Dick Butkus Middle linebacker Set the standard of toughness for all middle linebackers

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Middle linebacker BOB BREUNIG (53) was very much in the same vein as the Denver Broncos' Randy Gradishar--a thinking man's middle linebacker who was fierce on the gridiron without playing dirty. Plus, they both had their teeth intact!! Here's Bob during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the L.A. Rams--December 28, 1980.

Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (58) wave United States and French flags to honor Paris terrorist attack victims before the game against the Houston Texans in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports

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Willie "Contact" Lanier was the first African American to start at Middle Linebacker.

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Lawrence Taylor - 13 NFL seasons believed by many to be the best middle linebacker of all time

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