By T.J. Troup
George Saimes was an undersized college fullback at Michigan State who was drafted in the 6th round in 1963 by both the Chiefs & Rams as the rival leagues continued their battle for talent. Through trade Saimes was acquired by Buffalo.
What Saimes did display was toughness and tackling ability as the right safety in an ever improving Buffalo defense coached by Joel Collier. The 1964 Bills team has played strong football all year, yet their loss to Boston has them in a precarious position
Tom Sestak continued his All-league play as he punctured the pass protection with 3 sacks, and had plenty of help from his teammates.
When Emlen Tunnell retired as a champion in Green Bay, he longed for a return to city life. Tunnell returned to the Giants, and helped coach the secondary and scouted for Wellington Mara.
One of these youngsters was a rail thin 13th round draft pick Carl Lockhart. He won the left corner post, and the Giants had a chance at a Playoff bowl berth if they could beat Dallas the last week of the season. The loss did not dampen the team improvement over 1964, but no one could have predicted what would happen in 1966. New York would allow over 500 points in a 14-game season.
The only defender who played well was Lockhart as he earned a Pro Bowl berth. Combative and quick, he was a strong tackler with excellent form. He handled both zone and man coverage so well that he was already viewed as one of the best strong side corners in all of football.
New York could only be better in 1967 with the trade for Tarkenton. A respectable year in 1967 gave promise in 1968 as Lockhart, now entrenched
Lockhart earned his second Pro Bowl berth as he displayed range, and continued to show that "the Spider" ranked with Willie Wood, Larry Wilson, Eddie Meador, Rick Volk, and Rosey Taylor in the elite group of free safeties in the league.
Alex Webster's Giants in 1970 caught fire in mid-season and needed to defeat the Bills to remain in the hunt for either a division title or a wild card berth. Spider Lockhart on December 6, 1970, was part of four sacks in the 20-6 victory over Buffalo. Lockhart would never suit up for a playoff game as a Giant, yet during the 1972 season they played winning football.