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Paul Warfield
Position(s)
Wide Receiver
Jersey #(s)
42
Born November 28, 1942 (1942-11-28) (age 67)
Warren, Ohio
Career information
Year(s) 19641977
NFL Draft 1964 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
College Ohio State
Professional teams
Career stats
Receptions 427
Receiving Yards 8,565
Touchdowns 85
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

Paul Dryden Warfield (born November 28, 1942 in Warren, Ohio) was a professional American football wide receiver in the 1960s and 1970s known for his speed, fluid moves, grace, jumping ability and hands.

Contents

Football career

Warfield graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio in 1960. He was a star running back and defensive back for the Panthers, joining the varsity as a sophomore in 1957. In 1958, Warfield ran for 810 yards and scored 15 touchdowns - a campaign highlighted by a 6-0 victory over the powerhouse Massillon Tigers. Warfield ran for 1158 yards in 1959 and hit the paydirt 13 times. Warfield also set a state mark in the long jump.

He graduated from Ohio State University where he shined as a two time all Big 10 halfback in the 1962-1963 season and as a track team sprinter, jumper and hurdler. Warfield played for the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver from 1964 to 1969. In 1970, in a then-controversial trade, Browns owner Art Modell dealt the still great Warfield to the Miami Dolphins for a draft pick which the Browns used on Purdue University All-American quarterback Mike Phipps. Phipps had limited success for the Browns and Warfield was a major factor in the Dolphins' championships in the early 1970s.

Shortly before Super Bowl VI President Richard M. Nixon famously telephoned Dolphins coach Don Shula to suggest that they run a particular pass play to Warfield. The play, a down-and-in pattern, was tried and resulted in an incomplete pass.[1]

In 1974, shortly after the Dolphins' won Super Bowl VIII, Warfield and teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick made what were then surprising decisions. They left the Dolphins at the conclusion of the season for what appeared to be more lucrative pastures with the Toronto Northmen of World Football League.[2] (The Northmen moved to Memphis without playing a game in Toronto). Warfield played the 1975 season with the Memphis Southmen, before finishing his playing career with the Browns in 1976 and 1977. He was in the Pro Bowl eight times, and was named All League six times.

In his 13 NFL seasons Warfield caught 427 passes for 8,565 yards for 20.1 yards per catch, 9th highest all time, and scored 85 touchdowns.[3] He added another 204 yards on 22 rushing attempts. In his only WFL season (1975) he caught 25 passes for 422 yards, a 16.9 yards per catch average, with 3 touchdowns.[4]

In his rookie season 1964, he caught 52 receptions (his best season for receptions) for 920 yards and 9 touchdowns as the Browns won the NFL Championship.

In 1968 he caught 50 passes and for the only time in his career gained over 1,000 yards in receiving (1,067 yards). That year he scored 12 touchdowns as the Browns reached the NFL Championship for the third time in the 1960s.

For most of Warfield's tenure in Miami the Dolphins ran an offense which stressed running the ball. Warfield was considered a major threat on any given play. Even though he only caught 29 passes during the 1973 NFL season, 11 of those receptions were touchdowns, with four coming in the first half of the regular season finale. Three years earlier, when he arrived in Miami, he caught only 28 passes but he averaged 25.1 yards per catch.

Later years

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1999, he was ranked number 60 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.[5] In 1979 Ohio State inducted him into its Varsity O Hall of Fame for both his football and track accomplishments.[6]

In 1977 he earned a M.A. degree from Kent State University. He worked for WKYC in Cleveland as a sportscaster in 1977-78.[7] He also worked as a scout and football front office executive.

Warfield had the honor of performing the coin flip at the Ohio State-Michigan game in 2006, in which the then #1 ranked Buckeyes beat the #2 ranked Wolverines 42-39 in Columbus, Ohio. He currently works as a special assignment scout for the Browns.

References

  1. ^ NFL.com's Super Bowl VI story Last retrieved 12/30/2008.
  2. ^ Dave Hyde, Still Perfect! The Untold Story of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, p273. Dolphins/Curtis Publishing, 2002 ISBN 0-9702677-1-1
  3. ^ "Paul Warfield". http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/W/WarfPa00.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-31.  
  4. ^ Memphis Southmen stats last retrieved 12/30/2008
  5. ^ TSN Presents - Football's 100 Greatest Players last retrieved 12/30/2008
  6. ^ Ohio State Varsity "O" Inductees last retrieved 12/30/2008
  7. ^ Joe Castiglione with Douglas B. Lyons (2006). "Broadcasting beginnings". Broadcast Rites and Sites: I Saw it on the Radio with the Boston Red Sox. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 1589793242.  

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