Discussion in 'History Zone' started by NickZepp, Mar 18, 2017.
I saw Hayes play (not in person of course, just on TV), and he was awesome to see in his prime.
But I have to respond to this idea that Hayes' speed was responsible for the development of zone defenses. That is simply not true; defenses were playing zones as early as the Fifties.
The Detroit Lions won two NFL titles in the '50s playing zone with the likes of Yale Lary and Jack Christiansen in the defensive backfield (see "The First Fifty Years", page 147). The Colts deployed a zone defense in a losing effort against the Browns in the '64 NFL title game (see "Real Football", page 43).
Look, as a one-time football player and track runner myself, I love Bob Hayes as much as anyone does. But I think we need to put to rest this myth that he alone was responsible for the development of the zone defense -- it simply isn't true.
I don't think debunking the myth detracts in any way from Hayes' accomplishments or his worthiness as a HOFer.
My first number playing football was #22 because I loved Bob Hayes. My first favorite Cowboy.