Posted by Ryan Wilson
“Today’s media applauds Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for being able to run the offense and audible and check. Well, Chris Hanburger did that in the ‘70s. He not only called [audibles] on his own, he had over 100 audibles each game that he had to manage. One of the reasons we were so successful was our defense, because Chris managed it no different than quarterbacks do today. That type of field general should be recognized for his contribution.” - Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, son of Hall of Fame coach George Allen
“He was at that time the smartest player in the league. We did everything we could to try to eliminate him from the play. We knew if we didn’t neutralize him, then we had less of a chance of winning.” - John Hannah, New England Patriots Hall of Fame guard
Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news
Chris Hanburger played his entire 14-year career with the Washington Redskins, and he was the original cerebral NFL linebacker. He was an 18th-round selection in 1965 who ended up a nine-time Pro Bowler, four times a first-team All Pro, and an eight-time first team All Conference selection.
PFT.com's Michael David Smith writes that Hanburger "quickly became a team leader and the defensive signal caller … but he wasn’t just a cerebral player. He was also a vicious hitter who earned the nickname The Hangman.
"It's been a tremendous thrill for me," Hanburger said Saturday in his North Carolina drawl. "… I've never had a chance to meet members of the Hall of Fame like this. It's a great honor. ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life and I mean that from my heart."
Hanburger's son, also named Chris, presented his father for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.