Banks a Giant from the Past

Talk of Fame Network

The New York Giants have three Hall of Fame defenders to show for their four Lombardi Trophies.

Readers of the Talk of Fame Network believe there should be a fourth -- linebacker Carl Banks.

On the heels of Michael Strahan’s induction, we presented our readers with four Giants from the past and asked which one should be next up for Canton: Banks, cornerback Erich Barnes, quarterback Charlie Conerly or wide receiver Del Shofner.

Banks received 45 percent of the vote, followed by Shofner at 33 percent, Conerly at 14 percent and Barnes at 7 percent.

Banks was the strongside linebacker on New York teams that won Super Bowls in 1987 and 1991. The Giants finished second in the NFL in defense both of those seasons and led the league in run defense in 1986.

Run defense was Banks’ domain. Lawrence Taylor provided the pass rush from the weakside and Banks stood up runners and manhandled tight ends on the strongside.

Our Rick Gosselin agreed with the voters.

“When you talk about the greatest tandems of outside backers in the game’s history, Banks and Taylor are in the discussion,” Gosselin said. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better pair.”

Banks was an NFL all-decade selection for the 1980s but has never been a Hall of Fame finalist. Two other linebackers from the New York defense of that era are enshrined -- Taylor and Harry Carson -- but no sign of Banks.

Shofner also was an all-decade selection in the 1960s who has never been a finalist. He got the vote of Talk of Fame Network host Clark Judge.

“Shofner was one of the game’s first deep threats,” Judge said. “He averaged 18.5 yards per catch and was the first receiver to produce three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.”

Our Ron Borges gave his vote to Conerly.

“He quarterbacked the Giants to three NFL title games in four years, winning the NFL championship in 1956 and being named the league's MVP in 1959,” Borges said. “And let's not forget the dude was the original Marlboro Man.”