Bob Zeman

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Bob Zeman
Bob Zeman 1961.jpg
No. 34, 46
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born: (1937-02-22) February 22, 1937 (age 82)
Geneva, Illinois
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Wheaton Warrenville South (IL)
College:Wisconsin
NFL Draft:1959 / Round: 10 / Pick: 119
AFL draft:1960 / Round: 2 Pick: 1 (by the Los Angeles Chargers)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR

Edward Robert Zeman[1] (born February 22, 1937 in Geneva, Illinois) is a former American football defensive back who played six seasons in the American Football League from 1960 to 1966.

Playing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Zeman attended Wheaton Warrenville South High School in Wheaton, Illinois, the home town as legendary collegiate and professional running back Red Grange.[2] Also himself originally a running back, Zeman managed to break several of the "Galloping Ghost's" high school records.[2] He was later inducted into its Hall of Fame.[3]

Wisconsin Badgers[edit]

Zeman played on both sides of the ball at Wisconsin.[4] However, he never eclipsed 600 yards of rushing,[5] playing mostly defense. After playing in the Rose Bowl his senior year, Zeman met with executives in Los Angeles.[6]

Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers[edit]

Zeman was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 1960 AFL draft.[6] Zeman was part of a stellar defense nicknamed the "Seven Pirates" — a squad which intercepted an AFL record 49 passes during the 1961 season.[7]

Denver Broncos[edit]

In his first season with the Denver Broncos, Zeman garnered a Pro Bowl selection on the strength of six interceptions; one was returned for a touchdown.[8]

Second stint with San Diego[edit]

Zeman injured his knee at the end of the 1966 season tackling Mike Garrett. He never returned to professional football.[9]

Coaching history[edit]

College coaching[edit]

A couple years after retiring as a player, Zeman started to coach at the college level. His first stop was Northwestern, where he coached defensive backs in 1968 and 1969.[10] He then went and coached at his alma mater Wisconsin in 1970.[11]

Professional coaching[edit]

He then coached for the Oakland Raiders between 1971 and 1977, and won Super Bowl XI with the team.[12] Zeman then coached with a team he had played for, the Denver Broncos, between 1978 and 1982.[13] He spent the following year as the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills.[14] His later stops included the Los Angeles Rams, scouting for some teams, and stints with Mike Holmgren in both San Francisco and Seattle.

Legacy[edit]

In 2017 Zeman, along with other players from the inaugural year, presented the Chargers organization with a signed ball for its move back to the city of Los Angeles.[15]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bob Zeman". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. ^ a b "AFL All Stars," Sports All Stars 1963 Pro Football. New York: Maco Publishing, 1963; pg. 68.
  3. ^ "Tigers found a group in a class by themselves -- Daily Herald". prev.dailyherald.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  4. ^ Telander, Rick. "THE AUTHOR GIVES BELATED THANKS TO THE FINEST COACH HE EVER HAD". SI.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  5. ^ "Bob Zeman College Stats | College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  6. ^ a b "Bob Zeman – August 21, 2003 | Tales from the AFL". talesfromtheamericanfootballleague.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  7. ^ "AFL All Stars," Sports All Stars 1963 Pro Football. New York: Maco Publishing, 1963; pg. 68.
  8. ^ "Bob Zeman Stats | Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  9. ^ Dwyre, Bill (2013-02-02). "Big holes in the NFL safety net for former players like Bob Zeman". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  10. ^ Telander, Rick (2014-12-17). Like a Rose: Life Lessons from a Training Camp with Hank Stram and the Kansas City Chiefs. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781613217573.
  11. ^ "The University of Wisconsin Collection: Wisconsin football facts for 1970 and athletic review of 1969-70 school year: 1970 Wisconsin football facts and University of Wisconsin athletic review 1969-1970". digicoll.library.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  12. ^ "Super Bowl XI Rosters & Coaching Staffs". www.hoffco-inc.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  13. ^ "Bob Zeman".
  14. ^ "Bob Zeman Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks | Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  15. ^ DiGiovanna, Mike. "Chargers make cornerback Jason Verrett rest his injured left knee, which is still not 100%". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2017-09-18.