When recalling the great Buffalo Bills defenses of the mid-1960s, there are a number of big names that come to mind. Tom Sestak, Ron McDole, Paul Maguire, George Saimes, Butch Byrd, and many others. One that has a tendency to get overlooked, unfortunately, is linebacker Harry Jacobs.
Harry Jacobs was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round of the 1959 NFL Draft, but was released during training camp. Opportunity came knocking shortly after, however, in the form of a brand new professional league. The Boston Patriots picked up the 6’1″ middle linebacker, and thus started a career in which Jacobs played in the very first, and final AFL games for his teams. He is one of just 20 men to have played all 10 AFL seasons.
After three seasons in Boston, Harry Jacobs was sold to the Buffalo Bills where he joined Mike Stratton and John Tracey to make up perhaps the AFL’s greatest linebacking trio. He won two championships with the Bills, spending seven seasons in Buffalo. Jacobs played his final season with the New Orleans Saints, and retired from the game having played 11 professional seasons.
Today Harry Jacobs is 79 years old, and battling Alzheimer’s. A recent article details Jacobs career and the challenges he faces today.