Vince Promuto, a mainstay for the Washington Football Team's offensive line in the 1960s and two-time Pro Bowler, passed away in his Pompano Beach, Florida, home earlier this week. He was 82.
Promuto, who played college football at Holy Cross, was drafted by Washington in the fourth round of the 1960 NFL Draft. He was an immediate contributor on the offensive line, making his NFL debut against the Baltimore Colts, and started in 54 consecutive games over the course of his first four seasons. Promuto ended his career with 113 starts in 130 appearances.
Promuto was a constant on the team for most of his 11 seasons, all of which were with Washington, and earned a place among some of the most well-known players in franchise history. He was named among the team's 70 greatest players and also inducted into the Ring of Fame.
"I wasn't particularly big," Promuto told The Washington Post. "I never weighed over 245 pounds in shape and I went against big men who were 6-5 or over and weighed 270 pounds and over. I had to be quicker than they were to compensate for their size and I had to hit them low."
Promuto was known for being an excellent pass blocker and helped the offensive line protect quarterbacks Norm Snead and Sonny Jurgensen, another Ring of Fame honoree. He was so efficient at it that it helped him earn back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in 1963 and 1964. Promuto was also named as a team captain during Vince Lombardi's only season as the team's head coach in 1969. Washington finished with a 7-5-2 record -- the first winning season since 1955.
Promuto also pursued a degree from American University Law School during his playing career and began his legal professional with Washington and New York bars, where he clerked for a Federal Judge and was appointed as an Assistant US Attorney. He also became the ﬁrst Director of Public Affairs for the newly formed Drug Enforcement Agency before taking over his father's sanitation business in 1972.
Promuto was born on June 8, 1938, in the Bronx and did not play football until his junior season of high school. He attended Holy Cross and earned a starting role as a sophomore that he held for three seasons. He earned first team All-New England honors and was an honorable mention All-America as a senior before beginning his professional career.