Ted Hendricks Oakland Raiders & Baltimore Colts & Green Bay Packers
"I get a lot of respect out there. I guess all I want now is to be remembered as a nice guy because all that counts now is that I know I can play. That’s all I need now.”
A three-time All-America as a linebacker and defensive end at the University of Miami, Ted Hendricks began his 15-season pro football career as the second-round pick of the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft.
Surprisingly, after five seasons the Colts traded Ted to the Green Bay Packers. The bigger surprise came, however, when the Packers allowed Hendricks to play out his option and sign with the Oakland Raiders after just one and possibly his finest season. That year he had five interceptions, blocked seven kicks, and scored a safety. He went on to play nine seasons with the Raiders before retiring after the 1983 season.
The 6-7, 220-pound Hendricks was deceivingly effective. Tall and comparatively skinny, he was strong, fast and a devastating tackler who specialized in blocking punts, field goals and extra point attempts. He was the kind of player that could totally disrupt an offense.
In his career, he intercepted 26 passes, which he returned for 332 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered 16 opponents' fumbles and scored a record-tying four safeties. Hendricks scored touchdowns on an interception, a fumble return, and a blocked punt.
Seemingly indestructible, Hendricks played in 215 straight regular-season games and also participated in eight Pro Bowl games, seven AFC championships and four Super Bowls (V with the Colts, XI, XV, XVIII with the Raiders). Ted was named All-Pro as a Colt in 1971, as a Packer in 1974, and as a Raider in 1980 and 1982. He also earned second-team All-Pro accolades five other times.
Hendricks was selected All-AFC seven times and All-NFC once. He began his career as a right linebacker but moved to the left side in the latter half of his pro tenure. In his final pro game, Hendricks was the starting left linebacker in the Los Angeles Raiders' 38-9 trouncing of the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.