Original Style & Chrome Helmets

Original Pocket Pro helmets were manufactured in the late 1990’s and, sporadically, through about 2004. Chrome helmets were also made in this era, also in the original style. Many helmets have a time stamp of either 1997 or 1999 on the inside of the helmet. There were three sets: 1997 (green packaging), 1999 (yellow packaging), and 2003 (red packaging).

Original pocket pros had round ear holes and are heavier than later pocket pro series. All the original helmets also have a small “R” under one of the ear holes.

See Checklist at the bottom of the page for all original style and chrome helmets.

1997 Original Set

The original 1997 set had green packaging. Each division had its own packaging.

1997 Set Teams: Atlanta Falcons 1990-2002, Arizona Cardinals 1988-2004, Baltimore Ravens 1996-98, Buffalo Bills 1987-2001, Carolina Panthers 1995-2011, Chicago Bears 1983-present, Cincinnati Bengals 1981-2011, Dallas Cowboys, 1967-present, Denver Broncos 1997-present, Detroit Lions 1983-2002, Green Bay Packers, 1980-present, Houston Oilers 1981-96, Indianapolis Colts 1995-2003, Jacksonville Jaguars 1995-2008, Kansas City Chiefs 1974-present, Los Angeles Rams 1981-99, Miami Dolphins 1997-2012, Minnesota Vikings 1985-2005, New England Patriots 1994-present, New Orleans Saints 1976-99, New York Giants 1981-96, New York Jets 1990-97, Oakland Raiders 1964-96, Philadelphia Eagles 1996-present, Pittsburgh Steelers 1977-present, San Francisco 49ers 1996-2008, Seattle Seahawks 1981-2001, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2013, Washington Redskins 1978-present.

Three helmets can only be found with this set (although they may have been sold individually at some point):

  • 1990-97 green NY Jets helmet with the black facemask. The green-style helmet (1978-89) with the white facemask is available in the throwback series 2 set.
  • The Ravens logo was changed in 1999 after a local resident filed a copyright lawsuit. This helmet is also only available in this set.
  • Finally, the Houston Oilers ceased to exist after the 1996 season.

1999 Original Set

The 1999 sets had yellow packaging. The helmet style was the same as the 1997 set. With the return of the Cleveland Browns, there were 31 teams. So, Riddell issued a throwback helmet with 5 of the 6 divisions to even things out.

1999 Set Teams: The helmets in the 1999 set were identical to the 1997 set, with four exceptions: Baltimore Ravens (new logo), Cleveland Browns (new team), New York Jets (new helmet color and logo), and Tennessee Titans (new team).

1999 Set Throwbacks:
Chicago Bears 1962-73. Also in Throwback Series 1 set.
Dallas Cowboys 1960-63. Also in Throwback Series 1 set. This helmet is more of a darker-white with a darker grey facemask.
Denver Broncos 1975-96. I believe the Denver Broncos throwback (with the white facemask) is only available with this set.
New England Patriots 1965-81. The 1965-81 New England Patriots with the regular grey facemask and red/blue stripes is also only available with this set. A 2-bar facemask version exists in the 1969 AFC throwback 2-bar set.
– San Francisco 49ers 1989-95. Only available in this set.

Tennessee Oilers

The Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee in 1997. For two years, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers. The helmet was identical to the Houston Oilers helmet, with the exception of a tiny State of Tennessee logo near the earhole. This helmet was not associated with any set and was only sold individually.

2003-04 Original Sets

2003-05 sets had red packaging. The helmet style was the same as the 1997 and 1999 sets and still included the “R” under the ear hole.

2003-5 Set Teams: Most of the helmets were the same as the 1997 and 1999 sets. The updates are: 2003-present Atlanta Falcons, 2002-10 Buffalo Bills, 2003-08 Lions, 2002-present Houston Texans (first appearance), 2004-present Indianapolis Colts, 2006-16 LA Rams, 2000-present New Orleans Saints (with wider logo), 2000-present New York Gians (NY logo), 2002-11 Seattle Seahawks.

