George Connor’s play at MLB forced the wire services in the mid-to-late ‘50s to substitute a third linebacker position for middle guard. Having already been named all-league at middle guard, Connor then earned All-NFL honors at middle linebacker in six of the next seven seasons.
Sam Huff, the former Giants and Redskins great, had the reputation as a devastating tackler but he also intercepted 30 passes in his career. Only two other linebackers in the Hall of Fame recorded more interceptions.
“Night Train” Lane, who earned his nickname from a hit record by the same name, earned a tryout with the Rams as an offensive end. He soon earned a spot in the defensive secondary and his all-out gambling style allowed him to pick off 40 passes in his first five NFL seasons.
NFL's ALL-DECADE TEAM OF THE 1950s (DEFENSE). Leo Nomellini was named All-NFL six times, twice on offense and four times on defense. He was named the NFL’s All-Time defensive tackle in 1969, the same year he was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Despite never having won an interception title during his 14-year career, Emlen Tunnell retired in 1961 as the NFL’s all-time leading interceptor (79). In 1967, he became the first African American enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.