by Bryan Dietzler
The end of the year has arrived and the year 2019 is about to become part of the past. Along with the passing of the year, we remember some of the greats that passed on during 2019. Several famous ex-players passed on in 2019 including Bart Starr, Wally Chambers along with owners Bill Bidwell and Pat Bolen.
We lost so many good ones this year.
Let’s take a look at some of those that we lost this year and what they meant to professional football. At the end is a listing of all of the former football players, staff and others related to the game so no one is left out.
Cedric Benson-36-This former Chicago Bear, Green Bay Packer and Cincinnati Bengal had an up and down career in the NFL. He was a first-round pick that just couldn’t cut it in Chicago. He moved on and found success in other places. Benson was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Bill Bidwill-88-Bidwill is the former owner of the Arizona Cardinals who had a big hand in league matters and development. He did a lot to help build the league into what it is today.
Pat Bowlen-75-Bowlen was the former owner the Denver Broncos passed away this year. He helped put the Broncos in a position to win the Super Bowl and brought John Elway into the mix in management which has proven to be somewhat successful.
Cliff Branch-71-Branch was a wide receiver for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders for 14 years. He was part of some of those great Raiders teams. Branch was a two-time NFL receiving touchdowns leader and led the league in receiving one season as well. He was one of the better receivers of his time.
Nick Buoniconti-78-Bunoiconti will be best remembered for his part in the Miami Dolphins famed undefeated season. He was also an excellent linebacker who won many honors and awards during this time in the NFL. A little-known fact about Buoniconti is that he played with the New England Patriots for a short period of time.
Wally Chambers-68-This famous former Chicago Bear and Tampa Bay Buccaneer was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1973. He had a solid career and helped pave the way for tough defenses in Chicago.
Reggie Cobb-50-Cobb was a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the longest but also played with three other teams. He was somewhat of a household name when he played in Tampa Bay and but his career never really got off the ground. After seven seasons, he was done in the league.
Gunther Cunningham-72-Cuningham was a very well-known coordinator and Head Coach in the league. His specialty was defense and he is most well known for the time that he spent with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Forrest Gregg-85-This former player and coach of the Green Bay Packers. Gregg is a Hall of Famer and had a successful career in Green Bay.
Charles Rodgers-38-The former first-round pick of the Detroit Lions, who never panned out in the NFL, passed away at a young age. He had a lot of potential but it was just never realized.
Bart Starr-85-The famous former quarterback of some legendary Green Bay Packers’ teams passed away this year. He will be best remembered for his playing in the Super Bowl and leading the Packers to a championship. Starr was heavily honored and is a Hall of Famer.
Wade Wilson-60-Wilson, a former quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and Oakland Raiders Wilson had made his way around the NFL. He played 17 seasons in the league and then coached for a little while.
George Atkinson, Joe Auer, Neion Ball, Greg Barton, Tom Bass, Ken Behring, Joe Bellino, Horace Belton, Barry Bennett, Duane Benson, Jeff Blackshear, Adam Bob, Ordell Braase, Zeke Bratkowski, Cookie Brinkman, Tommy Brooker, Willie Brown, Hank Bullough, Al Carmichael, Howard Cassady, Donald Chelf, Mike Cofer, Emerson Cole, Jim Colvin, Dan Conners, Vince Costello, Fred Cox, Al Crow, T.J. Cunningham, Clem Daniels, Sam Davis, Anthony Dickerson, Bobby Dillon, Dale Dodrill, Jack Doblin, Blaine Earon, Willie Ellison, Rick Forzano, Bob Fry, Larry Garron, Russell Gary, Don Gills, Fred Golden, Bill Gompers, Bubba Green, Donnie Green, Johnny Green, Jack Gregory, Cedrick Hardman, Jim Hardy, Stacy Harvey, Chip Healy, Roy Hilton, Glen Ray Hines, E.J. Holub, Vaughan Johnson, Lam Jones, Ricky Jones, Bob Kilcullen, Bill Koman, Gerry Krall, Bob Kuechenberg, MacArthur Lane, Jim Langer, Dan La Rose, Kwamie Lassiter, Jim LeClair, Keith Lincoln, Jared Lorenzen, Bill Mackrides, Pete Manning, Gino Marchetti, Wanye Maas, Mike McGee, John Michaels, Walt Michaels, Ron Miller, Bill Nelsen, Phil Nugent, Joe O’Donnell, Ray Ogden, Dan Orlich, Dave Parks, Bernie Parrish, Eric Patterson, Mitch Petrus, Larry Rakestraw, John Ralston, Nate Ramsey, Mike Riley, Terrell Roberts, Jack Rudolph, Turk Schonert, Joe Scudero, Andy Selfridge, Ed Simonini, Lou Slaby, Lou Sossamon, Billy Stacy, Vern Studdard, Clovis Swinne, George Tarasovic, Mike Thomas, Dalton Truax, R-Kal Truluck, Herman Urenda, Ebert Van Buren, Bruce Walton, Walter White, Clyde Williams, Dick Woodward, Jon Yaccino and Bob Zeman.
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