monk sends the wrong message to kids.

    40) Art does not lobby to get himself inducted

    41) First down machine on 3rd and long

    42) Still holds the club record for catches in a season (106)

    43) Still holds the club record for passes caught in a game (13, twice)

    44) Honored as one of the “Washingtonians of the Year” in 1992

    45) Focuses on the forgotten “high school aged” youth in DC.

    46) “I don’t know about the criteria, but whatever it is, I believe Art has achieved it” –Joe Theismann

    47) “He was big, he was strong, and he was intelligent. He had everything”-Joe Gibbs, HOF inductee

    48) “Art Monk was an example for Jerry Rice. That’s what Jerry always told me.”- Ronnie Lott, HOF inductee

    49) “There’s nothing negative to say. He has the numbers, the catches, the championships.” –Lott

    50) “Spend a day with Art Monk, and your life will improve by 10%”- Theismann

    51) “You have a Hall of Fame for all it represents. I know he represents all that it’s about. Integrity, love and passion for the game, community, what he gave back. Look how he conducted himself. Nobody I know deserves it more.” –Lott

    52) If he doesn’t get in, they might as well close the Hall.

    53) “There was never a classier player in this franchise’s history, or in league history, than Art Monk. You always knew the team would be getting Art Monk’s best effort day in and day out.” –Charlie Casserly

    54) “Monk is headed to Canton downhill on roller skates”- Bill Parcells, 1995

    55) Only one other player, linebacker Monte Coleman, has been on the field for the Redskins more than Monk.

    56) Art Monk is almost as proud of his relative anonymity as he is the record-setting numbers he compiled over a 16-year NFL career.

    57) When Monk spoke, it was usually with tough catches in the clutch moments of big games.

    58) Nothing came naturally for Monk, who spent countless hours on the practice field and many more behind the projector.

    59) I never saw Monk drop a pass. Period.

    60) Monk’s 40-yard catch with eight minutes left in the first quarter of SBXXII was Doug Williams’ first completion of what would be a record setting game.

    61) Named in a 1992 poll during the team’s 50th Anniversary Season as the most popular Redskin of all time.

    62) Participates in a “Kid’s Fishing Day” for underprivileged kids

    63) Has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, reciting children’s fairy tales with musical accompaniment.

    64) “He’s more than just his receptions. Few players have been able to achieve what he’s achieved.” –Richie Petitbon

    65) “He is a gifted athlete who takes great care of himself. He’s a guy who works at his craft, and responds to any challenge. However, he does it so quietly that his accomplishments are sometimes overlooked.”- Joe Gibbs

    66) Selected to the 1989 All-Madden Team

    67) Early in his career, Art arranged and scheduled charity basketball games for the Redskins.

    68) “I can’t see how a receiver could be more valuable to a team.” –Gibbs

    69) Fame is often hard earned. Character is often elusive to define. A man of great character himself, Art Monk encompasses what it means to be a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    70) Monk wasn’t a “SportsCenter” type of receiver — more like a “Masterpiece Theatre” type.

    71) You wouldn’t see Monk pull out a Sharpie to sign a ball after scoring a touchdown.

    72) “He embodied the old school, and for that alone he should be enshrined so that when a father takes his son through the Hall of Fame, he can say, “Son, here is a man who once caught 106 passes in a season when no one was catching 100 passes. Here was a man who caught a pass in 183 straight games. And not once did he ever pull a cell phone out to make a call after any of those catches.” –Thomas Loverro, Washington Times

    73) Football is a game of first downs and Monk was the receiver who would move the chains.

    74) He has since been passed in this pass-crazy era, but in the context of when he played, Art Monk was a Hall of Fame receiver.

    75) He did this while never playing with a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.

    76) Critics will say Monk benefited from playing in Joe Gibbs’ system. What might be the case is that the Gibbs system benefited from having Monk.

    77) “I believe he’s a Hall of Famer. I was a pro scout when he was playing, so it was my job to know who those guys were. I would put Art in that category, but apparently there are a lot of Hall of Fame voters who don’t feel Art Monk was in that category. It’s hard for me to believe they ever saw him play.” –Bill Polian, President Indianapolis Colts

    78) He was the anti-Terrell Owens.

    79) He was the standard-bearer, the mold-maker and the receiver every team of his era wished they’d had.

    80) He’s already a Hall Of Famer off the field.

    81) It’s time.

