Former Redskins Roommates Square Off

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In Super Bowl XXII, quarterback Doug Williams led the Redskins to one of the most dominant performances in Super Bowl history, drubbing the Denver Broncos to the tune of 42-10.  The Redskins set Super Bowl records for total offensive yards (602), total offensive rushing yards (280), most touchdowns scored in a Super Bowl (6), total offensive yards in a quarter (356), most points in a quarter and in a half (35), and most touchdowns in a quarter (5).

Williams was the Super Bowl MVP, as he gained the lasting adoration of Redskins fans.  His roommate for the road trip to San Diego?  Third-year tight end Anthony Jones.

Twenty-four years later, Williams will coach against Jones on Saturday in the Southwestern Athletic Conference title game.  Williams’s own Grambling State Tigers will take on the Jones-coached Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. caught up with Williams and Jones for the story, and noted that their former teammates aren’t taking sides–but the Redskins are involved:

“They’re not gonna call,” Williams said. “But I got a text from (current Washington general manager) Bruce Allen saying it’s good that two Redskins are playing for the championship in the SWAC conference.”

Earlier this season, Jones’s squad beat Grambling 20-14 for the first time in head-t0-head matchups.  Despite slow starts by both teams, Jones accurately predicted that the two teams would meet again this season

Saturday’s game will be highlighted with good football, but the storyline will be between two friends with a lot of mutual respect:

“When Doug came back, I knew Grambling was gonna be a good football team,” Jones said. “I knew they were gonna be a good football team and that they were gonna beat a lot of good football teams. When we got out of there, we were very happy to get out with a win, but I knew the best was yet to come as far as Grambling football.”

“A.J. Jones is a high-character individual, a great guy,” the Grambling coach said. “We’ve got a great relationship, and it’s unfortunate we’re not coaching together — we’re coaching against each other.”

“His personality — his team plays just like him,” Williams said. “He’s a guy that’s gonna coach ’em up to not make mistakes, and when you do make a mistake against him, he’s gonna make you pay. If you watch his football team, they’re a very, very sound football team.”

During Williams’s time as Grambling’s head coach, the team is 3-0 in title games.  In four championship appearances under Jones, Alabama A&M squad is 1-3.  Records won’t matter on Saturday though, as these former Redskins will both look to improve their title records:

“People refer to me as the ‘dean of the conference’ because I’ve been here for 10 years running,” Jones said. “Well, Doug is the ‘dean of championships’ because he has more championships than anyone as a head coach…He’s been consistent, and that’s the tough part.”

Put on your Redskins gear a day early and watch the game this Saturday at 12 noon on ESPNU.

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