larry wilson broken hands

He also coached three games for the Big Red after Bud Wilkinson was fired at the end of the 1979 season. “I was sure I was going to be cut as soon as the team returned to training camp.”. It might have been the best money Bidwill ever spent. Larry had broken both of his hands on two separate plays against the New York Giants. history. This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Larry Wilson, lifetime Cardinals icon and an NFL all-time great, dies at age 82, Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Political differences: How to stay civil post-election, Chipotle struggles with staffing as coronavirus cases rise. Throughout his 12-year career, Wilson racked up 52 interceptions, five of them being worth six points. When the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988, Wilson became vice president and general manager, positions he held until 1993. With the Bears closing in, Wilson then picked off another Bukich pass and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown. If something was wrong, I’d just take them into the place they repaired them, and they fixed me up.”. He also recovered 14 fumbles. At the time, safeties and cornerbacks typically lined up against wide receivers or deep in the backfield. The New York press was buzzing and Wildcat Wilson was on his way to becoming a star. Larry Wilson, the Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinals defensive back who helped transform the position of safety into that of a more aggressive, blitzing defender, died on Thursday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Wilson, who played halfback and cornerback at the University of Utah, was converted into a free safety. The Cardinals never made the playoffs while Wilson was with the club.

He was a guy who played all over (the defense) so I kind of watched what he did. I didn’t have to go to the dentist. Larry Wilson intercepts a Bill Nelson pass while playing with two broken hands in 1965. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 40 years, as well as daughter Christie, son Larry, Jr. and numerous grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In 1973, a year after he retired, friends wanted to erect a statue of Wilson in St. Louis. Larry played his last game on a frozen Busch Stadium turf on December 17, 1972 against the Philadelphia Eagles. “I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” he said after the game. ( Log Out /  He started nearly every one of the 169 games in which he played over 13 seasons. But in true Larry Wilson fashion, he finished the game. He is a member of the 1960s All Decade Team and is still the organization’s all-time leader with 52 interceptions. He stood 6’0″ and weighed no more than 190 pounds.

He broke the state high jump record and was a very good baseball and basketball player. With the Bears again threatening in the closing minutes, he picked off another Bukich pass to seal the 24-17 victory. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's statement echoed the same sentiment. Wilson was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 7th round after the 1959 season. Wilson’s best college game came his senior year when he scored a team record five touchdowns in a 54-6 win over Arizona. “Did you see the way the offense played?”. He still has more interceptions than anyone who has ever played for the Cardinals after retiring almost 50 years ago. The Cardinals offered no bonus, but a $9500 salary that was contingent on him making the team. Larry Wilson, lifetime Cardinals icon and an NFL all-time great, dies at age 82. A week later, with both hands in casts and wrapped in bandages, Larry was back in action against the Steelers. Chuck Drulis had been tinkering with a safety blitz and he felt he finally had the right guy for it to succeed. Money was raised, but Wilson said he’d prefer that it be spent on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “He was someone who truly lived his faith and demonstrated it daily in the kindness he showed every single person he met. He served as interim head coach for the final three games of the 1979 season. He hit offensive players with ferocity and fearlessness, and in the process helped revolutionize the game. These stories had to be coaxed out of Wilson, because didn’t enjoy talking about himself. That pretty much sums up Larry Wilson. Wilson had broken the middle fingers on each hand in a previous game during the 1965 season. The little legend became a big legend in 1965. He started 11 of 12 games at free safety, picked off two passes and returned some punts and kickoffs. Rookies were often taken aback when they saw Wilson without his false teeth. “I came awful close to signing with Buffalo,” Wilson told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. ( Log Out / 

He was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals, played for the St. Louis Cardinals, and was General Manager of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards scored on the next play and won the game 21-17. I seriously wish I could the find the photo I had taken with Larry at training camp…and I want to thank him for including that little Snoopy Football trophy I gave him “just because’ with the other important trophies he received. Wilson spent his entire career, both as a player and administrator, with the Cardinals. In Wilson, Drulis found a player quick and agile enough to pull off the play. It didn’t take Cardinals coaches long to figure out they had a weapon in Wilson. They moved me to safety, and then things started rolling in the right direction.”.

We have a lot of great ball players on this team. “His competitiveness was his strength, and he had a feel for the game.”, In a statement released by the Cardinals, Nancy Wilson said: “Larry Wilson was the kindest, most humble person that I will ever know. “They put casts on up to my elbows and put this little wire … Wilson said his greatest memory with the club was the groundbreaking for the team’s stadium in Glendale, which happened one day after he told the club he would retire. Change ).

Drulis called it the “Wildcat” and it would change NFL defenses forever. Steelers head coach Buddy Parker put together film clips of Wilson and told his players “That’s the way to play defense – the way this man does it.”, Wilson was not a big man by pro football standards. I wanted to show him how much I think of him. The way I think about the Bears, even though I wasn’t with the Cardinals in their Chicago years, is that the Bears are always among the best teams in the league.”, “He’s unreal,” Jim Bakken said after the game. 8, in action against the Cleveland Browns in an undated photo. Wilson said his wife Nancy would roll her eyes and wonder if the next version would have Wilson playing in a body cast. “I just knew Larry Wilson was going to get an interception,” Bill Nelson said.

