Taking His Place In Canton

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: August 5, 2008

HOUSTON — It took a lot of hard work and his faith in God, but it all paid off as Houston native and former Jones High School product Darrell Green was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio last weekend.

Green joined St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Jackie Slater as the only members of the Hall of Fame to play 20 years for the same team and be elected on the first ballot.

The former HISD product who was told he was too little to play at 5-feet-8 and 165 pounds, broke down for the first time when he brought up his greatest role models, his late parents, Leonard and Gloria.

“Everybody told me that I was too little to play,” Green said during his induction speech. “When they said no, my dad said go. My parents were the best and I thank the Lord for being able to celebrate today with all those they left behind.”

The Washington Redskins selected Green in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. He played from 1983 to 2002 and a total of 54 career interceptions for 621 yards and six touchdowns.

He holds the NFL record with at least one interception in 19 consecutive seasons and is tied for first on the NFL all-time list for most consecutive seasons playing with one team. A seven-time Pro Bowler, Green only played one year of varsity football for the Jones Falcons.

“There’s never been a cornerback like Darrell,” stated former Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly, who was the Redskins assistant general manager at the time.”

“The thing that stands out to me is speed. Darrell was so explosive. He was at one level and everybody else was at another level. We put him on the opponent’s best wide receiver, almost all the time.”

Green won the NFL’s fastest-man competition four times. He played with a lot of pride. He always took great care of himself and he didn’t drink or smoke.

He got to be inducted with his close friend and former teammate Art Monk, the Redskins wide receiver who retired as the NFL’s career leader in catches.

Green, who was presented by his son Jared, walked on at Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas. He initially quit the team, returned to Houston and started working, then resumed his football career in Kingsville.

Others joining the list of 2008 Hall of Fame inductions include: San Diego Chargers DE Fred Dean, Kansas City Chiefs CB Emmitt Thomas (Angleton,Texas), New England Patriots LB Andre Tippett, and Minnesota Vikings T Gary Zimmerman.