Sunday, September 9, 2012

Charles Smith, Chris Hanburger, Dennis Smith, Joe Schmidt, Gary Reasons

My first return was from Charles Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles.  He played his entire career with the Eagles after playing his college ball at Grambling.  He caught one pass as a rookie but became a starter in his second season.  He was a starter for pretty much the rest of his career.  He had four seasons of at least 30 receptions and averaged 15 yards a catch.  He was an excellent complement to Harold Carmichael and was a member of the Eagles 1980 Super Bowl team.  He said that his favorite memory was the day that he made the team in 1974.  He said playing for Eddie Robinson was the greatest.  He became a coach after his career and his favorite part of coaching was seeing the success of his players.  His answer to my character question was honesty.

The second return was from Chris Hanburger.  I am a big UNC fan so this was a great return for me.  He was a great Tar Heel and had an incredible career with the Redskins.  He was a 9 time Pro Bowler, 4 time All Pro, and earned a spot in the Hall of Fame!  He was an excellent tackler and was nicknamed Hangman for it.  He also was good in coverage.  He had 19 ints and scored 5 tds (2 ints and 3 fumbles).  He played both ways in college and was a great center for the Tar Heels.  He said his favorite UNC memory was winning the Gator Bowl.  His favorite NFL memory was being selected to his first Pro Bowl team.  The toughest person for him to tackle was anyone bigger than him.  His father has had the biggest impact on him.  His answer to my character question was to always strive to be the best at whatever you do in life. 

The next return was from the excellent defensive back for the Denver Broncos-Dennis Smith.  He was a great player for the Broncos and has been put into their Ring of Honor.  It is too bad that he wasn't able to win a Super Bowl with the Broncos.  He deserved to.  He was a 6 time Pro Bowler and had 30 ints.  He played college ball at USC with Ronnie Lott and Joey Browner among others.  Mr. Smith is someone that I always remember.  He answered my character question with the answer of honesty. 

Joe Schmidt was a great player for the Detroit Lions and became their coach later on in his career.   He was successful as both a coach and player.  He was 8 time All Pro and went to the Pro Bowl 10 consecutive years.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame.  He had a definite nose for the football - 24 ints and 17 fumble recoveries (including 8 in one season).  He is truly one of the all time great Lions and has such a special place in the Lions history.  It is too bad that his coaching career kind of ended with a sour taste.  He answered my character question with the word honesty.

My final return was from Gary Reasons.  He was an excellent linebacker who was part of an incredible linebacking core- him, Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, and Harry Carson.  Mr. Reasons doesn't get the notoriety as the others but he played a big part.  His most famous play was actually on special teams- the fake punt against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. 

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