    Comment by Mark Barnette — January 10, 2007 @ 10:41 pm

  6. Its time baby and its on.I have several politicians on the brink of pushing buttons for this guy.Finally

    Comment by robert bailey — August 7, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

  7. In considering Monk vs. Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed, it should be noted that Monk’s personal playoff stats are the best of the bunch. His yards per game, catches per game, and yards per catch numbers beat out those of Carter, Brown, and Reed. Carter and Reed have Very Small advantages in TDs per game, while Monk beats out Brown even in this category. Playoff TD numbers are close, even though all of these other guys played in passing-first offenses, while Monk’s Redskins teams were power running teams at heart. If you compare each of these guys’ numbers in NFC/AFC Championship games, Monk sweeps ALL categories, outgaining the next best candidate by nearly 40 YARDS a game!
    Not only this, but Monk and the Redskins faced Much better competition in their playoff games. If you compare these candidates based on the number of Super Bowl winners and losers they played during their post season exploits, you’ll find that Monk and the ‘Skins come out WAY on top.
    Consider these purely anectdotal facts: Carter and the Vikings lost their two NFC Championship game appearances to the Chris Chandler-led Atlanta Falcons and the Kerry Collins-led NY Giants. Monk and the ‘Skins NEVER lost a playoff game to a team that was more than 2 years removed from a Super Bowl championship. I’ve created a statistic to compare the greatness of playoff opponents called the POGQ (playoff opponent greatness quotient) which I will not trouble you with here. Suffice to say, Monk and the ‘Skins win out in that comparison. Not only that, the teams who Monk and the ‘Skins faced in the playoffs actually had a higher regular season winning percentage than those faced by Carter, Brown or Reed.

    So Monk put up better personal playoff numbers, while his team was winning a higher percentage of their playoff games, against stronger playoff competition, and bringing home Super Bowl rings.
    All those pro bowls these other guys went to must look pretty insignificant.

    I have prepared a powerpoint presentation on this subject. If the person running this site would like a copy, please e-mail me and let me know where I can send it as an attachment.

    Comment by remember the redskins — September 28, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  8. Art Monk IS a class act! He always was on the field and still is today. I just wonder how you can justify putting a cocaine using Michael Irvin in the HOF but not Art Monk who is 10 times the person Irvin will ever be!

    Comment by Michael Marks — January 31, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  9. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    Reasons to vote for Art Monk for the Hall of Fame

    1. Monk changed the course of Super Bowl history three times.
    • In 1988 with the Skins down 10-0 to the Broncos, the Redskins deep in their own territory, on 3rd and 16, Monk made a 40-yard catch, his first catch in 2 months because of an injury.
    • In 1990, Monk called a legendary players only team meeting with the Skins at 6-5. After the meeting, they went 22-4 and won the Super Bowl the following year against Buffalo and the team meetings became a tradition.
    • In the 1992 Super Bowl, Monk had 7 catches for 113 yards in the win over Buffalo.
    2. Monk has more catches than any of the 17 receivers currently in the Hall.
    3. Monk has more catches than Lynn Swann and John Stallworth combined. The last 10 years of Stallworth’s career were played after the rules were changed to open up the passing game.
    4. Monk has more catches, yards, and TDs than Michael Irvin, and Irvin played his whole career with a Hall of Fame QB, while Monk played with 4 QBs, 3 of them not in the NFL’s all-time top 85 QBs in passing yards.
    5. The 1991 Redskins were one of the greatest teams of all-time – 17-2 – and they are one of only two Super Bowl champions to play 11 teams with 10 or more wins. They had a margin of victory of 17 points per game, second to the ‘85 Bears and ‘07 Pats, yet not one player is in the Hall.
    6. If the 1980 draft were redone, Monk would be the #1 overall pick.
    7. In 1991, then-Cleveland Browns coach Bill Belichick, who ran the Giants defense in the late 80s, said, “I think Monk is one of the great receivers ever to play the game. I wish the damn guy would retire and I told him that in the preseason. The sooner the better for me.”

    Answering the Criticisms

    Yards Per Catch and Touchdowns

    Monk’s career average is 13.5 Yards per catch – just ahead of Marvin Harrison (13.4), nearly a yard more than Cris Carter (12.6) and only 1.3 yards less than Jerry Rice (14.8). Monk averaged 15.4 yards per catch in the playoffs, better than Carter or Andre Reed. Monk did have a lot of short receptions for first downs. That makes his 13.5 figure all the more impressive. For example, for every 8-yard reception he had, he also had a19-yard catch. For every 5-yard pass he had, he also had a 22-yard catch. Monk had at least 38 catches of 40 yards or more. There are different types of receivers just like there are different types of running backs. You wouldn’t keep Larry Csonka (4.3), or John Riggins (3.9) out of the Hall of Fame because they had lower averages than Barry Sanders (5.0) or Gale Sayers (5.0). Maintaining possession and making first downs is important because that leads to TDs. The alternative to maintain possession is punting. (Punting isn’t good – it gives the ball to the other team. We don’t want that).

