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Class of 2011: Chris Hanburger

  • By NFL.com
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Hard-hitting Redskin

Linebacker Chris Hanburger was a key member of George Allen's "Over the Hill Gang" that helped lead the Washington Redskins to their first Super Bowl. Hanburger was a four-time all-NFL selection and he was voted to nine Pro Bowls.

Career Statistics:

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Did you know?
Chris Hanburger held the NFL record for fumbles returned for touchdowns when he retired (since broken). That's just one of the nuggets that Gil Brandt offered in his series looking at the newest members of the Class of 2011. More
Through the years
Get a better picture of Chris Hanburger's career in this photo gallery.
Three Key Moments
Off Broadway
The Redskins went 11-3 and reached the Super Bowl in 1972, with Hanburger making many key plays. One of those plays was Hanburger's interception of Joe Namath that he returned 41 yards for a touchdown against the New York Jets on Nov. 5. He intercepted Namath again on the next series as the Redskins went on to win, 35-17.
The Hangman cometh
Hanburger was known for wearing a two-bar facemask and would often tackle players with a single-arm clothesline, earning the nickname "The Hangman." Hanburger was quick to defend himself, though, telling those that didn't like his style of tackling they "should duck."
1972 NFC Championship Game
The Redskins faced the rival Cowboys in the 1972 NFC Championship Game, and Hanburger was all over the field as he contributed two tackles and six assists as Washington crushed Dallas, 26-3, to advance to its first Super Bowl. And while the Redskins would lose Super Bowl VII to the Dolphins, Hanburger had four solo tackles and two assists.
Quotable
"He was my kinda player. He was a great linebacker. He had a lot of ability. He was very, very quick -- quicker 'n me. He wasn't a big linebacker. I was 20, 25 pounds bigger than Chris. I was in the middle and the defense was built around me. But he was one of the best blitzers that I've ever seen in the NFL. He was quick and tough, and he was a hangman." -- Hall of Famer Sam Huff

"He'd be so happy for Chris because it respects the game for a dedicated player who didn't play the game for the limelight," -- George Allen's son, Bruce Allen

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