Detroit Lions

My All Time Favorite Detroit Lions Players

Formed in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, the team known as the Lions put down roots in Detroit in 1934. Despite the failings of the past half century, the Lions have won four NFL championships with the last being in 1957. Despite having only one playoff win since then, the Lions have had several Hall of Fame players on its roster, including one of the best running backs of all time, Barry Sanders. The Lions have made up for their lean years by drafting some of the best young talent in football.

The 1950s and early 1960s were a prosperous time for the Lions. With quarterback Bobby Layne at the helm, these Lions teams featured some of the best players ever. Doak Walker, Dick “Night Train,” Lem Barney and Joe Schmidt all played for the Lions during this time. In 1989, the Lions drafted running back Barry Sanders, who is not only one of the most popular star players the Lions have ever had, but one of the best ever. Those Lions teams also had great Lions players like Herman Moore as well. Recent  Lions stars like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh all have potential to be some of the best players in Lions history.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

Bobby Layne

Bobby "Blonde Bomber" Layne - Chicago Bears - Detroit Lions - Quarterback

1948 Leaf #6 Rookie Card

 

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions - Quarterback

2009 Score #1 Rookie Card

 

RUNNING BACKS

Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders - Detroit Lions - Running Back - Hall of Fame - HOF

1989 Score #257 Rookie Card

 

Billy Sims

Billy Sims - Detroit Lions - Running Back

1981 Topps #100 Rookie Card

 

Dexter Bussey

Dexter Bussey - Detroit Lions - Running Back

1977 Topps #176 Rookie Card

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Herman Moore

Herman Moore - Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver

1991 Upper Deck #639 Rookie Card

 

Gail Cogdil

Gail Cogdil - Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver

1961 Topps #32 Rookie Card

 

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson - Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver - Megatron

2007 Topps Chrome #200 Rookie Card

 

TIGHT ENDS

Charlie Sanders

Charlie Sanders - Detroit Lions - Tight End - Hall of Fame - HOF

1971 Topps #210 Rookie Card

 

Cloyce Box

Cloyce Box - Detroit Lions - Tight End

1950 Bowman #111 Rookie Card

 

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

OT – Lou Creekmur (1950-1959)

OG – Harley Sewell (1953-1962)

Ed Flanagan

Ed Flanagan - Detroit Lions - Center

1970 Topps #11 Rookie Card

 

Kevin Glover

Kevin Glover - Detroit Lions - Offensive Guard

1990 Pro Set #496 Rookie Card

 

Lomas Brown

Lomas Brown - Detroit Lions - Offensive Tackle

1986 Topps #248 Rookie Card

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Al Baker

Al Baker - Detroit Lions - Defensive End

1979 Topps #75 All Pro Rookie Card

 

Doug English

Doug English - Detroit Lions - Defensive Tackle

1979 Topps #344 Rookie Card

 

Jerry Ball

Jerry Ball - Detroit Lions - Defensive Tackle

1989 Score #169 Rookie Card

 

Robert Porcher

Robert Porcher - Detroit Lions - Defensive End

1993 Topps #125 Rookie Card

 

LINEBACKERS

Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt - Detroit Lions - Linebacker

1956 Topps #44 Rookie Card

 

Chris Spielman

Chris Spielman - Detroit Lions - Linebacker

1989 Pro Set #125 Rookie Card

 

Alex Wojciechowicz

Alex Wojciechowicz - Philadelphia Eagles - Detroit Lions - Linebacker

1948 Bowman #61 Rookie Card

 

Wayne Walker

Wayne Walker - Detroit Lions - Linebacker

1964 Philadelphia #68 Rookie Card

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Lem Barney

Lem Barney - Detroit Lions - Cornerback

1970 Topps #75 Rookie Card

 

Dick “Night Train” Lane

Richard Lane - Dick "Night Train" Lane - Detroit Lions - Cornerback

1957 Topps #85 Rookie Card

Position:  Defensive End-Defensive Back #81
Height:  6’1″          Weight:  194
Born:  April 16, 1927 in Austin Texas
Died:  January 29, 2002 in Austin Texas (74)
College:  Western Nebraska CC
Drafted:  Undrafted
Career:  1952 – 1965 – Los Angeles Rams (1953-1953), Chicago Cardinals (1954-1959), Detroit Lions (1960-1965)
Highlights:  7 time Pro Bowler and 3 time First Team All Pro.  Dick “Night Train” Lane was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1974.  He played in 157 games during his 14 year career and had 68 interceptions with 2 returned for touchdowns along with 11 fumble recoveries with 1 returned for a touchdown.

