Detroit Lions Gridiron Heroes
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions
Former Lions S Bennie Blades was a 10-year NFL veteran from the University of Miami (Fla.) who spent the first nine seasons of his career in Detroit from 1988-96. During his time with the Lions, his reputation around the league stood out as he was considered one of the most physical defensive backs in the NFL.
The Lions selected the 1987 Jim Thorpe Award winner and former All-American with the third overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft and Blades went on to earn NFL All-Rookie honors for the 1988 season. Known for his hard hits and aggressive play, Blades was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1991 in addition to receiving First-Team All-NFL and First-team All-NFC honors. He was the Lions’ Defensive MVP in 1992 and led the team with 132 tackles in 1996, which was one of three 100-tackle seasons he had for the Lions.
Blades was a key component to a Lions’ defense that helped the team claim the 1991 NFC Central title and a berth in the NFC Championship game, along with three other playoff appearances in the 1990s. Perhaps one game that truly exemplified Bennie Blades as a “football warrior” was against the Packers at the old Milwaukee County Stadium November 6, 1994.
Blades, who entered the game banged-up with sore ankles and a shoulder injury, actually played significant time filling in at a linebacker position. Blades was all over the field, recording a team-high 10 tackles, his only sack of ’94 and also recovered a fumble. The former defensive captain’s 815 career tackles place him second on the Lions’ all-time list.
Blades' Career Lions' Stats