Norm “Wild Man” Willey played defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1950-1957. The 6-2 224 lbs. defensive end out of Marshall College was drafted in the 13th round of the 1950 NFL Draft. Norman Willey would today be called a pass rushing defensive end. He made the Pro Bowl 2 times following the 1955 and 1956 seasons.
"Wild Man" Willey
Norm Willey used to go all out in practice. He would continually crush his own team’s quarterbacks. As a result of his unrelentless style, Willey’s teammates started to call him “Wild Man” and the nickname stuck.
Norm Willey Records 17 Sacks in a Game
It was October 26, 1952 and the Philadelphia Eagles were playing the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York. Norm “Wild Man” Willey just abused Giants quarterback Charlie Connerly that day, tackling him behind the line of scrimmage 17 times. “The Giants complained that I was hitting Connerly late, but that was sour grapes,” Willey said. “I mean, he was going down with the ball, so how can that be late? He was bleeding and limped off the field and said he’d had enough.” Willey was named defensive player of the week for his play that day. (1)
Sack Master before Sacks
In Michael Strahan’s record-setting sack season, he recorded 22 and ½ sacks in a 16 game season. Legend has it; Willey once recorded 17 sacks in a single game. During a big part of his career according to “The Complete History of the Philadelphia Eagles,” it was stated that he averaged 20-30 sacks per season. These were 12-game seasons. Wildman Willey: 17 Sacks in One Game is an excellent article that everyone should read. We must not forget about the great players of NFL past.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
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