August 16, 2017

Highlighted Year: Gary Garrison, 1970

Wide Receiver, San Diego Chargers


 Age: 26
5th season in pro football & with Chargers
College: San Diego State
Height: 6’1”    Weight: 193

Prelude:
Garrison gained 1272 pass receiving yards in San Diego State’s air-oriented offense, setting a school record with 26 touchdowns. He twice received Little All-American honors and appeared in the East-West Shrine Game as a senior. Garrison was a future draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles and Chargers in 1965. Joining the Chargers in 1966, he moved into the starting lineup as split end in place of the injured Don Norton across from star flanker Lance Alworth during his 1966 rookie season, catching 46 passes for 642 yards (14.0 avg.) and four TDs. The speedy Garrison followed up with 44 receptions for 772 yards (17.5 avg.) in 1967 and 52 catches for 1103 yards (21.2 avg.) and 10 TDs in ’68 when he was selected to the AFL All-Star Game. Plagued by injuries in 1969, Garrison’s numbers dropped to a still-impressive 40 catches for 804 yards (20.1 avg.) with 7 TDs.



1970 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 44 [16, tied with four others]         
Most receptions, game – 8 (for 165 yds.) at Chicago 10/18
Yards – 1006 [4]
Most yards, game – 165 (on 8 catches) at Chicago 10/18
Average gain – 22.9 [4]
TDs – 12 [2, tied with Gene Washington, 1st in AFC]
100-yard receiving games – 4

Rushing
Attempts – 4
Yards – 7
Average gain – 1.8
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 12 [3, tied with Ron Johnson & Gene Washington, 1st in AFC]
Points – 72 [20, tied with Ron Johnson & Gene Washington]

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-AFC: UPI
Pro Bowl

Chargers went 5-6-3 to finish third in the AFC West.

Aftermath:
Garrison followed up with Pro Bowl seasons in 1971 and ‘72, catching 42 passes for 889 yards (21.2 avg.) and 6 TDs in ’71 and 52 for 744 yards (14.3 avg.) and 7 scores in ’72. He spent a total of 11 seasons with San Diego, until 1976, catching a total of 404 passes for 7533 yards (18.6 avg.) and 58 touchdowns. He appeared in one game with the Houston Oilers in 1977 after being let go by the Chargers and caught one last pass for five yards to close out his career. Garrison received second-team All-AFL or All-AFC honors twice and was chosen to three Pro Bowls.


--

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

August 12, 2017

Highlighted Year: Marc Bulger, 2003

Quarterback, St. Louis Rams


 Age: 26
3rd season (2nd active) in pro football & with Rams
College: West Virginia
Height: 6’3”    Weight: 215

Prelude:
Following a fine college career in which Bulger passed for 8153 yards and 59 touchdowns, he was chosen by the New Orleans Saints in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Cut during training camp he spent time on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad in 2000 before moving on to the Rams where he was not activated during the remainder of the year. Due to an injury to starting QB Kurt Warner in 2002 Bulger moved into the starting lineup with good results including wins in his first six starts although he missed time due to injuries as well. A good fit in the team’s high-powered offense, he passed for 1826 yards and 14 TDs. He remained the starter ahead of Warner in 2003.

2003 Season Summary
Appeared and started in 15 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 532 [4]
Most attempts, game – 46 at Chicago 11/16
Completions – 336 [3]
Most completions, game – 29 at Chicago 11/16
Yards – 3845 [3, 1st in NFC]
Most yards, game – 378 at San Francisco 11/2
Completion percentage – 63.2 [6]
Yards per attempt – 7.2 [6]
TD passes – 22 [11]
Most TD passes, game – 3 vs. Green Bay 10/19
Interceptions – 22 [1, tied with Joey Harrington]
Most interceptions, game – 4 at Arizona 11/23
Passer rating – 81.4 [15]
300-yard passing games – 4
200-yard passing games – 13

