By Ronald Guy
This wasn’t quite anointing Jim Brown the best running back in Cleveland Browns history (in other words a statement of the obvious), but it wasn’t that far off. Sammy Baugh isn’t just the best quarterback in Redskins history, he’s the best player in team history and one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks.
If Sonny Jurgensen was ahead of his earthly time, Baugh was from another planet. Baugh is widely credited with solidifying the forward pass as a routine component of NFL offenses. Perhaps more amazingly, his 187 touchdown passes are still the most in Redskins history. Did I mention he retired in 1952?
In addition to being a revolutionary quarterback, Baugh was also an elite punter — his 51.4 yards per kick average in 1940 is still an NFL record — and was an exceptional cornerback picking off 31 passes in his career, good for third in franchise history. Baugh won NFL Championships in ’37 — the team’s first year in D.C. after relocating from Boston — and ’42, and helped solidify the Redskins franchise in its newly adopted home. So the stats and story are impressive, but factoid sums up Baugh’s greatest and his unquestioned status as the best quarterback in Redskins history. Baugh was a member of inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 1963: a group that included legends like Jim Thorpe, Curly Lambeau, Bronko Nagurski and Red Grange.
Any dissenters regarding Baugh’s ranking? I didn’t think so.