Packers great Robinson headed to Hall of Fame

Ten Lombardi-era Packers – and their coach – have been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for years, but Canton is making room for an 11th, and likely final, Green Bay player from that era.

Linebacker Dave Robinson, who played the first 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Packers and was a member of three NFL-champion and two Super Bowl-champion teams, was voted in to the Hall as a senior candidate Saturday.

“On behalf of the Green Bay Packers, I want to congratulate Dave on his well-deserved election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “He was such a vital part of those great defenses in the 1960s that helped the team win NFL championships and Super Bowl titles under Vince Lombardi. Dave’s contributions to the Packers have not been limited to the field, as he has also been a great ambassador for the organization over the years. We are thrilled that he received this honor.”

Robinson, 71, was the 14th overall selection in the 1963 draft out of Penn State. He made three Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team in the 1960s. Robinson had a knack for intercepting passes and is tied for third in Packers history by a linebacker with 21 in his 10 years with Green Bay. He finished up his career with two years playing for the Washington Redskins.

Robinson’s teammates — he’s joining Ray Nitschke, Herb Adderley, Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, Paul Hornung, Henry Jordan, Jim Ringo, Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Willie Wood in Canton — were quick to weigh in with statements on what they viewed as an overdue selection.

Adderley: “The things that made him a great linebacker were his size, speed and intelligence. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but Dave never made the same mistake twice. … I have never really felt the full satisfaction for me being in the Hall of Fame without Dave being in there, and I would have felt the same way if Willie Davis wasn’t in there. With Dave making it, it solidifies my feelings about the three of us and how we played together, shutting down the run and the pass. Whenever I talk to Willie or Dave, it always comes up, how we shut down the left side of the field. It gives me tremendous satisfaction because Dave is a very dear friend of mine.”

Davis: “He is very deserving and should have been in a long time ago. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be as appreciative as anyone who has ever been elected. It is a great moment for me to have Dave chosen. It is a fulfillment of something almost as important as if it was me personally. I think Dave was so overdue, and it is so right for him to enjoy that hallowed ground called the Hall of Fame.”

Robinson is the 22nd member of the Packers to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he was part of a seven-member class Saturday. He’ll be joined in his summer enshrinement by coach Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Larry Allen and fellow senior selection Curley Culp.