Robert Lee Huff (born October 4, 1934, Morgantown, West Virginia) is a former football linebacker who played for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. He was an All-American guard at the University of West Virginia . He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He is an NFL legend, remembered best for his ability to stop even the best running backs, and to stop them violently. His best known feuds were with running backs Jim Taylor, and Jim Brown.
Sam started his career with the Giants, in 1956, after being drafted in the third round. When coach Jim Lee Howell couldn't decide where to play him, Sam almost left the team before he was intercepted by assistant coach Vince Lombardi. When middle linebacker Ray Beck was injured, Huff stepped in and excelled. Beck would retire soon afterwards. That season, the Giants won the NFL Championship for the first time since 1938.
The Giants would return to the Championship Game in 1958, 1959,1961,1962, and 1963.
Due to a combination of his talent, the Giants' success, and the fact that they played in New York, Huff became the most well-known defensive star of his time. He was featured on the November 30, 1959 edition of Time Magazine. He was also the subject of a CBS special "The Violent World of Sam Huff ."
Huff earned many honours as a Giant, including being named Top NFL Linebacker in 1959, 4 consecutive Pro Bowl selections (1958-1961), and was named to the All-NFL team 3 times. Sam Huff usually came out on top in hard-hitting duels with Brown Jim Brown, and PackerJim Taylor, when they didn't play in Green Bay. Huff played in all six Championship Games the Giants played in from 1958-1963, and the Divisional Playoff Game against Cleveland, during the 1958 season when the Giants won 10-0.
Head Coach Allie Sherman , who took over in 1961 after Jim Lee Howell missed the Championship Game in 1960, traded Huff to the Washington Redskins after the 1963 season. In 1964, Huff went to his fifth, and final, Pro Bowl. The Redskins defense had given up the most points in the NFL in 1963, and hadn't ranked higher than third from the bottom since 1958. In 1964, they were ranked 7th. He played with the 'Skins from 1964-67, and 1969. He was effectively retired from football in 1968, due to differences with coach Otto Graham. He returned in 1969 as a player-coach, when Vince Lombardi returned to coach football.
Huff was one of the most physical defensive players in the annals of the NFL, viciously tackling other Hall of Fame players, hand-fighting at the line, and playing great pass defense, recording 30 interceptions, and at least one interception in each season he played.