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George Connor
Position(s)
Linebacker/Tackle
Jersey #(s)
71
Born January 21, 1925(1925-01-21)
Chicago, Illinois
Died March 31, 2003 (aged 78)
Chicago, Illinois
Career information
Year(s) 19481955
NFL Draft 1946 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
College Notre Dame
Professional teams
Career stats
Games 90
Interceptions 7
Fumble recoveries 10
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

George Leo Connor (January 21, 1925 – March 31, 2003) was an American football offensive tackle/linebacker for the Chicago Bears from 1948-1955. He was a number one draft pick by the New York Giants in the 1946 NFL Draft.

Connor earned All America honors three times, once at Holy Cross in 1943 and then at Notre Dame in 1946 and 1947. During his eight-year career (1948-1955) with the Bears, he was named to the All-NFL team at three different positions — offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and linebacker. In 1952 and 1953, he was named all-league on both the offensive and defensive teams by different wire services.

Although Connor is remembered as one of the finest of the post-World War II tackles, it was as a linebacker that he made his biggest mark in the pro football world. And it was the sheer necessity of a desperate situation for the Chicago Bears that prompted Connor switch to a linebacker position.

The Philadelphia Eagles were running roughshod over the NFL in 1949 and one end sweep with two guards and the fullback leading Steve Van Buren around the flank had been particularly successful. The Bears coaching staff hit upon the idea of moving a big, fast, and agile man like the 6-3, 240-pound Connor into a linebacker’s slot to try to stop the play. The move was made, the experiment was successful, the Eagles were beaten and Connor became a linebacker for keeps.

That didn't mean, however, that he was a one-way specialist. He continued to play offensive tackle, winning All-NFL acclaim on both offense and defense. Connor was always one of the smartest men on the field wherever he played. He seemingly instinctively knew about keys – the tips that the movements of certain offensive players will provide to the alert defender as to which way the play if going – long before keys became the vogue.

Connor always played the game hard and clean and with exceptional effectiveness and he might have continued in a starring role for many years had not a knee injury cut short his career after the 1955 season.

External links

Preceded by
First award
Outland Trophy Winners
1946
Succeeded by
Joe Steffy
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