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Stan Walters

Sport: Football

Born: May 27 1948

Town: Rutherford

Stanley Peters Walters Jr. was born May 27, 1948 in Rutherford. The son of a raw-boned Jersey City industrial worker, Stan stood a head above most of the boys in his class and outmuscled them, too. He was a star in youth league football and basketball, and continued to dominate those sports at St. Mary’s High School, the alma mater of Bob DeMarco, a star lineman for the NFL Cardinals when Stan was in school.

Stan stood 6’6” and weighed over 250 pounds when he joined the Syracuse University football team in 1968. He was a key member of the offensive line in 1970—a season remembered for its turmoil after eight African-American players boycotted the Orangemen. The team was blown out in its first three games but rebounded to win 6 of its final 7. In 1971, Syracuse split its 11 games, going 5–5–1. Stan played with great intelligence at left tackle, which attracted the attention of NFL scouts. He was drafted in the 9th round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1972.

Stan filled in for Rufus Mayes at right tackle during his rookie campaign, starting the final 8 games. After battling a nagging illness in 1973, he became a full-time starter in 1974. After the season, the Bengals—in search of a backup for Ken Anderson, traded Stan to the Eagles for former University of Florida passer John Reaves plus a draft pick. The Eagles were perennial losers and Stan fell into some bad habits in 1975 as he team went 4–10. Dick Vermeil was hired to turn things around and one of his first moves was to confront Stan about his play. Stan was the biggest player on the Philadelphia roster; he needed to be the smartest or he would find himself playing somewhere else. Years later, he said the meeting with Vermeil changed the trajectory of his career.

Playing with renewed purpose, at the left tackle position Stan upped his game and turned in Pro Bowl seasons in 1978 and 1979. In 1980, he did not allow a single sack. He was a major reason Wilbert Montgomery and Ron Jaworski were able to set a slew of team records during this era. In 1980, the Eagles reached the NFC title game against the Cowboys. Stan injured his back in the first half but returned in the second half to help the team run roughshod over the Dallas defense. The Eagles fell short of a Super Bowl win, falling to the Raiders, 27–10.

Stan began to suffer injuries the following season and retired after the 1983 season, after 122 consecutive starts at left tackle for the team. Stan moved right into the broadcast booth, joining Merrill Reese as a radio commentator. They worked together for 14 seasons. He left the club in 1997 after 22 years after his wife, Kathy—a paper industry executive—was transferred to and retiring to the Atlanta area.

 

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