Yale Lary

Yale Lary

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Yale Lary

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Robert Yale Lary (born November 24, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas) is a former American football player.

After graduating from North Side High School in 1949, he attended Texas A&M University, where he was a standout in football and baseball. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round in the 1952 NFL Draft.

Lary was a superlative defensive back from 1956 to 1964, with time out for a tour of Army duty in 1954-55. Yale Lary also became one of the best punters in the game's history upon his return from the service. He was a key contributor for the Lions as they claimed three NFL World Championships in 1952, 1953 and 1957.

Lary played in the defensive backfield alongside Jack Christiansen and Jim David on "Chris' Crew" in the early 1960s, when Detroit was one of the best pro teams of the era. The position he played is known today as free safety - the center fielder of the defensive backfield. He made 50 career interceptions, and only recently (with expanded schedules allowing for more opportunities per season) has Lary been pushed from the top 20 list in NFL career interceptions.

He remains third on the Lions list, and his 787 career return yards is No. 2 in Detroit history behind Lem Barney's 1,015. He not only excelled as a safety, but he was an exceptional punter. Lary won punting titles in 1959, 1961 and 1963, missing another one in 1962 by just 3.6 inches. A year he didn't win, 1960, Detroit opponents averaged...
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