Tagged with "UFL"
United Football League : Time To Burn Out Or Fade Away
Category: FEATURED
Tags: UFL WFL USFL AAFC AFL NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame American Football League National Football League United Football League United States

The United Football League started operations in 2009, becoming America's first alternative to the National Football League since 1987. While the UFL has no connections to the NFL. some in the media thought that it would eventually serve as a developmental league.

 

Others speculated the UFL was born at the time it was to swoop in when the NFL and their players would lock out after the 2010 season. Now that this has happened, the UFL is on the cusp of doing something only one other league has done before. Competing against the NFL has been more a losing proposition.

 

There have been many leagues formed to oppose the NFL. The first was the American Football League in 1926, created by Hall of Famer Red Grange and his agent after Chicago Bears owner George Halas reneged on monies owed to Grange.

 

The AFL tried to capitalize on a messy 1925 season for the NFL. Commissioner Joe Carr had just stolen the Championship Trophy from the Pottsville Maroons and handed it to the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals owner, NFL co-founder Chris O'Brien, refused the trophy, but the Bidwell family bought the Cardinals in 1933 and have claimed the trophy since.

 

Grange started the New York Yankees Football Club. A charter NFL team, the Rock Island Independents, joined the AFL and the league played one game in Canada that year. One team, the Brooklyn Horsemen, merged with the Detroit Lions.

 

This AFL folded after just one season due to financial issues. The second AFL formed in 1936, lasting two years before folding. This league had a team, the Los Angeles Bulldogs, that was the first professional team to play home games on the West Coast. The league had a team called the Cincinnati Bengals, who Hall of Famer Paul Brown named his 1967 expansion team after.

 

The lasting legacy of the second AFL was the Cleveland Rams, who are now known as the Saint Louis Rams in the NFL. The Rams had a rookie by the name of Sid Gillman on their 1936 team. Gillman is a Hall of Famer known as the "Father of the Modern Day NFL Offense". A second Yankees team was founded as well, and starred Hall of Fame running back Ken Strong.

 

Though the Los Angeles team drew fans, the rest of the league only garnered local interests in their respective areas. The financial strains of trying to compete against the NFL caused them to fold after 1937, but the dream of competition lived on.

 

The third AFL formed in 1940. They had a third version of the Yankees, a team that has lineage tied to the Indianapolis Colts, and Bengals. The Yankees called themselves the Americans in 1941, creating a coup by signing 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon over the Chicago Bears. The league folded after just two years because World War II emptied most of their rosters.

 

The All-American Football Conference was born after the war. The Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and San Francisco 49ers were teams born from the AAFC that would later join the NFL, though this Colts team has no ties to the current version. The Browns dominated the league, once going a record 29 games without defeat.

 

The AAFC is most remembered for breaking the color line professional sports employed in that era. The Browns signed Bill Willis and Marion Motley, two men who would later be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The AAFC drew well at first, and helped the NFL get more viewers as well.

 

The increasing popularity of pro football led to salary increases for the players. Only two NFL teams had profits in 1946. The AAFC instilled the use of the face mask, refining pass route running, shuttling players with plays called from the sideline, a year-round coaching staff, and classroom sessions that broke down games on a chalkboard and film.

 

The league folded when the Browns, Colts, and 49ers merged with the NFL. A fourth AAFC team, the Buffalo Bills, had their large fan base unsuccessfully campaigned for their teams inclusion but failed. Ralph Wilson, then a part-owner of the Detroit Lions saw this rabid fan base and would reward them a decade later.

 

The fourth American Football League was founded in 1960. Owners like Wilson, Bud Adams, and Lemar Hunt made the league work even despite their initial struggles. The AFL took an aggressive approach. They did not only line their rosters with ex-NFL players, but they held their own annual drafts and offered college kids more money than the NFL.

 

They made a few huge signings, starting with 1959 Heisman winner Billy Cannon. Adams recruited him in the end zone of his final collegiate game. Cannon would help lead the Houston Oilers to the first two championship wins in AFL history.

 

Others soon followed Cannon to the AFL. Hall of Famers like Joe Namath, Lance Alworth, Ron Mix, and Johnny Robinson were all first-round draft picks of the NFL who opted for the AFL. All are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame except Robinson, who should be as well. The AFL put 31 men in the Hall of Fame, so far, and should have more.

 

The AFL brought an exciting brand of big play football without castrating the defenses. The offenses were exciting, as opposed to the grind-it-out style of the NFL then. Despite their fun play, the NFL considered them inferior and called them a "Mickey Mouse League."

 

When the AFL beat the NFL in the third Super Bowl, opinions changed. Secret meetings between Hunt and NFL owners in 1966, that were held without the knowledge of league commissioners Pete Rozelle and Al Davis, bred a merger that was agreed upon in 1970.

 

The AFL won the Super Bowl one more time in 1969 before it happened. Most of the AFC teams of today started in the AFL and no AFL team is in the NFC.

