Bucs’ Grimm will make Hall of Fame trip

As a seventh-round draft pick, Cody Grimm didn’t expect any

favors when he arrived for training camp with the Tampa Bay

Buccaneers.

Instead, the break the rookie will get from practice Saturday

comes courtesy of coach Raheem Morris, who wouldn’t think of

keeping the safety from traveling to Canton, Ohio, to watch his

father, former Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm, enter the Pro

Football Hall of Fame.

”It’s real nice of him. I’m thankful for it,” Cody said Friday

at One Buc Place, noting Morris contacted his dad before camp

opened to let the elder Grimm know that his son would be able to

join the family. ”It was pretty cool of him. I’m excited to get up

there.”

Russ played 11 years with the Redskins, retiring after the 1991

season. Cody, 23, was a toddler when his dad’s career was winding

down, so there aren’t a lot of memories from his playing days.

But being a proud son and also a football player, there

obviously is a deep appreciation for what his dad accomplished as

one of the ”Hogs,” the affectionate nickname bestowed on

Washington’s dominant offensive line of the 1980s.

”Obviously, people you care about, you’re happy when they’re

happy,” said Cody, a linebacker at Virginia Tech who’s making the

transition to safety in training camp.

”I know how happy he is, so it excites me. He’s been wanting to

get in for a while. He’s kind of an even-keel guy, so he really

hasn’t said much when he hasn’t gotten in,” he added. ”But this

year I was actually at his house when he got in, and he was

overwhelmed with joy.”

Father and son haven’t talked much since Cody arrived at

training camp a week ago. Russ is the assistant head coach of the

Arizona Cardinals, so he’s been busy with practices and meetings,

too.

”I’ve talked to him once since camp started. They’re three

hours behind us, so when I’m going to bed he’s getting out of

meetings. When he wakes up in the morning, I’m already at football,

so it’s one of those things,” Cody said. ”Every now and then

we’ll catch each other when I’m at lunch and he’s out of meetings,

but it’s tough to stay in contact right now.”

The son’s earliest recollection of his dad’s playing days is

Russ limping around the house after having knee surgery. He said he

was never pressured him to play sports when he was growing up and

that Russ has steered clear of offering him much in the way of tips

or advice about the pro game.

”He didn’t give me much insight on what to do here. … It’s

more of the attitude that you have to have if you want to be

successful. That’s the thing I’ve benefited the most from with him

being my dad,” Cody said.

”I see how much time he puts into a game to be successful at it

as a coach, and he tells me about what I have to do as a player.

The amount of time you have to study, when you’ve got to get here,

how you’ve got to take care of your body, stuff like that.”

Grimm’s old offensive line coach, Joe Bugel, will present him to

the Hall of Fame. Cody expects the induction ceremony to be

emotional for the entire family.

The son smiled when asked about the most memorable football

moment he’s enjoyed with his dad to this point.

”One of my favorites is when he was coaching with the Steelers,

he came to my (high school) senior year homecoming game. I had a

couple of touchdowns, and I won homecoming king,” Cody said.

”I was in the locker room with the team, so I wasn’t out there

when they presented the award,” he added. ”They tried putting the

crown on my dad’s head, and he’s wasn’t having any part of

it.”