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Legends Of The Gridiron - Reggie White The Minister Of Defense

Reggie White was arguably the greatest NFL defensive end ever to play the game. With second on the all time career sacks list, two-time defensive player of the year and a member of the college and pro football hall of fame, his stats more than back his accomplishments.

Reggie White’s professional career spanned 14 years in the NFL with three different teams. He started his career at the University of Tennessee setting school records for the most sacks in a game and season. He currently holds both records to this day making him a legend in the University of Tennessee football program.

After his successful start in college football, Reggie signed on with the Memphis Showboats of the USFL and played two seasons from 1984-1985. In only 36 starts, he chalked up 23.5 sacks, 192 tackles and seven forced fumbles before the league folded.

NFL Years

Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1985, Reggie played eight seasons and became the Eagles all time sacks leader with 124 sacks. In 1987, he posted the regular season record with 21 sacks averaging 1.75 sacks per game and is currently the only NFL player to ever record 20 or more sacks in just Click Here to order this Mitchell & Ness Green Bay Packers 1993 Reggie White Authentic Throwback Jerseyicon 12 games played. After continued conflicts with the coaching staff and Eagle management Reggie decided to make a change and left the Philadelphia Eagles.

Many people thought Reggie might be in the twilight of his career and wouldn’t have the impact he once did. Reggie proved those people wrong. In 1993, Reggie was signed by the Green Bay Packers to help a struggling team in desperate need for defensive help. Reggie White made an immediate impact. After six seasons with the Packers, Reggie became the Green Bay Packers all time sacks leader with 68.5 sacks. He helped the Packers to two Super Bowls including a victory in Super Bowl XXXI. He continued to set records and was awarded defensive player of the year in 1998.

After being diagnosed with a systemic inflammation disease called sarcoidosis, Reggie decided to retire at the end of the 1998 season. But after sitting out one Click Here to order this Mitchell & Ness Green Bay Packers 1993 Reggie White Authentic Throwback Jerseyicon season in 1999 he said he had spoke to god and that he was told to “fulfill his commitment” so he went back to football and signed with the Carolina Panthers for the 2000 season. That was his last season and he officially retired. At the time, Reggie was the NFL’s all-time sacks leader with 198 sacks and was the only player to produce 9 consecutive seasons (1985-1993) with at least 10 sacks.

On December 26, 2004 Reggie White had suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia most likely caused by the sarcoidosis and died unexpectedly at the age of 43. In honor of the great Reggie White, three football teams retired Reggie’s number in 2005. On September 18, 2005 in a halftime presentation at Lambeau Field, Reggie became only the fifth Green Bay Packer to have his number (92) retired by the legendary franchise.

Then on October 1, 2005 at halftime of the Tennessee vs. Mississippi game, Reggie’s (92) jersey was retired by the University of Tennessee. Lastly on December 5, 2005, the Philadelphia Eagles retired Reggie’s (92) jersey in a halftime ceremony during the Eagles' Monday Night Football game vs. the Seattle Seahawks. The coach of the Seahawks was none other than Mike Holmgren who was Reggie’s coach while he played with the Green Bay Packers.

Reggie was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 4, 2006 and was enshrined in Canton, Ohio on August 5, 2006 - a fitting end to one of footballs greatest pass rushers of all time.

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