Lem Barney

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Lem Barney

11 seasons
56 interceptions
11 career TDs
7 Pro Bowls
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11

seasons

56

interceptions

11

career TDs

7

Pro Bowls
View full stats

"I dive because I was in the mood to thrust forward and as I dove I intercepted it and did a forward shoulder roll got up and ran it into the endzone for I think 24 yard. And I said man this is going to be easy. That’s my first play and I remember it fondly.”

Read Lem Barney's Bio

(Jackson State)...6'0'', 188...Lemuel Jackson Barney. . .Second-round draft pick, 1967. . . NFL interception co-leader, defensive Rookie of Year, 1967 . . .Fifth cornerback to enter Hall. . .Returned kicks, emergency punter. . . Career record: 1,077 yards on 56 interceptions, 1,312 yards on punt returns, 1,274 yards on kickoff returns. . .Scored 11 career touchdowns. . .In seven Pro Bowls, All-NFL/NFC four times. . .Born September 8, 1945, in Gulfport, Mississippi.

BIO

Lem Barney Detroit Lions

"I dive because I was in the mood to thrust forward and as I dove I intercepted it and did a forward shoulder roll got up and ran it into the endzone for I think 24 yard. And I said man this is going to be easy. That’s my first play and I remember it fondly.”

Although he was a three-time All-Southwestern Conference star who had intercepted 26 passes in three seasons at Jackson State, Lem Barney was a comparative unknown when he joined the National Football League as a second-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 1967.

It took only a few games, however, for the 6-0, 188-pound speedster to become widely respected as one of the premier comerbacks in pro football. Barney originally was tested as a wide receiver but his exceptional skills as a defender could not be ignored. After a sensational rookie season, he was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and selected to play in the Pro Bowl, something he would do six more times during his stellar career. Barney also tied for the NFL interception lead with 10. Three of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns, just one short of the then-all-time single-season record.

Barney, a native of Gulfport, Mississippi, also won acclaim as a kick return specialist. Particularly early in his career, he saw duty on both the punt and kickoff return units, as well as playing full-time at comerback. He was highly feared as a big-play threat for good reason. In his 11-year tenure that ended after the 1977 campaign, Barney had a 98-yard kickoff return, a 94-yard field goal return, a 74-yard punt return and a 71-yard interception runback.

His career record includes 56 interceptions for 1,077 yards, 143 punt returns for 1,312 yards and 50 kickoff returns for 1,274 yards. He scored 11 touchdowns on seven interceptions, two punt returns, one kickoff return and one field goal return. He also recovered 11 opponents' fumbles and doubled as the Lions punter in both 1967 and 1969. Barney was named All-NFL in 1968 and 1969 and All-NFC in 1972 and 1975.

STATS

Lem Barney's Stats

 
Year

Team

G
Int
Yds
Avg
TD
Att
Yds
1967 Detroit
14
10
232
23.2
3
0
0
1968 Detroit
14
7
82
11.7
0
5
0
1969 Detroit
13
8
126
15.8
0
2
25
1970 Detroit
13
7
168
24.0
2
0
0
1971 Detroit
9
3
78
26.0
1
2
0
1972 Detroit
14
3
88
29.3
0
1
20
1973 Detroit
14
4
130
32.5
0
3
0
1974 Detroit
13
4
61
15.3
0
0
0
1975 Detroit
10
5
23
4.6
0
1
74
1976 Detroit
14
2
62
31.0
1
1
0
1977 Detroit
12
3
27
9.0
0
2
49
Career Total
140
56
1,077
19.2
7
17
168
 
Year Team
G
No.
Yds
Avg
TD
No.
Yds
Avg
TD
1967 Detroit
14
4
14
3.5
0
5
87
17.4
0
1968 Detroit
14
13
79
6.1
0
25
670
26.8
1
1969 Detroit
13
9
191
21.2
1
7
154
22
0
1970 Detroit
13
25
259
10.4
1
2
96
48
0
1971 Detroit
9
14
122
8.7
0
9
222
24.7
0
1972 Detroit
14
15
108
7.2
0
1
17
17
0
1973 Detroit
14
27
231
8.6
0
1
28
28
0
1974 Detroit
13
5
37
7.4
0
0
0
0.0
0
1975 Detroit
10
8
80
10.0
0
0
0
0.0
0
1976 Detroit
14
23
191
8.3
0
0
0
0.0
0
1977 Detroit
12
0
0
0.0
0
0
0
0.0
0
Career Total
140
143
1,312
9.2
2
50
1,274
25.5
1
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 5-45; Punting: 113-4006; Scoring: 11 TD



CAREER CAPSULE

Lem Barney's Career Capsule

Full Name: Lemuel Jackson Barney

Birthdate: September 8, 1945

Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi

High School: 33rd Avenue (Gulfport, MS)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 1992

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 1, 1992

Presenter: Jim David, Former Def. Coach, Lions

Other Members of Class of 1992: Al Davis, John Mackey, John Riggins

Pro Career: 11 seasons, 140 games

Drafted: 2nd round (34th overall) by Detroit Lions

Uniform Number: 20



ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH

Lem Barney Enshrinement speech

Lem Barney Enshrinement Speech 1992

Presenter: Jim David

Thank you, Jim Johnson. I am very proud to be here today to what people call Football's Greatest Weekend. I am also honored that Lem Barney has asked me to say a few words on his behalf. Because to me Lem Barney is one of the best football's players I have ever coached. Players of his kind come around once in a lifetime and I feel fortunate I had the opportunity to coach him. But this is truly Lem Barney's greatest weekend in football. The fitting cap to a spectacular career. When Lem Barney played for Joe Schmidt and myself, I had seen an athlete so talented and as a professional football player he had all the qualifications -- speed, quickness, great hands and he also had the necessary combination of brains, guts and luck. Lem played the most difficult, demanding positions, he played cornerback, punt returner, kickoff returner and was back up punter. The first game he ever played in the NFL he picked off Bart Starr's pass and ran it in for a touchdown. The same season, he allowed only one touchdown all year. He was named defensive rookie of the year, went on to 7 pro bowls, was named all pro 3 times. Made 11 career touchdowns and 56 career interceptions.

