Sunday, November 8, 2009
Los Angeles Rams
1959 - 1970
163 Games Played
18 Fumble Recoveries
10 Kicks Blocked
6 Pro Bowls
Eddie Doyle Meador was drafted in the seventh round of the 1959 draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He was the 80th player chosen overall.
Meador went to college at Arkansas Tech University, mainly because one of his high school football coaches had went there for a job and championed Meador's cause. He had previously been told been told by Bear Bryant of Texas A&M that he was too small to play college football.
He ended up being co-captain and played running back, defensive back, and returned kicks for the Wonder Boys. He scored 272 career points and rushing for 3,358 yards, which is still second-best in school history. He was on the Associated Press Little All-American team in 1958, and was named the Outstanding Back in the All-Star College Football Game. He was named Arkansas Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1958. Meador is a member of the Arkansas Tech Hall Of Fame, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, Helms Athletic Foundation Sports Hall of Fame, and NAIA Collegiate Hall of Fame.
Earning a starting job right away as a cornerback, the rookie picked off three passes for a Rams team that struggled to just two wins under Hall Of Fame coach Sid Gillman. The Associated Press placed him on their All-NFL Second Team for his efforts. The Rams then replaced Gillman at coach with Hall Of Famer Bob Waterfield. Meador made his first Pro Bowl squad after getting four interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown.
He has one interception the next season, and was named First Team All-NFL by The Sporting News. After a solo interception the following season, he had six in 1963. It was his last season as a cornerback, and he was named Second Team All-NFL by the New York Daily News and the National Enterprises Association. The Rams then moved him to the free safety position.
Though he had already established himself as one of the top defensive backs in the league, Meador quickly became a superior safety. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1964, after swiping three balls, and returning six kickoffs for 148 yards. He returned to the Pro Bowl the next year after getting two interceptions. He also ran the ball twice for 35 yards, including scampering 24 yards for a touchdown.
The Rams then hired George Allen in 1966, making it the third Hall Of Famer that coached Meador in his career. Allen soon named him co-captain of the Rams defense. Meador responded with his third straight Pro Bowl season after he had five interceptions.
In the third game of the 1967 season versus the Dallas Cowboys, he intercepted two passes attempts from Don Meredith. He took one ball 30 yards for a score and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Week. He finished the season with a career best eight interceptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Meador also completed the only passing attempt of his career for an 18 yard touchdown, and returned a career high 21 punts. He was named to the Pro Bowl for a fourth straight season.
He went to his last Pro Bowl in 1968 after getting six interceptions, and he was named First Team All-Pro. He also returned 17 punts for a career high 136 yards, and returned a kickoff 20 yards. The 1969 season was another year that he was named First Team All-Pro. He scored two touchdowns off of five interceptions that season. He also was named the NFL Players Association President that year. He was honored with the NFLPA Byron 'Whizzer' White Award and was named NFL Father of the Year. After getting two interceptions in 1970, he retired.
Ed Meador is a member of the 1960's All-Decade Team, and the Rams All-Time Team. He was known by several of his teammates as the "Rams Little Assassin" because of his fierce play on the field. He was also a multi-dimensional athlete who was the holder of place kicks for the Rams. Often he would run or pass on fake field goal attempts.
He still owns five records with the Rams. He has the most interceptions with 46, fumble recoveries with 18, and kicks blocked with ten. He blocked four kicks in one year, and recovered five fumbles in one season. To say he had a nose for the football would be a huge understatement.
It is astonishing that Meador has yet to be inducted into Canton. He has gone to the same amount of Pro Bowls as 15 other defensive backs that are already inducted. He was named the Rams Defensive Back of the Year seven times in his career, which is just another example of his impact. Tackles were not a recorded statistic in his era, but he exceeded 100 tackles in several seasons. He once had 126 tackles in a 14 game season, which is an impressive rate for a free safety. He was fast, quick, tough, and smart.
For all he did on the field, he did even more off the field. He was very active in charities, especially with the Special Olympics. His leadership abilities were seen from his days in college up until the day he retired from the NFL. He had the respect of everyone who encountered him both on and off the field during his playing days. He overcame huge obstacles of being told he couldn't play, then coming from a small college, to start in every game he played in his career. He was a iron man who missed just one game in 12 seasons.
It is time to get Eddie Meador his well deserved respect. You can do your part by visiting his website at : http://www.edmeador21.com/how%20to%20nominate.html
Notable Players Drafted In 1959 (None are a Canton Inductee Yet)
2. Dick Bass, FB, Los Angelos Rams
3. Bill Stacy, DB, Chicago Cardinals
5. Dave Baker, DB, San Francisco
6. Nick Pietrosante, FB, Detroit
15. J.D. Smith, OT, Philadelphia
17. Bob L. Harrison, LB, San Francisco
19. Mike Rabold, G, Detroit
21. Rich Petitbon, DB, Chicago Bears
22. Buddy Dial, WR, NY Giants
23. Dick Shafrath, OT, Cleveland
25. Bowd Dowler, WR, Green Bay
26. Wray Carlton, RB, Philadelphia
28. Emil Karas, LB, Washington
29. Eddie Dove, DB, San Francisco
34. Joe Morrison, RB, NY Giants
35. Fran O'Brien, OT, Cleveland
41. Monte Clark, DT, San Francisco
44. John Tracey, LB, LA Rams
47. Dave Lloyd, LB, Cleveland
49. Bob Wetoska, OT, Washington
53. John Wooten, G, Cleveland
58. Dick LeBeau, DB, Cleveland Browns
102. Bobby Joe Green, P, San Francisco
119. Bob Zeman, DB, Cleveland
123. Art Powell, WR, Philadelphia
125. Harry Jacobs, LB, Detroit
141. Mike Connelly, C, LA Rams
164. Joe Robb, DE, Chicago Bears
167. Elbert Dubenion, WR, Cleveland
173. Bruce Maher, DB, Detroit
177. Roger LeClerc, LB, Chicago Bears
209. Joe Kapp, QB, Washington
219. Alan Miller, FB, Philadelphia
223. Dave Kocourek, TE, Pittsburgh
242. Dale Memmelaar, G, Chicago Cardinals
249. Donnie Stone, RB, Chicago Bears
250. Jim Fraser, LB, Cleveland
266. Fred Glick, DB, Chicago Cardinals
313. Timmy Brown, RB, Green Bay
319. Charley Tolar, FB, Pittsburgh
331. Ron Hall, DB, Pittsburgh
353. Jim Colclough, WR, Washington