Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Houston Oilers

The Houston Oilers were the AFL's early success story, playing in the league championship from 1960-62, and winning the first two. After 4 losing seasons, they were back in 1st place (East Division) in 1967 with a 9-4-1 record. In 1968, they slid back to 7-7.

#198 Pete Beathard - Beathard was the Chiefs (and Lions) 1st-round pick in the 1964 draft. After 7 seasons with George Blanda at QB, the Oilers acquired Pete from the Chiefs in 1967 and he got them back to a 1st place finish. His next 2 seasons weren't as successful, and he found himself moving on to the Cardinals (1970-71), Rams (1972), and back to the Chiefs (1973).

#120 Sid Blanks - Blanks was the Oilers' halfback in 1964 and 1966-68, before finishing his career with the Boston Patriots in 1969-70. He missed the 1965 season.

#146 Ode Burrell - Burrell played for the Oilers from 1965-69. He was the starting halfback in 1966 and 1967, before switching to flanker in 1968.

#16 Bobby Maples - Maples played the first 6 years of his career (1965-70) for the Houston Oilers. He was an outside linebacker in his rookie season, and the starting center for the other seasons. After one season with the Steelers (1971), he spent the remainder of his career (1972-78) as the Broncos' center.

#68 Bob Talamini - An original Oiler, Bob was Houston's starting left guard from 1960-67, before filling the same role for the Jets in 1968, his final season.

#94 Walt Suggs - Walt was the Oilers' 3rd-round pick in 1961. After not playing in 1961 and backing up in 1962, Suggs was the Oilers' starting left offensive tackle from 1963-70. He switched to center for his final season of 1971.

#172 Miller Farr - Farr was the starting strong safety for Denver and San Diego during his rookie season of 1965. After starting at left cornerback for the Chargers in 1966, Miller started at left corner for the Oilers from 1967-69, leading the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1967. From 1970-72, he was a starting cornerback for the Cardinals. He finished his career in 1973 with the Lions. His brother Mel was a running back for the Lions.

#41 Jim Norton - Jim is another original Oiler from 1960. After starting at cornerback in 1960, he was a starting safety from 1961-63 and 1965-67. He was also the Oilers' punter from 1961-68.

Also check out the 1972 Oilers.

Next time: San Diego Chargers