Is Anthony Munoz the greatest offensive-lineman in NFL history?
It has been a while since I have written an article but I'm back & it feels great! I'm going to return with an article about former Cincinnati Bengals offensive-tackle (OT), Anthony Munoz! Now if you look at Munoz's accolades (11-time NFL Pro-Bowler, 9-time All-Pro selection, 3-time Offensive-Lineman of the year, Member of the 1998 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, etc.) you can see there is no doubt that he was a great player. Lets take a look at why Mr. Anthony Munoz MIGHT just be the best offensive-lineman to suit up in the NFL.
Anthony Munoz was drafted with the 3rd overall pick in the 1980 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Coming out of University of Southern California Munoz was a great athlete. He was a pitcher for the 1978 national championship team as the USC Trojans defeated the Arizona State Devils. Believe it or not, Munoz and the USC Trojans football team also made it to the national championship game and defeated Notre Dame 27-25. Now obviously those were some really good teams because as we know it's impossible to win anything with just 1 person. You need a "team" and USC has a nice history on having those "teams".
Munoz only played 16 total football games in his collegiate career due to injuries. So many people ask "why did the Bengals draft Anthony Munoz??" And it wasn't a terrible question being asked because many of us fans would be confused if our team drafted somebody that is injury-prone in the first round. But I don't think anybody expected Munoz to explode on the scene as he did. Right away the 6'6, 278 pound OT started for the Cincinnati Bengals and that was when something special evolved. Of the 185 total games that Munoz played in, he started 182 of them. Each week #78 Munoz was ready to go and it was going to be a battle for whoever had to line up in front of him. When you watch him play you can tell he gave it his all even if he wasn't healthy. He would do anything it would take to make sure his quarterback was up throwing the ball.
Many think that in order to be a "great" player you need to win a championship and as I stated earlier Munoz won a couple of championships in college but never won a super bowl. Although he did appear in both Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XXIII the Bengals fell short both times against the San Francisco 49ers. Being a great player in any sport doesn't just take talent but it also takes heart and leadership. Those were all traits that Anthony Munoz showed in his successful 13 year NFL career. "There has never been a lineman as great as Anthony Munoz and I doubt we will see his equal again." Former Bengals o-line coach Jim McNally said. Sure he can just be saying that because he coached Munoz and he is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but I don't think that's the case. The way he played and respects the game of football like he does is great. Now back to the question... Is Anthony Munoz the greatest offensive-lineman of all time? It is a hard question to answer when you look at some of the greats, such as Bruce Matthews, John Hannah, Randall McDaniel, and a few others but in MY opinion, he is not. I would have to give that to former NFL center Bruce Matthews. Now is Munoz the best offensive tackle? Yes, I believe he is for many of the reasons I explained previously. What is Anthony doing now-a-days? He has been giving back to the community for sometime now and has his own foundation called The Anthony Munoz Foundation and it's amazing what they are doing to help give back to the community.