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Giants By The Numbers: 81 Is For ...

Andy Robustelli.

I am sure the younger New York Giants' fans among you were expecting to read the name Amani Toomer for this spot. This one really is a no-brainer, though.

A seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro during a 14-year career as a defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams and the Giants, Robustelli was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. Robustelli was a Giant from 1956-64 after beginning his career with the Rams. During that time the Giants won six conference championships and one NFL title.

From Robustelli's Hall of Fame bio.

History will record that Andy became one of the finest defensive ends in pro football history, playing five years with the Rams and then nine years with the New York Giants. He was a regular for the Rams’ 1951 championship team, and the one game he missed that season was the only one he missed in 14 NFL seasons.

After five outstanding seasons in Los Angeles, the Rams dealt him to the Giants for a first-round draft pick. Andy performed even better in New York, and is credited with molding together the 1956 Giants team that won the NFL championship.

A natural leader as well as an outstanding player, Robustelli was a big factor in the Giants on-field success. He stayed with the New York team for nine seasons, the last three as a player-coach. Robustelli was not big for a modern-day defensive end, weighing only 230 pounds, but was clearly one of the finest pass rushers the game has seen.

He was named All-Pro seven times and was named to the Pro Bowl seven times. In 1962 the Maxwell Club selected Robustelli as the NFL’s outstanding player, an honor that up until then was generally reserved for an offensive player. The honor was indicative of the high regard that fans, teammates and opponents all held for the future Hall of Fame defensive end.

Here is a quote from Giants coach Allie Sherman about Robustelli. It was included in Lew Freedman's 'New York Giants: The Complete Illustrated History.'

"Watch Andy on the field and you'll be studying a real master," Sherman said. "Terrific speed of mind, hands and foot make him the best."

Toomer deserves plenty of 'kudos' here, as well. He is the leading receiver in team history, and still holds many franchise records. Surprisngly, Toomer was never selected to the Pro Bowl.