The history of the National Football League is filled with stories of all-time great players who have reputations that will live on for as long as American Football is beloved by millions and millions Joe Montana is routinely listed as one of the most overrated players in the history of the NFL because of the fact that he played alongside of one of the best supporting casts the league has ever seen. Anybody who does not believe that Dan Marino, as an example, would not have won several championships if gifted with starting on those incredible San Francisco 49ers teams are either kidding themselves or were not watching the NFL during the 1980s.
Because of both the differences in rules and competition in different eras combined with the “recency” effect (Most people living today don’t have enough actual history watching football to remember some of the older great players) you will get as many answers as respondents and most of them will be current or recent players. That said, IMO, after watching the NFL religiously for the last 57 years and researching the history, the top Players of all time would be (In any order you want).
I think there are good arguments for any of these. Jerry Rice. (He would still be my GOAT. His peers were always blown away by how many ways he could beat you and for how many years at one of the most brutal positions in football (especially in that era when receivers didn’t have the protections they have now. He also played until he was 42.) Jim Brown (He absolutely dominated football during his career at a time where passing offenses didn’t spread the field like they do now…everyone was geared to stopping the run, and he still averaged 108 yard/game & 5.2 yards per attempt for his entire 9 year career!) Joe Montana (The ultimate winner.
4–0 in SB’s and totally unflappable) Lawrence Taylor (Every team that played the Giants during the period he played keyed their entire game-plan and real time adjustments to where he was on the field.
The most dominating defensive player I ever saw. He was virtually unblock-able. His instincts were impeccable. And his motor never stopped. Per Bill Bellicheck (his coach) “He could tell by the look of the opponent who was gonna block him by how scared they were.”) Walter Payton (Played every down like it was for the win.
The first 8 or so years of his 13 year career, the Bears sucked, and he still averaged almost 100 yds/game. He played in 189 of 190 possible games, as a running back. He was tough as nails, a great blocker and rarely ran out of bounds to avoid a hit. He had both grace, speed and power.) Tom Brady (Probably don’t need to expound on his qualifications to this group) Johnny Unitas (Played 19 years and Unitas left the game with 22 records, including most passes attempted and completed, most yards gained passing, most touchdown passes, and most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes.
He was the first quarterback to throw for more than 40,000 yards, despite playing in an era when defenses dominated and the running game was the focal point for most teams.
Won 3 championships) Don Hutson (The first superstar wide receiver. When Hutson retired in 1945, he held 18 NFL records. He left the game with 488 pass receptions. The next player on the list had 190. His record of 99 career touchdown receptions stood for 44 years before Largent broke it, and still ranks ninth all time. in 2013, 68 years after he retired, Ten of his records still stood, including most points in a quarter (29), most seasons leading the NFL in touchdowns (eight), most seasons leading the league in receptions (eight), most seasons leading in receiving yards (seven), most seasons leading the league in TD receptions (nine).) Reggie White (Reggie couldn't be blocked.
You could get in his way. You could cut his legs out from underneath him. As a backside tackle, you could jump on his legs. You could pray. But blocking Reggie White was a near impossibility. And Reggie didn't take plays off. He played the game with the same sort of intensity and energy that made L.T. famous. It's just Reggie played the game as a gentleman. At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, White was a once-in-a-lifetime defensive end.
He was just as devastating against the pass as against the run. His combination of speed, strength and bulk was unprecedented. Even during this era of performance-enhancing drugs, you don't find 300-pound men quick and athletic enough to play defensive end. Reggie was an original and has yet to duplicated.) Peyton Manning (He was the offensive coordinator on the field.
The first QB to actually make in drive adjustments to the game plan. He carried bad Colts teams to the playoffs year after year. The first year he missed, the colts went from 10 wins (while he played hurt) to 2 wins. When he retired, Manning held the NFL record for passing yards, touchdown passes and quarterback wins. But he changed the expectation of what a QB could be.) The other thing I would keep in mind is that because NFL football is the ultimate team game, it’s easy to overlook players because they didn’t win as much as others, or win as many championships.
I’ve always been impressed with players that do more with less…. less defensive support, less receiver support, less coaching and organizational support. YMMV
best dating nfl players by position of all time espn - The 10 greatest NFL players of all
Jerry Rice was one of the greatest no matter what the criteria | Scott Halleran/Getty Images The greatest NFL players of all time each left their respective marks upon gridiron lore, and indisputably changed the game. Above all else, , due to their uncanny ability to both diagnose and anticipate plays and to arrive at the right place at the right time. Offensively, the best of the best were threats to score, from any position on the field, at any moment.
Defensively, the greats relied upon instinct to shut out and beat down the opposition into the next week. In a team sport, of course, the best players do not exactly perform as individual talents, who can be most often found by pouring over NFL combine statistics. To win, cohesion and team play must take priority above the “me first, get me the ball” diva mentality.
