May 14, 2014

MVP Profile: Reggie White, 1998

Defensive End, Green Bay Packers

Age: 37 (Dec. 19)
16th season in pro football, 14th in NFL & 6th with Packers
College: Tennessee
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 304

A consensus All-American and SEC Player of the Year as a senior in college (where he gained his nickname “The Minister of Defense”), White started his pro career in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats in 1984. In two seasons, he garnered 23.5 sacks and then left the ill-fated spring league for the Eagles, who had taken him in the first round of the ’84 NFL Supplemental draft. He joined Philadelphia early in the 1985 season and had 13 sacks in 13 games (between the spring USFL season and the fall NFL campaign, he played in a total of 31 contests in ‘85). Quickly establishing himself as a dominant player at his position, White had 18 sacks in 1986 and was a consensus first-team All-Pro and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. In ’87, he achieved NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors as he recorded 21 sacks, just missing the existing league record, and despite being limited to 12 games due to the players’ strike. White again led the NFL in sacks with 18 in 1988. He remained with the Eagles through 1992 and was a consensus first-team All-Pro selection for six straight years and was named to seven consecutive Pro Bowls. The leader of an outstanding defensive unit, White also became a vocal critic of the team’s front office and left to sign with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent in 1993. He went to five more Pro Bowls through 1997and was a consensus All-Pro choice in ’95 while receiving first- or second-team consideration on three other occasions. The Packers also won two NFC titles and the Super Bowl following the ’96 season.

1998 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 16 [2, 1st in NFC]
Most sacks, game – 3 vs. Tampa Bay 9/13, vs. San Francisco 11/1
Multi-sack games – 5
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 4
Tackles – 33
Assists – 13

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at San Francisco)
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 0
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Packers went 11-5 to finish second in the NFC Central and qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card. Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to San Francisco 49ers (30-27).

White retired for a year in 1999 but returned for one more season with the Carolina Panthers in 2000. He finished his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks at the time with 198 and reached double figures in 12 seasons. He was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection eight times (twice with the Packers) and was chosen to the Pro Bowl after 13 straight years (the last six with Green Bay). White’s #92 was retired by both the Eagles and Packers and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2006.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.