Lem Barney was simply a natural and a true champion. But the stats do not give you the whole picture of Lem Barney. You see some players today think of football as an individual sport. Lem never forgot football as a team sport. On the sidelines and in the locker room he was just as _valuable to our team as he was on the field. He never failed to lend a helping hand, give advice or take advantage of a situation to help raise the morale of our team and our level of play. All of this is so important today because Hall of Famers as positive role models must exhibit championship qualities on and off the field.

Lem made a lasting impression on me as his coach and is still in the business of making lasting impressions on people. Through his work with countless community and charitable organizations, the kids of special Olympics knew him, the kids at children's hospitals knew him I United Way, Easter Seals, the United Negro College Fund and the Boy Scouts of America. Lem Barney gave back and continues to give back much more than he ever took from football. And after today, all of you will know him a little better too. A very special guy, flamboyant a lot of fun to be with and today the name of Lem Barney goes down in history as he joins Willie Brown, Herb Adderley, Night Train Lane and Mel Blount as only the five cornerbacks to be enshrined. This adds to the many accolades; the Detroit- Lions HOF, the Michigan HOF, now the highest honor of all, Pro Football's Hall of Fame. We used to have a saying that the losers look at the stats and the winners look at the scoreboard. Lem is still looking at the scoreboard. Ladies and Gentlemen no one I have ever coached is more deserving than this man. My player, my friend, Lem Barney.

Lem Barney

Thank you very much Coach Jimmy David. Before I start this presentation, if we will I would like to take a silent moment of prayer before the greatest men that ever strutted on the field. He mentioned 100 yards by 53 yards and a third and this year four falling heroes from these hallowed halls, Mel Hein, Alex Wojciechowicz, the great Paul Brown and as of recent Junious Buck Buchanan. Let's just give a few moments of silence…

Thank you, thank you very much. Crying towel just in case I need it. For once in a lifetime, a man knows a moment and one wonderful moment when fate takes his hand. I won't finish... but this is my moment I am most pleased and fortunate that you are here to share it with me. I said all along for many years, success., accomplishments and achievements are no good unless you have someone whom you love to share this with. Today you share this moment with me. To the presenters of these great men to fellow Hall of Famers to the Class of 1992 and their wonderful families, to my families, to my legions of fans, to my throng of supports and to my multitude of well-wishers, today if I had something to leave as a message it would be of thanks, of gratitude and all involving love. Thanks to my family for the support that has been rendered not only through the good times as well as the bad times. Most graceful to the eternal for the God given skills and talents and attributes that I was given to play the game that I dreamed of one day becoming the best player to play in the National Football League. To my mom and dad who are not here physically, but I know they are here spiritually. My mom and dad were my role models, my heroes, my mentor. To my friends, more importantly to my teammates for the sandlots, to prep school to collegiate ball and on to the NFL. Thank you for your encouragement, your support and your motivation.

Life does not always deal us a fair hand., but the hands that life deals us we must play them. We must play the game of life in order to win and win at all costs. No one ever dreams of getting to this spot once he comes into the NFL, if anyone ever dreams of getting into the Hall of Fame, he is having a nightmare. When dreams of being able to utilize his God given skills and talents and attributes to make them manifest to make them fruits. I believe my skills and talents were manifested.

Football for me for 20 years was a way of life. I enjoyed it, I whistled while I worked and every opportunity I had I tried to promote victories and wins. Life has been good to me and if I die tonight, I wouldn't die blue because I have experienced great things in life. Love I believe is our most motivating factor we could have in life. Love, love for self, love for God, love for your family, love for friends, love for your coworkers, love for your community, and love for this country. Love our most powerful, powerful weapon. Someone once said that love was the only game in town that is not called off because of darkness and love is powerful.

I would like to culminate my acceptance by rendering what I believe is the world's greatest love song ever written, penned by one of the world's greatest lexicographers, a great disciple Brother Paul. It comes from Corinthians 1:13 it simply states: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and I have not loved, I have become a sounding blast or a tinkling symbol. though I have the gift of prophecy to · understand all mysteries and understand all knowledge and have all faith so that I could move mountains and have not love, I am nothing. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, though I give my body to be burned and have not loved if prophets be nothing. For love is long suffering, but love is kind. Love envied it not, love wanted not, and love is not all puffed up. Love does not behave itself unseeingly, does not seek her own, love thinkth no evil. For love rejoices not in inequities, but love rejoices in truth. Love moved all things and doeth all things. For love never failing but whether it is prophecies they shall fail, where there is tongues, they shall cease. Whether there is knowledge it shall vanish away. The last of those scriptures it says and now abideth hopes faith and love, but the greatest of these three is love. I thank you very much, God Bless you and I love you.