Jerry Shay has given his body and soul to pro football without a whimper.

At age 67, the Gary native continues to produce in a profession being overrun by young whiz kids raised with laptops in their cribs.

That trend has become prevalent among new NFL general managers as well.

Shay is still holding his own as an executive scout with the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants. His 39 years of scouting for one franchise is an NFL record.

Next Sunday marks his fifth Super Bowl with the Giants, who are 3-1 with him on board. The Lew Wallace grad said he is responsible for about a third of the current roster being drafted.

"Following baseball, the GMs they're hiring nowadays are all younger guys who don't necessarily have a football background or an NFL background," Shay said. "I still do my own thing. I do it the old-fashioned way.

"I'm computerized like everybody else, but I still grind out the tape and videos on these (college) guys, left and right."

Shay played defensive tackle at Purdue and was the seventh overall pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1966 draft.

He also starred for Atlanta and then the Giants before retiring late in the 1971 season after breaking his leg in 13 places against the Los Angeles Rams.

"I've had 25 surgeries since I quit. I've got artificial hips, artificial knees, a plate in my arm, a plate in my neck. But I'd go back," he said.

"I'd still play for what I played for back then — $36,500 as a sixth-year starter."

A self-proclaimed "road rat," Shay continues competing against the NFL's very best but in a different venue and with no risk to any limbs.

"It's getting harder and harder to rate some of the players by position, especially offensive linemen because of this zone-blocking scheme they have now," Shay said.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

"I just go back to the old fundamentals. Is he blocking people? Is he moving them? Is he a smart player who doesn't false-start a lot?"

As for wide receivers, do they catch the ball or not? Simple as that.

"Used to be, speed was a very important ingredient, and it still is, but it's not as important as it used to be," Shay said.

"Take guys like Plaxico Burris. They can't run fast, but they're so big and they're lining up against 5-8, 5-9, 5-10 defensive backs and just outsizing guys. This comeback pattern they're throwing now is almost impossible to cover."

Shay is married and the father of three daughters. He and his family reside in San Diego.

Earlier this season, he seriously doubted the Giants would get to the Super Bowl. But then the defense got healthy, the receivers got healthy, and the secondary went back to basics.

The running game continues to concern him.

"They're either nothin' or they're great," he said.

Shay turns 68 in July and still misses not being able to run up and down the field, flattening people.

Former Lew Wallace coaches Eddie Herbert and Larry Martin saw that attack mentality early in Shay's playing career.

"Our biggest problem with Jerry was that he had so much strength and quickness on defense," Martin once said. "At times, he'd come through the line so hard, so fast, he'd go past the ballcarrier."

Shay hasn't slowed up much since.