    From 1980-1993, the years Monk was with the Redskins, he had exactly the same number of TDs as Lofton did during that span – 65. Overall, Monk had more TDs than Irvin – 68 to 65. The Redskins often ran the ball in the red zone and Monk blocked superbly on those runs.

    Signature Playoff Performances

    Yes, he did have them. Besides the catch vs. the Broncos in the Super Bowl and the 100-yard performance against the Bills in the Super Bowl mentioned above:

    • Monk scored a 40-yard touchdown and a 21-yard TD in a 51-7 rout of the Rams in a January 1984 playoff game.
    • In January 1987, the year after the Bears won the Super Bowl at 15-1 and were considered by most experts to be the greatest team of all-time – certainly the greatest defense – the Redskins beat the 14-2 Bears in the playoffs 27-13. Monk scored two touchdowns in that game – a 28-yarder and a 21-yarder against the top-ranked defense in the NFL.
    • In January 1991, the Redskins beat Buddy Ryan’s Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs 20-6, and Monk scored a 16-yard touchdown to give the Redskins a 7-6 lead.
    • In the next playoff game, Monk caught 10 passes for 163 yards and a 31-yard TD from quarterback Mark Rypien in a loss against the 49ers, who had beaten the Broncos 55-10 in the Super Bowl a year earlier.
    • The following season, Monk also scored an amazing over the shoulder 21-yard TD against Detroit in the 1992 NFC Championship game as the Skins were victorious, 41-10. Lions linebacker Chris Spielman had this to say: “Art Monk is a Hall of Famer. He doesn’t get enough credit compared to Jerry Rice. He’s a special player.”

    Monk played with other great WRs

    Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders were very good players, but they were not as great as Monk. Swann and Stallworth didn’t get penalized for playing alongside each other. Joiner had Wes Chandler, John Jefferson, and Kellen Winslow for parts of his career. Biletnikoff had Branch. Carter, who should make it someday but not before Monk, played four years with Randy Moss. Also note that Joiner, Swann, and Stallworth, Irvin, and Reed, another candidate, all played with HOF QBs.

    Pro Bowls

    Monk made 3. He could have made a bunch more based on his stats. Pro Bowl voting is done before the final two weeks of the year and doesn’t include playoffs. Monk was a strong finisher and playoff performer. Joiner, Swann, and Bradshaw each only went to three Pro Bowls. Stallworth and Biletnikoff went to four Pro Bowls. Riggins went to one.

    Monk played against superior NFC competition – the NFC won 11 straight Super Bowls during Monk’s career – and he also played against tough NFC East competition. The Giants won two Super Bowls during Monk’s Redskins career, the Cowboys had a great defense in the early 80s and won Super Bowls in the 90s, and Buddy Ryan’s Eagles had a great defense in the late 80s and early 90s.

    Other current players are passing Monk

    See the chart that shows that while passing offense was higher in Monk’s era than Biletnikoff’s, it is also up a lot more now than it was during the time that Monk played. So Monk shouldn’t be penalized because today’s passing stats are more prolific than they were during his era. Note that Carter and Reed played most of their careers during the final 14 years of the Super Bowl era.

    NFL 1966-1979 1980-1993 (Monk’s era with the Redskins) 1994-2007
    Number of individual 4,000 passing seasons 2 19 46
    Number of individual 100 catch seasons 0 3 50
    Number of 1500 catch seasons 0 5 15

    We’ve already established that Monk has better numbers than all the WRs in the Hall – here’s how his playoff stats compare with Carter and Reed.

    Comparison of Playoff Performances of Monk, Cris Carter, and Andre Reed
    Player Catches per game Yards per game TD per game Yards per catch Team Record Super Bowls
    Monk 4.6 70.8 .46 15.4 10-5 2-1
    Carter 4.5 61.4 .57 13.6 4-10 0-0
    Reed 4.5 64.7 .47 14.5 10-9 0-4
    Comparison of NFC or AFC Championship Game Performances of Monk, Carter, and Reed
    (each player played at least 2 NFC or AFC Championship games).
    Player Catches per game Yards per game TD per game Yards per catch
    Monk 5.3 85.0 .3 15.9
    Carter 4.5 45.5 0 10.1
    Reed 3.2 35.4 .2 11.1

    Stats comparing Monk, Carter, and Reed courtesy ‘Remember the Redskins.’

    Please see http://www.coachmike.net/artmonk/artmonk.htm and http://www.monk4thehall.com/.

    I’m exhausted. Do the right thing, voters.

    Comment by Mike Frandsen — February 1, 2008 @ 1:10 am


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