The All-Time 1960s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)

By Krupka  |   Monday, July 03, 2006  |  Comments( 6 )

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Selecting an All-Time team for any franchise is tough. Since we are in the depths of the offseason, with nothing really going on until training camp, which begins in approximately a month, it's as good of a time as any to look back on the storied history of the Minnesota Vikings franchise and select the All-Decade teams on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, culminating in a final All-Time Vikings Team.

In this first installment, I'll take a look back at the best offensive players from the '60s.

QB Fran Tarkenton: In his first stint with the Vikings--1961-1966--he completed 53.9 percent of his passes for 14,579 yards and 113 touchdowns. He was the first "scrambling" quarterback and revolutionized the position. From '61-'66, he rushed for 1,893 yards, a 6.45 yard per carry average, and 15 touchdowns. After the '66 season, he was traded to the New York Giants for two first and second-round picks over a three-year period. Luckily for the organization, it made amends and reacquired arguably the greatest player in franchise history before it was too late in 1972.

RB/FB Bill Brown: The Vikings acquired the dual-threat back prior to the 1962 season from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 1964 Draft. He went on to play 13 seasons with the Vikings. He was a bruising back that held many team records at the time of his retirement, the conclusion of the 1974 season. In 1964, Brown rushed for 866 yards and seven touchdowns, while catching 48 passes for 703 yards and nine touchdowns that season. He made the Pro Bowl in 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968. Certainly one of the best trades the organization ever made. In the '60s with the Vikes, he rushed for 43 touchdowns, including 11 in 1968, and rushed for 4,787 yards. He also added 227 receptions for 2,573 yards and 16 more touchdowns.

RB/FB Dave Osborn: The 6-0, 206-pounder was like a train running through people. He teamed up with Bill Brown and Tommy Mason (at the end of his career) to give the Vikings a tremendous running game. The North Dakota product played 11 seasons with the team. From '65-'69, he complimented Brown perfectly. In '67, he carried the ball 215 times for 972 yards and two touchdowns. In 1969, the season that culminated in the first Super Bowl appearance for the organization, he rushed for seven scores.

WR Gene Washington: The Michigan State product was drafted with the No. 8 overall pick in the 1967 draft. Immediately, he made an impact, averaging a stunning 29.5 yards per catch his rookie season. From '67-'69, he caught 98 passes for 1,961 yards and 17 touchdowns. He led the team in receiving four consecutive years between '67-'70. Washington was a vital cog and go-to guy for quarterback Joe Kapp on the '69 Super Bowl team that lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

WR Paul Flatley: From '63-'67, he made 202 receptions for 3,222 yards and 17 touchdowns. A wide receiver out of Northwestern, the Vikings selected him in the fourth round of the 1963 draft. As a rookie, he tallied his highest reception total (51) and was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. His best season came in 1965, when he caught passes for 896 yards and seven touchdowns. He was a Pro Bowl selection in '66. Flatley led the team in receiving in three different seasons('63, '65, '66).

TE Gordon Smith: A member of the original Vikings team, he played from '61-'65. Smith didn't catch too many passes, but when he did, he made them count. He had a career 22.4 yards per reception to go with 13 touchdowns in his five seasons, all with the Vikings. His finest season was his final, as he caught 22 passes for 431 yards and 5 touchdowns in '65.

PK Fred Cox: While placekicker technically is a special teams unit, it's right to give credit to the kicker who spent his entire 15-year career with the Vikings (1963-1977). He only missed three extra points in the 60s. In the aforementioned Super Bowl appearance in 1969, Cox had one of his best seasons, going 43-of-43 on extra points and notching his second best year in total points, with 121, converting 26-of-37 field goal attempts.

Offensive Line: C Mick Tinglehoff, T Gary Alderman, G Milt Sunde, G Larry Bowie, T Ron Yary

Honorable Mention: QB Joe Kapp, RB Tommy Mason, WR Jim Phillips

There you have it. The All-Time 1960s Minnesota Vikings offense. Feel free to leave comments or email your own choices.

Eric Krupka can be reached at

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