October 26, 2016

Highlighted Year: Dave Casper, 1976

Tight End, Oakland Raiders

Age: 25 (Sept. 26)
3rd season in pro football & with Raiders
College: Notre Dame
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 228

Casper played two seasons as a tackle in college before moving to tight end and caught 21 passes for 335 yards and four touchdowns. He received consensus first-team All-American honors in 1973 and was chosen by the Raiders in the second round of the ‘74 NFL draft. Casper spent his first two seasons backing up TE Bob Moore and caught a total of nine passes for 97 yards, although four were for touchdowns and he also performed well when pressed into action in the AFC Championship game loss to the Steelers in ’75. With Moore gone in 1976, Casper moved into the starting lineup.

1976 Season Summary
Appeared in 13 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 53 [8, tied with Ahmad Rashad]  
Most receptions, game – 12 (for 136 yds.) at New England 10/3
Yards – 691 [17]
Most yards, game – 136 (on 12 catches) at New England 10/3
Average gain – 13.0
TDs – 10 [3, tied with Sammy White & Bob Chandler]
100-yard receiving games – 3

Attempts – 1
Yards – 5
TDs – 0

TDs – 10 [9, tied with Sammy White, Bob Chandler & Andy Johnson]
Points – 60

Postseason: 3 G
Pass receptions – 9
Most pass receptions, game – 4 vs. New England, AFC Divisional playoff; vs. Minnesota, Super Bowl
Pass receiving yards – 122
Most pass receiving yards, game – 70 vs. Minnesota, Super Bowl
Average yards per reception – 13.6
Pass Receiving TDs – 1

Rushing attempts – 1
Rushing yards – -13
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Raiders went 13-1 to finish first in the AFC West. Won AFC Divisional playoff over New England Patriots (24-21), AFC Championship over Pittsburgh Steelers (24-7) & Super Bowl over Minnesota Vikings (32-14).

Casper’s breakout season in 1976 was the first of four straight in which he was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection. Big and fast, he was a formidable blocker as well as outstanding receiver, and made memorable plays in the postseason. Casper was traded to the Houston Oilers during the 1980 season, where he was reunited with former Raiders QB Ken Stabler. His production gradually dropped off and, following a short stint with Minnesota in 1983, he finished up back with the Raiders, now in Los Angeles, in ’84. Overall, Casper caught 378 passes for 5216 yards (13.8 avg.) and 52 touchdowns. Of that, 255 receptions for 3294 yards and 44 TDs came with the Raiders. He added another 27 catches for 363 yards and seven TDs in the playoffs. In addition to receiving first-team All-NFL honors four times, Casper was chosen to five Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2002.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970