John Brockington
John Brockington was born on September 7, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. Brockington attended college at Ohio State University. During his senior season, he set an Ohio State rushing record by running for 1142 yards. Brockington was selected to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team in 2000.

John Brockington #42

Player Info

Height 6' 1"
Weight 225 lbs
DOB: 9/7/1948
Running Back


NFL Draft

1971/Round 1/Pick 9

Career Highlights

Pro Bowl 1971, 1972, 1973
Honors 1971 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

Team(s) As A Player

Green Bay Packers 1971-1977
Kansas City Chiefs 1977

Brockington was a rare talent, a big powerful fullback with great speed and quickness. Perhaps this is why he was selected with pick 9 in round one of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Brockington Starts With a Boom

During the 1971 season, the rookie fullback Brockington took the NFL by storm. For the season he carried the rock 216 times for 1105 rushing yards, an outstanding 5.1 yards per carry, and scored four rushing touchdowns. He sported 30 carries for 142 yards and a touchdown against the rival Chicago Bears on November 7, 1971 on his way to the NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

After his rookie campaign, running mate Donny Anderson was traded to St. Louis for MacArthur Lane. Lane was a talented and tough halfback whom the Packers picked up in a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1972 season. It was that acquisition that gave the Packers the best backfield in the National Football Conference.

Over the next two seasons, Brockington became the first running back in NFL history to start his career with three 1000-yard seasons. After a solid 1974 season, MacArthur Lane was traded away. “I enjoyed watching him run. That was part of my job,” Lane said of his primary role as a blocker for Brockington. “He had a fantastic running style. It was all out, just gangbusters. He could run over you, around you, through you. It didn't make any difference.” (1)

Brockington’s Demise

Over the final three seasons of John Brockington’s career, his production fell way off. Many in the media thought it was from the pounding he took during his first four seasons. Some thought he lost the desire to play the game. “Things went to hell in a hand basket after 1974,” said Brockington. “They traded MacArthur Lane and got rid of my favorite play.” (2)

After rushing for an NFL-rookie record 1,105 yards in 1971, Brockington followed Lane through gaping holes, running for 1,027 and 1,144 yards the next two seasons. Many of them came on 36 Slant, a weak-side play in which Lane would line up to Brockington's right and lead him off right tackle. "The tackle would take out the defensive end and Mac would go after the linebacker," Brockington said. "Once I got to the hole I went either to the inside or the outside." By the time he hit the hole, Brockington was at full speed, which allowed him to bowl over any approaching defenders. (2)

This all started after Head Coach Dan Devine was fired and was replaced by their former great quarterback, Bart Starr. Starr had a different philosophy on offense and it did not include ‘36 Slant.’

John Brockington’s Career

Brockington finished his career with 1347 carries for 5185 yards, 3.8 yards per carry, scored 34 total touchdowns, and caught 157 passes for 1297 more yards. He also set a Pro Bowl record following the 1972 season when he scored 3 touchdowns. Brockington will be remembered as one of the greatest running backs in Green Bay Packers’ history.

By A. Goodin,
April 5, 2008

John Brockington Biography Sources:

(1) PACKERS FLASHBACK (2003, December 10) The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
(2) Brockington was `36 slant' Play made him famous Series: (1996, November 14) The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel