Monk catches glory third time around

January 27, 1992|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- Until last night, Art Monk's Super Bowl contributions for the Washington Redskins were meager.

In two previous Super Bowl appearances, the leading active receiver in the NFL had a modest two catches.

Last night, though, Monk found a Super Bowl he could savor.

"To me, this is the third one and it's probably the best one for me because not only did we win, but I was able to play in it and have a pretty active role in it."

The Redskins had participated in three Super Bowls while Monk was a member of the team. But he missed the first one in 1982 with a broken foot.

A year later, the Redskins and Monk were back, but they got blown out by the Los Angeles Raiders. And four years ago, when the Redskins ripped the Denver Broncos, Monk played only on third downs because he had a knee injury and caught just one pass.

In a 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Monk had seven catches for 113 yards. He even had a touchdown -- for a few minutes, anyway -- before instant replay wiped out the six-pointer.

Monk was unstoppable on the Redskins' second drive of the game when he made catches of 12, 17, 19 and 31 yards. He seemingly finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone, but replay showed his right foot came down on the end line on his second step.

It was the first time in Super Bowl history that replay negated a touchdown.

And when Jeff Rutledge botched the snap on a 19-yard field-goal attempt moments later, the Redskins reeled away from the goal line with no points.

Monk made an 8-yard reception to help set up the Redskins' first touchdown in the second quarter.

"That's a Hall of Famer there," said Redskins wide receiver Ricky Sanders. "The way he performed brought back memories of '86 and '87. He was catching everything in sight. He's just exciting to watch."

Monk said that team accomplishments mean the most to him.

"What I do is based on what the team does," he said. "Art Monk is nothing unless I have 10 other guys out there. To me, it is more exciting to see the team do well. As long as the team does well and I do the best I can, all the other things will come."

Running back Earnest Byner was another Redskin who found special elation in last night's victory. He has been haunted by the memory of his fumble in the 1987 AFC championship game that had kept the Cleveland Browns out of the Super Bowl.

"It's hard to say how satisfying it is," said Byner, who rushed for 49 yards and scored on a 10-yard pass from Mark Rypien. "I have a sense of peace, a sense of thanksgiving, just to be a part of a team that genuinely loves and cares about one another and shows it out on the field. It's tough to say how enjoyable it really is."

Does this erase the stigma of the fumble in Denver?

"It has nothing to do with that," Byner said.

Dynamic duos

The Redskins' Gary Clark and Art Monk are the third pair of teammates to gain more than 100 yards receiving in the game. The elite group:

Year.. .. .. .. ..Receivers,Team.. .. .. .. Yds.

XIII.. .. .. .. .Lynn Swann, Pitt.. .. .. . 124

.. .. .. .. .. ..John Stallworth, Pitt.. .. 115

XXVI.. .. .. .. .Gary Clark,Wash... .. .. ..114

.. .. .. .. .. ..Art Monk, Wash... .. .. .. 113

XVI.. .. .. .. ..Chris Collinsworth, Cin... 107

.. .. .. .. ..Dan Ross, Cin... .. .. .. .104

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