DB – James David (1952-1959)

Dick LeBeau

Dick LeBeau - Detroit Lions - Defensive Back

1965 Philadelphia #64 Rookie Card

 

S – Yale Larry (1952-53,56-64)

Jack Christiansen

Jack Christiansen - Detroit Lions - Safety

1952 Bowman #129 Rookie Card

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

K – Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson - Detroit Lions - Kicker

1993 Topps Gold #320 Rookie Card

 

P – Yale Larry (1952-53,56-64)

PR – Jack Christiansen

Jack Christiansen - Detroit Lions - Punt Returner

1952 Bowman #129 Rookie Card

 

KR – Mel Gray

Mel Gray - St. Louis Cardinals - Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver - Kick Returner

1972 Topps #112 Rookie Card

 

NICKNAME

  • Named the Lions in keeping with the jungle cat image of the city’s baseball team, the Tigers.

TEAM NAMES

  • Portsmouth Spartans (1930-1933)
  • Detroit Lions (1934-Present)

HEAD COACHES

  • George Clark (1934-1936)
  • Earl Clark (1937-1938)
  • Elmer Henderson (1939)
  • George Clark (1940)
  • Bill Edwards (1941-1942)
  • John Karcis (1942)
  • Charles Dorais (1943-1947)
  • Alvin McMillin (1948-1950)
  • Raymond Parker (1951-1956)
  • George Wilson (1957-1964)
  • Harry Gilmer (1965-1966)
  • Joe Schmidt (1967-1972)
  • Don McCafferty (1973)
  • Rick Forzano (1974-1976)
  • Tommy Hudspeth (1976-1977)
  • Monte Clark (1978-1984)
  • Darryl Rogers (1985-1988)
  • Wayne Fontes (1988-1996)
  • Bobby Ross (1997-2000)
  • Gary Moeller (2000)
  • Marty Mornhinweg (2001-2002)
  • Steve Mariucci (2003-2005)
  • Dick Jauron (2005)
  • Rod Marinelli (2006-2008)
  • Jim Schwartz (2009-2013)
  • Jim Caldwell (2014-Present)

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS

  • None

NFL CHAMPIONS (PRE-1966)

  • 1935, 1952, 1953, 1957

SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES

  • None

NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES (PRE-1966)

  • 1935, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957

NFL/NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

  • 1991

DIVISION CHAMPIONS

  • 1935, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1983, 1991, 1993

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES

  • 1935, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1970, 1982, 1983, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2011

PLAYOFF RECORD

  • 7-12 .368

HALL OF FAME PLAYERS

  • Lem Barney CB (1967-1977)
  • Jack Christensen B (1951-1958)
  • Earl Clark QB (1931-1932, 1934-1938)
  • Lou Creekmur T (1950-1959)
  • Bill Dudley RB (1947-1949)
  • Frank Gatski C (1957)
  • John Henry Johnson RB (1957-1959)
  • Dick Lane DB (1960-1965)
  • Yale Lary DB (1952-1953, 1956-1964)
  • Bobby Layne QB (1950-1958)
  • Dick LeBeau CB (1959-1972)
  • Olie Matson RB (1963)
  • Hugh McElheny RB (1964)
  • Barry Sanders RB (1989-1998)
  • Charlie Sanders TE (1968-1977)
  • Joe Schmidt LB (1953-1965)
  • Doak Walker HB (1950-1955)
  • Alex Wojciechowicz C (1938-1946)

RETIRED NUMBERS

  • 7 Earl Clark QB (1934-1938)
  • 20 Lem Barney CB (1967-1977)
  • 20 Billy Sims RB (1980-1984)
  • 20 Barry Sanders RB (1989-1998)
  • 22 Bobby Layne QB (1950-1958)
  • 37 Doak Walker HB (1950-1955)
  • 56 Joe Schmidt LB (1953-1965)
  • 85 Chuck Hughes WR (1970-1971)
  • 88 Charlie Sanders TE (1968-1977)

PRO BOWL MVP

  • 1953 Don Doll DB
  • 1965 Tery Barr DB
  • 1981 Eddie Murray PK

AWARDS

COACH OF THE YEAR

  • 1991 Wayne Fontes

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

  • 1967 Lem Barney CB
  • 1978 Al Baker DE
  • 2010 Ndamukong Suh DT

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

  • 1959 Nick Pietrosante RB
  • 1960 Gail Cogdill WR
  • 1967 Mel Farr RB
  • 1968 Earl McCullouch WR
  • 1980 Billy Sims RB
  • 1989 Barry Sanders RB

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • None

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

  • 1994 Barry Sanders RB
  • 1997 Barry Sanders RB

NFL MVP

  • 1944 Frank Sinkwich HB
  • 1960 Joe Schmidt LB
  • 1997 Barry Sanders RB

SUPER BOWL MVP

  • None

©MMXVI My All Time Favorites, all pictures and logos, team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the NFL or Detroit Lions.  All Football Cards are low resolution scans from a personal collection and each is credited with the production company name and year.  This site is maintained for research purposes only.

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