Beyond the field, the greats were typically locker room leaders who promoted a winning culture, brought younger players into the fold, and decisively dealt with any internal distractions. Otherworldly talent combined with the will to win often resulted in Super Bowl trophies, Hall of Fame busts, and dynasties.
If you were to put together an NFL team for the ages, it might look something like this. Offense Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images Quarterback — Joe Montana: With four Super Bowl trophies, “Joe Cool” was the ultimate winner. Joe Montana and his quiet confidence have earned the respect of all who have followed the game of football.
Running Back — Walter Payton: Classic Walter would take the hand-off, bowl through arm tackles at the line of scrimmage, and bounce to the outside. From there, it was off to the races, with Payton refusing to go out of bounds. Instead, “Sweetness” would often lower his shoulder to bowl over defenders and finish off runs.
Fullback — Jim Brown: Jim Brown was actually listed as a fullback in his day. Jim Brown retired, having owned all rushing records at that time. In today’s game, Jim Brown would perform as the power back, in a thunder and lightning backfield duo. Wide Receiver — Jerry Rice: “The San Francisco Treat” dominated his position like no other. Somewhat similar to Brown, Jerry Rice also retired having owned every significant receiving record. Rice, of course, was also known for his tireless fitness regimen and work ethic.
Wide Receiver — Don Hutson: In this lineup, Hutson would star as the perfect complement to Rice as a possession receiver. Don Hutson led the NFL in both receptions and yardage for seven out of his 11 seasons in the NFL.
Don Hutson’s career spanned from and he is often hailed as the man who ushered the league into the modern era through the forward pass. Tight End — John Mackey: The athletic John Mackey would often work special teams for the Baltimore Colts as a kick returner. In 10 years, Mackey racked up . The statistics calculated out further to 15.8 yards per catch, which will always be unheard of for a tight end.
Eliot Schechter/Getty Images for NFL Left Tackle — Anthony Muñoz: At left tackle, Muñoz was the greatest offensive lineman of all time, and the total package of size, strength, athleticism, and technique. Muñoz would often wall his man off at the line of scrimmage for two solid counts and throw him onto the ground before rumbling downfield to lead a convoy of Bengals for big gains.
Left Guard — Randall McDaniel: Randall McDaniel dominated the line of scrimmage for the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers between 1988 and 2001 as a relatively cut specimen.
McDaniel’s athleticism was on full display in Minnesota, where he would often lead as a pulling guard to kick out linebackers and clear out space for the likes of Robert Smith.
McDaniel made the Pro Bowl for 12 straight years, from 1989 to 2000. Center — Mike Webster: “Iron Mike” emerged as the greatest center of all time, after leading his Pittsburgh offensive line throughout the ’70s Dynasty and into the late ’80s. Right Guard — John Hannah: may have arguably performed as the most technically sound offensive linemen to ever play the game of football. As a Patriot, the 6-foot-2, 265-pound Hannah made up for his lack of size through technique and sheer willpower.
Right Tackle — Eric Williams: Eric Williams was a devastating blocker, who was the unsung hero of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys dynasty. As the strongest man in a game of strong men, Williams would embarrass the competition by mauling defensive ends at the point of attack before moving on to the second level linebackers and defensive backs.
For his part, teammate Emmitt Smith closed out his career atop the running back leaderboard with . Defense Love him or hate him, there’s no doubting prime Ray Lewis’s ability and drive | Chris Graythen/Getty Images Middle Linebacker — Ray Lewis: Famous for proclaiming himself “God’s Linebacker,” Ray Lewis was the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens defense.
Lewis relied upon sheer instinct and intelligence to blow up plays. , Ray Lewis retired after having won two Super Bowls. Weak Side Linebacker — Lawrence Taylor: A total madman, LT led his pack of wild dogs through many a romp in New York City. Lawrence Taylor and his unreal combination of speed and size redefined the linebacker position.
As an edge rusher, Taylor racked up during his playing career. Strong Side Linebacker — Jack Ham: Ham was the most technically proficient linebacker of all time. Jack Ham especially excelled in pass coverage where he went on to snag during his 12-year career. Left Defensive End — Reggie White: “The Minister of Defense” is a master of the hump move. White will shrug his shoulders and deliver a forearm shiver to plow some right tackle sap out of the way.
From there, it was on to the quarterback for his patented strip sack. Left Defensive Tackle — Alan Page: At tackle, Alan Page relied upon quickness and tenacity to blow up plays. After walking away from the game of football, Judge Alan Page took his signature bow tie to the . Right Defensive Tackle — Mean Joe Greene: Greene was equally tenacious in both his running and passing games.
The anchor of the Steel Curtain would pressure the A-gap between offensive center and guard, with his angular three-point stance. As an intimidator, Mean Joe Greene was the top cop on a team full of enforcers. Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images Right Defensive End — Deacon Jones: The late Deacon Jones literally invented the term “sack.” Certainly, Jones would have ranked as a top-five sack artist, had this statistic actually been recorded during his playing days.
