Jack Lambert

25 Greatest Middle Linebackers in NFL History

Ray Lewis has two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards. But is he the best ever?
<p> 25 Greatest Middle Linebackers in NFL History, including Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Ray Nitschke, Bill George, Junior Seau, Brian Urlacher, Patrick Willis, Chuck Bednarik, Nick Buoniconti, Joe Schmidt, Willie Lanier, Harry Carson, Lee Roy Jordan, Ken Norton Jr. and Tedy Bruschi.</p>

Middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the defense, the nerve center of a stop-unit. Many of the game’s greatest players have been the man in the middle who called the shots in the huddle before turning into tackling machines and splash-playmakers from sideline-to-sideline once the ball was snapped. Keeping all aspects of the job in mind, we rank the top 25 greatest middle linebackers in NFL history.

Kent State’s Terrific Trio in 1972: Nick Saban, Jack Lambert and Gary Pinkel

The trio led the Golden Flashes to a MAC title in a time of turmoil at the Ohio school
<p> Nick Saban, Gary Pinkel and Jack Lambert led the Golden Flashes to a MAC title in a time of turmoil at the Ohio school</p>

They have celebrated one conference championship in the history of Kent State’s football program. One. Oklahoma, this ain’t. In 1972, the Golden Flashes won five of their last six, including a season-ending triumph over Toledo that clinched the title and earned a Tangerine Bowl berth.


It couldn’t have come at a more important time in school history.