A Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1977, Gifford played for the Giants from 1952-64, although he voluntarily retired in 1961 due to a serious injury suffered the previous season. He was known as one of the most versatile backs in NFL history. Gifford was the first choice in the draft by the Giants in 1952 after an All-America career at Southern California. He totaled 9,862 combined yards during his career. He rushed for 3,609 yards, caught 367 passes and scored 484 points. Gifford was named to the Pro Bowl as a defensive back in 1953 and as an offensive back the following year - a first in NFL history. He played in seven Pro Bowls and was named All-NFL four times and NFL Player of the Year in 1956. Gifford holds the Giants record with 78 touchdowns. A true triple-threat back, Gifford threw 14 touchdown passes in 60 attempts on the halfback option. He retired after the 1960 season and returned in 1962 at a new position, flanker. The Giants reached the NFL Championship game five times during his career, including their victory in 1956.
Jan 01, 2015 at 12:40 AM