Claude Humphrey, Pillar of N.F.L. Falcons’ ‘Grits Blitz,’ Dies at 77


He twice pressured opponents into safeties and had a pair of interceptions.

“In Atlanta, I never got used to losing,” Humphrey instructed The Associated Press in 2014. “It made me play harder. I used to say to myself: ‘Well, if we lose the game, the guy who lined up in front of me won’t have anything to be excited about. When he looks at the film, he’s not going to like what he sees of himself. I’m going to go out there and try to wear him down.’ That was the only thing that kept me motivated.”

Claude Humphrey was born on June 29, 1944, in Memphis, a son of Dosie Humphrey, a college upkeep engineer, and Millie Hayes Humphrey, who labored as a home. He performed soccer, basketball, ran the low hurdles and excelled within the shot put in highschool.

He was an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) All-American lineman whereas taking part in for excellent Tennessee State University groups and was voted to the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Humphrey was chosen by the Falcons because the third total selection within the 1968 professional soccer draft. He was named the N.F.L.’s defensive rookie of the yr, recording 11½ sacks.

After his taking part in profession, Humphrey owned a livestock ranch in Oakland, Tenn., and was a defensive position coach with the Falcons.

In addition to his daughter Claudia, he’s survived by his daughters Chandra Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson and Candice Cherokee Humphrey and a grandson. His spouse, Sandra Harrell Humphrey, died in 2013.

“I was aggressive, very aggressive,” the Hall of Fame quoted Humphrey as as soon as saying. “I tried to play the game to the point where when I walked off the field, there was nothing that I didn’t cover. I tried to play all out. I didn’t take any prisoners.”



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