HOUSTON - Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and all-time Houston Oilers great Curley Culp passed away early Saturday morning, according to a statement released by his family.
The legendary nose tackle’s wife, Collette Bloom Culp, shared a message of her husband’s passing on his Twitter account Saturday.
“On behalf of our family and with a broken heart, I announce the passing of my husband, Curley Culp early this morning,” she wrote. “We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.''
After a standout collegiate career at Arizona State playing under coach Frank Kush, Culp was selected by the Denver Broncos with a second-round (31st overall) pick in the 1968 NFL Draft and then traded during his rookie year to Kansas City. With the Chiefs, the interior defensive lineman - one of the NFL's strongest men - became a dominant force for the defensive. In his second year in Kansas City, the Arizona native was selected to the first of his six Pro Bowl appearances. In his third NFL year, he played nose tackle at a high level and helped the Chiefs to a 1970 Super Bowl victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
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He landed on Houston in 1975 and became a second stage of his career that would place him on the Oilers' all-time team. In Culp’s first full season with the Houston Oilers, he recorded 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Pro in 1975.
By the end of his 14-year NFL career, Culp had totaled 68.5 sacks through 179 games and 156 starts. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2013 class.
Our thoughts are with the Culp family.