Carl Banks. With Antonio Pierce a very close second.
The 'other' outside linebacker on two Giants' Super Bowl championship teams. Banks was a great Giant from 1984-1992, spending most of that time lined up on the opposite side from the legendary Lawrence Taylor.
The Giants' first-round pick in 1984, Banks was a tremendous run-stopper -- often jamming the line of scrimmage and allowing Taylor to chase down unsuspecting ball carriers from behind. His best individual season was 1987, when he garnered All-Pro honors with 101 tackles and a career-best nine quarterback sacks.
In Super Bowl XXI against Denver, Banks recorded 14 tackles. He was a second-team selection on the 1980s All-Decade Team.
I can't slide out of this one without giving some props to AP. Pierce was the heart -- and brains -- of the Giants' defense from 2005 until a neck injury forced him to the sidelines midway through last season.
Never a great athlete, Pierce made up for his short-comings with desire, smarts and tremendous study habits. It remains to be seen how well the Giants replace him in 2010.
Other Notables Who Wore 58
- Michael Barrow was the Giants' middle linebacker from 2000-2003, and registered 112 tackles in his final season.
Jim Files was the Giants' No. 1 pick (13th overall) in1970, and started at middle linebacker for four seasons.