Being the son of a NFL Hall of Famer is never easy, but Washington Redskins outside linebackers coach Chad Grimm is finding a way to blaze his own trail.
There's an understandable amount of pressure associated with being the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, but now entering his third season with the Washington Redskins, outside linebackers coach Chad Grimm is slowly cementing a legacy of his own.
"I've just been taking it one year at a time and I'm happy where I've been coaching," Grimm said. "Honestly, I've always dreamed of the possibility [of coaching for the Redskins], but being that there's 31 other teams in the league it's kind of a far minimal percentage, so I honestly didn't think it could happen. But, I got fortunate enough that it worked out."
After an 11-year run with the Redskins that included four All-Pro selections and three Super Bowl Championships, Grimm's father, Russ, went on to coach the Redskins' tight ends from 1992-1996 and offensive line from 1997-2000.
Chad Grimm, who played linebacker in college at Virginia Tech, humbly confesses that he'll never be able to rival his father's accomplishments as a player. But as a coach, he thinks he can be equally successful.
"I didn't get the nerves [playing in college] that you get coaching because you can kind of control the situation [and] be out there apart of it," Grimm said. "[But] coaching, you're more of a nervous wreck the whole time hoping you trained your guys well enough and they're going to do the right things. But, as far as actually playing, nothing comes close to it. As far as really being apart of the game, this is the second-best option we have.
"Hopefully I can be as good as [my dad]. It's great to be back here. All the history my old man had with this team, I grew up a huge Redskins fan in this area, so I'm just honored to be apart of it and I look forward to doing great things here."
So far, Grimm has been off to a promising start. In 2015 as the team's defensive quality control coach, Grimm helped Preston Smith lead all NFL rookies with eight sacks. And in 2016, Grimm and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky helped Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy become the first pair to record at least nine sacks each in a single season for the Redskins since Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo in 2009.
Grimm says that his father hasn't given him a lot of pointers since starting his coaching journey, but luckily, over the years he's been observant enough to mimic his fathers philosophy in Washington.
"You know, he's all about playing hard and the players being responsible to handle their own stuff," Grimm said. "He always talked about pros being pros and you have to let those guys go. You tell them what your expectations are and at some point they have to man up and handle their end of the bargain. That's what they've done and that's how you treat them. You treat them like pros and they'll come out here and play like it."
Heading into 2017, Grimm believes that the Redskins' linebackers have the opportunity to be one of the best units in the league, and praises the hard work that the group has put in this offseason.
"Junior [Galette] is back, which is good," Grim said. "He's healthy, he's getting his burst back, he's doing good things. Preston [Smith] came in in great shape, he's looking good. [Ryan] Kerrigan has been the solid all-pro that he's always been. And then we have the new addition of Anderson as well. [We added] Chris [Carter] in free agency, Terrell [McClain] is back for another year, it's just a really solid room top to bottom—all eight of tem. And we're excited to get [Houston] Bates back when he comes back around but just really happy about the room."