Herb Adderley

Herb Adderley
No. 26
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-06-08) June 8, 1939
Place of birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Philadelphia (PA) Northeast
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 1961 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
AFL draft: 1961 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 48
Interception yards: 1,046
Touchdowns: 7
Player stats at NFL.com

Herbert Anthony Adderley (born June 8, 1939) is a former American football cornerback who played for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL), and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Adderley played college football at Michigan State University and was an All-Big Ten offensive star as a halfback.[1] He is the only player to appear in four of the first six Super Bowls.

Early life

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Adderley's parents were Charles and Rene (White) Adderley. He graduated from Northeast High School in 1957, where he starred in football, basketball, and baseball,[2] and won All-City Honors in all three.[1]

College career

Adderley attended Michigan State University in East Lansing and played football under head coach Duffy Daugherty, primarily as a halfback. He led the Spartans in rushing yards as a junior in 1959 and pass receptions in both 1959 and 1960. Adderley was the co-captain of the team as a senior,[1] and made the All-Big Ten Conference team and played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Coaches' All-American, and the College All-Star games.[1] He was picked for the All-Michigan State University team in 1970.

Professional career

Adderley was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 1961 NFL draft, the 12th overall pick.[1] He began his professional career as a halfback on offense, but was later switched to defense because the Packers already had eventual Hall of Fame runners in Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor.[1] Adderley was first moved to cornerback to replace injured teammate Hank Gremminger against Detroit on Thanksgiving.[1][4][5] and made an interception that set up the game-winning touchdown.[6][7]

In 1962, the move became permanent and Adderley went on to become an all-NFL selection five times in the 1960s. Packers coach Vince Lombardi remarked, "I was too stubborn to switch him to defense until I had to. Now when I think of what Adderley means to our defense, it scares me to think of how I almost mishandled him."

Adderley recorded 39 interceptions in his nine seasons with the Packers. He holds the Green Bay records for interceptions returned for touchdowns in a career (seven, record tied with Darren Sharper), and interceptions returned for touchdowns in one season (three, in 1965).

Adderley started for the Packers from 1961–69, then played three seasons (1970–72) with the Dallas Cowboys. While with the Packers, he won rings for five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls.[1] Adderley was a factor in the Super Bowl II win over the Oakland Raiders, intercepting a pass by Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica in the fourth quarter and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown to put the game away.[1] It was the first Super Bowl touchdown scored on an intercepted pass.[1] After being traded to the Cowboys in 1970, Adderley became a vital cog in its "Doomsday Defense," assisting the Cowboys to a Super Bowl appearance in V and a win in VI.

Benched during the middle of the 1972 season,[8] Adderley was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the summer of 1973. He opted not to report and retired on August 7, after a dozen seasons in the NFL.[1]

Along with two Packer teammates, offensive linemen Fuzzy Thurston (Colts) and Forrest Gregg (Cowboys), Adderley is one of only three players in pro football history to play on six world championship teams. However, in a revised edition of Instant Replay, a memoir by Packer teammate Jerry Kramer, Adderley is quoted as saying, "I'm the only man with a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl ring who doesn't wear it. I'm a Green Bay Packer."

Adderley admired Packer head coach Vince Lombardi, but not Tom Landry of the Cowboys.[9] His trade to Dallas in 1970, after a holdout and two weeks before the start of regular season,[10][11][12] was due to a strained relationship with Lombardi's successor, Phil Bengtson, in his third and final year as Packer head coach.[9] Adderley stated the Bengtson kept him off the Pro Bowl team in 1969 and requested to be traded.[13][14] A year after his induction in Canton, Adderley became a member of the Packer Hall of Fame in 1981.

In his 12 NFL seasons, Adderley recorded 48 interceptions, which he returned for 1,046 yards and seven touchdowns, an average of 21.8 yards per return.[1] He also recovered 14 fumbles (returning them for 65 yards) and returned 120 kickoffs for 3,080 yards and two scores.[1]


After Adderley retired, he returned to Philadelphia to broadcast football games for Temple University and the Philadelphia Eagles.[1] He also coached as an assistant at Temple and with the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League under head coach Willie Wood, a Packer teammate.[1]

Adderley was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.[1] He was also chosen for the AFL-NFL 1960-1984 All-Star teams.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Windhausen, John D (2002) [1992]. Dawson, Dawn P, ed. Great Athletes. 1 (Revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 14–16. ISBN 1-58765-008-8.
  2. Amprey, Joseph L., Jr. (June 7, 2000). "Hall of famer Adderley never forgot Philly roots". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. (editorial). p. B9.
  3. http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/herb-adderley-1.html
  4. Johnson, Chuck (November 24, 1961). "Packers near title by defeating Lions". Milwaukee Journal. p. 4, part 2.
  5. Wolf, Bob (May 31, 1979). "When big play was the answer, Packer Adderley was a good bet". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, part 3.
  6. Lea, Bud (November 24, 1961). "Packers trip Lions 17-9; 1 win from title repeat". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 4.
  7. Bochat, Rel (November 24, 1961). "3 service players big boost - Vince". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 4.
  8. "Waters replaces Adderley at cornerback for Dallas". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. November 2, 1970. p. D3.
  9. 1 2 Brown, Clifton (October 13, 2012). "Herb Adderley's book shines negative light on Tom Landry". Sporting News. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  10. Lea, Bud (September 2, 1970). "Packers trade Adderley to Dallas". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  11. Di Petro, Bob (September 2, 1970). "Adderley traded". Times News. Hendersonville, North Carolina. UPI. p. 9.
  12. Schuyler, Ed, Jr. (September 2, 1970). "Adderley traded to Cowboys". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. p. 11.
  13. "Adderely says he's fed up with Packers". The Morning Record. Meriden, Connecticut. Associated Press. December 23, 1969. p. 11.
  14. Lea, Bud (February 3, 1970). "Adderley will quit if not traded". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
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