for display only
Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

Archived Thread

NGT: RIP to one of the great safetymen; HOF Larry Wilson

Defenderdawg : 9/18/2020 2:25 pm
Pro Football Journal: 52 interceptions
21 sacks
7 defensive TDs
1 safety
NFL All-Time team
NFL 75th Anniversary Team
NFL 59th Anniversary team (runner-up)
NFL 1960s All-Decade Team
6-time All-Pro

Turney PFJ: RIP Larry Wilson

This article talks about Wilson with several references to the Giants:

“ Wilson had typical ups and downs his rookie season. He started 11 of 12 games at free safety, picked off two passes and returned some punts and kickoffs. His first interception came at Yankee Stadium in the Cards 24-17 victory over the New York Giants...

He would make his mark his sophomore season. Chuck Drulis had been tinkering with a safety blitz and he felt he finally had the right guy for it to succeed. The safety blitz involved a defensive back bursting through the line just as the ball was snapped in a frantic attempt to sack the quarterback. Drulis called it the “Wildcat” and it would change NFL defenses forever.

The Big Red unleashed “Wildcat” in the 1961 season opener against the Giants at Yankee Stadum. Wilson sacked quarterback Charlie Conerly twice, forcing a fumble, and disrupting a number of pass plays in the Cards 21-10 upset victory. He sacked Conerly three more times a few weeks later in St. Louis. The New York press was buzzing and Wildcat Wilson was on his way to becoming a star...

Wilson was not a big man by pro football standards. He stood 6’0″ and weighed no more than 190 pounds. When Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle looked Larry over at the Pro Bowl he said, “Good God, if I’d known you were that small, I wouldn’t have been so scared of you.”

“The little legend became a big legend in 1965. Many fans still ask, “Did Larry Wilson really intercept a pass with two broken hands?” The answer is yes.

Larry had broken both of his hands on two separate plays against the New York Giants. A week later, with both hands in casts and wrapped in bandages, Larry was back in action against the Steelers. It was November 7, 1965 at old Busch Stadium. Larry intercepted a Bill Nelson pass against his chest, cradled the ball in his broken hands, and returned the ball inside the Steelers 5 yard line. The Cards scored on the next play and won the game 21-17.”

Wilson was a tremendous player  
Section331 : 9/18/2020 2:26 pm : link
who had the misfortune of playing some pretty bad teams. RIP.
The Cardinals were testimony to how good you had to be  
Defenderdawg : 9/18/2020 2:40 pm : link
to win your conference:

They had at times good to erratic QB with Charlie Johnson and a young Jim Hart...Johnson would have a career revival in Denver.

Nice group of RB’s Johnny Roland, Ernie Shivers, Willis Crenshaw, McArthur Lane...

Good receivers Sonny Randle, Bobby Joe Conrad, Jackie Smith, Dave Williams

Talented OL like Ernie McMillan, Ken Gray, Bob DeMarco

And quality DB’s like Wilson, Jerry Stovall and Roger Wehrli

ST’s like Jim Bakken and Chuck Lauterrette

But DL/LB lacked talent...

1960 6-5-1
1961 7-7
1962 4-9-1
1963 9-5
1964 9-3-2
1965 5-9
1966 8-5-1
1967 6-7-1
1968 9-4-1
1969 4-9-1
1970 8-5-1

Without a wildcard they couldn’t break through...
The best overall S in my lifetime. and that’s saying a lot.  
Big Blue '56 : 9/18/2020 2:42 pm : link
MOOPS : 9/18/2020 2:55 pm : link
They also had Pat Fischer at CB for most of the 60s.
That is a eye-popping set of stats/awards/achievements  
LBH15 : 9/18/2020 2:55 pm : link
Best tackler I've seen in 62 years of watching pro football ...  
Manny in CA : 9/18/2020 3:01 pm : link

He would face runners (no matter how big they were) head-on, then pick them up and throw them down as rodeo cowboys pick up calfs to rope tie them.

AcidTest : 9/18/2020 3:02 pm : link
all time great player. What an incredible career. RIP. God bless. Prayers to his family and friends.
RIP Larry  
RetroJint : 9/18/2020 3:03 pm : link
& now he rejoins Spider in heaven , taking turns timing safety blitzes . I have recollections of games between the Cards & Giants when it seemed that 8 & 43 were like dueling banjos , trying to see who could outdo the other with a perfect blitz .

The Giants ordinarily got the best of Charley Johnson & Buddy Humphries , but Jim Hart , Air Coryell and an excellent offensive line turned the tables for awhile . That was Dan Dierdorf , first at tackle , then Center if a recall correctly . Bob Young , initially from Denver , Ernie McMillan , Conrad Dobler , the self -proclaimed all-time dirty & Bob Demarco .

Games were fun . Wilson was excellent , an accomplished ballhawk as well .
Forgot about Fischer  
Defenderdawg : 9/18/2020 3:11 pm : link
Should also add

WR Billy Gambrell
OG Irv Goode
MLB Dale Meinert
OLB Larry Stallings

They had a few DL that received some recognition like Sam Silas, Chuck Walker, Bob Rowe, Joe Robb...

I hate to compare East and West because the East was considered weaker due to Philly; Pittsburgh; and Washington being mostly horrendous during the 60’s...but the 49ers were another team that in the late 60’s that had a few great players, some good players but couldn’t break through...with GB, BLT and LA with George Allen; winning that conference was brutal.
He was the best I have ever seen. He took no prisoners as the  
carpoon : 9/18/2020 3:22 pm : link
old saying goes.
Larry Wilson  
dune69 : 9/18/2020 3:46 pm : link
played without fear. He was always near the ball and caused the Giants fits. Great tackler.
I was lucky to see him play at Yankee Stadium  
arniefez : 9/18/2020 4:24 pm : link
quite a few times.


The Cardinals were in the Giants division for a long time. He was their Spider Lockhart but even better. They also had Roger Wehrli at the end of Wilson's career. He was excellent too.
one of my alltime favorites growing up..  
BCD : 9/18/2020 4:30 pm : link
top 5 for me all time easy.
The man was a football player.  
Giant John : 9/18/2020 6:38 pm : link
A good one. We are losing too many to quickly.
larry wilson  
hankb1126 : 9/19/2020 9:21 am : link
i met larry wilson on a plane ride when he was the cards gm and we talked football on the whole ride he was in canton for hall of fame game it was very informative at the time
I’m surprised he lived to 82  
HomerJones45 : 9/19/2020 2:26 pm : link
With the way he played. Just flat out all the time. A demon. Great, great player. RIP #8
I saw him play once at Yankee stadium  
Fritz : 9/20/2020 7:45 am : link
and it was his last season and the last Giant game I saw there. The Giants won the game and Spider had a pick six that ended up being the winning score.
Back to the Corner