Paul Krause Minnesota Vikings & Washington Redskins

I’m plain and simple the safety man, the guy who has to stop the play when the others don’t, and that’s the way I like it.”

Paul Krause, a 6-3, 200-pound free safety from the University of Iowa, became the leading pass intercepter of all time with 81 steals during a 16-season career with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings from 1964 to 1979.

A two-way star at Iowa, he was the second-round draft pick of the Redskins in 1964. Although he intercepted 28 passes in his first four seasons, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for linebacker Marlin McKeever and a seventh-round draft choice in 1968.  He went on to excel with the Vikings for 12 more seasons before retiring after the 1979 campaign.

Krause had the kind of blue-ribbon rookie season in 1964 that few ever achieve. He led the NFL in interceptions with 12 and was named to the All-NFL first team. He was named to his first of eight Pro Bowls and was second only to teammate running back Charley Taylor for NFL Rookie of the Year acclaim. In his second Pro Bowl following the 1965 season, he intercepted two passes. Named All-NFL four different times, Krause was also selected All-Eastern Conference twice and All-NFC five times.

Born on February 19, 1942, in Flint, Mich., Paul was the starting free safety in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX and XI, and in the 1969 NFL Championship Game and NFC title games in 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1977. He intercepted one pass in Super Bowl IV and recovered a fumble in Super Bowl IX.

During his landmark rookie season, Krause intercepted passes in seven consecutive games, and he came near to matching that mark in 1968, when he had steals in six consecutive games. It took a three-interception season in his final 1979 campaign to surpass Emlen Tunnell, who had 79 steals, for the all-time record. The durable Krause missed only two games with injuries in 16 seasons.