CHUCK BEDNARIK

CHUCK BEDNARIK

Class of 1967
Center-Linebacker >>> 6-3, 233
(Pennsylvania)
1949-1962 Philadelphia Eagles

Charles Philip Bednarik ... Two-time Pennsylvania All-American ... Eagles' bonus draft choice, 1949 ... NFL's last "iron man" star ... Rugged, durable, bulldozing blocker, bone-jarring tackler ... Missed only three games in 14 years ... Nine times All-NFL ... Played in eight Pro Bowls, MVP in 1954 game ... Named NFL's all-time center, 1969 ... Played 58 minutes, made game-saving tackle, 1960 NFL title game ... Born May 1, 1925, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

No National Football League player in the 1950s was immune to bone-jarring contact with the Philadelphia Eagles' Chuck Bednarik because the 233-pounder played on both the offensive and defensive units long after the two-way player had largely faded from the scene.

Bednarik didn’t really get into football until he returned from World War II (after a 30-mission tour as a B-24 waist gunner with the Army Air Corps that saw him win the Air Medal). He showed up unheralded at the University of Pennsylvania, where he went on to win All-America honors as a center his last two seasons.

Chuck was selected first overall in the 1949 NFL Draft as the Eagles' bonus draft choice and earned a starter’s spot as a center on offense and linebacker on defense. As an offensive center, big Chuck was a bulldozing blocker, both on rushing and passing plays. On defense, he was a true scientist in his field and the kind of tackler who could literally stop even the finest enemy runners "on a dime."

In 1950, Bednarik received All-NFL recognition as a center. Although he frequently played both offense and defense right up through the 1956 season, it was as a bone-jarring linebacker that he drew the most attention. He was named All-NFL as a linebacker 1951 through 1957 and again in 1960.

His athletic abilities and inspirational play was particularly evident in 1960 when injuries forced the Eagles to ask their 12-year veteran to again play both sides of the line. The 35-year-old was sensational. He finished the campaign with a 58-minute performance, capped by a game-saving tackle in the Eagles' NFL championship victory over Green Bay. With just seconds remaining, the Packers' Jim Taylor appeared to be heading for a winning touchdown until the last Eagle in his path, Bednarik, bear-hugged him to the ground as time ran out.

Year
Team
G
Int
Yds.
Avg.
TD
FumRec.
Yds.
1949 Philadelphia
10
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
1950 Philadelphia
12
1
9
9.0
0
1
0
1951 Philadelphia
12
0
0
0.0
0
2
5
1952 Philadelphia
12
2
14
7.0
0
1
0
1953 Philadelphia
12
6
116
19.3
1
4
6
1954 Philadelphia
12
1
9
9.0
0
4
0
1955 Philadelphia
12
1
36
36.0
0
0
0
1956 Philadelphia
12
2
0
0.0
0
2
4
1957 Philadelphia
11
3
51
17.0
0
2
0
1958 Philadelphia
12
0
0
0.0
0
1
0
1959 Philadelphia
12
0
0
0.0
0
1
0
1960 Philadelphia
12
2
0
0.0
0
2
0
1961 Philadelphia
14
2
33
16.5
0
0
0
1962 Philadelphia
14
0
0
0.0
0
1
0
Career Total
169
20
268
13.4
1
21
15
 
Additional Career Statistics: Scoring: 1 TD; Punt Returns: 2-26; Kickoff Returns: 4-57; Punting: 12-483

Championship Games

1949 NFL – Philadelphia Eagles 14, Los Angeles Rams 0
Bednarik played in this game. No other statistical data is available.


1960 NFL – Philadelphia Eagles 17
, Green Bay Packers 13
Bednarik started the game at center. No other statistical data is available.

