Football Hall of Fame Claude Humphrey dies at age 77 | WGN Radio 720

Atlanta (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Famark Road Humphrey, one of the NFL’s scariest pass slashers in the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s, died at the age of 77.

Humphrey, who arrived at the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles, died suddenly in Atlanta on Friday night, according to the Hall of Fame when his daughter informed him of his death. The cause is not shown.

Humphrey won the final six-time Pro Bowl appearance in 1977 as a member of the famous “Grit’s Blitz” defense, with the Falcons ranked third overall from Tennessee State University in 1968, playing for 11 years with the team. Did.

He moved to the Eagles in 1979 and was the designated pass rusher for the 1980 team that reached the Super Bowl.

Humphrey retired after the 1981 season, before Sack became official statistics, but 130 sack was credited in 13 seasons (missing the entire 1975 season when he recovered from a knee injury).

Humphrey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

“The whole family in the Pro Football Hall of Fame mourns the death of Claude Humphrey,” said Hall of Fame President Jim Porter. “Known as a diligent and credible teammate, Humphrey always wanted to help his team where he needed it, and knew that success had been achieved collectively. His humble spirit. Led him in and out of the field. “

Porter added that the flag of the Hall of Fame outside the museum in Canton, Ohio would be half-masted in honor of Humphrey.

Humphrey played for a team that lost many of his careers in Atlanta. This may have contributed to the 33-year wait before he was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He certainly raised a hole-worthy number as a dynamic edge rusher who had a double-digit sack nine times in his career. Humphrey also had two pass cuts, fumble recovery for touchdown and two safety.

At the 1958 NFL Defensive Blue Key of the Year, he won the first team Allpro honor five times.

In 1977, Humphrey was a key defensive player who scored only 129 points. This is the smallest NFL ever in a 14-game season. However, the team struggled aggressively, missed the playoffs and finished in just 7-7.

“He was a great athlete,” said Greg Brezina, a longtime Falcons linebacker who joined the team in the same year as Humphrey. “One of his greatest strengths was his winning stance. He’s a team player and, of course, he’s probably one of the best defensive ends out there. A team that didn’t win much. It’s a shame he played for a long time. He wasn’t recognized. “

After Deion Sanders was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Humphrey, the Falcons’ second player, claimed to have even more sack than he was admitted.

“Before they started keeping records of bags, man, I had the bags on the left and right,” he said. “I didn’t really care about getting a bag. At the time, the bag was just an effort. It was all the same in running play to tackle quarterbacks and ball carriers. “

Humphrey temporarily retired after four games in 1978 — missed his only chance in the playoffs with the Falcons. He came back with the Eagles and finally reached the Super Bowl when he had a 14 1/2 sack in the 1980 season.

The favored Eagles lost to Raiders 27-10, but Humphrey had the chance to play in the long-awaited biggest match after spending many defeat seasons in Atlanta.

“That was the most exciting thing that could have happened to me so far,” he said in a 2014 interview. “I went to Philadelphia, joined the winning team and experienced what I had experienced at Tennessee State University. We were (HBCU) National Champions for the second year in a row.”

The Falcons had only two winning seasons before Humphrey left before his first playoffs.

“In Atlanta, I wasn’t used to losing,” Humphrey said. “That made me harder. I used to tell myself.” If you lose the game, the guys in front of you won’t get excited. When he watches a movie, he himself You won’t like what you see about yourself. I’ll go there and try to wear him down. “That was the only thing that motivated me. “

Humphrey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, 2005 and 2006, but was unable to attend each time. He was finally elected as a senior candidate in February 2014.

Before the entrance ceremony, he said, “I’m glad it took so long, but I’m glad I entered when I smelled the flowers.”


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Football Hall of Fame Claude Humphrey dies at age 77 | WGN Radio 720

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