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Former Jets OL Winston Hill elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

New York Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill (75)

New York Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill (75) poses for a 1971 headshot photo. (AP Photo/NFL Photos) Credit: AP/NFL Photos

Winston Hill is a Hall of Famer, finally.

The former Jets tackle and a key member of their only Super Bowl-winning team is part of the 2020 Centennial Class that will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. Hill, who died in 2016 at the age of 74, will go in as a senior candidate — a former player who has been retired more than 25 years.

Hill spent 14 seasons with the Jets from 1963 to 1976, many of them protecting Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath’s blind side. Hill also opened holes for running backs Emerson Boozer, Matt Snell and John Riggins.

The Texas native was part of an offensive line that helped the Jets rush for 142 yards in their historic upset of the Colts in Super Bowl III.

Originally drafted by the Colts in the 11th round in 1963, Hill was waived by Baltimore that August. The Jets signed him the next day, and he became one of the best offensive linemen of his generation.

“Winston Hill deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Namath told the Jets website. “Not just the Football Hall of Fame, but if there’s a hall of fame of life, Winston Hill’s in there.”

Versatile and durable, Hill was chosen to play in four AFL All-Star Games and four straight Pro Bowls after the two leagues merged in 1970. Hill made it five times as a left tackle and the last three as a right tackle.

He holds the Jets’ record for offensive linemen with 195 consecutive games played. He also started 174 consecutive games. Hill played with a broken leg in 1965 and after having his throat stepped on in a 1974 game.

Hill was inducted in the Jets’ first Ring of Honor in 2010 with several members of the championship team — Namath, wide receiver Don Maynard and coach Weeb Ewbank. All four are Hall of Famers now.

Like Namath, Hill ended his career with the Rams in 1977.


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