All-NFL: 1950 (APC, NYLB), 1951 LB (AP, UPI, NY), 1952 LB (AP, UPI), 1953 LB (AP, NY), 1954 LB (AP, UPI, SN, NY), 1955 LB (UPI, NE), 1956 LB (UPI, NEA, NY), 1957 LB (NY), 1960 LB (AP, UPI, NY)

All-NFL Second Team: 1953 LB (UPI), 1955 LB (AP, NY), 1956 LB (AP), 1957 LB (AP, UPI, NEA), 1960C (NY), 1961 C (UPI)

All-Eastern Conference: 1954 LB (PB), 1957 LB (SN), 1960 LB (SN), 1961 LB (SN)

(8) – 1951 C, 1952 C, 1953 C, 1954 C, LB, 1955 C, 1957 LB, 1958 LB, 1961 LB

(at time of his retirement following 1962 season)

• [Tied for 3rd] Most Seasons – 14

• 1950s All-Decade Team C
• NFL 50th Anniversary Team C
• NFL 75th Anniversary All-Two-Way Team

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1949 Philadelphia Eagles 11 1 0 (1st)
1950 Philadelphia Eagles 6 6 0 (3rd)
1951 Philadelphia Eagles 4 7 1 (4th)
1952 Philadelphia Eagles 7 5 0 (3rd)
1953 Philadelphia Eagles 7 4 1 (2nd)
1954 Philadelphia Eagles 7 4 1 (2nd)
1955 Philadelphia Eagles 4 7 1 (5th)
1956 Philadelphia Eagles 3 8 1 (6th)
1957 Philadelphia Eagles 4 8 0 (5th)
1958 Philadelphia Eagles 2 9 1 (6th)
1959 Philadelphia Eagles 7 5 0 (3rd)
1960 Philadelphia Eagles 10 2 0 (1st)
1961 Philadelphia Eagles 10 4 0 (2nd)
1962 Philadelphia Eagles 3 10 1 (7th)
Full Name: Charles Philip Bednarik

Birthdate: May 1, 1925

Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

High School: Bethlehem (PA) Catholic; Liberty (Bethlehem, PA)

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 5, 1967

Presenter: Earle "Greasy" Neale, Bednarik's coach with the Eagles

Other Members of Class of 1967: Charles Bidwill, Paul Brown, Bobby Layne, Dan Reeves, Ken Strong, Joe Stydahar, Emlen Tunnell

Pro Career: 14 Seasons, 169 games

Drafted: 1st round (1st player overall) in 1949 by Philadelphia Eagles

Uniform Number: 60

Pro Football Hall of Fame
August 5, 1967


Earle “Greasy” Neale (presenter):
I had the preferred draft choice in 1948 and I took a lineman. He played 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and he only was out of two ball games. In 1960 with the championship Philadelphia Eagle ball club he played both ways, both offense and defense. I now present to you and it’s my honor to be able to present him to you, Chuck Bednarik.

Chuck Bednarik
Thank you very much Coach Neale, ladies and gentlemen.  When you’re a kid just coming up, I guess you look forward to being a high school football player. And, then you go to your next stepping stone. You want to become a college All-American and when you achieve that you want to go into the pro ranks. And then of course a pinnacle or highlight of your entire career comes when the particular day entering into the Hall of Fame comes. 

I want to thank coach Greasy Neale for having the guts and temerity for picking me as a lineman as his first pick in giving me the opportunity and being my first coach in professional football. I want to thank my parents for bringing me up to be a good strong, healthy boy. I want to thank my wife who put up with me for these fourteen years and raised my five daughters for me while I was out gallivanting on football fields.

And, certainly it is a pleasure for me to be inducted with these great men here today, many who were my idols as Ken Strong, and Joe Stydahar; many that I have played against time and time again since Bobby Layne and Emlen Tunnell, and in my opinion the greatest coach I ever played against Mr. Paul Brown. It is my pleasure as I was saying earlier if we were all 25 years old, we would have one hell of a football team with Coach Paul Brown. 

And in conclusion, I want to thank the Almighty God for having my parents migrate to this country from Czechoslovakia and having me raised up as a good American boy and I'm just happy that I'm an American. Thank you very much.

Mobile-Optimized Bio >>>