Buccaneers rookie Cody Grimm excused from practice to join father at Hall of Fame induction

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."