Art Monk Washington Redskins & New York Jets & Philadelphia Eagles
"I enjoy it when the situation gets tough, like when time is running out and we need something. The times I like the most are the times when everything is on the line.”
Art Monk, a first-round draft choice of the Washington Redskins in 1980, wasted little time in establishing himself as a premier wide receiver in the National Football League. He was a unanimous all-rookie selection and his 58 receptions were a Redskins' rookie record. Nine times during his 16-season career with the Redskins, New York Jets, and Philadelphia Eagles, the former Syracuse star exceeded 50 catches in a season and five times gained more than 1,000 receiving yards. He also set NFL records for most catches in a season (106), and most consecutive games with at least one reception (164). His consecutive games with a reception streak extended to 183 games. In 1992, with his 820th career catch, he became the NFL's then-all-time leader in receptions. He finished his career with 940 receptions.
Monk, at 6-3, 210 pounds, was a prototype for today's bigger, stronger receivers. He got off the line of scrimmage quickly and never hesitated to run patterns across the middle of the field. He was a master of the short pass route that often left defenses unable to adjust, allowing for substantial gains.
Art was a major part of the powerful Redskins teams that were dominant during the 1980s. During his 14 seasons with the Redskins, the team won three Super Bowls (XVII, XXII, and XXVI) and had just three losing seasons. It was, however, in 1984 that Monk had his finest season when he caught eight or more passes in six games, had five games of 100 yards or more and in a game against the San Francisco 49ers caught 10 passes for 200 yards. His outstanding play earned him team MVP honors and his first Pro Bowl selection. His season totals of 106 catches for 1,372 yards were career highs.
Monk went over the 1,000-yard mark in each of the following two seasons, becoming the first Redskins receiver to produce three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. He also became the first Redskins player to catch 70 or more passes in three consecutive seasons.
Washington coach Joe Gibbs claimed his star receiver was the complete package. He called him the strongest outside receiver he'd ever coached, and was quick to point out his effectiveness at catching passes inside. "He's big, he's strong, he's intelligent, he has everything," the Hall of Fame coach remarked.
Monk was an All-Pro and All-NFC choice in 1984 and 1985 and was named second-team All-NFC in 1986. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl following the 1984, 1985 and 1986 seasons.