HOF Profile: Chris Hanburger

In the second of this series I am profiling the second senior nominee for 2011 as yet another Linebacker goes into the Hall. Chris Hanburger is a little bit more recent than Les Richter but he still played at a different time. Hanburger played at a time when rough and tough linebackers ruled as the heaviest and meanest hitters in the game. Hanburger is also a great story of the underdog making it and becoming one of the best linebackers in NFL history. Hanburger was drafted in the 18th round of the 1986 draft by the Washington Redskins out of north Carolina. Unlike Les Richter Washington did not fold and Hanburger got his chance with the team that drafted him. Hanburger also stayed with the Redskins his entire 14 year career. Being drafted in the 18th round not much was expected of Hanburger as he was most likely considered to be a filler in case they needed another linebacker in a pinch. In his rookie season Hanburger proved he was more than just a filler and gained a reputation as a playmaker. He became known for his big plays at crucial times. He was also a key in rise of the Redskins in the 1970s. As the NFL had merged with the AFL the Redskins began to take the torch from the Green Bay Packers as one of the more dominant teams in the 70s. During the 70s everything was about defence and Hanburger was the Redskins defensive “Quarterback.” He guided the Redskins to their first Super Bowl appearance in 1972 where he faced the Don Shula Miami Dolphins and unfortunately lost against a very strong team.


Hanburger was one of the most consistent players in the NFL as he rarely took a day off and always played well. He never had an off game and continued to make big plays for his 14 years in the league. Hanburger ended his career with a record for the most fumbles recovered for TDs with 3. Since then that record has been broken but it still stands that he was one of the best linebackers of his time. He also intercepted 19 passes and returned 2 for TDs. Hnaburger’s stats may not be overwhelming like many of the Hall of Famers but playing at his time he was the best linebacker in the league. He was also extremely consistent which counts for a lot as a hall of famer. Hanburger and Richter will both go in as senior nominees and are well deserving of the honour. Both dominated at their position in their time and led their teams to success earning them a deserving spot in Canton.


Chris Hanburger, LB (1965-1978)

6’2”, 218 lbs

Washington Redskins (14 yrs)

187 G

19 INT

347 INT yds

2 TD

– 9 Pro Bowls (1967-‘70, 1973-‘77)

– All-NFL (1972-‘73, 1975-‘76)

– 1 Super Bowl Appearance (SB VII)

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