SI Vault
Tex Maule
November 30, 1964
Alex Karras (see cover), who earns his livelihood as a defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, stands 6 feet 2 and weighs 250 pounds. He is a giant by any standards other than pro football's. He is, however, a runt among pro football tackles, many of whom weigh 25 to 30 pounds more and are an inch or two taller. But Karras is enormously strong for his sizeā€”he has the arms and chest and shoulders of a 300-pounder. Even so, he must use guile rather than weight to carry out a defensive tackle's job: rushing the quarterback. Merlin Olsen of the Los Angeles Rams, being abundantly equipped with size, strength and 275 pounds, plays the same position differently. And Henry Jordan, long the key man in the great Packer defensive line, has still another approach. The pictures on these pages and the story that follows define the job and discuss the problems that beset both the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians of pro football's defensive tackles.
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November 30, 1964

A Gigantic Midget Among Giant Men

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"Sure," he said. "I'm just tired. You get tired out there chasing 'em, Coach."

"As long as you dent the cup, it's worth it," someone else said, and Jordan nodded. Olsen and Karras would have agreed.

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