100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions: #11 Lou Creekmur

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On this Sunday edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor the greatest offensive lineman in Lions’ history.

11. Lou Creekmur

Offensive Tackle / Guard / Defensive Guard. 1950-59 Detroit

When it comes to football, you cannot win unless you have stellar players along the offensive and defensive lines. The Detroit Lions of the 1950’s had a plethora of both, and none of them were better than Lou Creekmur. The 6-foot-4, 246 pounder was a stalwart at guard, and later left tackle, for the Lions during those championship years. In addition, throughout his career Lou was part of the Lions’ goal-line defensive team. He went to eight-straight Pro Bowls from 1950-57, and with the exception of 1955 was named All-Pro in each of those years as well. One reason for the ‘55 omission may have been the fact that, at the request of his head coach Buddy Parker, Lou was asked to perform double-duty full-time that year. Because of the retirement of all-pro middle guard Les Bingaman, Parker had Lou fill that position in Detroit’s defensive front. It was an assignment that Creekmur accepted, even if it wasn’t to his liking. “I hated it,” he said to this author in a recent interview.

In addition to his Hall of Fame skills, Lou was durable. He played in every preseason, regular-season, and postseason game during his first nine years in the league. One reason for this may have been because of his aggressive nature. Creekmur was very skilled at the art of the flying elbow, as well as the covert hold. He told legendary Detroit sports-scribe Doc Greene in 1958 that he “probably held on every other play.” “I never really held much with my hands, but I developed a knack of holding with my elbows, knees, feet, head – any place where I could make a junction with my body and the other guy’s.”

He was very candid with this author as well in his liberal use of the infamous dirty little secret of the offensive lineman . . . the “leg whip”. He described the technique as follows: “If the defensive man was coming hard, you could fake him out by dropping like your beat and then whipping the back of your heel into his shins. Later, they would think twice about coming in that hard. (Laughs)” Creekmur summed up his style in these terms: “You have to get the other man before he gets you.” It sounds simple, but for Lou Creekmur it worked. Lou, along with Alex Wojciechowicz, and 1957 teammate Frank Gatski, still remain the only Lion offensive lineman to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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    […] 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions: #10 Lou Creekmur (waketheherd.wordpress.com) […]

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