Powered by:
as known from New York Timesas known from USA Todayas known from yahoo!
VA
Contains commercial content
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The 5 Most underrated Linebackers in the NFL since 1970!

The 5 Most underrated Linebackers in the NFL since 1970!

7Underrated linebackers!
Publish Date: 02/16/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 27: Reggie Williams #57 of the Cincinnati Bengals kneels over Jim Kelley #12 of the Buffalo Bills during an NFL football game November 27, 1988 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Williams played for the Bengals from 1976-89. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

 

A lot of great linebackers have gotten overlooked in the history of the NFL; today let’s look at six who do not get enough credit for being great players. These are in no particular order.

Check out the top sportsbook bonuses!

DraftKings
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000 + All-Customer SGP Insurance
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $5
Go to DraftKings
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to FanDuel
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
BetMGM
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $5
Go to BetMGM
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bet365
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Bonus, Min. Deposit: $10
Go to Bet365
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 1x Deposit
Copy
Get Bonus
T&Cs apply, 21+

1. Reggie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals

Reggie Williams is a man who has probably achieved more off the field than he did in his career. Do not get me wrong: His playing career was spectacular.

Williams was not highly recruited out of high school, which, looking back, may have been the best thing to happen to him. Instead of ending up at Michigan, he ended up at Dartmouth, where he had an outstanding career. That distinguished career led Williams to be drafted in the third round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.

As a Bengal, Williams was a leader of the defense from early on in his career; during his time with the Bengals, Williams helped lead the Bengals to their only two Super Bowl appearances.

Williams in his career recorded 16 interceptions and 23 fumble recoveries (a franchise record). Williams also amassed 62.5 sacks, which is still the second most in Bengals history. In his final two seasons with the Bengals, Williams was appointed to an open seat on the Cincinnati City Council in 1988 and Williams was elected to a second term in 1989 on the Charter Party ticket.

Williams has received numerous honors, including selection to the NFL All-Rookie Team (1976), the Byron “Whizzer” White Award for Humanitarian Service (1985), the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (1986), and Sports Illustrated’s Co-Sportsman of the Year (1987).

After his career ended, Williams oversaw the creation of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, a state-of-the-art 220-acre multi-sport facility that opened on March 28, 1997, and hosts more than 180 athletic events annually in some 30 sports. By 1998, he was named Vice President of Disney Sports Attractions, overseeing a newly created sports & recreation division that merged Walt Disney World Resort Recreation, Water Parks and Disney Sports Attractions, which included Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, the Walt Disney World Speedway, and Walt Disney World Golf. Williams retired from Disney in November 2007, stepping down to focus on rehabilitating his legs from his playing career in the NFL.

 

2. Carl Banks, New York Giants

Banks was an often overlooked member of “the Big Blue Wrecking Crew,” which included Lawrence Taylor who got most of the attention. There is a case to be made that, during playoff and Super Bowl time, Carl Banks was the best defensive player that the Giants had. Banks was a standout in their Super Bowl XXI victory in which he recorded 14 total tackles, including ten solo. Commentator John Madden during the game commented that “Banks is the best player on the field today” — high praise from Madden, a Hall of Fame coach.

Carl Banks does not get the respect he deserves, mainly for two reasons. Number one, he played opposite of Lawrence Taylor; number two, his career was shorter than most great players. If you don’t believe me watch Super Bowl XXI and when you are done watching the game, you’ll know just how great Carl Banks was. On the biggest stage, the Super Bowl, Banks played one of the greatest games any linebacker has ever played.

 

3. Matt Blair, Minnesota Vikings

Matt Blair was one of the greatest linebackers ever to play in the NFL. Blair is often overlooked because he was a quiet humble man who doesn’t feel the need to tell you how great he was.

Blair quickly established himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFC, earning Pro Bowl honors for six consecutive seasons (1977–1982) and making the NFL All-Rookie Team. Also, Blair was selected All-Pro in 1980, All-NFC in 1978 and second-team All-NFC in 1977, 1979 and 1981. Blair was also one of the greatest special teams players in NFL history, particularly in blocking punts because of his great speed and timing abilities. Blair is still third all-time in the NFL history with 20 blocked kicks.

