Packers legend, Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley passes away at age 81

Adderley tallied 48 carrer interceptions, including 39 with the Packers, seven of which were returned for touchdowns.

Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Herb Adderley, who played for the Packers from 1961-69, passed away Friday, after being recently hospitalized. Adderley was 81.

At 6 feet and 205 pounds, Herb Adderley was not only the prototypical cornerback of his day, but of all time. He had it all: speed, size, toughness, awareness and big-play ability. In his pro career, during which he also played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970-72, Adderley intercepted 48 passes, including 39 with the Packers, seven of which were returned for touchdowns.

Named to NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team, Adderley was also named Associated Press All-Pro five times and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection while with the Packers. He played on six NFL championship teams, including five in Green Bay, and played in four of the first six Super Bowls, including two with Dallas. He led the Packers in kickoff returns each season from 1961-64 and averaged 25.7 yards over his career.

Adderley was born June 8, 1939, in Philadelphia.

You can read a statement from Mark Murphy and a full story on Adderley's time with the Packers over on the team's website

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Comments (12)

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13TimeChamps's picture

October 30, 2020 at 04:14 pm

What a defense they had.

Adderly (RIP)
Wood (RIP)
Robinson
Davis (RIP)
Nitschke (RIP)
Jordan (RIP)

Sadly, most of them are gone now. What a privilege to have gotten to watch them in their prime!
All HOF's on AND off the field.

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Guam's picture

October 31, 2020 at 07:49 am

I had the privilege of watching them play too 13TC and Adderly was one of the best I have ever seen at CB. I had the good fortune to meet Dave Robinson a few years ago and even as an old guy like me, Robinson is big man. And a gentleman who still carries the "G" very proudly and very well.

Robinson let me try on his Super Bowl ring and I had to put two fingers through the ring to get it to stay on my hand (and I'm not a small guy at 6'2" and 200 lbs). His mitts are absolutely enormous and they are a match for rest of his torso. Not surprising that he dominated the league forty+ years ago.

Given the Cap, we will never see another team with as many all-pros as the Packers had during the Lombardi era. RIP Herb Adderly.

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jurp's picture

November 01, 2020 at 11:39 am

I was very lucky to meet Henry Jordan at Summerfest around 1970. My father worked the fair and, while my sister and I were helping him get his equipment into the car at the main admin building, Mr. Jordan left the building to go home. He saw my father, whom he knew a little bit, saw that my sister and I were there, and came over to say "Hi" and talk a bit with us. When he saw that we were obviously starry-eyed to meet a former Packer, he walked us over to his car, popped the trunk, pulled out a couple of postcard-sized photos of himself in uniform, and signed them for us. He also showed us his Super Bowl ring (which seemed MASSIVE to my 10-year-old eyes), and shook our hands before leaving for home. I still have the photo, although the ink has faded a bit over the decades. What a great guy who died WAY too soon.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 30, 2020 at 06:37 pm

Rest in turf Herb.

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Lphill's picture

October 30, 2020 at 07:31 pm

He once said in an interview he never wore his Cowboys super bowl ring only his Packers because he said he will always be a Packer at heart, Rest in peace , go pack go !

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Tundraboy's picture

October 30, 2020 at 10:32 pm

And that is the legacy of Lombardi as well. What a great player, killed me that he left for Dallas. RIP

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BigYalie's picture

October 31, 2020 at 01:24 am

R.I.P. Herb Adderley, one of the greats.

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Bure9620's picture

October 31, 2020 at 01:54 am

So Sad, Herb Adderley was an outstanding human being....And corner..... I have to say, most fans unfortunately do not remember the great African American Packers the same as Star, Hutson, Hornung, MgGee, Nitschke, Thurston, Kramer, Taylor are remembered.......You get it.......that is sad and needs to change and will change

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fastmoving's picture

October 31, 2020 at 04:58 pm

Well said. And it has to change. He was one of the best of that team, thats for sure and a even better human being.

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ron7's picture

October 31, 2020 at 05:43 pm

If you asked me what player from the Lombardi era could you take as is without any changes and he would be an all pro in today's game, it would be Adderley. Nitschke and Robinson would have been close but whenever I see an Adderley highlight I see such a combination of speed, size, and athletic ability. There is such a vitality in his play.

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jurp's picture

November 01, 2020 at 11:41 am

I think Willie Davis could have been a star in today's game, too.

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Since'61's picture

October 31, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Herb Adderley remains to be the best NFL CB I have ever seen play his position. He was a ferocious tackler against the run. The few times a pass was caught on his side of the field there was little if any YAC.

It reached the point where opposing QBs just did not throw to his side of the field. It was not mentioned in the article but Adderley also blocked some PATs and FGs over the years which contributed and/or preserved Packer victories. He had a knack for making big plays at the key point in the game.
They did not keep a stat for passes broken up during his era but his number would be high at least until they stopped throwing his way. He had perfect coverage technique.

He was drafted as an RB but Lombardi converted him to CB and it proved to be a great move for the Packers and an HOF career for Adderley.

I was fortunate to have the privilege of watching his entire career in Green Bay. Thanks for all the great plays Herb. Rest In Peace. Since ‘61

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