Former Bulldogs receiver Jimmy Orr dies at 85

Former Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Jimmy Orr, right, played in the NFL for 13 seasons. Most of them were with the Baltimore Colts, and his quarterback was Johnny Unitas, left.

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

Credit: Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia

Former Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Jimmy Orr, right, played in the NFL for 13 seasons. Most of them were with the Baltimore Colts, and his quarterback was Johnny Unitas, left.

Jimmy Orr, a former Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver who played in two Super Bowls, died Tuesday at his home in Brunswick, UGA officials announced Wednesday.

Orr, 85, played for the Bulldogs and coach Wally Butts from 1955-57. He led the SEC in receiving twice, catching 24 passes for 443 yards in 1955 and 16 passes for 237 yards in 1957.

Orr played 13 seasons in the NFL, the first three with the Steelers (1958-60) and the final 10 with the Baltimore Colts (1961-70). He was chosen NFL rookie of the year by UPI in 1958. He played in the Pro Bowl twice (1965, 1970) and on the Colts' Super Bowl teams in the 1968 and 1970 seasons.

In the first of those Super Bowls, the Colts lost to the Jets in a game known for Jets quarterback Joe Namath’s “guarantee” of a victory for his team. The Colts defeated the Cowboys in the Super Bowl in January 1971.

Most of the passes Orr caught while with the Colts came from the arm of NFL legend Johnny Unitas, but for all his success in the NFL, Orr also is known for a pass he didn’t catch.

In the Super Bowl against the Jets, the Colts called a “flea flicker” play at the Jets 42-yard line while trailing 7-0 late in the first half. Quarterback Earl Morrall handed the ball to running back Tom Matte, who ran several yards to his right and then stopped and threw back to Morrall.

From there, Morrall was supposed to throw to Orr. In the heat of the moment, Morrall didn’t see Orr, who was alone down the left sideline inside the 10-yard line. No Jets player was even close, and Orr was frantically waving his arms trying to get Morrall’s attention.

Morrall, however, never spotted Orr, so he chose to throw the ball deep in the middle of the field to his fullback. The pass was intercepted, and the Jets went on to a 16-7 victory.

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