It's easy to get lost in the shuffle when you played during the golden age of the NFL's most celebrated franchise. Dave Robinson was an elite playmaking linebacker on some of Vince Lombardi's best Green Bay Packers teams, but it took 38 years after his retirement before he was recognized as such by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Robinson will be enshrined as part of the 2013 class thanks to the Hall's senior committee, which nominated him and Curley Culp (a Detroit Lions defensive lineman in 1980-81) last summer. As we discussed earlier in the week, a nomination from the seniors committee generally is viewed as an attempt to right a previous wrong, and 25 of the past 30 nominees have been elected by the larger selection committee.
Robinson was one of the first linebackers with the speed and athleticism to cover the emerging tight end position. He had 21 interceptions in 10 seasons with the Packers, including 12 during the period from 1965-67, an NFL high for linebackers. In Packers history, the only linebackers with more interceptions are John Anderson and Ray Nitschke.
By my count, Robinson played with 10 other Packers who ultimately made the Hall of Fame and was coached by an 11th, Vince Lombardi. That's just an incredible number. At various times during his career, he played alongside Nitschke, cornerback Herb Adderly, defensive end Willie Davis, safety Willie Wood and defensive tackle Henry Jordan. Can you imagine a defense with seven Hall of Famers? Wow.
Overall, Robinson is the 22nd member of the Packers organization to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Congratulations on an honor that was no doubt worth the wait.