Green Bay Packers: 50 greatest players in franchise history

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Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport /
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Green Bay Packers
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. G. (1929-35, 1937). Mike Michalske. 26. player. 49

Greatest players in Green Bay Packers history: 26. Mike Michalske

Yes, of course guard play is important in the NFL. One of the very best guards in the early stages of the NFL was “Iron” Mike Michalske. He was an incredibly dominant player during his first five seasons in the league. Michalske played in college at Penn State before playing for the NFL’s New York Yankees for two years in 1927 and 1928.

After briefly dipping his toes into coaching with Ashland College, Michalske would sign with the Packers in 1929. He had already been a two-time first team All-Pro while with the Yankees. Michalske would rattle off three more All-Pro first team nods in his first three years with the Packers.

Upon arriving in Green Bay in 1929, the Packers would win three straight NFL championships with Michalske as their start right guard. He would earn two more All-Pro first team nods, but those designations came from a local paper. Michalske retired as a player in 1935 to join Curly Lambeau’s staff in Green Bay. He briefly returned to the field in 1937 before a back injury officially ended his playing career at age 34.

Michalske would go on to be a noted line coach in both the pros and in college. He was the Iowa State Cyclones’ head coach from 1942 to 1946. Michalske would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964. His Canton classmates include Ed Healey, Clarke Hinkle and Art Rooney.