Gold Jacket Spotlight: Lenny Moore, Baltimore's Multiple Threat
Every year, teams in the National Football League search for the holy grail of offense: the multiple-threat player – someone who can run between the tackles for tough yards, catch passes out of the backfield and even line up outside and go deep.
In other words, they want the next Lenny Moore, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1975.
A human highlight reel over 12 seasons (1956-1967) with the Colts in Baltimore, Lenny was one of the first NFL players to put a spotlight on the position of flanker. This week, he enters the Gold Jacket Spotlight for another look at his brilliant career.
Dynamic both carrying and catching the football, Lenny remains the only player in NFL history with at least 40 rushing touchdowns and 40 receiving touchdowns.
Asked in a 2011 interview to compare himself and Colts teammates against modern-day players, Lenny focused on the versatility of the players from the earlier era.
“(The) kind of ball that we played was good enough for us to be in any era because we did multi-things. We were multiple ball players. We weren't just tied into just one area,” he said. “I was on the kickoff team, kickoff return team. I was on the punt team; I was on the punt return team. I was an offensive running back; I was an offensive wide receiver.
“I was also on the prevent defense. I was the deep safety. I was the fifth defensive back at the corner. So that's the way it was in those days.”
The Colts were a versatile and formidable team in Lenny’s playing days, winning the 1958 and 1959 NFL Championship Games and returning there in 1964.
Lenny’s career statistics included 1,069 rushing attempts for 5,174 yards (4.8 average) and 63 touchdowns. He led the NFL in yards per rush four times, with per-carry averages above 7 yards in three seasons. He totaled 363 receptions for 6,039 yards (16.6 average) and 48 receiving TDs.
Lenny led the NFL in touchdowns in 1957 (10) and 1964 (20). He retired with 113 career TDs, second at the time behind only Jim Brown and still 16th all time.
Numerous accolades came to Lenny during his career and after it ended: Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year (1964), All-Pro five times, seven trips to the Pro Bowl and places on the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s and the NFL 100 All-Time Team.
Colts teammate Raymond Berry rated Lenny as the third-best player he ever saw, saying: “Lenny Moore was a gamebreaker, just tremendous speed and scoring ability. He was explosive.”
This week he explodes into the Gold Jacket Spotlight.
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