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Cecil's greatest hits

Former Packer Pro Bowl safety Chuck Cecil was truly one of the NFL's toughest players during his career. His bone-crunching hits often drew "ooohs" and "ahhhs" from his fans, but also drew attention in the way of fines and criticism from the NFL. Here is a list, in chronological order, of five hits which drew such attention:<p>

1. Stanley Morgan, New England Patriots, Oct. 9, 1988: Cecil was just a rookie, but already beginning to make a name for himself. Morgan found out who he was the hard way. On an overthrown pass intercepted by Ron Pitts, Cecil nailed Morgan, the intended receiver, under the chin with his helmet, sending the receiver to the ground motionless. An eerie hush hovered over Milwaukee County Stadium as Morgan lied unconscious for some 15 minutes. Cecil himself was visibly shaken by what he had done. So was Darryl Stingley, who watched from the sidelines. Stingley, a former Patriots receiver, was paralyzed himself from a hit. Morgan was taken off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, but eventually was okay.

2. Dave Meggett, New York Giants, Nov. 8, 1992: Sporting a bloody cut on the bridge of his nose, Cecil rocked Meggett on consecutive plays sending the diminutive back hard to the ground. On the first play, a run to the right, Cecil came out of nowhere to close on Meggett and take him clean off his feet. Then, on the very next play, Cecil again laid out Meggett – this time when Meggett was trying to catch a pass over the middle as the ball fell incomplete. After the game, Meggett was not impressed. He told reporters that he had gotten hit harder in the locker room fooling around with his teammates. Cecil's reply to whether Meggett said anything to him after the two hits was, "I don't think he could."

3. Jake Reed, Minnesota Vikings, Dec. 27, 1992: Cecil was fined $3,500 for hits on Reed and teammate Joe Johnson in the season finale, a loss which eliminated the Packers from advancing to the postseason. Said Reed afterward of Cecil's hit on him: "The one on me was definitely a cheap shot. It was at the end of the game, the ball was way overthrown, uncatchable. I was slowing down, and he hit me helmet first under the chin." Vikings players backed Reed's Tackle Tim Irwin called Cecil a "glamour boy" s backed Reed's comments. Tackle Tim Irwin called Cecil a "glamour boy" and also thought the hit was cheap.

4. Anthony Morgan, Chicago Bears, Aug. 14, 1993: In just Cecil's second game with the Cardinals, a preseason contest, Morgan was literally knocked into the next day. Running a quick slant, Morgan stretched out fully on a crossing pattern for a ball thrown high, only to be met by Cecil. Morgan spent four days with a concussion and did not remember anything until the day following the game.

5. Ron Middleton, Washington Redskins, Sept. 12, 1993: Perhaps the most controversial and public of Cecil's hits came against Middleton, a 280-pound tight end. Leading with his helmet, Cecil nearly decapitated Middleton sending the big tight end's helmet flying five yards after a pass across the middle. Middleton said his tongue was numb for minutes after the play, though the hit did not draw a penalty. Coaches, commentators, and even Middleton himself thought the hit was clean, but the NFL cracked down and fined Cecil $30,000 for unnecessary roughness with his helmet.


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