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Richmond Webb manhandling Brian Cox (Cox is Browns D-Line coach)

Annually, a fresh crop of athletes embark on the journey of percieved NFL stardom. The lure of fame and fortune is enough to cast a heavy shadow over the often bitter realities. For every one athlete hoisting the Lomabardi Trophy overhead at the completion of the NFL season, there are thoudsands of shattered hopes and dreams littered across the landscape. Just as the Marines slogan, “many are called, few are chosen”. This reality is what makes the NFL’s success stories so remarkable.

Richmond Webb is one of few that not only realized the NFL dream; he seized it and catapaulted himself into an NFL legend. The former first round pick out of Texas A&M University was the 9th overall selection to the Miami Dolphins in the 1990 draft. Given his draft status, many would assume stardom was the next logical step. If this train of thought were logical the term “bust” would have no place in our current vernacular. Richmond Webb did go on to have a high level of success by starting day one of his rookie season and earning 7 consecutive Pro-Bowl births. Along with 5 All-Pro recognitions he was selected to the NFL’s ALL-Decade Team of the 90’s. Richmond Webbs array of accolades are noteworthy but his shining achievement thus far is being bestowed the honor of protecting the blind side of Hall of Fame Quarterback, Dan Marino. To some this may not carry much weight but when your team is in the same division as Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith, the person you choose to match him up against twice a year becomes a weighty issue. In a 14 game (7 seasons) span Bruce Smith had 3.5 sacks against the Dolphins versus 88.5 in 79 games against other teams. I’m no math major but if those 79 other teams had a Richmond Webb on their line, Bruce Smith wouldn’t be sitting in Canton. Richmond Webb’s importance as a player was undeniable; this would then beg the question, “will he get into the Hall of Fame?’’.

At one point in time some sportswriter took it upon himself to question the toughness of Richmond Webb. There were some scandalous speak of him being a “soft” football player. In the barbarian like world of football the last label a player wants is that of being soft. With these inferences orbiting around his legacay, it may be an uphill battle for the all coveted Hall of Fame nod. “What does he have to do to prove his toughness? Bruce Smith said “What is he supposed to do, cheap shot someone or be a dirty player? Smith added. After playing in Don Shula’s often finnesse offense it wasn’t until the arrival of Jimmy Johnson that Webb was able to utilize every facet of his ability. It must be noted that we aren’t talking about a struggling player that needed a coaching change to see his full potential. Richmond Webb was a Pro-Bowler after his rookie season, so his ability was never in question since day one! Richmond Webb played the position he was supposed to play the way it was supposed to be played. A left tackles job in the NFL is to keep the quarterback upright; Richmond Webb did it at a Hall of Fame level.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the finest players and people that have donned an NFL uniform. Unfortunately for these warriors it’s those with a pen and pad that determine their fate. Hopefully, a well deserved gold jacket will soon be hanging in the closet of this fine warriors home.

LeCharles: You’re one of the NFL’s all-time iron men. How did you do it?

Richmond Webb: Hard work, practice, weight room and watching film. Most important, GOD given ability.

LeCharles: Many athletes don’t understand the level of commitment it takes to play the game at a high level. What specifically motivated you?

Richmond Webb: The love I have for the game and never taking that for granted. Knowing that it could be over at any given moment.

LeCharles: You protected the blind side of one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. What was it like playing with Dan Marino?

Richmond Webb: He’s the greatest. I learned how to be a professional by playing and talking with him and how he conducted himself on and off the field.

LeCharles: Every athlete should aspire to mimic your athletic success. You were your class president and salutatorian in high school, how important was your education?

Richmond Webb: It was more important than playing sports. My parents stressed education first and that was the only way I could play.

LeCharles: I understand your cousin J’Marcus Webb is preparing to enter the NFL. What are some of the pitfalls you are cautioning him of?

Richmond Webb: Be your own man. Take the road less traveled and don’t take anything for granted.

LeCharles: Who was the toughest opponent you faced?

Richmond Webb: Bruce Smith. He was the toughest guy I played against. He played the run and pass. He did it all.

LeCharles: How important is it for you to get into the HOF?

Richmond Webb: Very important. It’s always an honor to be considered on of the best to ever play the game. That’s good company to be in.

LeCharles: As most players, you left the game with injuries. How are you doing today?

Richmond Webb: I’m doing good. I try not to do things that will bother old injuries.

LeCharles: There are a lot of coaches that frequent the site. What piece advice would you give them?

Richmond Webb: I guess every player is not the same. Determine a player’s strengths and weakness and put him in the best position to succeed.

LeCharles: To all the aspiring Richmond Webbs of the world, what would you tell them?

Richmond Webb: Put GOD first in everything you do. I owe all my success to HIM and it wouldn’t have been possible without HIM.

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Comment by Cliff Louis on March 18, 2010 at 2:40pm
He seems like a really good guy. It's interesting LeCharles that a lot of the guys that you are interviewing don't carry the 'barbarionistic' character we all expect to see. It's great to see the what the uniform looks like without it on so-to-speak.

Dwight Stephenson

Kevin Gogan

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