In today’s edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we pay tribute to a speedster who put the homerun ball into the Detroit Lions’ vaunted “Infantry Attack” ground game of the 1930s.
62. Ernie Caddel
Wingback / Defensive Back. 1933 Portsmouth; 1934-38 Detroit
Caddel was known as the “Blond Antelope” during his playing days; because his blazing speed made him one of the NFL’s most feared breakaway runners of the 1930’s. The 6-foot-2, 199 pound former Stanford Cardinal was at his best as the ball-carrier on the Lions’ weakside-reverse play. It was on that very play during the 1935 NFL championship where Caddel would score a touchdown, giving the Lions a commanding 19-7 lead over the New York Giants, helping Detroit to their eventual 26-7 triumph.
The speedy Caddel would lead the NFL in average yards-per-carry for three-straight seasons from 1935-37. He led the Lions in rushing in 1935 and ‘36, and still claims tenth-place, along with Dexter Bussey, on Detroit’s career rushing touchdown list with 18. Ernie would earn first-team All-Pro honors in 1935 and second-team honors in 1936 and ‘37.