By John Turney
What do four Hall of Fame defensive ends have in common? Other than being great defensive ends?
They were poor left tackles—
Gino Marchetti (upper left) played left tackle his second season in the NFL. He credits that as helping him become a better defensive end when he returned full-time to d-end in 1954. He said he learned what was hard to block and then he replicated that. He did play some defensive end in 1953 as well, but mostly he was an offensive tackle.
Willie Davis (upper right) played both tackles in 1959 after being a defensive end his rookie season (same pattern as Marchetti). Injuries to Lou Griza and Mike McCormack (both Hall of Famers themselves) put Davis in a position to fill in at left and right tackle.
On the lower left is Deacon Jones. He began his career as a left tackle. It lasted about a half. He was benched and didn't play the second half. He did play some more in the next couple of weeks at tackle but was quickly moved to defensive end and the rest is, as they say, history.
The lower right is a shot of Elvin Bethea who played left tackle in the preseason and perhaps some regular-season but he did play guard in the regular season before being moved to defensive end late in his rookie year of 1968 where his career took off.