Former Lions LB Mike Lucci has passed away

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Longtime Detroit Lions linebacker Mike Lucci has passed away, the team announced on Tuesday. He was 81.

Lucci played for the Lions for nine of his 12 NFL seasons, starting in 1965 until his retirement in 173. He was one of the NFL’s leading pass defenders for his position during that time, intercepting 21 passes. Lucci earned a Pro Bowl berth after the 1971 season, a year where he returned two of his five interceptions for touchdowns.

Lucci also served on the Lions radio broadcast team in the late 1970s.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mike Lucci, whose passion for life was felt by all who knew him,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “Many will remember Mike for his toughness as a player during his nine seasons with the Lions, earning Pro Bowl honors in 1971 and being named the team’s defensive MVP three times.

His positive presence as a leader within our Lions Legends community made him a familiar face to all, and his willingness to give back will always be part of his great legacy. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his wife, Patricia, and the entire Lucci family.”

Our condolences and positive thoughts are with Lucci’s loved ones and his former Lions teammates.