Green Bay Packers: Top 10 defensive players of all-time

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1. Ray Nitschke

Considered as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game, Ray Nitschke was and in many ways is still the face of the Green Bay Packers.

He played with a tremendous amount of heart and soul that were unprecedented, which is why the many memories of him are still beloved by the Packers’ community today.

A third round draft pick out of the University of Illinois in 1958, Nitschke became the core the Packers were looking for to lead a talented group of players through the 1960s.

Nitschke was everything you loved, not only in a football player but in a human being. He played with a toughness and tenacity that was undeniable, while proving to be a leader and likable individual off the field as well.

He was the perfect player in Lombardi’s ideology and was the heart of the Green Bay Packers during their championships in the 1960s.

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In his 15-year career with the Green Bay Packers, Nitschke appeared in 190 games, while being selected to the All-Pro team twice. His ability as a coverage linebacker was superb as well, totaling 25 career interceptions.

He was elected to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame in 1978, and his number 66 jersey is retired within the Green Bay Packers organization as well.

The toughness and persona characterized by Nitschke was a class example of what to look for in a leader of your football team.

"“I’m not the biggest guy or the strongest guy either. I have to make up for lack of size with aggressiveness. I’ve always learned that the best way to play the game is to hit your opponent a little harder than he hits you. It’s self-preservation.” Next: Lacy and Starks are off and running"