Darrell Green Washington Redskins
"I was born with a great measure of speed and talent…But I also was born with desire, the desire to go faster every year. I’ve set it as a personal goal and by preparing harder and setting my goals higher, I’ve achieved that.”
Darrell Green, a first round draft pick (28th overall) by the Washington Redskins in the 1983 NFL Draft, enjoyed instant success in the NFL. As a rookie, he set the tone for things to come when he scored the very first time he touched the football. That touchdown came on a 61-yard punt return in a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Green started all 16 regular season games during his rookie campaign and finished fourth on the team in tackles with 109 that included a team-leading 79 solo stops. He was runner-up for the Associated Press NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Green quickly developed into a premier cornerback in the NFL and maintained his high standard of play throughout his remarkable 20-season career with the Redskins. Extremely durable, Green’s consistent play was exemplified by his recording of an interception in a record 19 straight seasons. The only year where he did not record a pickoff came during his final season in 2002.
In all, Green totaled a club record 54 interceptions for 621 yards and six touchdowns. He also added two additional touchdowns on interception returns in the post-season. Three times he recorded a career-best of five interceptions in a season (1984, 1986, and 1991). He registered a career-high three interceptions in a game against the Detroit Lions on November 15, 1987.
Known for his speed, something he never lost even as he played into his 40s, Green also had success as a punt returner. He averaged nearly 12 yards a return as he recorded 51 career returns for 611 yards. In addition, he owns the team record for longest fumble return – a 78-yard TD against the Colts in 1993.
Green played in four NFC championship games and three Super Bowls including the team’s victory in Super Bowls XXII and XXVI. In the 1987 NFC Championship Game, on a pivotal fourth-down pass play at the goal line late in the game, Green jarred the ball from Minnesota’s Darrin Nelson to secure a Redskins 17-10 victory that catapulted the team into Super Bowl XXII.
Green was named All-Pro in 1986, 1987, 1990, and 1991 and voted to seven Pro Bowls. He is also a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.