Detroit Lions Top 50: #19-15 with VIDEO

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Chris Spielman, LB, 1988-1995

Statistically speaking, Chris Spielman may be the best linebacker in Detroit Lions history.

He leads the franchise by a wide margin in career tackles with 1,138 (Bennie Blades is second with 815), as well as in single-season tackles with 195. He flew around from the center point of the Lions defense for eight years, making four Pro Bowls in that time frame.

Spielman played eight seasons with the Lions (1988–95), and was a defensive stalwart during the team’s run to four playoff appearances, two NFC Central titles, and a berth in the 1991 NFC Championship Game.

He captained the Lions defense that was one of the best statistically in the NFL in the mid-1990s. Spielman is Detroit’s all-time leader in career tackles with 1,138 (since the team began recording tackles statistically in 1973.)

He also recorded 10 sacks, four interceptions, 30 pass defenses, 13 forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries during his Lions’ career. He was the first Lion to lead the team in tackles seven consecutive seasons since 1973, including the team’s highest single-season tally of 195 tackles in 1994.

In 1995, he joined Lawrence Taylor‘s all pro team at Wrestlemania XI and had a feud with Tatanka.

He chose to miss the 1998 season to assist his wife battling cancer.

He returned to the NFL in the 1999 season, with the Cleveland Browns. He retired before the regular season began, after suffering another neck injury.