Rushing
Attempts – 29
Most attempts, game – 6 (for 9 yds.) at Cleveland 12/8
Yards – 75
Most yards, game – 26 yards (on 4 carries) vs. Green Bay 10/19
Average gain – 2.6
TDs – 4

Scoring
TDs – 4
Points – 24

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Divisional playoff vs. Carolina)
Pass attempts – 46
Pass completions – 27
Passing yardage – 332
TD passes – 0
Interceptions – 3

Rushing attempts – 4
Rushing yards – 11
Average gain rushing – 2.8
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
Pro Bowl

Rams went 12-4 to finish first in the NFC West. Lost NFC Divisional playoff to Carolina Panthers (29-23).

Aftermath:
Bulger followed up by passing for 3964 yards and 21 TDs while giving up 14 interceptions in 2004. He had another Pro Bowl season in 2006 when he again led the NFC by throwing for 4301 yards. Purely a pocket passer, Bulger spent eight active yeas with the Rams, and after his promising start with the club, his production decreased (and interceptions and sacks increased) in his remaining seasons. Overall Bulger passed for 22,814 yards and 122 TDs against 93 INTs. He was selected to two Pro Bowls.                    
                    


--

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


June 1, 2017

Highlighted Year: Dean Derby, 1959

Defensive Halfback, Pittsburgh Steelers


Age: 24
3rd season in pro football & with Steelers
College: Washington
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 185

Prelude:
After a college career in which he starred on offense as well as defense, Derby was chosen by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 1957 NFL draft with the intention of utilizing his speed in the defensive backfield. After reporting to training camp significantly underweight, he was traded to the Steelers where he made an impact on defense. He picked off four passes in 1958.


1959 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 7 [1, tied with Milt Davis & Don Shinnick]
Int. return yards – 127 [2]
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 2
Yards – 32
Average per return – 16.0
TDs – 0
Longest return – 22 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 9
Yards – 16
Average per return – 1.8
TDs – 0
Longest return – 10 yards

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: UPI, NY Daily News
2nd team All-NFL: AP
Pro Bowl


Steelers went 6-5-1 to finish fourth in the NFL Eastern Conference.



Aftermath:
Derby followed up with three interceptions in 1960 and was considered to be a sure tackler as well as effective in pass coverage. He struggled in 1961 and was waived and picked up by the expansion Minnesota Vikings. He spent one last NFL season with Minnesota in 1962. Overall, Derby intercepted 21 passes, 14 of them with Pittsburgh. His loutstanding 1959 season remained his best.


--

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)

May 22, 2017

Highlighted Year: Irving Fryar, 1996

Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles


Age: 34 (Sept. 28)
13th season in pro football, 1st with Eagles
College: Nebraska
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 200

Prelude:
Fryar caught 67 passes for1196 yards (17.9 avg.) and 11 touchdowns in college, including 40 for 780 yards (19.5 avg.) and 8 TDs as a senior in 1983, when he was a consensus first-team All-American. He was chosen by the New England Patriots with the first overall pick in the 1984 NFL draft. In an injury-plagued rookie season Fryar caught only 11 passes and was used primarily to return punts, averaging 9.6 yards on 36 returns. In nine years with New England that were marked by numerous off-field issues through 1992 he accumulated 363 pass receptions for 5726 yards (15.8 avg.) and 38 TDs and returned 206 punts for a 10.0 average and another three scores. Fryar was a Pro Bowl selection in 1985. Moving on to the Miami Dolphins in 1993, Fryar was productive, garnering Pro Bowl honors twice more in 1993 and ’94. Over the course of three seasons he caught 199 passes for 3190 yards (16.0 avg.) and 20 touchdowns. Fryar signed with the Eagles as a free agent in 1996.

