With his pride, tenacity and leadership, Willie Davis personified the enduring qualities of the great Packer defenses of the 1960s.
After two seasons playing football in the U.S. Army and two more seasons as a reserve with the Cleveland Browns, Davis was acquired by the Packers in 1960 for tight end A.D. Williams.
From the day he started in September 1960 through his final Packer game in 1969, Davis never missed a game. His 162 consecutive games played is second in Packer history to teammate Forrest Gregg.
While not the biggest or strongest defensive end at 6’3”, 245-pounds, Davis used his quickness and intelligence to beat opposing blockers.
A five-time Pro Bowl and All Pro performer, Davis played in six NFL championship games with the Packers and the first two Super Bowls. Only once did Davis experience a post-season loss, against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1960 NFL championship game.
Watching film of the Packers 17-13 loss to the Eagles, Davis was haunted by a run away from him, a play which he thought he could have pursued and made a tackle. Thereafter, he made it his mission to give 100 percent or more on every play.
He currently holds the Packer record for fumbles recovered during his career, 21. While quarterback sacks were not officially recorded when Davis played, he was equally adept at rushing the quarterback or stuffing runners at the point of attack.
While playing for the Packers, Davis earned his master’s degree in business at the University of Chicago.
Davis was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
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