An unofficial record has Jones racking up . Cornerback — Deion Sanders: As a shutdown corner, the game plan for “Prime Time” is quite simple: Lock up against and take out the best receiver on the field. As an all-time great, Deion might also clock double duty on special teams as a return man. Cornerback — Rod Woodson: Rod Woodson enhanced the versatility of the defensive unit, as he could line up at virtually any position. For Woodson, a typical day at the office may have included five tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions, one sack, and, oh yes, one return touchdown.
Strong Safety — Ronnie Lott: As a tough guy, Ronnie Lott once had the tip of his pinky finger cut off just so that he could remain in the game. As a versatile defender, Lott made at both cornerback and safety for the San Francisco 49ers. Lott was known for his well-timed and jarring hits of diminutive wide receivers across the middle. Free Safety — Ed Reed: In Baltimore, Reed starred as the ultimate centerfielder for the defense.
In the secondary, an apparently listless Reed would bait a gunslinger quarterback to test him going deep. With the ball in the air, Reed would be on the move to jump the route and snag his latest pick. From there, he quickly transitioned into a return specialist, where he would high step behind a convoy of like-minded goons into the end zone for six. More from Sports Cheat Sheet: • • • All data courtesy of and .
Anytime you watch a football game you’re watching hard hitting, finely-tuned machines on every play. That’s the game! And the league is full of extremely fit players both past and present. This is a shout out is to pay tribute to the athletes that put in the hard work at the gym to give their best performances on the field. This list is in no particular order.
1. Tim Tebow You can question his skill at his position on the field, but you cannot question this athlete’s work ethic in the gym. He has been working out since he was a young lad with tubing attached to his door. Now a days you can catch Tim Tebow stacking plates on the bar and setting PR’s for quarterbacks around the league.
PS: I may have picked this with my heart as I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan as well as a Florida Gators fan. 2. Herschel Walker This was a pretty clear choice.
I mean, the man was in amazing shape when he was at his prime and playing football. However, Mr. Walker (and I say Mr. because I’m pretty sure he can beat me up) decided his next big feature was going to be stepping in the octagon. Did I mention he was in his 40’s at this point! This is one man who took his fitness level very seriously, and we should all aim to be like Herschel Walker. 3. Adrian Peterson This man was always a freak of nature when it came to fitness but I believe his biggest claim to fame was his recovery process from an injury.
Peterson suffered a torn ACL and MCL in 2011. This injury usually sidelines an athlete for a year and sometimes they are never the same. This did not stop Adrian Peterson from coming back the beginning of the next year and having a stellar return.
Adrian Peterson changed the forecast of ACL injuries throughout the league ever since his astounding recovery. 4. Bob Hayes Ok, I know I am going back a little bit in time with this pick but anyone who was an Olympic sprinter and played in the NFL will always receive my vote. 5. T.O What could have been for my Philadelphia Eagles if McNabb and T.O. could have played nice with each other?! T.O. was the poster child for fitness.
He was beyond athletic and he had a work ethic when it came to workouts that could not be matched by anyone. An amazing fact for T.O. is he loved resistance band training which proves you don’t always have to curl 100lbs each for arms like that.
6. Colin Kaepernick Colin Kaepernick came bursting onto the scene when Alex Smith suffered a concussion and his stock could not have been higher. He had a cannon for an arm, he could outrun the blitz and run it in for a touchdown by himself, and at that point he could do no wrong. His stock has dropped a bit since that amazing Super Bowl run, however, his fitness levels are still sky high.
You don’t make ESPN Body Issue without being in incredible shape. Let’s hope he can match his low body fat number with a low interception rate. 7. Reggie Bush You can say he peaked in college, or maybe when he was dating Kim Kardashian. As an Eagles fan, I say my favorite moment was when Sheldon Brown leveled him in the backfield in the playoffs. No matter what time you pick for Reggie you cannot deny that this man has always been a physical beast.
Now that he is on the 49ers maybe he can spot Kaepernick on the bench, or at least block the blitz and give his QB sometime. 8. Rob Gronkowski Come on, this is simple, his catch phrase is GRONK SMASH! He also made the ESPN Body Issue as well. And you just can’t stop this guy on the field. Couple this with the fact that he loves to drink and party; it’s incredible that he stays this fit and this amazing on the field.
Although, having Tom Brady (deflated balls or not) probably helps his stat line. 9. Steve Weatherford I can hear it now “Joe Pepe picked a punter because he loves soccer”, or “ A punter isn’t an athlete come on Joe!”. Trust the process and just take a look at Steve he could quite possible by the fittest man ever in the NFL. 10. Pat Tillman Any man who could give up football for his country is in my book the strongest man not in the league but in general. Thank you Pat for your service and thank you everyone else who is fighting the wars to keep the rest of us safe.
Pat Tillman was strong physically and mentally, we should all aspire to have the strength he had.
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