In this Wednesday edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor a linebacker who was part of the Lions’ 1970 playoff squad and also hold the team’s singe-game tackle record.
69. Paul Naumoff
Linebacker. 1967-78 Detroit
Paul Naumoff was part of one of the Lions’ best linebacking corps of all-time when he played alongside Mike Lucci and Wayne Walker during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Naumoff was the Lions’ third-round draft choice out of the University of Tennessee in 1967. He started five games at weakside-linebacker as a rookie, and moved into the starting spot full-time on the strong-side a year later. Despite his size, the 6-foot-1, 215 pounder excelled opposite the tight end. His speed and quickness allowed him to take on much bigger blockers without falling short. In addition he was durable, missing only two-games in 13 seasons.
Since Detroit began recording tackle numbers in 1973, Naumoff holds the Lions’ single-game tackle record, making an incredible 21-stops in a 1975 contest versus the Cleveland Browns. It turned out to be a career year for Naumoff, as he was voted by his teammates as their Defensive MVP that year. Naumoff made his lone trip to the Pro Bowl after the 1970 campaign, when he helped the Lions to a 10-4 record and their first playoff appearance in 13 seasons.