In this edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor a Grand Rapids native and former Michigan Wolverine who became one of the greatest pass catchers in Lions’ history during the 1960s.
26. Terry Barr
Flanker / Defensive Back. 1957-65 Detroit
Following an outstanding career in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan, Terry became the Lions third-round draft choice in 1957. One of the most versatile players in Lions’ history, Barr would gain his greatest fame as a flanker during the 1960’s. However he began his career at defensive back, teaming with Jack Christiansen, Yale Lary, and Jim David in that season’s edition of Chris’s Crew. Barr topped off his successful rookie season with a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Lions’ 59-14 championship game win over the Cleveland Browns. Barr spent the next season on defense as well, intercepting three more passes.
However, Terry’s versatility would also cause him problems early in his career because he could never seem to find his niche on the team. With the 1960 season came the arrival of Dick “Night Train” Lane to the Motor City, thus prompting the move of Barr to offense full-time. However, Lion coach George Wilson decided to first put Barr at halfback. It was a tough year for Terry, as he would only garner 17 carries and 5 receptions, while playing behind the Lions’ established backfield of Nick Pietrosante, Danny Lewis and Howard Cassady.
Then in 1961, Wilson made the move that would give Terry the opportunity to shine by moving him to flanker. Over the next five seasons, Terry would catch 212 passes, for 3,604 yards and 34 touchdowns. He would become the first Lion receiver in history to earn back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, when he would gain 1,086, and 1,030 yards, respectively, during the 1963 and ‘64 seasons. Terry would catch 22 of his 35 career-touchdowns during those two seasons as well. In addition, Terry was named All-Pro in 1963, and to the Pro Bowl in 1963 and ’64. His 3,810 career receiving yards and 35 touchdowns still place him seventh, and second, respectively, on the Lions’ all-time list in those two categories.
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