Erich Barnes, the stellar defense of the giants of the 1960s, has died at the age of 86

Erich Barnes, the stellar defense of the giants of the 1960s, has died at the age of 86

Erich Barnes, the heavy and fast corner keeper who helped the Giants to three consecutive NFL Championship games in the early 1960s, died Friday in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York at the age of 86.

His death, at the hospital, was announced by the Giants, who said it happened after a long illness, but did not provide further details.

In 14 seasons playing – three with the Chicago Bears, four with the Giants and seven with the Cleveland Browns – Barnes often met the league’s best wide receivers.

In his career he has cut 45 passes and seven runs back to touch. He set an NFL record for the longest interception when he picked up a pass to Eddie LeBaron of the Dallas Cowboys in an October 1961 game and scored 102 yards for Irbina.

At 6 feet 2 inches and 200 pounds, Barnes had a good size for his time corner.

“I was a dictator or a bully,” he told in 2008. “I did not protect the recipients. I never let them get in the rhythm. I always wanted the receiver to go where I wanted.

Barnes voted for the Pro Bowl with the Bears in 1959, with the Giants each season from 1961 to 1964, and with the Browns in 1968. He was selected to the first team in the All-Pro in 1961 when he cut seven assists. Returned with two points.

“Barnes was tall and thin and had a bit of a bad streak in him,” recalls Sam Huff, a well-known rough-and-tumble midfielder, in “Tough Stuff: The Man in the Middle” (1988), co-written with Leonard Shapiro. “If you catch a ball in front of Erich Barnes, he will force you to pay for it. And when you catch something near the sideline, it is better to stay away from the borders, because Erich will follow you.”

Erich (pronounced EE-rich) Theodore Barnes was born on July 4, 1935 in Elkhart, Ind. His father, Sylvester, was a real estate investor; His mother, Lura, was a housewife.

Erich grew a fan of the Browns. Staffed by Perdue, he played in midfield attack and defense and was also a receiver. Those bears were selected in the fourth round of the 1958 NFL draft.

Barnes joined the Giants in 1961 through a tripartite trade in which they sent corner keeper Lyndon Crow to the Los Angeles Rams.

Under Ali Sherman, Giant won the Eastern Conference title from 1961 to 1963, but lost annually in the NFL Championship game, twice to the Green Bay Packers and then to the Dates.

Teams of giants of that era, featuring Andy Robustell, Dick Modzelevsky, Roosevelt Grier and Jim Katkawaji online, Huff Defender, Barnes and Dick Lynch on the corner and Jim Petton safely, made the defensive game a glamorous piece of pro football. Quarterback YA Tittle, taken from the San Francisco 49ers, has become a New Yorker famous for his brilliant passes.

Barnes intercepted 18 assists while playing for Giant, and his block packer led to the restoration of the last zone by Jim Collier in the 1962 NFL Championship game, giving Giant the only blow in a 16-7 loss.

One of Barnes’s most spectacular performances took place when the Giants played the Philadelphia Eagles in November 1961 at Yankee Stadium.

Pete Previtt, a club attendee, suggested to the Giants’ coaches that when the time came to make a long pass, the fastest players who were not normally used in attack were put into formation.

At the end of the first half, Sherman put Barnes and Patton as slot receivers, swapping two running backs, while keeping in play his regular passers, flankers Kyle Rote and Del Schofner and Joe Walton. All five landed at the bottom, with the title throwing a 62-yard pass to Barnes. The Giants won the game 38-21.

After three consecutive championship seasons for the Giants, the core of the team began to travel by trade or retirement.

After a 2-10-2 draw in 1964, Giant replaced Barnes Browns in August 1965. He played for Cleveland teams that went to three NFL Championship games – and lost each time, as did his Giants.

Barnes retired after the 1971 season and became a special events planner for businesses in the New York area.

He was survived by his wife, Violet Ward Barnes; Her daughters Charis Barnes-Johnson, Juna Barnes and Tessa Robinson; Her sisters, Joan Mark and Linda Turner; Three grandchildren; And two grandchildren. He had homes in Jonkers, New York, and Juliet, Ill.

Barnes was a heady player, despite his reputation for strikes that sometimes went over the edge. Sports Illustrated once quoted him as saying, “When I was with the Giants and I was in Cleveland, they called me dirty,” but after he was exchanged for Brown, “the giants called me dirty, and Cleveland called me aggressive. Call me aggressive.”

As he said, “It all depends on where you play.”

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