Later Versions

Riddell continued to manufacture helmets in the original style with the Throwback series 1 and 2 sets, Throwback 2-bar sets, and other iterations. Riddell also continued to sell individual helmets with the original style in red packaging. By around 2005, however, Riddell had switched to the Revolution style of helmet.

Original Style Helmet Checklist

  • Atlanta Falcons 1990-02: 97, 99 sets – Black helmet, connected feather stripes, black facemask
  • Atlanta Falcons 2003-present: 03 set – Black helmet, modern falcons logo
  • Arizona Cardinals 1988-2004: 97, 99, 03 sets – Plain white helmet, traditional cardinal logo with black outline
  • Baltimore Ravens 1996-98: 97 set – Black helmet, original ‘wing’ logo
  • Baltimore Ravens 1999-present: 99, 03 sets – Black helmet, raven logo. Some logos have a gold outline and others have a silver outline
  • Buffalo Bills 1987-2001: 97, 99 sets – Red helmet, white facemask, red/white/blue stripes
  • Buffalo Bills 2002-10: 03 set – Red helmet, white facemask, red/white/blue/silver stripes
  • Carolina Panthers 1995-2011: 97, 99, 03 sets – Silver helmet, original Panther logo
  • Chicago Bears 1983-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Navy blue helmet, wishbone “C” logo, navy blue facemask
  • Cincinnati Bengals 1981-2011: 97, 99, 03 sets – Orange pattern helmet, black facemask. Some of these helmets have different striping patterns
  • Cleveland Browns 1970-05: 99, 03 sets – Orange helmet, white/brown stripes, white facemask
  • Dallas Cowboys 1967-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Silver helmet, blue star with blue and white outline, white/blue stripes
  • Denver Broncos 1997-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Midnight blue helmet, modern bronco logo, orange stripes
  • Detroit Lions 1983-02: 97, 99 set – Silver helmet, blue Lion with white outline, blue facemask, blue/white stripes
  • Detroit Lions 2003-08: 03 set – Silver helmet, blue Lion with white/black outline, black facemask, blue/white/black stripes
  • Green Bay Packers 1980-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Yellow helmet with “G” decal, green/white stripes, green facemask
  • Houston Oilers 1981-96/98: 97 set (see also Tennessee Titans)White helmet, red/white/blue stripes, blue derrick with red outline, red facemask, Tennessee state flag in the helmet corner
  • Houston Texans 2002-present: 03 set – Midnight blue helmet with Texans logo
  • Indianapolis Colts 1985-03: 97, 99 sets – White helmet, blue stripe, blue horseshoe logo, blue facemask
  • Indianapolis Colts 2004-present: 03 set – White helmet, blue stripe, blue horsehose logo, grey facemask (same style as 1957-77)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 1995-08: 97, 99, 03 sets – Black helmet, old jaguar logo
  • Kansas City Chiefs 1974-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Red helmet, KC logo, white facemask
  • Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 1981-96: 97, 99 sets – Blue helmet, yellow horns, blue facemask  
  • Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 1996-2016: 03 set – Blue helmet, gold horns, blue facemask  
  • Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers 1988-06: 97, 99, 03 sets – Blue helmet, white bolt with blue and yellow outline, blue facemask
  • Miami Dolphins 1997-2012: 97, 99, 03 sets – White helmet, aqua/white/orange/blue stripes, dolphin #4, aqua facemask
  • Minnesota Vikings 1985-05: 97, 99, 03 sets – Purple helmet, classic horn, purple facemask
  • New England Patriots 1994-99: 97, 99 sets – Silver helmet, royal blue modern Patriots logo, red facemask
  • New England Patriots 2000-present: 03 set – Silver helmet, modern Patriots logo, red facemask
  • New Orleans Saints 1976-99: 97, 99 sets – Gold helmet, classic fleur de lis logo, black/white stripes, black facemask
  • New Orleans Saints 2000-present: 03 set – Gold helmet, modern fleur de lis logo, black/white stripes, black facemask
  • New York Giants 1981-99: 97, 99 sets – Blue helmet, red stripe, Giants logo, white facemask
  • New York Giants 2000-present: 03 set only – Blue helmet, red stripe, NY logo, grey facemask
  • New York Jets 1990-97: 97 set – Green helmet, white Jets text with black outline, black facemask
  • New York Jets 1998-present: 99, 03 sets – White helmet, two green stripes, green Jets logo, green facemask
  • Oakland Raiders 1964-96: 97, 99, 03 sets – Silver helmet, black shield, Raider with glares on silver helmet. Note: All of the original/traditional Raiders pocket pro helmets display the 1964-96, even if they were made after 1997.
  • Philadelphia Eagles 1996-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Green helmet, modern wing, dark green facemask
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 1977-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Black helmet, Steelers logo, black facemask
  • San Francisco 49ers 1996-08: 97, 99, 03 sets – Gold helmet, red/black stripes, SF logo with black text border in red circle with black and gold border, red facemask
  • Seattle Seahawks 1983-2001: 97, 99 sets – Silver helmet, classic Seahawk, blue facemask
  • Seattle Seahawks 2002-11: 03 set – Teal helmet, modern Seahawk, teal facemask
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2013: 97, 99, 03 sets – Brown helmet, classic flag, brown facemask
  • Tennessee Oilers 1997-98: sold individually only – White helmet, red/white/blue stripes, blue derrick with red outline, red facemask, Tennessee state flag in the helmet corner
  • Tennessee Titans 1999-2017: 99, 03 sets – White helmet, tapered stripe, T logo
  • Washington Redskins 1978-present: 97, 99, 03 sets – Burgundy helmet, chief-logo, white/burgundy/yellow stripes, yellow facemask