Support local journalism. He returned the interception for a touchdown, helping the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-17. “When someone gets in a good lick, we all laugh, but it really isn’t amusing.”. I will remember Larry Wilson first as a fantastic person but then obviously as one of the greatest players the National Football League has ever seen.". He finished his career, which spanned 169 games with the Cardinals, with 52 interceptions and had 800 career interception yards and the single-game record for interception return yardage (152) and the long interception return (96). “Was I up for this one?” the smiling Wilson told the Post Dispatch after the game. Remember last year when he played with two broken hands?”. Utah head coach Ray Nagel called Larry one of Utah’s all-time greats. Larry Frank Wilson played the game with sheer determination, guts, and maximum effort.

He led the Skyline Conference in scoring in 1959 and earned an invitation to the East-West Shrine game.

Larry Wilson in 1966. After retiring as a player, he was an executive with the team for three decades. He once played a game with casts on both hands and intercepted a pass. Wilson spent his entire working life with the Cardinals, starting in 1959, when he was drafted in the seventh round by the team, which moved from Chicago to St. Louis the next year. I almost cried when he was hurt and the fans started chanting ‘Wilson Wilson, Wilson.’ It was really moving.”, Wilson’s teammate Bob Rowe, who played a strong game on defense, agreed with Arneson and added, “It may sound corny, but I personally dedicated this game to Larry. Let’s not blow smoke, Larry Wilson’s not cutting it anymore.”. Only 6-feet and 190 pounds, Wilson was fearless and tough. Bill Bidwill hosted a retirement party for Wilson in St. Louis in 2003. In 1966, he led the league with 10 interceptions and set a team record by intercepting a pass in seven consecutive games, the second-longest streak in N.F.L. “If I’d known you were this small,” Tittle told him, “I’d never have been that scared of you.”. His first interception came at Yankee Stadium in the Cards 24-17 victory over the New York Giants. “He always has played like that.

He sacked Conerly three more times a few weeks later in St. Louis. In the third quarter he picked off another pass which led to a Cardinals touchdown. As durable as any player in the league, Wilson started nearly every one of the 169 games in which he played over 13 seasons. He matched an NFL record by intercepting passes in seven consecutive games including a spectacular one-handed grab that he returned 91 yards for a touchdown against the Eagles at Franklin Field. Larry “Wildcat” Wilson is known as Mr. Cardinal. Offenses had no trouble blocking Cardinals linebackers when they blitzed, so an assistant coach named Chuck Drulis decided to start blitzing Wilson, a free safety. Wilson sacked quarterback Charlie Conerly twice, forcing a fumble, and disrupting a number of pass plays in the Cards 21-10 upset victory. The first one led to the Cards second touchdown. Wilson's memorabilia has not gone unnoticed either. “This city has been wonderful to me and I owe it a lot,” Wilson once told the Post Dispatch.” Visiting some of these kids is the least I can do.”. Larry Wilson Death / Obituary – A great American football, Larry Wilson was pronounced dead on September 18, 2020, leaving loved ones in great sadness.. St. Louis Cardinals of National Football League player, Larry Wilson passed away at the age of 82 causing so much heartbreak and agony to the beloved family. Any of us lucky enough to be in his orbit — whether that was for a few minutes or four decades — was always better off from the experience. Wilson intercepted a pass in a game in 1965 with casts on both hands to protect broken fingers. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! On offense, he was both a receiving and running threat out of the backfield. I think that’s the greatest thing — getting some place that you can call your own, finally.”. Wilson happened to be standing next to Jim Brown, one of the most fearsome running backs ever. I am very glad to have been with him and enjoyed his great career!!!! “Back then, if you could run, you could play, and I wasn’t running on my hands.”. “We’ve always dressed in a baseball locker room, or somebody else’s locker room. Lawrence Frank Wilson was born on March 24, 1938, in Rigby, Idaho. He was one of six safeties named to the N.F.L.’s all-time team, chosen to honor the league’s 100th anniversary in 2019. He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Drew) Wilson; a daughter, Christie; a son, Larry Jr.; numerous grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. “You bet your life I was. Wilson finished the ’66 season with 10 interceptions and was named to his first of five successive All-Pro teams. Although only six feet tall and only 190 pounds, he was nevertheless considered one of the league’s toughest players. Larry Wilson on NFL Today | THE BIG RED ZONE, Big Red Tough Guy: Dan Dierdorf | THE BIG RED ZONE. Thinking that he would be released after the 49er game, Larry made arrangements for his wife, Dee Ann, to meet him and they’d drive back to Rigby where he planned to teach. Wilson had typical ups and downs his rookie season. Trailing 17-0 in the second quarter, Wilson intercepted a Frank Ryan pass and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown. No player wore Wilson’s jersey number, 8, after he retired from play in 1972, and he was added to the team’s Ring of Honor in 2006. Ferocious, intense, relentless on the field.

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