The thing that separated Blair from most at his position was his incredible speed; he was as good as any linebacker who ever played when it came to pass coverage. Because of his exceptional ability as a linebacker, he was named to six Pro-bowl teams before his career was over.

DraftKings
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000 + All-Customer SGP Insurance
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
FanDuel
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Prepaid Card
PayNearMe
PayPal
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
BetMGM
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
PayNearMe
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Bet365
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
At bet365 we don’t do ordinary, that’s why if you sign up now you’ll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
100% up to $1000
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
E-Check
PayNearMe
Skrill
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+

4). Isaiah Robertson, Los Angeles Rams

Isaiah Robertson made an immediate impact on the NFL in 1971. Robertson was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams as the 10th pick in the first round of the 1971 NFL draft. He replaced a great player in Jack Pardee. He was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year, selected Second-team All-NFL and also chosen to the Pro Bowl.

By 1973, Robertson was considered one of the best linebackers in the game and was voted first-team All-Pro. It was one of the best seasons of a great career. He picked off three passes that season and returned one interception 49 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. In all, Robertson was a six-time pro bowler in his career and, like Blair, was unusually fast for a linebacker.

He left the Rams after the 1978 season and went to the Buffalo Bills. I don’t think it is any coincidence that once Robertson was a part of the defense, the Bills become a playoff team in 1980 and ’81.

blog-robertson

 

5). Levon Kirkland, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles

Kirkland was a massive linebacker, standing 6’1″ with weight ranging between 270-300 pounds. He became a starter at inside linebacker for the Steelers in just his second season, 1993, replacing Pro Bowler David Little. By 1995, Kirkland was recognized as one of the best inside linebackers in the league and had a memorable performance in Super Bowl XXX against the vaunted Dallas Cowboys. In that game, the Steelers defense played exceptionally well as they held the Cowboys to just 15 first downs and Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys powerful running attack to just 56 yards, despite losing 27-17. Kirkland had ten tackles and a key sack of Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman.

I don’t know why Kirkland doesn’t get the respect by some that he should. Maybe it was the size, but people forget that he was great in pass coverage and did everything exceptionally well. Kirkland was respected by his peers as Kirkland was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s.

Read Also
The Complexities of Bob Knight: The Greatest Coach of All-Time?
  Bob Knight, born in 1940 and raised in Orrville, Ohio, was ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Bet365 Promo
The 15 Greatest Wins in Cincinnati Bengals History
I figured today we would look at the 15 biggest wins. The ...
Michael Nunn and Iran Barkley Discuss Their Bout, Bob Arum, and the Four Kings
Mountains to Climb, Pebbles in Your Shoe “I always say that was ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Top 100 NFL free agents entering the 2021 offseason
Below is a list of the top 100 free agents available this ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
The Twilight Rounds: Rod Serling explores the dark side of boxing – Round seven
“In this corner of the universe, a prizefighter named Bolie Jackson, 183 ...
Sportsbook of the month
FanDuel - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Latest News
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings (02/26/24)
The hard-charging Ohio State Buckeyes have turned the ...
Respect: Jimmy Young was a damn good fighter
“When you go back to those days and ...
Top-10 College Football Games in History
Nov. 23, 1968 An Ivy league game made ...
Top 10 Greatest Single Game Performances in NBA Finals History
The biggest stage is a time for the ...
Top 10 Sleeper Draft Picks in NFL History
Many of us will be gathered around the ...
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Iowa Recap and Penn State Preview!
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Iowa Recap and Penn State Preview!
Video: NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Bengals and Ohio State Running Back Pete Johnson
NFL Legends Show: Guest Former Bengals and Ohio State Running Back Pete Johnson
Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Nebraska Recap and IU/Penn State Preview!
Indiana Basketball Weekly: IU/Nebraska Recap and IU/Penn State Preview!
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 Instantly in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $2000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterJosh SchwartzSimon BriffaMark LewisSamuel Teets
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Close
Players accepted in the US US Flag
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site