These throwback helmets were included in sets with contemporaneous helmets. All of the helmets are available in other sets, with the exception of the 1989-95 SF 49ers helmet, which is only available in this set:

  • Chicago Bears 1962-73 (throwback): 99 set – Navy blue helmet, white wishbone “C” logo, grey facemask   Also in the Throwback Series 1 set. The 2-bar version is in the Throwback NFC 1969 2-bar and Throwback 2-bar sets.
  • Dallas Cowboys 1960-63: 97, 99, 03 sets – White helmet, blue star, two blue stripes. Also in the Throwback Series 1 and 4-piece team sets. The 2-bar version is in Throwback 2-bar set.
  • Denver Broncos 1975-96 (throwback): 99 set only – Blue helmet, orange 1993-96 ‘D’ logo, white/orange stripes, white facemask
  • New England Patriots 1965-81 (throwback): 99 set – White helmet, Pat Patriot logo, red/white/blue stripes, grey facemask. Also in the Throwback AFL 50th Anniversary set.
  • San Francisco 49ers 1989-95 (throwback): 99 set – Gold helmet, red/white stripes, SF logo with black text border in red circle with black border, grey facemask

Original Style Chrome Helmets

To my knowledge, three chrome pocket pro sets were manufactured.

  • The first chrome set was a 34-piece set manufactured in 2000. This set has 31 teams (the Houston Texans were not founded yet) and 3 NFL shield helmets, in silver, blue and red.
  • The next set was identical to the 34-piece set, but added an NFC and AFC logo helmet, for a total of 36 pieces.
  • A third set included the Texans helmet, but none of the NFL shield or NFC/AFC logo helmets. So, this set had 32 helmets.

Riddell also sold the chrome helmets individually-packaged. All of these helmets are in the original style. Some have an “R” under the earhole.

I think Riddell discontinued the chrome helmets around 2004 or 2005. That was around the time Riddell transitioned to the Revolution style helmet. Additionally, I have not seen a chrome helmet for a team with a helmet design 2005 and after.

