Joe DeLamielleure

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Joe DeLamielleure
Joe Delamielleure.jpg
Delamielleure's Bust in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
No. 68
Offensive Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1951-03-16) March 16, 1951 (age 63)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
High school: Center Line (MI) St. Clement
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 1973 / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Debuted in 1973 for the Buffalo Bills
Last played in 1985 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played 185
Games Started 178
Fumble Recoveries 7
Stats at NFL.com
Career Arena football statistics
Tackles 2
Stats at ArenaFan.com

Joseph Michael DeLamielleure (born March 16, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former American football offensive lineman who was an All-American at Michigan State. He was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft. He won All-Rookie Honors, after finding out a physical condition with his irregular heartbeat was not serious. In 1973 the Buffalo Bills rushing offense led the NFL in yards, yards per carry, as well as rushing touchdowns.

DeLamielleure was perhaps the central figure in the "Electric Company," the Bills' offensive line that paved the way for O.J. Simpson to rush for 2,003 yards in 1973, the first player ever to break that barrier, and the only player ever to do so in a 14-game schedule.[1]

The league leading rushing yardage mark of 3,088 yards is still the 14-game record. Only the 1978 New England Patriots have bettered that mark and did it in 16 games. Individually, O. J. Simpson led the NFL in all four major rushing categories, a "quadruple crown". He also had the longest run in the NFL. The 2003 Yards Simpson rushed for is still the 14 game record (Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson achieved their marks in 16 games). Joe was also on the kickoff return team that blocked for Wallace Francis, who led NFL with 2 TD returns. DeLamielleure played on the wedge of the kickoff return team his entire career in Buffalo.

The following year, 1974, the Bills improved to 9-5 and made the playoffs. DeLamielleure was voted second-team All-Pro. In 1975 the Bills displayed one of most potent offenses of the decade. They led NFL in eleven categories, including total offense, rushing, rushing average, points, touchdowns and touchdown passes en route to an 8-6 record. The offensive line also allowed the fewest sacks in AFC. Simpson, behind the "Electric Company" achieves his second "quadruple crown" in three years and also had longest run in NFL. Individually, DeLamielleure is named First-team All-Pro.

  • 1976 Simpson again leads NFL in rushing and DeLamielleure is named First-team All-Pro.
  • 1977 With Simpson injured at mid-season, Bills pass more often and lead NFL in Passing Yards and throw the most passes in NFL.
  • 1978 With Simpson traded, Bills running back Terry Miller takes over and is 9th in the NFL in rushing.

Six times he was named All-Pro and was named to the Pro Bowl six times. In 1975 he was named by the NFLPA as Offensive Lineman of the Year. In 1973 he was Co-Offensive Linemen of the Year as awarded by the 1000 Yard Rusher Club, Columbus, Ohio. In 1977 Joe received Forrest Gregg Award as NFL's Top Offensive Lineman.

In 1980 DeLamielleure was traded to the Cleveland Browns where he blocked for his 2nd NFL MVP, Brian Sipe. DeLamielleure becomes first player ever to block for a 2,000 yard rusher and a 4,000 yard passer. Of those who have done it since, (Jackie Slater, Doug Smith, Irv Pankey, Kevin Glover, and Tom Nalen) only DeLamielleure's duo were NFL MVPs and the passer (Sipe) also won the NFL passing crown. Also, the 1980 Browns offensive line led NFL in allowing the lowest sacks percentage and blocked for a 1000 yard runner (Mike Pruitt). During his five years with Cleveland, he played every game. In 1979 he was named the NFL's All-Decade Team. He played his final year in the NFL, 1985, back with the Buffalo Bills.

Joe D. vs. Mean Joe[edit]

DeLamielleure faced Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene eight times in his career. Since Joe D. was a right guard and Mean Joe was a left defensive tackle, they met head-to-head. Although one offensive lineman is not 100% responsible for the opponent on every play, it is notable that Joe Greene averaged only 2 tackles per game against Joe D.

Date of game― Solo tackles, Sacks by Joe Greene (team rushing yards, average, sacks allowed)

  • 12-22-1974― 1 solo tackle, 0 sacks, (Bills gain 100 yards rushing with a 4.8 yard avg., allow no sacks)
  • 9-28-1975― 3 solo tackles, 0 sacks, (Bills gain 310 yards with a 6.7 yard avg., allow one sack to Lambert)
  • 9-3-1978 ― 1 solo tackle, 0 sacks, (Bills gain 100 yards on a 3.4 yard average. Allowed 3 sacks, Shell, White Greenwood)
  • 12-16-1979 ― 4 solo tackles, 0 sacks, (Bills rush for 78 yards, 3.3 avg. Allow 2 sacks to Towes and White)
  • 10-26-1980 ― 0 tackles, 0 sacks, (Browns rushed for 91 yards, passed for 348 allowed 1 sack for 1 yard)
  • 11-16-1980― 3 solo tackles, 1 sack, (Browns rushed for 95 yards, passed for 171 allowed 1 sack for 7 yards -Greene)
  • 10-11-1981 ― 3 solo tackles, 0 sacks, (Browns rushed for 166 yards, passed for 279, allowed 1 sack -Lambert)
  • 11-22-1981― 0 tackles, 0 sacks, (Browns rushed for 146, passed for 219, allowed 1 sack)

Joe Greene's total: 8 games― 15 solo tackles, 1 sack


In 1992, Joe had a short stint with the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League.[2]

DeLamielleure was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and was inducted to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame in 2007.[3]

Joe had an argument with Gene Upshaw, the head of the Players Union, about retired NFL player's pensions up until Upshaw's death in August 2008.

DeLamielleure currently promotes the All-American Football League, a spring league that is hoping to fill a void of the now defunct NFL Europe. The AAFL plans to take collegiate players provided they've earned a four-year college degree.

DeLamielleure and his two former college teammates at Michigan State will embark on a bicycle ride from East Lansing, Michigan to the site of “The City of the Children" orphanage in Mexico. The bike tour is to raise funds needed to complete construction and provide the necessary resources to support the abandoned, abused and neglected children of that region.[4]

Notes[edit]

  • In 1969, Joe graduated from St. Clement High School in Center Line, MI. Joe is the only NFL football player ever from that school.
  • In 1975, DeLamielleure was the NFLPA AFC Arm Wrestling Champion (He Lost final to Ed White)
  • In 1979, DeLamielleure was NFLPA AFC Racquetball champion (he lost the final to the NFC competitor Rafael Septien who was 5'9" and 160 pounds)
  • Joe D. is the only player in Buffalo Bills history to wear all 3 versions of their helmets (except the season 1 silver), not counting throwbacks: the white helmet with the standing red buffalo, the white helmet with the charging buffalo, and the red helmet with the charging buffalo.

References[edit]