Green Bay Packers: Who wore #77 best?
Ron Kostelnik …Hall of Famer you should know
Instead, today we go back 50 years to the Lombardi years when Ron Kostelnik stuffed the run and helped anchor a defensive line that led the franchise to championship after championship. He replaced Dave Hanner in 1964 on the line and is one of those players from decades ago whose value to their teams are hidden forever because major defensive statistics were not kept.
Look up Kostelnik on Pro Football Reference and you will find a lot of zeros in his profile.
That’s sad for not only Kostelnik, but every player who have gone forgotten through the years.
He was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 1961 NFL Draft.
Hall of Famer Dave Robinson played on the same defense as Kostelnik and had this to say about #77 as a player.
“Ron took over when (Dave) Hog Hanner retired. We didn’t miss a beat with Ron in there. Hog trained him right. Ron was a smart, steady player who shut down the middle. No one successfully ran a screen or draw on us very often.”
A lunch bucket, blue collar player, Kostelnik earned the respect of his teammates during the championship seasons of the 1960s. Playing with guys like Willie Davis, Henry Jordan and Lionel Aldridge, Kostelnik stepped in and thrived in Phil Bengston’s 4-3.
Below are his statistics. Kostelnik played in 110 games with Green Bay in eight years with the team. He played 10 games with the Baltimore Colts in his final year – 1969. While in Green Bay he recovered seven fumbles – the only statistics attributed to Kostelnik.
Kostelnik was elected to the Packers Hall of Fame in 1989 and died when he suffered a heart attack while driving on Interstate 75 in Kentucky Jan. 29, 1993. He was 53 years old.
It’s always fun to watch Lombardi-era film … with the exception of the audio and video quality, it’s the incredible play of those teams that jumps off the film.