Herb Adderley was the Packers’ number one draft choice in 1961 following a stellar career at Michigan State University. Adderley struggled in his first training camp as Vince Lombardi tried to make him a receiver.
“I had been so stubborn,” Vince Lombardi wrote in Run to Daylight, “trying to make him something that he didn’t want to be. He didn’t want to be a flanker. He wanted to be a defensive back.”At 6’1”, 200-pounds, Adderley became a prototype of what a cornerback should be – tall, fast and an intelligent competitor. He redefined the position throughout the 1960s.
Adderley intercepted 39 passes as a Packer and returned seven for touchdowns. His great speed also made him a threat as a kick returner. He averaged more than 25 yards per return throughout his nine Packer seasons. He intercepted four passes in nine postseason Packer games.
His interception of a Milt Plum pass and 40-yard return in a 1962 game versus the Detroit Lions propelled the Packers to a key 9-7 win. Adderley intercepted seven passes that season.
In Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders at Miami’s Orange Bowl, Adderley stepped in front of receiver Fred Biletnikoff, picked off a Daryle Lamonica pass and returned it for a 60-yard touchdown.
Adderley played on five NFL championship teams with the Packers and also was a starter in Super Bowls I and II. Traded to Dallas in 1970, Adderley played in two more Super Bowls with the Cowboys, winning once.
He is second in NFL history to former Oiler and Redskin safety Ken Houston with seven interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Adderley was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
To see Herb Adderley’s personal website, click here.