Saturday, February 2, 2013
Luv Ya Blue's Culp ninth Oiler in Hall
By Paul Kuharsky
Pro Football Hall of Fame senior inductee Curley Culp started off with Kansas City, but he made a huge impact with the Houston Oilers, too.
The six-time Pro Bowler was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year by the Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1975 after helping lead Houston to its first winning season in eight years.
He will be inducted into the Hall in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3, along with six others -- offensive lineman Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, tackle Jonathan Ogden, coach Bill Parcells, linebacker Dave Robinson and defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Robinson was the other senior nominee.
Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News presented Culp at the selection meeting, and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle also led the discussion of Culp’s candidacy.
McClain spoke to Culp leading up to selection day.
“I’m anticipating a great outcome,” said Culp, who resides in Austin. “I’m blessed to be in this position. I was part of a Super Bowl winner with the Chiefs, and those Luv Ya Blue teams were special.
“I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, probably pulling weeds and raking the yard.”
Said McClain this week in New Orleans: “Curley was the epitome of a 3-4 nose tackle. Strong, quick, nasty -- an NCAA wrestling champion who could get leverage and keep it.”
“The Oilers traded [defensive tackle] John Matuszak to the Chiefs in 1974 for Culp and the No. 1 pick they used on outside linebacker Robert Brazile. It was a tremendous trade. Along with Hall of Fame defensive end Elvin Bethea, they were the cornerstones of the Luv Ya Blue defense.”
Culp is the ninth member of the Oilers/Tennessee Titans to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The capsule on Culp from the Hall:
6-foot-2, 265 pounds
1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions
14 seasons, 179 games
Selected in second round (31st player overall) in 1968 draft by Denver Broncos
Denver attempted to switch him to offense before trading him to Chiefs during training camp
Fit in perfectly with Chiefs’ dominating defense
Member of team’s Super Bowl IV championship team in second season
Started at left defensive tackle in Super Bowl win over Vikings and registered three tackles and one assisted tackle
Dealt to Houston Oilers in blockbuster trade during 1974 season
Key veteran leader with 11.5 sacks to help Oilers to 10-4 record in his first full season with club
Winning record in ’75 was Oilers first winning season in eight years and just second in 13 seasons
Named NFL’s defensive player of the year by Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1975
Culp led defense that helped Oilers earn back-to-back appearances in AFC Championship Game, 1978-79
Named All-Pro, 1975
All-Pro second team 1971, 1977-1979
First- or second-team All-AFC five times
Elected to six Pro Bowls
Born March 10, 1946 in Yuma, Ariz.