gold star for USAHOF

5. Randy Gradishar

This page generously sponsored by: Nobody yet! Sponsor it on Patreon to be the first name on this list!
5. Randy Gradishar

Tackles were not kept track of when Randy Gradishar played in the NFL but if they were Gradishar would be statistically proven as one of the most magnificent tackling machines in the history of Professional Football.

Called by Woody Hayes, the greatest Linebacker that he ever coached Gradishar would become a starter late in his rookie season (1974) and a Pro Bowl Selection in his second.  He would become the leader of the famed “Orange Crush” defense that transformed the Broncos into a league power after being a laughing stock for years.  He would become the team's leading tackler and while again this was not an official stat it has been speculated that he is the all-time leader, which considering he only played ten seasons makes this one incredible fact.

The Orange Crush took the Broncos to their first Super Bowl (SBXII) and though they lost Gradishar was a First Team All-Pro, which he would be named again in 1978, though this time he was recognized as the consensus Defensive Player of the Year.  The former Ohio State Buckeye played five more years, four of which were deemed worthy of Pro Bowl honors.

With seven Pro Bowls, a Defensive POY and the reputation of being one of the game’s most prolific tacklers he is considered one of Canton’s biggest snubs.  The Broncos chose Gradishar for their Ring of Fame in 1989.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Acquired: Selected in the 1st Round, 14th Overall in the NFL Draft 1/29/74.
  • Departed: Retired after the 1983 Season.
  • Games Played: 145
  • Notable Statistics:

    133 Games Started
    20 Interceptions
    335 Interception Return Yards
    3 Interception Return Touchdowns
    13 Fumble Recoveries
    72 Fumble Recovery Yards
    1 Fumble Recovery Touchdown
    19.5 Quarterback Sacks*
    106 Approximate Value

    6 Playoff Games
    1 Fumble Recovery
    5 Fumble Recovery Yards

    * Sacks were not an official statistic until 1982 but were unofficially calculated by Pro Football Reference from 1960 to 1981.
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    AP Defensive Player of the Year (1978)
    UPI Defensive Player of the Year (1978)
    First Team All Pro (1977 & 1978)
    Second Team All Pro (1979, 1981 & 1983)
    Pro Bowl (1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 & 1983)

Last modified on Saturday, 06 August 2022 22:03

Comments powered by CComment