KUSA—Vito “Babe” Parilli, who helped guide quarterback Craig Morton to glory in the Denver Broncos’ first Super Bowl-appearing season of 1977, died Saturday morning, the New England Patriots announced.
He was 87.
Parilli was one of the top quarterbacks in the old American Football League in the 1960s. His best years were with the Boston Patriots from 1961-67 before he finished as the New York Jets’ backup quarterback to Joe Namath in 1968-69. Parilli was the AFL’s All Star Game MVP in 1966.
During his years with the Jets, Parilli was the placeholder for kicker Jim Turner. Both wound up with the Broncos – Turner as the team’s Ring of Fame kicker from 1971-79 and Parilli as Red Miller’s quarterbacks’ coach from 1977-79.
Both Parilli and Turner made Denver their permanent home.
Parilli not only helped resurrect the career of the aging Morton in 1977, he is given credit for discovering a skinny, undrafted receiver from Temple named Steve Watson.
“Besides my dad, he was the biggest reason I made it to the NFL,’’ Watson said Saturday. “I was out doing some errands and…
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