Bobby Dillon - The Greatest Interceptor?
He is often overlooked when discussions of great Green Bay Packers of the past take place. Perhaps it’s because he only played 8 seasons or perhaps it’s because he was unlucky enough to play on some, shall we say, less than great teams. Whatever the reason and whatever the discussion, one thing is true, Bobby Dillon sits atop the Packers list of all time interceptors with 52. As previously mentioned, he garnered those picks over just 8 seasons. Three times he had as many as 9 in a single season (1953, 1955 and 1957). Nearly 60 years after his retirement, Bobby is still tied for the single game NFL record for interceptions with 4.
But where does Bobby Dillon rank with the NFL’s all-time interceptors?
First of all, let’s list the all-time NFL top 10 (actually 11) interception list:
Bobby Dillon comes in at 26th on the all-time list. But a quick glance at the list above shows that none of the men on it played for less than 12 seasons – remember Bobby played in just 8. Indeed looking at all players who had 50 or more career interceptions only Bobby Dillon, Bobby Boyd (9) and Jack Butler (9) played fewer than 10 seasons.
It’s also worth remembering that prior to 1961, the NFL schedule was just over 12 games rather than the 14 and subsequent 16 that would follow – this is an obvious disadvantage to those players playing prior to 1961. So perhaps a fairer comparison would be to compare the number of interceptions made by each player per game played.
Re-Calculating the Top 10 based on interceptions per game
39 players in NFL history (up to the end of the 2017 season) have 50 or more interceptions in their career so this would seem to be a reasonable qualifying figure for inclusion in our new “all-time interceptors list” based on interceptions per game. This is how our new top 10 would look:
So, what does all of this prove? Well, interceptions are far from being the only true measure of the greatness of a defensive back - but it does show that when discussions of all-time great Green Bay Packers take place, Bobby Dillon’s name should come up very early in those discussions.
It also shows that Bobby Dillon has also earned the right to have his case heard for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame…..
I will talk in more detail about Bobby’s career in a future blog article – it is a remarkable story.
Find Peter on twitter here: @The_IT_Hedgehog