Mike Curtis (American football)

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Mike Curtis
No. 32
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1943-03-27) March 27, 1943 (age 74)
Rockville, Maryland
Career information
High school: Richard Montgomery High School
College: Duke
NFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14
AFL draft: 1965 / Round: 3 / Pick: 21
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 166
Interceptions: 25
Touchdowns: 2
Player stats at PFR

James Michael "Mike" Curtis (born March 27, 1943) is a former professional American football player for the Baltimore Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, who played 14 seasons from 1965 to 1978 in the National Football League. He was a four-time Pro Bowler in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1974. He was considered one of the meanest players of his era.[1] Although sacks were not official during the time he played, Curtis was a good blitzer, recording 22 sacks, including one in which a famous photograph was taken of Curtis tackling Roman Gabriel's head. Curtis also picked off 25 passes and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1970 by a panel of 101 sportswriters.

Early career[edit]

Curtis went to Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, and was a 195-pound fullback as a junior in 1959. He played college football at Duke University, where he was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as well Academic All American. At Duke Mike was a member of Phi Delt fraternity.

NFL career[edit]

Curtis was drafted as a fullback in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Colts, but later switched to linebacker on the weak side (away from the tight end). He was a team captain for most of his Baltimore career. In 1970, he had five interceptions and that same season made a key pass theft that set up the game-winning field goal in the Colts' Super Bowl V win over the Dallas Cowboys with just 59 seconds left in the game.[1] He and Ted Hendricks, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, formed a potent tandem at the linebacker position from 1969 to 1973, after which Hendricks was traded. Curtis was named the Colts' Most Valuable Player in 1974.

After a knee injury sidelined him for most of the 1975 season, he was left unprotected for the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft due to a personality conflict with general manager Joe Thomas. "I heard indirectly that I was in the expansion draft because Joe Thomas hated my guts," Curtis said. "Thomas could have had a first-round draft choice or better for me if he had wanted it."[2] The move was made despite the objections of head coach Ted Marchibroda.[3] Curtis was selected by the Seattle Seahawks.[4] He played one season with them before retiring with the Redskins in 1978.

Post Career[edit]

Former Teammate Bill Curry was quoted as saying, "Mike was a great great football player. He's a Hall Of Fame player." [5]

GoDuke.com selected Curtis to its All-Century Team in 2000.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Curtis to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2013 [6]

On Nov 14, 2013 Curtis was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Hall Of Fame.

Mike Curtis is (as of Jan 12, 2018) the only NFL player to be named All-Pro at Outside Linebacker and Middle Linebacker.

2018 marks Curtis' 40 years retirement from playing in the NFL. It also marks 15 years of eligibility for possible induction consideration as a Senior into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Book writing[edit]

In 1972 Curtis wrote one book about his career, titled Keep Off My Turf, in which he states that the New York Jets, who upset the Colts in Super Bowl III, "were lucky that day", and that the 1968 Colts were "twice as good as the Jets".

In 2017 Curtis wrote the forward for The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football's Championships Were Won by author Ed Benkin

Personal life[edit]

Mike has three children, Clay, Ryan and Caitlin. As of 2017 he has six grandchildren.

References[edit]

External links[edit]