Sammy Baugh, Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins and Joe Gibbs are the Mount Rushmore of the Washington Redskins.
Robert Griffin III? You must be kidding. Let's talk in 2025.
Pro Football Talk named Baugh and Gibbs to its Mount Rushmore list Monday, but also pushed through The Hogs and Darrell Green. While the Hogs were a great offensive line, you can't push them through as one unit and have none individually earn the honor. Green might make No. 5 on my list.
It's not just about championships when deciding the greatest foursome in team history. Otherwise, Jurgensen wouldn't make the list because he never played in a postseason game.
Rings don't hurt and may be the difference in Gibbs over Ray Flaherty as the team's top coach, though. And the Super Bowl certainly helped Riggins make the list.
But it's a combination of postseason, persona and production that decides the team's best quartet. They have to be legends, not just great players.
Baugh's legacy is amazing. He won the 1937 and 1942 championships as the first quarterback to pass regularly. Baugh was also a standout defensive back and remains second all-time in career punting average, a stat he led the league in four straight years.
A great three-position player beats anything else. Jurgensen says Baugh was the best quarterback, so on that recommendation alone, Baugh is the Redskins' best ever, but adding two more positions makes him one of the NFL's best ever.
Gibbs only needs to beat two coaches -- George Allen and Flaherty -- as the franchise's best boss ever. Gibbs won three titles, Flaherty two. But Flaherty left to serve in the Navy during World War II after winning four division and two world titles in six years. He might have exceeded Gibbs if he'd stayed. Flaherty should also get credit for Baugh's success, for having the guts to let him throw forward passes regularly when no one did so before. Allen turned the franchise into a playoff contender but never won a title.
Coaching honors are Gibbs' alone even if you ignore a losing record in his second stint. Ironically, his final weeks were the best the coaching job I ever saw. After Sean Taylor's 2007 murder, the Redskins could have easily tanked. Instead, Gibbs lifted the team to four straight wins before losing in the playoffs. It was inspirational.
Jurgensen was the best player of my lifetime even if he never won a title. The Redskins offense was often brilliant over his career, but mediocre defense and coaching undermined him too many seasons.
Jurgensen was a golden passer, though. He could do anything on the field. Well, except the one time when was benched by the owner before a game. When that owner called to the sideline ordering Jurgensen into the game with the Redskins trailing 28-0, the quarterback laughed and said he didn't have 35 points in his pocket while refusing to play. That took nerve.
Riggins leads the Redskins in career rushing, with his breakaway run to seal the team's first Super Bowl title perhaps the team's most famous play ever. That Riggo remains quite the character makes him legendary.
Redskins fans don't need a mascot race or a mountain to remind them of their immortals. It's all too clear.