1996 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 88 [9] 
Most receptions, game – 9 (for 120 yds.) at Dallas 11/3
Yards – 1195 [7]
Most yards, game – 143 (on 7 catches) vs. Miami 10/20
Average gain – 13.6
TDs – 11 [4, 1st in NFC]
100-yard receiving games – 4

Rushing
Attempts – 1
Yards – -4
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 11 [9, tied with four others]
Points – 66

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at San Francisco)
Pass receptions – 5
Pass receiving yards – 62
Average yards per reception – 12.4
Pass Receiving TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
Pro Bowl

Eagles went 9-7 to finish second in the NFC East and qualify for a Wild Card playoff slot while leading the NFC in total yards (5627). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to San Francisco 49ers (14-0).

Aftermath:
Fryar followed up in 1997 by catching 86 passes for 1316 yards (15.3 avg.) and 6 touchdowns and again receiving Pro Bowl recognition. With the Eagles dropping to 3-13 in 1998, his production slipped to 48 pass receptions for 556 yards (11.6 avg.) and just two TDs and Fryar announced his intention to retire. However,he reconsidered and joined the Washington Redskins for two last seasons in 1999 and 2000. Overall Fryar finished with 851 catches for 12,785 yards (15.0 avg.) and 84 TDs, with 222 receptions for 3067 yards coming with the Eagles. Fryar received second-team all-conference honors twice and was selected to five Pro Bowls.


--

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

May 15, 2017

Highlighted Year: Billy Cannon, 1967

Tight End, Oakland Raiders


Age: 30
8th season in pro football, 4th with Oilers
College: LSU
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 215

Prelude:
Cannon was a star all-purpose halfback in college who rushed for 1867 yards while averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry, caught 31 passes for 522 yards, and scored 21 touchdowns. He was a two-time consensus first-team All-American and winner of the 1959 Heisman Trophy, following a season in which he also returned a punt 89 yards to key a LSU win against Mississippi. Cannon was chosen by the Los Angeles Rams as the first overall pick of the 1960 NFL draft, but signed with both the Rams and Oilers of the new AFL. A judge’s decision awarded him to the Oilers and he had a fair rookie season, rushing for a team-leading 644 yards and scoring a touchdown in the AFL Championship game on an 88-yard pass play. He was a second-team All-AFL selection by the league. Cannon followed up in 1961 by leading the AFL in rushing (948 yards) and all-pupose yardage (2043) and he capped the year by scoring the only touchdown in Houston’s league title game win over the Chargers. Cannon suffered a back injury that limited his effectiveness in 1962, holding him to 474 rushing yards although he still caught 32 passes for 451 yards and scored a total of 13 touchdowns. He saw little action in an injury-plagued 1963 season and was traded to the Oakland Raiders, where he was tried at fullback with some success before being shifted to tight end in 1965. Cannon caught only 21 passes combined in his first two seasons at the new position.

1967 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 32
Most receptions, game – 6 (for 99 yds.) vs. Miami 11/19
Yards – 629 [13]
Most yards, game – 114 (on 4 catches) vs. Boston 9/17
Average gain – 19.7 [3]
TDs – 10 [3, tied with Don Maynard & Willie Frazier]
100-yard receiving games – 1

Scoring
TDs – 10 [4, tied with Don Maynard, Willie Frazier & Mike Garrett]
Points – 60 [12, tied with Willie Frazier & Mike Garrett]

Postseason: 2 G
Pass receptions – 4
Most pass receptions, game – 2 vs. Houston, AFL Championship; vs. Green Bay, Super Bowl
Pass receiving yards – 56
Most pass receiving yards, game – 31 vs. Houston, AFL Championship
Average yards per reception – 14.0
Pass Receiving TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-AFL: AP, UPI
2nd team All-AFL: NY Daily News, Sporting News

Raiders went 13-1 to finish first in the AFL Western Division while leading the league in scoring (466 points) and TDs (68). Won AFL Championship over Houston Oilers (40-7). Lost Super Bowl to Green Bay Packers (33-14).

Aftermath:
Cannon spent two more years with the Raiders and was an AFL All-Star in 1969. He spent one last year with Kansas City as a backup in 1970. Altogether, he rushed for 2455 yards on 602 carries (4.1 avg.) with 17 TDs and caught 236 passes for 3656 yards (15.5 avg.) and 47 touchdowns. Cannon was a consensus first-team All-AFL selection after one season, received some first- or second-team recognition after three other seasons, and was chosen to two AFL All-Star Games. His son Billy Jr. played linebacker for the Cowboys for one year.


