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An oral history: Dave Robinson

Posted Feb 9, 2014

Cliff Christl started gathering oral histories with former Packers and others associated with the team in 2000 and will continue to gather them as Packers historian. Excerpts from those interviews will be periodically posted here.

Robinson played outside linebacker for the Packers from 1963-’72. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013. Here he talks about the other Hall of Famers on the Packers’ defense in the 1960s.

On Willie Davis:

Robinson: “As a pass rusher, he was so quick off the ball. He was a good run player, too. But the fact he played next to Ron Kostelnik (helped) because Ron hung in there and did a lot to stop the run. It allowed Willie to freelance more. (But) Willie was so intelligent and quick as a cat -- he’d play a guy’s angle. He could do it all.”

On Henry Jordan:

Robinson: “He had three sacks, I think, in that 1967 playoff game against the Rams. He went against Tom Mack, who is a Hall of Famer, and Mack never touched him. If you tried to trap Jordan, he was right there. (Jordan) would give you a jiggle with his body and he had great, quick feet. He’d slap you when the head-slap was legal, and he’d be around you so fast. He had a million moves. “

On Ray Nitschke:

Robinson: “Nitschke was one of the greatest players I played with. It’s hard to say anything bad about Nitschke… Nitschke had football knowledge, but he got excited and made mistakes. He was a hitter and aggressive, (but) he couldn’t make decisions on the fly. You almost had to sit him down and diagram it. He was a great teammate.”

On Herb Adderley:

Robinson: “Adderley was a little meaner than (Bob) Jeter. I think Adderley was (a better cover guy). The reason Jeter had more interceptions than Adderley is that teams didn’t throw at our left side. Adderley knew the game. Having played offense, he knew what the offense was trying to do. Herb used to knock the hell out of running backs. He tackled hard. When Herb had to force, he was always there.”

On Willie Wood:

Robinson: “Willie Wood could sit down and diagram what every man on defense did on every play. If he saw you do something wrong, he could correct linebackers, defensive tackles. Willie Wood had an overall perspective of the whole thing.”

Today, Robinson lives in Akron, Ohio.

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