To continue Redskins Blog’s effort of digging into the organization’s rich history to provide you with intriguing Throwback Thursday content, today’s piece is on Hall of Famer Wayne Millner.
Drafted by the Redskins in the eighth-round of the inaugural NFL Draft in 1936, Millner was “The Money Player”.
Going through his football timeline, it’s easy to understand why he was deserving of that label.
Millner played his college ball at Notre Dame from 1933-1935. During his time with the Fighting Irish, he was involved in two of the most memorable plays in program history.
The first came in 1933 on special teams. Trailing Army late, Notre Dame’s defense forced the Black Knights offense to punt late in the fourth quarter.
While Notre Dame’s punt returner lined up deep with Army’s offense failing to convert, he wasn’t needed on this occasion. Millner would block the attempt and set-up Notre Dame for an improbable come from behind victory.
Two years later, he caught the game-winning touchdown pass vs. Ohio State in the “Game of the Century”.
Following his heroics against the Buckeyes, Millner was selected by the Redskins with the 65th-pick in the 1936 NFL Draft.
Millner was instant money for the Redskins.
During his rookie season, the 6-1 end started 11 games and led the team in receptions and touchdowns. Year two, however, was one that lives in football lore.
Starting 11 games once again, Millner scored his first and second career touchdowns against the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship Game.
The Bears entered the game with the No. 1 defense in the league behind a stout secondary that allowed only four passing touchdowns during the regular season.
But they had no answer for “The Money Player”.
(Millner is No. 40 in the highlights starting at the 2:33 mark)
Quarterback Sammy Baugh found Millner for two lengthy touchdown connections. The first was a 78-yarder while the second, 55 yards, gave the Redskins their first championship trophy.
Millner would go on to accumulate 124 receptions for 1,578 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven seasons with the organization before being selected to the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1968.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON MILLNER’s REDSKINS CAREER
–Top-10 in receptions six straight seasons (1936-41)
–Top-10 in receiving yards for four straight seasons (1936-39)
–Top-10 in receiving touchdowns in 1939 and 1940
–1930’s All-Decade Team
–Member of the 80 Greatest Redskins
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