The Run Stuffer

September 6 is the birthday of several former Packers, including Ken Stills who would hit you before and after the whistle safety, nondescript defensive tackle Herb McMath, 6’8” tackle Bill Hayhoe and physical corner Mike C. McCoy. The best player of all, though, was inside linebacker Brian Noble.

Noble saved his edge for opponents, particularly the Bears. Noble told the Milwaukee Sentinel in Bears’ Week 1991, “I love playing these guys. It’s always a challenge. They love to run the football. This is what guys wait careers for, games like these…national TV, the rivalry. It’s fun and physical.” Unfortunately, Green Bay only defeated Chicago twice during Brian’s time as a Packer, and he only played for two winning teams overall.

Noble at 6’3” and 250 pounds was always active from his strongside inside linebacker position. Ray Nitschke once described him as, “a very physical player. A great run stopper.” Four times Noble led the Packers in tackles, and he was the team’s defensive MVP in 1987. His passionate inspirational play and his hard hitting made him a fan favorite.

Drafted out of Arizona State in the fifth round in 1985, Noble moved into the starting lineup on the right side as a rookie. Two years later, he shifted to the left side. Noble excelled at clogging the inside run game for the Green Bay defense and clobbering anyone who came through. Ron Wolf saluted Brian at his retirement as, ”One of the better run stoppers ever to play the game.” In pass defense, he didn’t have the speed to be strong in coverage and at times came off the field in passing situations.

His career ended in 1993 when he ruptured the patellar tendon in his knee. He told the Journal Sentinel in 2002, “I wasn’t the strongest guy on the field. I wasn’t the fastest guy on the field. But I always thought I had damn well better be one of the smartest guys on the field.”

Adapted from Green Bay Gold.

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Custom cards in Topps style.

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