Bob Crable Notre Dame Linebacker

This is for Russell Lewis who is definitely not a Cincinnati Moeller High School fan. But, from my talks with Russell, he loves Ohio football.


In my forgettable football playing days I played Tight End, Wide Receiver and on defense I played Defensive End. I wanted to be a Free Safety and that was always my favorite position on defense. But, one of my best friends in life was our starting Middle Linebacker. The guy was a tad too short and too small, but he brought it on every play. He played with an intensity that I always admired making plays from sideline to sideline. Our other Linebacker did have the size and the speed to play college ball and signed with Arkansas. I don’t want to call the man dumb, but once when he was playing the common basketball game of H-O-R-S-E he started celebrating and thought he had won

when he got to S because he couldn’t spell the word. He played a season with the Hogs and then flunked out.  He was a pretty decent high school Linebacker and he had those crazy eyes.


Linebackers have those crazy eyes.

The Linebackers are commonly the top tacklers on the team and they have to read and react in an instant and make a play or their defense is going to give a big gainer.  I love watching great Linebackers in action.

When the name Bob Crable comes up, my mind thinks Linebacker, and good Linebacker, a really good Linebacker. Or, Notre Dame comes to mind. If you follow the game really closely, you might even think Cincinnati Moeller High School.

When Bob Crable went to Cincinnati Moeller they piled up a 36-0 record. He never lost a game while he was playing high school football. Very impressive.


At 6-3, 220-225 Bob Crable was wanted by everybody coming out of high school, but Moeller was mostly a Notre Dame feeder school and everyone pretty much took that for granted.


As I have written many times in this blog I have been watching college football for a really long time and in those years Bob Crable was one of the better Inside Linebackers I have ever seen. I am not saying he was the best of all time, but he was right there. I wasn’t around to see Dick Butkus at Illinois or Tommy Nobis at Texas, but I saw most everyone after that.


I remember Crable most for his text book tackles in perfect Linebacker form.


Crable was a freshman at Notre Dame in 1978 which was also the great Joe Montana’s senior season. He played in the famous Chicken Soup Game in the January 1st, 1979 Cotton Bowl. I wrote about that game here last year: Chicken Soup Game 

The Chicken Soup Game was one of the greatest come back games of all time, and a lot of that was due to heroics by Joe Montana. But, he was not the only one. Bob Crable recovered a Houston Cougar fumble that gave the Fighting Irish another shot.


Crable’s best season at Notre Dame was actually his sophomore season in 1979 when he set a record for most tackles in a season with 187.  That has been broken since, and supposedly Tom Cousineau of Ohio State had a remarkable 211 tackles in 1978.

That was not one of the better seasons in South Bend, but Crable was incredible and he had another national record of 26 tackles against the Clemson Tigers which is still tied with several other guys.

The NCAA really didn’t keep records back then but the Ohio State Buckeyes Chris Spielman had an unbelievable 29 tackles against Michigan in 1986.

Crable also still holds the Notre Dame career tackle record with 521 which he established during the 1978 through 1981 seasons.

He was a Consensus All American in 1980 and 1981.

Crable played 3 seasons at Notre Dame for Dan Devine and then his last season under his old high school coach, Gerry Faust.

Crable was a first round pick by the New York Jets in the 1982 NFL Draft.

He played 6 seasons for the Jets before injuries cut his career short.

Eventually returning to Cincinnati, he at one point became the head coach at his old high school, Cincinnati Moeller.


Bob Crable, Tom Cousineau, Chris Spielman, AJ Hawk, Woodrow Lowe, Ed Simonini, Mike Singletary, Marcus Marek, Dave Huffman, Michael Stonebreaker, Pat Fitzgerald, Mark Simoneau, Derrick Johnson, Michael Mauti, and Jack Del Rio have been some of my favorites to watch over the years. I am sure I left out a few and most of those guys were the Inside Linebackers in a 3-4, 5-2 defense or a Middle Linebacker in the 4-3 defense. Derrick Johnson was an Outside Linebacker but I watched him in high school and on up and he was one of the best and still is with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the NFL, there was no question that Mike Singletary was the best and he definitely had those crazy Linebacker eyes.

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