Lem Barney’s rise with Detroit Lions began 50 years ago today – Detroit Lions News

Lem Barney’s rise with Detroit Lions began 50 years ago today – Detroit Lions News

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Lem Barney’s first NFL interception came on the first pass thrown his way and proved to be a harbinger for a Hall of Fame career with Lions

A sellout crowd of 50,861 witnessed the Detroit Lions’ 1967 opener against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field 50 years ago today. Packers quarterback Bart Starr rolled to his right in the first quarter, looking to rifle the ball to wide receiver Boyd Dowler on a short down-and-in pass. 

But as Dowler fell, reaching for the low liner, rookie cornerback Lemuel Joseph Barney made the first of his many game-changing plays with the Lions. In what seemed like one motion, Barney dove for the ball, snared it, somersaulted and raced 24 yards untouched into the end zone.

Lem Barney’s first NFL interception came on the first pass thrown his way and proved to be a harbinger for a Hall of Fame career. The seven-time Pro Bowler led the NFL with 10 interceptions as a rookie and became one of the most exciting players to ever wear Honolulu Blue. 

“We had a lot of pressure on Bart, and I think he just tried to get rid of it because he saw me covering Dowler,” Barney, 72, recently said at his home in Commerce Township. “It was very low, I got both hands on…

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