--

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)

May 11, 2017

Highlighted Year: Johnny Hector, 1987

Running Back, New York Jets


Age: 27 (Nov. 26)
5th season in pro football & with Jets
College: Texas A & M
Height: 5’11” Weight: 200

Prelude:
At Texas A & M Hector rushed for 2587 yards and 20 touchdowns and gained another 516 yards on 67 pass receptions. He was selected by the Jets in the second round of the 1983 NFL draft. Hector primarily returned kickoffs during an injury-marred rookie season and saw more action in the backfield in tandem with RB Freeman McNeil in ’84, rushing for 531 yards and catching 20 passes for 182 more yards. He gained another 572 yards on the ground in 1985. In 1986, he ran for 605 yards and showed off his ability near the goal line by scoring 8 TDs.

1987 Season Summary
Appeared in 11 of 15 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing
Attempts – 111
Most attempts, game – 22 (for 104 yds.) at New England 12/13
Yards – 435
Most yards, game – 104 yards (on 22 carries) at New England 12/13
Average gain – 3.9
TDs – 11 [1, tied with Charles White]
100-yard rushing games – 1

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 32
Most receptions, game – 6 (for 34 yds.) at NY Giants 12/27
Yards – 249
Most yards, game – 51 (on 4 catches) at Buffalo 9/13
Average gain – 7.8
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 11 [2, tied with Mike Quick & Charles White, 1st in AFC]
Points – 66

Jets went 6-9 in the strike-shortened season (three games were played with replacement players) to finish fifth in the AFC East.

Aftermath:
Hector spent another five seasons with the Jets performing as a capable backup and occasional starter. He rushed for 561 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1987 and gained a career-high 702 rushing yards in 1989.His overall rushing total was 4280 yards on 1051 attempts (4.1 avg.) with 41 TDs.He also caught 188 passes for 1661 additional yards and another three touchdowns.


--

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

May 5, 2017

Highlighted Year: Ed Danowski, 1935

Tailback/Defensive Back, New York Giants


Age:  24 (Sept. 30)
2nd season in pro football & with Giants
College: Fordham
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 198

Prelude:
Following a fine college career at Fordham, Danowski signed with the Giants in 1934.After an injury to starting tailback Harry Newman during his rookie season, Danowski led the Giants to the NFL Championship with a stunning win over the Bears in the so-called “Sneaker Game". A precision passer and effective runner and punter who also played well on defense, he continued to direct New York’s single-wing offense in 1935.



1935 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 113 [1]
Completions – 57 [1]
Yards – 794 [1]
Completion percentage – 50.4 [-no qualifiers]
Yards per attempt – 7.0 [-no qualifiers]
TD passes – 10 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 2 at Pittsburgh 9/22, at Boston 10/6, at Brooklyn 11/28
Interceptions – 9 [8]
Passer rating – 69.7 [1]

Rushing
Attempts – 130 [4]
Yards – 335 [8]
Yards per attempt – 2.6
TDs – 2 [11, tied with five others]

Scoring
TDs – 2 [20, tied with sixteen others]
Points – 12

Postseason: 1 G (NFL Championship at Detroit)
Pass attempts – 7
Pass completions – 4
Passing yardage – 88
TD passes – 1
Interceptions – 1

Rushing attempts – 7
Rushing yards – 14
Average gain rushing – 2.0
Rushing TDs – 0

Kickoff returns – 1
Kickoff return yards – 30
Kickoff return TDs – 0

Punt returns – 2
Punt return yards – 21
Average per return – 10.5
Punt return TDs – 0

Punts – 2
Punting yards – 122
Punting average – 61.0
Longest punt – 76 yards

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: League, UPI, Chicago Daily News, Collyers Eye, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Giants went 9-3 to finish first in th NFL Eastern Division. Lost NFL Championship to Detroit Lions (26-7).

