Craft on a 1952 Bowman football card
|Date of birth||October 15, 1919|
|Place of birth||McEwen, Tennessee|
|Date of death||January 12, 2009(aged 89)|
|Place of death||Wellsburg, West Virginia|
|NFL draft||1943 / Round: 15 / Pick: 132|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Russell Craft (October 15, 1919 – January 12, 2009) was an American football defensive back in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at the University of Alabama and was drafted in the fifteenth round of the 1943 NFL Draft. In 1948, Craft was a key member of the Eagles in what became known as the Blizzard Bowl, in which the Eagles’ defense overwhelmed the Cardinals on the way to a 7-0 victory that earned Philadelphia its first N.F.L. championship. In 1949, he was a notable player in helping the Eagles win a second World Championship, a 1947 Division Championship, and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1951 and 1952.
Craft had some other notable achievements. In 1950, against the Chicago Cardinals, the Eagles' defense recorded eight interceptions, including an NFL-record-tying four by Craft. Craft had 22 career interceptions. Then in 1952, while playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Craft was able to block three Extra points (PATs).
Craft was also a defensive coach for the Steelers.
- "Players". NFL. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "1943 NFL Draft". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Russ Craft, Player on 2 Eagles’ Title Teams, Is Dead at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Two-time Pro Bowler Craft dies at 89". ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
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