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The Best to Come Out of Titletown

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The Best to Come Out of Titletown

The Green Bay Packers are the most storied franchise in the NFL, maybe even in all of sports. So many players have worn the green and gold, (even blue and gold long ago). But who are the best?

I've compiled a list, including 18 Hall of Fame members, of what I think are the best players to play in Green Bay, and two legendary coaches.

Coaches:

*Earl "Curly" Lambeau (1919-1949); Co-founder, player and coach. 212-106-21 overall record (.656) as coach. Curly began the team two years before the NFL took form. Plus, the field in Green Bay is named after him.

*Vince Lombardi (1959-67); Five titles in nine years with a 9-1 record in the playoffs. 98-30-4 overall record (.758). If you weren't fired with enthusiasm under Lombardi, you'd be fired, with enthusiasm by Lombardi. The creator of the Packer Power Sweep.

Offense:

*QB - Bart Starr (1956-71); I know, how can I not pick Favre? Easy, Starr's management of the game was second to none. Five NFL titles to one; both played 16 years as a Packer, but Favre takes a backseat to the true "Starr" in Green Bay.

*RB - Tony Canandeo (1941-44, '46-52); He ran, threw and caught passes, returned kicks and punted. He truly did it all, plus he missed 1945 to fight in WWII.

*RB - Johnny "Blood" McNally (1929-33); The nickname alone gets him on the list. Was great on the field, but if half the stories are true, just as amazing off it.

*RB - Paul Hornung (1956-66); Ran and kicked which allowed him to lead the league in scoring three years in a row. Scored 176 points in '60, (15 TD, 15 FG, 41 PAT). The Golden Boy was suspended for all of the '63 season, but he was the key factor in that Power Sweep.

*FB - Jim Taylor (1958-66); A fullback who leads the franchise in rushing yards with 8,207, even after he's been gone for over 40 years. A tough as nails runner, who was even tougher to tackle.

*WR - James Lofton (1978-86); 530 catches for 9,656 yards and 49 TD. Went to seven straight Pro Bowls, starting in his rookie year. Lofton gets overshadowed in Green Bay because he was a standout out player on a horrible team in his nine years.

*WR - Don Hutson (1935-45);Pretty much invented the WR position in the NFL. Don't believe me? Led the league in receiving yards seven times, (four consecutive); lead in TD receptions nine times, (five consecutive); led in receptions eight times, (five consecutive). Caught 99 total touchdowns, and supposedly developed his great hands by catching rattlesnakes back in Alabama.

WR - Sterling Sharpe (1988-94); Only played 112 games, but had 65 TD, with 8,134 yards on 595 catches. Could have been really great if a neck injury didn't force him to retire early. The go-to guy during his seven years.

TE - Mark Chmura (1993-99); I don't care what he may or may not have done in a hot tub with teenage girls. There was no one better at the tight end position for the Packers.

*OL - Forrest Gregg (1956, '58-70); Played 187 consecutive games, a nine time Pro Bowler, who played on all five titles under Lombardi.

*OL - Cal Hubbard (1929-33, '35); His picture alone gets him on the list, a true football player.

C - Frank Winters (1992-2002); "Bag o' Doughnuts"; another great nickname. Great durability as the anchor of the O-line.

OL - Jerry Kramer (1958-68); He isn't just famous for his block in the "Ice Bowl"; he was also the key blocker in the Power Sweep. One of Lombardi's favorite players, another great feat to get on Lombardi's good side.

*OL - Mike Michalske (1929-35, '37); Missed just nine games out of 104 while playing offense and defense.

Defense (3-4):

*DL - Reggie White (1993-98); The "Minister of Defense" anchors the D-line. There was no one better at finding the opponent's QB.

DL - Tim Harris (1986-90); Had 55 sacks in just five years, with 19.5 in '89.

*DL - Willie Davis (1960-69); Has a franchise record 21 fumble recoveries. A five-time Pro Bowler, who also played on all five title teams with Lombardi. Sacks and tackles weren't recorded in his time, so we'll never know how good he really was.

LB - Dave Robinson (1963-72); A three-time Pro Bowler who knew how to find the ball.

*LB - Ray Nitschke (1956-72); Do I really need to say more?

*LB - Henry Jordan (1959-69);The Packers defense allowed just 15.6 ppg in Jordan's ten year career.

LB - Nick Barnett (2003-present); Has 796 total tackles in his first five years, with 194 coming in '05. An absolute beast who looks to 'kill' the ball carrier.

*DB - Herb Adderley (1961-69); 48 INT, which is tied for second in team history; with seven of them returned for a TD (team record). A five-time Pro Bowler who also has 3,080 return yards, which is third all-time.

DB - Bobby Dillon (1952-59); A team best with 52 INT. Had three seasons with nine INT, in a time where he played just twelve games in a season.

*S - Willie Wood (1960-71); An eight-time Pro Bowler who had 48 INT. He was undersized at 5'10", 190 lbs., but probably one of the best tacklers in the league.

S - LeRoy Butler (1990-2001); Has 38 INT and 20.5 sacks. A leader on and off the field for many years.

Kickers:

K - Ryan Longwell (1997-2005); Made a franchise best 82 percent of his kicks. Packer fans rarely had to worry with the game on the line when Longwell was on the field.

P - Max McGee - (1954, '57-67); Yes he caught the first TD in Super Bowl history, but he also compiled 256 punts in which he averaged 41.6 yards. Had 51 TD on offense, but gets this spot due to the fact that the Packers never had a consistent punter in their 90 year history.

 

There you have it. Who knew that the league's smallest market, which is still publicly owned, is one of the best at producing such greats.

* = Inducted into NFL Hall of Fame

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