I was thrilled to hear the news Saturday that Dave Robinson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dave had a fabulous career in the NFL, first with the Green Bay Packers for 10 years, and then with the Washington Redskins for the final two years of his pro career.
But it was with the Packers that Robinson became one of the greatest left outside linebackers in the NFL during his era. It didn't hurt to have fellow Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke playing next to Robinson at middle linebacker, or to have Lee Roy Caffey across the field from Robby as right outside linebacker, like Robinson did for five years in Green Bay.
Those three were considered the best set of linebackers on one team in the NFL in that era, without a doubt.
The whole Packers defense was considered elite in that era, as the defensive line had two other Hall of Fame members (Willie Davis and Henry Jordan) playing for it, while the secondary of the Packers also had two players (Willie Wood and Herb Adderley) whose busts reside in Canton, as well.
Just to give you a flavor of how good that defense was in those days, check out the rankings of the Phil Bengtson-led defense in that time frame.
The Packers defense was ranked third, third, first, third and fourth in the NFL, respectively, from 1965 to 1969, when the trio of Robinson, Nitschke and Caffey started together.
Overall, Robinson was named to three Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three times as well in his career.
Robinson was also named to the NFL's 1960s All-Decade team.
Robinson had 21 career interceptions for the Packers and had 27 picks overall as a player with both the Packers and Redskins.
It was Robinson who recovered a Johnny Unitas fumble late in the 1966 season versus the Baltimore Colts in Baltimore to help clinch the Western Conference title for the Packers, as Green Bay would be going to Super Bowl I later that year.
Robinson recovered nine fumbles in his time in Green Bay, and 12 overall in his NFL career.
He was certainly a playmaker.
Robinson could go sideline to sideline, both in stopping the run and in coverage. He was a complete linebacker who could do it all.
Robinson now joins a number of his Packer teammates in the Hall of Fame. This group includes Nitschke, Davis, Jordan, Wood, Adderley, Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg, Bart Starr, Jim Ringo and Paul Hornung.
Of course, there was also head coach Vince Lombardi himself, who was inducted a year after his death in 1970.
The Lombardi-era Packers won five NFL titles in seven years, including the first two Super Bowl games. In addition to that, the Packers won three consecutive NFL championships from 1965 to 1967. No other NFL team has ever done that in the postseason-era, which goes back to 1933.
The Packers were that dominant in the 1960s.
Robinson was part of the two Super Bowl-winning teams, as well as the team that won three consecutive NFL titles.
Yes...I'm very happy for Robinson making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His inclusion dispels the theory that there were already too many Lombardi-era Packers in the Hall of Fame.
That should give hope to someone like Jerry Kramer, who should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame decades ago.
I've written about Jerry being shunned a number of times, but the fight for his rightful induction into the Hall will continue. At least for me.
But today is about Dave Robinson. Robby becomes the 22nd Green Bay Packer to be inducted into the hallowed halls in Canton, Ohio. Congratulations, Dave. Well done!
Hopefully, Robinson will be joined soon by another Packer teammate or two in the near future.