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"I knew what I wanted to do, and playing in the National Football League was it. So I really concentrated. I was all football, 24 hours a day.”
(Kent State)...6'4'', 220...John Harold Lambert. . .Second-round draft pick, 1974. . . Prototype middle linebacker - intense, intelligent, fast, quick, durable. . .Noted for vicious tackling, great range, superior pass defense. . .Two-time NFL Defensive Player of Year. . . All-Pro eight times. . .In nine straight Pro Bowls, 1976-1984. . .In six AFC title games, four Super Bowls. . .had 28 interceptions, 17 fumble recoveries. . . Born July 8, 1952, in Mantua, Ohio.
Jack Lambert was a two-year All-Mid America Conference linebacker at Kent State and a second-round draft selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1974. The 6-4, 220-pound Lambert immediately took charge of his destiny by winning the starting middle linebacker assignment as a rookie and keeping it throughout his 11-year career in Pittsburgh that ended after the 1984 season.
He was soon recognized as the premier linebacker of his era. Lambert had all the necessary ingredients – intelligence, intensity, speed, quickness, range, durability – and he used them all to his best advantage. Even though he was the youngest starter on the Pittsburgh defensive unit, many felt that Lambert's presence was the final ingredient needed to turn that unit into a dominant one. Intimidating, he helped to shape and reinforce Pittsburgh’s famed “Steel Curtain.”
Lambert was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1974. He was All-Pro eight times in a nine-year span between 1975 and 1983, and played in nine straight Pro Bowls. His impressive résumé also includes the fact that he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976.
The team defensive captain for eight years, Lambert played in six AFC championship games and four Super Bowls. His interception late in the fourth quarter preserved Pittsburgh's fourth NFL title victory in Super Bowl XIV. During his career, he had 28 interceptions, which he returned 243 yards. In 1976, he recorded eight opponents' fumble recoveries and wound up with 17 during his 11-year tenure.
Lambert missed only six games because of injuries his first 10 years in the NFL but, in 1984, he suffered a severe toe injury, which limited his playing time to just eight games. He eventually was forced to retire at the end of the season.
Full Name: John Harold Lambert
Birthdate: July 8, 1952
Birthplace: Mantua, Ohio
High School: Crestwood (Mantua, Ohio)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 27, 1990
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 4, 1990
Presenter: Dennis Fitzgerald, Lambert's asst. coach at Kent State University and Pittsburgh Steelers
Other Members of Class of 1990: Buck Buchanan, Bob Griese, Franco Harris, Ted Hendricks, Tom Landry, Bob St. Clair
Pro Career: 11 seasons, 146 games
Drafted: 2nd round (46th player overall) in 1974 by Pittsburgh Steelers
Uniform Number: 58