New York Giants: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Eli Manning, New York Giants. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Eli Manning, New York Giants. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images /
24 of 31

31. . Inside Linebacker. 1956-63. Sam Huff. 8. player

Considered one of the hardest hitters of his era, Sam Huff was a man among boys when he took the field. Although his time with the Giants ended on a rather sour note that left the linebacker bitter, his eight seasons with the club were well spent.

During that time, he would make four Pro Bowl rosters, while also being selected to six All-Pro squads. He won a championship with the Giants in 1956, and played a huge role in a couple of other trips to the championship game, including what came to be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”

Here’s the real kicker: Tom Landry invented the 4-3 defense due in large part to Huff’s presence on the roster. Unable to find a good positional fit for Huff after the Giants made him a third-round pick, Landry came up with the new scheme to accommodate his unique skill set. The rest, as they say, is history.

Unfortunately, Huff was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1964. It was an anticlimactic end to his time with Big Blue, and one that Huff seemingly was never able to look past. Despite that, we can’t ignore the fact that he was one of the game’s very best during those nine seasons.