Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bulldog Turner, Dick Lebeau, And Hunk Anderson, In A Heap

Dick LeBeau is going into the Hall of Fame, and good for him. He was a superb defensive back and has been unsurpassed as a defensive coach, though it's a fair bet that from this point forward HOF voters will still equate putting assistant coaches into the Hall of Fame with eating wood ticks.

However, LeBeau's ascendance into Valhalla has a dark side in that his coattails will be as short as Supergnat Smith, and Hunk Anderson isn't going to be invited for the ride.

Rotten, because what LeBeau has been to defenses and D-backs Anderson was to lines, the Bears line in particular. He also -- Mr. LeBeau please note -- helped invent the blitz.

More Bears linemen are in the Hall of Fame in part because Anderson was their coach. Does that mean Bulldog Turner wouldn't have been a Hall of Famer if his coach had been, say, Aldo Donelli? Well, not in this case. Turner was an athletic, durable lineman, as smart as anyone who's made a career out of geting kicked in the head, and one of those marvelous center-linebackers of the late '30s and '40s. But Hunk Anderson helped make him, and George Musso and Joe Stydahar and George Trafton and Danny Fortmann and George Connor, and that shouldn't be forgotten.

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