Monday • December 18
CST 10:42 | EST 11:42 | MST 9:42 | PST 8:42 | GMT 16:42
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A Lineup of Linebackers
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Itís another jam-packed edition of Bearly Legal, featuring Hall of Famers Willie Lanier and Chuck Bednarik, the NFLís last sixty minute man. Plus, linebacker Jim Morrissey of the 1985 Bears.
Episode Segments:
 
Bearly Legal: Around the NFL
The Guys look at the battle for the NFC North, Vince Young versus Jeff Fisher, and congratulate Robinís former teammate Leslie Frazier, who is now head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
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Bearly Legal: Hall of Famer Willie Lanier
Hall of Famer Willie Lanier tells us where he thinks the linebacking trio of himself, Jim Lynch and fellow Hall of Famer Bobby Bell stack up among the all time great LB corps. He also gives his take on sportsmanship, and playing for Hank Stramm.
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Bearly Legal: Jim Morrisey
Former Bears LB Jim Morrissey talks about the reunion of the 1985 Bears, his teammate Leslie Frazier joining the head coaching ranks & his sonís high school football career.
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Bearly Legal: Chuck Bednarik
What does the last guy to play both ways in the NFL think about todayís players. Weíll find out when we talk to Chuck Benarick, aka Concrete Charlie. Heíll give us the story behind his nickname, and tell us about the hit that took out Frank Gifford for eighteen months.
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Bearly Legal: Comings and Goings
The guys arenít happy with the rumors of Lovieís contract being extended. And speaking of rumors, are you ready for the return of the USFL?
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Willy Lanier
Willie Lanier played middle linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs for 11 seasons from 1967 through 1977. As the first African-American to star at that demanding position, he not only was a true pioneer but also the key man on one of the National Football League's strongest defensive teams. At 6-1 and 245 pounds, he presented an awesome image to any quarterback who lined up against him. He become known and respected for his ability to track down enemy ball carriers and devastate them with the force of his tackles. He was called "Contact" because of his powerful hits on the opposition. Yet he was intelligent and disciplined and obviously much more than just a hitter in his role as quarterback of the defense. He was All-Pro, All-AFL or All-AFC every year from 1968 through 1975. He was elected to the last two AFL All-Star games following the 1968 and 1969 seasons, and the first six AFC-NFC Pro Bowl games after the merger. He was the defensive MVP in the 1971 Pro Bowl. For a defensive player, he also did well statistically. Except for his first and last seasons, he intercepted at least two passes every year and wound up with 27 thefts, which were returned for 440 yards and two touchdowns. He also recovered 18 fumbles. Lanier was a two-time Small College All-America at Morgan State. He was a second-round choice of the Chiefs in the 1967 draft and overcame stiff opposition to grab a starting job in the fourth game of his rookie season. He proved to be one of the most durable of all NFL stars of his time. He missed the last four games of his rookie campaign and then sat out only one more game in the next 10 seasons.

Willie's Career Stats

 
Chuck Bednarik
Bednarik was the first player drafted in the 1949 NFL Draft, by the Philadelphia Eagles, starring on both offense (as a center) and defense (as a linebacker). He was a member of the Eagles' NFL Championship teams in 1949 and 1960. In the 1960 championship game, Bednarik (the last Eagle between Green Bay's Jim Taylor and the end zone) tackled Taylor on the final play of the game at the Eagles' eight yard line, and remained atop Taylor for several seconds as the final seconds ticked off the clock, ensuring the Packers could not run another play. The Eagles won that game 17-13. A tough and highly effective tackler, Bednarik is perhaps best known for knocking Frank Gifford of the New York Giants out of football for over eighteen months, with one of the most famous tackles in NFL history in 1960. Bednarik had a famous quarrel with Chuck Noll, who once, as a player for the Cleveland Browns, smashed him in the face during a fourth-down punting play. Bednarik proved extremely durable, missing just three games in his fourteen seasons. He was named All-Pro eight times, and was the last of the NFL's "Sixty-Minute Men," players who played both offense and defense on a regular basis. Bednarik's nickname, "Concrete Charlie," originated from his off-season career as a concrete salesman for the Warner Company, not (contrary to popular belief) from his reputation as a ferocious tackler. Nonetheless, sportswriter Hugh Brown of The Bulletin in Philadelphia, credited with bestowing the nickname, remarked that Bednarik "is as hard as the concrete he sells." In 1999, he was ranked number 54 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. This made him the highest-ranking player to have spent his entire career with the Eagles, the highest-ranking offensive center and the eighth-ranked linebacker in all of professional football

Chuck Bednarik's Hall of Fame Page

 

NFL Top 100 Players # 35 - Chuck Bednarik





NFL Top 100 Players # 53 - Willie Lanier