Jim Otto

Jim Otto, born in 1938, American football player, who was known for his agility, blocking skills, and impromptu play-calling. Otto started at the center position for all of his 15 seasons with the Oakland Raiders (1960-1974) and was one of the most intimidating players ever to play professional football.

James Edwin Otto was born in Wausau

James Edwin Otto was born in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was an outstanding center and linebacker at the University of Miami, but many NFL scouts considered him too small to play professionally. After he was overlooked in the National Football League (NFL) draft, the Oakland Raiders of the fledgling American Football League (AFL) drafted the 6-ft 2-in (1.9-m), 205-lb (93-kg) Otto in 1960. He quickly worked himself up to a playing weight of 255 lb (116 kg) and won the starting center position. After an impressive first season, Otto received offers from several NFL teams, but he remained with the Raiders.

Otto suffered numerous injuries during

Otto suffered numerous injuries during his career, including pinched nerves, dislocated fingers, and a broken jaw. He also broke his nose ten times and underwent nine knee operations (three on the left knee and six on the right). None of these kept him off the field, however. He played 73 preseason, 210 regular season, 13 postseason, and 12 All-Star games without missing one, compiling a streak of 308 consecutive games played. Otto was a nimble, steady ball snapper who followed up with rugged blocking. His leadership made him a natural to call blocking plays from the line of scrimmage, which was an uncommon role for a center to play. Because they consistently outwitted and outhit opponents, Otto and his teammates Art Shell and Gene Upshaw formed one of the most aggressive trios of offensive linemen in football history.

Otto earned All-AFL nominations from 1960

Otto earned All-AFL nominations from 1960 through 1969 and All-NFL nominations from 1970 through 1972 (after the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970). In 1980 he became the third AFL player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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