February 18, 2014

Rookie of the Year: Ronnie Bull, 1962

Halfback, Chicago Bears

Age: 22
College: Baylor
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 200

An all-purpose star in college, where he gained 1990 yards from scrimmage, Bull was taken by the Bears in the first round of the 1962 NFL draft (seventh overall; he was also chosen third overall by the Dallas Texans of the AFL). With veteran Willie Galimore a fixture at halfback, Bull started the season as a defensive back and saw scant action, but was shifted to offense when Galimore went down with a knee injury.

1962 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 113 [19, tied with Tom Watkins]
Most attempts, game - 18 (for 72 yds.) vs. LA Rams 12/9
Yards – 363
Most yards, game – 72 yards (on 18 carries) vs. LA Rams 12/9
Average gain – 3.2
TDs – 1

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 31      
Most receptions, game – 6 (for 90 yds.) at Dallas 11/18
Yards – 331
Most yards, game - 90 (on 6 catches) at Dallas 11/18
Average gain – 10.7
TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 9
Yards – 235
Average per return – 26.1
TDs – 0
Longest return – 35 yards

All-Purpose yards – 929

Attempts – 3
Completions – 0
Yards – 0
TDs – 0
INT – 0

TDs – 1
Points – 6

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: UPI, Sporting News

Bears went 9-5 to finish third in the NFL Western Conference.

Bull followed up in 1963 by splitting time with Galimore and rushing for 404 yards on a career-high 117 carries while the defense carried the Bears to the NFL Championship. The arrival of HB Jon Arnett from the Rams cut into Bull’s playing time in ’64, and with outstanding HB Gale Sayers joining the team in 1965, he was used more at fullback. So it remained through 1970, a total of nine seasons with the Bears, as Bull split time with other backs. He lacked ideal speed at halfback and, with his blocking ability, was more successful at fullback, although he was small for the position. His highest rushing total was 472 yards, on 107 attempts, in 1968 when he played in tandem with HB Brian Piccolo after Sayers went down with a knee injury. Bull was with the Eagles for one last season in 1971, where he led the club in rushing but with just 351 yards. Overall, he ran for 3222 yards (2871 with the Bears) while averaging 3.7 yards per carry and caught 172 passes for 1479 yards (163 for 1404 in Chicago), scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).