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Class of 2011: Les Richter

  • By NFL.com
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Les did more

Les Richter was known as one of the most punishing linebackers in the NFL, earning the nickname "Dirty Les" for his rough style of play. An eight-time Pro Bowler, he also played center and placekicker for the Los Angeles Rams.

Career Statistics:

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Did you know?
The Los Angeles Rams traded 11 players to acquire Les Ritcher in one of the most lopsided trades in NFL history. 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 Les Ritcher's career in this photo gallery.
Three Key Moments
One for 11
Richter was drafted second overall by the New York Yanks in the 1952 NFL Draft, but the franchise folded two days later and he was sold back to the NFL. The expansion Dallas Texans were granted Richter's rights and he was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams for 11 players, the second-largest deal for one player in league history.
Quick study
Richter became one of the NFL's premier villains during his rookie season when he got into a tussle with the Colts' monstrous Don Joyce, who tore off Richter's helmet and hit him over the head with it. Richter went to the hospital to get 14 stitches. He went on to win rookie of the year honors.
Broken bones
Richter never missed a game during his 112-game NFL career, battling through various injuries. Richter broke his cheekbone early in the 1961 season against the Steelers, but played through it not realizing that it was broken. He had a protective guard added to his helmet and completed the season even though he broke his cheekbone again five weeks later.
Quotable
"It's always puzzled me why Les is not in the Hall of Fame. He was a great, great player. I don't know any linebacker in that era who even compared to him. He's the kind of guy that was hard to overlook. He was big, he was fast, and he was an extremely productive player. When you prepared to play the Rams, Les was the guy that you really game planned for. He was their defense. He was successful in business, he was successful in life and was a great person." - Hall of Famer Frank Gifford

"Les was a tough, hard-nosed football player who gave it his all on every play and in every practice. He knocked the hell out of people. I mean, he'd really hit you. Les Richter was a great teammate." - Hall of Famer Deacon Jones

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