Because the chrome helmets were manufactured between 2000 and 2005, fiveteams that transitioned to new helmet styles have two versions of the Chrome helmets. I have seen photographic evidence of the existence of these helmets (eBay, Worthpoint, etc.):

  • Atlanta Falcons: 97-02 and 03-present
  • Buffalo Bills: 87-01 and 02-10
  • Detroit Lions: 83-02 and 03-08
  • Indianapolis Colts: 95-03 and 04-present
  • Seattle Seahawks: 83-01 and 02-11

There are five chrome shield helmets:

  • Silver helmet – NFL shield, white facemask
  • Red helmet – NFL shield, white facemask
  • Blue helmet – NFL shield, white facemask
  • Silver helmet – Red “A” AFC logo, red facemask
  • Silver helmet – Blue “N” NFC logo, blue facemask

Chrome Checklist

  • Atlanta Falcons 1997-2002: Black helmet, connected feather stripes, black facemask
  • Atlanta Falcons 2003-presentBlack helmet, modern falcons logo
  • Arizona Cardinals 1988-2004: Plain white helmet, traditional cardinal logo with black outline
  • Baltimore Ravens 1999-presentBlack helmet, raven logo. Some logos have a gold outline and others have a silver outline
  • Buffalo Bills 1987-2001Red helmet, white facemask, red/white/blue stripes
  • Buffalo Bills 2002-10Red helmet, white facemask, red/white/blue/silver stripes
  • Carolina Panthers 1995-2011Silver helmet, original Panther logo
  • Chicago Bears 1983-presentNavy blue helmet, wishbone “C” logo, navy blue facemask
  • Cincinnati Bengals 1981-2011Orange pattern helmet, black facemask.
  • Cleveland Browns 1975-2005Orange helmet, white/brown stripes, white facemask
  • Dallas Cowboys 1967-presentSilver helmet, blue star with blue and white outline, white/blue stripes
  • Denver Broncos 1997-presentMidnight blue helmet, modern bronco logo, orange stripes
  • Detroit Lions 1983-2002Silver helmet, blue Lion with white outline, blue facemask, blue/white stripes
  • Detroit Lions 2003-08Silver helmet, blue Lion with white/black outline, black facemask, blue/white/black stripes
  • Green Bay Packers 1980-presentYellow helmet with “G” decal, green/white stripes, green facemask
  • Houston Texans 2002-present: Midnight blue helmet with Texans logo
  • Indianapolis Colts 1995-2003: White helmet, blue stripe, blue horseshoe logo, blue facemask
  • Indianapolis Colts 2004-presentWhite helmet, speed blue stripe, speed blue horseshoe logo, grey facemask
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 1995-2012Black helmet, old jaguar logo
  • Kansas City Chiefs 1974-presentRed helmet, KC logo, white facemask
  • Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers 1988-2006Blue helmet, white bolt with blue and yellow outline, blue facemask
  • Los Angeles Rams 2000-16: Blue helmet, gold horns, blue facemask  
  • Miami Dolphins 1997-2012:White helmet, aqua/white/orange/blue stripes, dolphin #4, aqua facemask
  • Minnesota Vikings 1985-2005Purple helmet, classic horn, purple facemask
  • New England Patriots 1994-presentSilver helmet, modern Patriots logo, red facemask
  • New Orleans Saints 2000-present: Gold helmet, classic fleur de lis logo, black/white stripes, black facemask
  • New York Giants 2000-presentBlue helmet, red stripe, NY logo, grey facemask
  • New York Jets 1998-2018White helmet, two green stripes, green Jets logo, green facemask
  • Oakland Raiders 1964-96Silver helmet, black sheild, grey facemask
  • Philadelphia Eagles 1996-presentGreen helmet, modern wing, dark green facemask
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 1977-presentBlack helmet, Steelers logo, black facemask
  • San Francisco 49ers 1996-2008Gold helmet, red/black stripes, SF logo with black text border in red circle with black and gold border, red facemask
  • Seattle Seahawks 1983-2001Silver helmet, classic Seahawk, blue facemask
  • Seattle Seahawks 2002-11Teal helmet, modern Seahawk, teal facemask
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2013Brown helmet, classic flag, brown facemask
  • Tennessee Titans 1999-2017 (Titans): White helmet, tapered stripe, T logo
  • Washington Redskins 1978-presentBurgundy helmet, chief-logo, white/burgundy/yellow stripes, yellow facemask
  • Blue NFL Shield helmet
  • Red NFL Shield helmet
  • Silver NFL Shield helmet
  • “A” AFC helmet
  • “N” NFC helmet