Aftermath:
Danowski spent another five seasons with the Giants. He led the NFL in passing one more time and led New York to another league title in 1938. Danowski left the Giants in 1940 and played for the Jersey City Giants of the minor league American Football Association, leading the circuit in passing as he threw for 732 yards and 7 TDs. He saw limited action in a return to the NFL Giants in 1941, his last pro season. Overall in the NFL Danowski passed for 3817 yards  and 37 touchdowns. He received consensus first-team All-NFL honors twice. Danowski served in the Navy during World War II. He returned to become Fordham’s head coach from 1946-54.


--

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

April 26, 2017

Highlighted Year: Mel Gray, 1987

Running Back/Kick Returner, New Orleans Saints


Age: 26
4th season in pro football, 2nd in NFL & with Saints
College: Purdue
Height: 5’9”   Weight: 166

Prelude:
As a Purdue running back Gray rushed for 1765 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 53 passes for another 437 yards and a TD. Chosen by the Chicago Blitz in the seventh round of the 1984 USFL draft, Gray alternated with Kevin Nelson and Kevin Mack and ran for 625 yards on 133 attempts as a rookie (4.7 avg.),added 27 pass receptions for another 288 yards (10.7 avg.), and returned 20 kickoffs for a 16.6-yard average.   Gray scored the winning TD in the third overtime period in a playoff game against the Michigan Panthers and sufferered a broken arm on the play. He followed up with 526 rushing yards in 1985 along with 20 catches for 101 yards and an 18.5 average on 11 kickoff returns. With the demise of the USFL, where he compiled1151 yards on 258 carries (4.5 avg.), 389 yards on 47 pass receptions, and a 17.3-yard average on 31 kickoff returns, he moved on to the Saints, who chose him in the second round of the 1984 NFL supplemental draft.   Used almost exclusively as a kick returner, Gray averaged 27.9 yards on 31 kickoff returns in 1986 that included a touchdown.



1987 Season Summary
Appeared in 12 of 15 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 30 [6]
Yards – 636 [6]
Most yards, game – 108 (on 5 ret.) vs. Cleveland 9/13
Average per return – 21.2 [16]
TDs – 0
Longest return – 43 yards

Punt Returns
Returns – 24 [11, tied with Scott Schwedes, Bobby Futrell & Kenny Johnson]
Yards – 352 [7]
Most yards, game – 130 (on 2 ret.) vs. Tampa Bay 12/6
Average per return – 14.7 [1]
TDs – 0
Longest return – 80 yards

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 6        
Yards – 30
Average gain – 5.0
TDs – 0

Rushing
Attempts – 8
Yards – 37
Average gain – 4.6
TDs – 1

Scoring
TDs – 1
Points – 6

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff vs. Minnesota)
Kickoff returns – 1
Kickoff return yds. – 16
Kickoff return TDs – 0

Punt returns – 1
Punt return yds. – 0
Punt return TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: PFWA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: Pro Football Weekly

Saints went 12-3 to finish second in the NFC West in thestrike-shortened season (three games were played with replacement players) to finish second in the NFC West and qualified for the postseason as a wild card. Lost AFC Wild Card playoff to Minnesota Vikings (44-10).

Aftermath:
Gray spent one more season with New Orleans before signing with the Detroit Lions in 1989. He continued to excel as a kick returner leading the NFL with a 15.4-yard punt return average and 25.8-yard kickoff return average in1991 and a 28.4-yard kickoff return average in 1994. He moved on to the Houston Oilers in 1995 and split his last season in 1997 between the Oilers and Philadelphia Eagles.Overall in the NFL, Gray returned 421 kickoffs for an average of 24.3 yards with six touchdowns and 252 punts for a 10.9-yard average and another three TDs. He received consensus first-team All-NFL recognition three times, at least some All-NFL honors following five other seasons and was named to four Pro Bowls.

--

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