Detroit Lions Top 50: #29-25 with VIDEO

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28. Jim David, DB, 1952-1959

Jim “The Hatchet” David was a member of three Detroit Lions World Championship teams in the 1950s, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in Detroit history. The six-time Pro Bowler (1955–60) roamed in the Lions secondary, often referred to as “Chris’ Crew”, for eight seasons (1952–59) after being drafted out of Colorado A&M.

David’s teammates in that secondary included Hall of Famers Jack Christiansen and Yale Lary, and they were also joined by Bob Smith and Karl Karilivacz. He ended his career with 36 interceptions, which still ranks fifth in Lions’ history, and he recorded a season-high of seven interceptions three times (1952, 1954 and 1956).

“The Hatchet,” earned his nickname because he injured future Hall of Famers, Y.A. Tittle and Tom Fears in consecutive games despite weighing just over 170 pounds, was one of the few players to be with the Lions for all three of their NFL championships in the 1950s.

Following his retirement, David immediately entered the pro coaching ranks – joining the Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff as defensive backs coach from 1960 to 1962. Jim later became the Rams’ chief talent scout in 1963. He then joined Jack Christiansen’s San Francisco 49ers coaching staff, as secondary coach, from 1964 to 1966.

The clip here is of a key interception by David in the 1952 championship game, which the Lions eventually won 17-7. In fact, David posted an interception in all three of the Lions’ NFL Championship wins during his tenure.