79 days to football: Dave 'Hawg' Hanner

With 79 days left until the start of the NFL season, our countdown to the big day continues. Thursday, Sept. 4, is the day when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.  Over the  course of the next 79 days we focus on the number that represents the days remaining … today its 79.

For an in-depth look at every number and the players who wore them, we highly recommend “Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them,” by John Maxymuk.

Our last spotlight focused on #80 – a number that provided our first double. Both James Lofton and Donald Driver were worthy of recognition.

But today we drop to 79.

Yes, we all love Ryan Picket and he’s the one we all probably think of when #79 is mentioned.

After all, do any of you remember Angelo FieldsDick Moje or Will Whitticker?

No, I didn’t think so.

As steady as Pickett’s been during his seven seasons in Green Bay, he should be recognized. A model in the locker room and a rock on the field, Pickett is a Super Bowl champion.

As steady as Pickett’s been during his seven seasons in Green Bay, he should be recognized. A model in the locker room and a rock on the field, Pickett is a Super Bowl champion.

But Maxymuk, writing before Pickett joined the Packers, selected Dave Hanner to feature in his book.

Hanner, also known as “Hawg,” was with the Packers during three phases of his career – logging 44 years with the franchise. Hanner spent 13 years as a player, 16 years as an assistant coach, and 15 years as a scout.

 Here’s what Maxymuk said about Hanner:

When Dave arrived at Packers training camp as a fifth-round pick in 1952, no one envisioned him devoting 44 years of his life to the team …”

In hat first training camp, veteran start Tony Canadeo took a liking to the amiable and hard-working Hanner and helped teach him how to be a professional. Canadeo also gave Dave the nickname “Hawg,” which was fitting because he was raised on a farm, and at 6-2, 260 pounds was a big man or the time. Hanner would be known as Hawg rom then on. He would experience immediate success and go to the Pro Bowl both in his second and third years and be named All Pro in 1957 and 1959.

Lombardi … looked on Hanner favorably, calling him by his given name “Joel.”

Lombardi also spoke highly of Hanner: ‘He is thirty-two now and it is going to be a sad day in Green Bay when the years get him, because he has only been All Pro five times [sic] but there is nobody on this squad who is better liked than big, easy-going, quiet Dave with that chaw of tobacco  in his right cheek and his constant weight problem.’

imgresOn these fields, Dave Hanner played for two championship teams and coached on three others. He retired the ear that the Packers returned to the Super Bowl and got o watch some of the players he had scoued, such as Edgar Bennett and Wayne Simmons, helped the Packers win a twelfth championship.

Former Packers GM Ron Wolf  said of Hanner, “It was tremendous for me personally to work with him; I’ve learned an awul lot.”

Fellow scout, former Packers scouting director and current Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey added, “That man wears the Packer ‘G’ with more pride than anyone Ive ever met.”

The following list includes all Packers players who have worn #79 – provided by Pro Football Reference:

From To AV
Ross Browner 1987 1987 1
Jim DeLisle 1971 1971 3
Mike Estep 1987 1987 0
Angelo Fields 1982 1982 0
Dave Hanner 1956 1964 30
Donnie Humphrey 1984 1986 14
Tunch Ilkin 1993 1993 0
Mark Koncar 1976 1981 18
Dick Moje 1951 1951 0
Bob Nelson 1988 1990 17
Ryan Pickett 2006 2013 36
Harry Schuh 1974 1974 2
Ron Spears 1983 1983 1
Marcus Spriggs 2003 2003 0
Barry Stokes 2000 2001 3
Will Whitticker 2005 2005 6

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