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Giants By The Numbers: 52 Is For ...


Pepper Johnson.

A formidable inside linebacker and a member of the Giants' Super Bowl-winning teams in 1986 and 1990. Johnson was just a rookie in 1986. In 1990, though, he had his best professional season with 115 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forces fumbles and an interception. He was named All-Pro.

After leaving New York, Johnson played for the Browns, Lions and Jets in a distinguished 13-year career. He is now defensive line coach in New England, and some thought he would be considered for the Giants' defensive coordinator job prior to the hiring of Perry Fewell.

Johnson made nearly 1,200 tackles in his NFL career. Of those 579 were unassisted tackles made during his seven seasons with the Giants.

Other Notables Who Wore 52
  • John Cannady is an old-time player I had never heard of. A quick look at his Pro Football Reference page, though, and I'm thinking some of the old-timers around here might argue Cannady deserves this number just as much as Johnson. Cannady was a Giants from 1947-54. A center for his first three seasons, he moved to outside linebacker for his final five professional seasons. He made the Pro Bowl as a linebacker in 1950, his first season at the position, and again in 1952.
  • Bob Schmidt wore 52 in 1959 and 1960. He then went to the Chicago Bears and became a three-time All-Pro offensive lineman.