Hall of Fame LB Sam Huff dies at 87

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Sam Huff, who starred for the New York Giants and Washington Football Team as a linebacker from 1956-69, has died at the age of 87.

Huff had been diagnosed with dementia in 2013.

He was drafted in the third round out of West Virginia by the Giants. Huff played for New York from 1956-63. Part of his Big Blue story is he coach Jim Lee Howell could not come up with a position for him as a rookie and Huff was discouraged enough to leave camp.

He was stopped at the airport by assistant coach Vince Lombardi, who coaxed him back to camp.

In his rookie season, the Giants won the NFL championship and Huff became the first rookie middle linebacker to start an NFL championship game.

Huff played in four consecutive Pro Bowls with the Giants from 1959 through 1963. He was named MVP of the 1961 Pro Bowl.

He was the first NFL player to be featured on the cover of Time magazine

Per his Wikipedia page:

Huff joined the Redskins in 1964 and they agreed to pay him $30,000 in salary and $5,000 for scouting, compared to the $19,000 he would have made another year with New York. The impact Huff had was almost immediate and the Redskins’ defense was ranked second in the NFL in 1965.

After an ankle injury in 1967 ended his streak of 150 straight games played Huff retired in 1968.

Lombardi talked Huff out of retirement in 1969 when he was named Washington’s head coach. … Huff then retired for good after 14 seasons and 30 career interceptions. He spent one season coaching the Washington linebackers in 1970.

He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

He had been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

After retiring, Huff spent three seasons as a color commentator for the Giants radio team and then moved on in the same capacity for the Washington Radio Network, where he remained until his retirement at the end of the 2012 season,