 

Since then, the World Football League, United States Football League, and XFL tried to compete with the NFL. The WFL signed several NFL stars and even took a few out of college.

 

Hall of Famers Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield were joined by Pat Haden, Danny White, Alfred Jenkins, Greg Latta, Jim Fassell, and Vince Papale, along with coaches like Jack Pardee, Marty Shottenheimer, Lindy Infante, and John McVay, to play two years with the WFL until it folded.

 

The XFL lasted one year before folding. They tried to bring in old school fans by allowing the bump and run defense, except they let defenders hit the receiver at any time. After four weeks, they adopted the NFL's five-yard chuck rule to increase scoring. They only allowed the two-point conversion after touchdowns, which the WFL also had, and they did not flip a coin to begin games to determine possession. They had a player from each team run 20 yards to gain possession of the ball laying on the 50-yard line.

 

The XFL put 33 players in the NFL and seven played in Super Bowls. Five won Super Bowl rings and Tommy Maddox, Bobby Singh, and Rob Carpenter won both an XFL and NFL championship.

 

The USFL had some successes in their three years of play. The league has six men in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and several others who later became stars in the NFL. They were aggressive in bidding for NFL free agents and college stars. Some of their biggest signing were Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Steve Young out of college, as well as 1982 Heisman winner Hershel Walker, 1983 winner Mike Rozier, and 1984 winner Doug Flutie.

 

The USFL also attained the services of Hall of Famers Reggie White and Gary Zimmerman by offering them more money. Despite all of this, they could not keep up financially and teams began folding before they suspended play after 1985 and took the NFL to court. After losing their lawsuit, the USFL folded in 1987.

 

The UFL has all of this history to learn from. To see what works and what is a risk for failure. They are struggling some already, having their New York team move to Connecticut and Florida team move to Virginia and become owned by the league.

 

The league has just five teams right now and plans to play on Sundays starting in August. If they receive an influx of NFL players, there is a possibility of a sixth team. The UFL allows celebrations by players and have a "No Tuck Rule".

 

Several NFL coaches are in the UFL. Jim Fassel, Marty Shottenheimer, Jerry Glanville and Dennis Green lead teams. Joe Moglia, the Ameritrade CEO who was an unpaid assistant at Nebraska University, will coach the other team. The UFL has had 27 of their players go on and play in the NFL.

 

The UFL appears to be restricted financially. They borrowed $5 million from Mark Cuban last year and now have been taken to court by Cuban for failure to re-pay him on time. Cuban was once rumored to be interested in owning a UFL team and broadcasted their games on his HDnet network the first two years of their existence.

 

With the NFL appearing a long time away from solving their differences, the UFL could benefit. There is also a chance the lock out can hurt them. NFL players are trying to convince college players to skip the draft, so owners have been said to consider using replacement players like they did in 1987 during a players strike. The UFL could see most of their players in NFL uniforms.

 

Getting NFL players to join them could take time, as many may prefer to sit back and observe the negotiations. The UFL also does not appear to have the maverick leadership the AFL in the 1960's enjoyed. But it could work.

 

If an influx of bored NFL players decides to go to the UFL to collect a paycheck, their popularity could increase. It may increase already, considering they are the only game in town right now. In this tenuous situation, the next few months can define the legacy of the United Football League.

NFL Lout : Why Roger Goodell Is Bad As Hell For The NFL
Category: FEATURED
Tags: AFL AAFC UFL NFL Roger Goodell NFLPA Bert Bell Pete Rozelle Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLV Notre Dame Uiniversity




The muckerism known as the Roger Goodell Era began in the National Football League when he barely won the job as commissioner by two votes in 2006. Though he tried to push this image of being a strict disciplinarian since then, but he has mostly shown to be a watered down version of his mentor and predecessor Paul Tagliabue.

Goodell began working with the NFL as an intern thanks to the fact his dad was a Senator in the same state that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle lived in. When Tagliabue replaced a retired Rozelle in 1989, Goodell was taken under the wing of a former college basketball player who knew very little about the game of football.

His role increased as the rules began to heavily favor the offenses and the quarterback position especially. Goodell has even taken this many steps further to sickening proportions since 2006 to the point even touching a quarterback results in a penalty and fine.

The 2011 season has been his worse, yet it may be a blessing for the NFL. It is quite evident Goodell is the wrong man for the job more than ever and replacing him would benefit the league. The league has made mistakes here before, so admitting they made the wrong hire would be nothing new for the NFL.

Jim Thorpe was the first NFL Commissioner ever from 1920 to 1921. He was an obvious figurehead much like Goodell is. Thorpe was a Hall of Fame football player who won two Gold Medals in the 1921 Olympics, played Major League Baseball, and basically excelled in any athletic endeavor.

Carl Stork, a co-founder of the NFL, was commissioner for two years until stepping down due to illness. Austin Gunsel stepped in when Bert Bell died in 1959, but was replaced by Rozelle four months later. Elmer Layden, one of the famous "Four Horsemen" from Notre Dame University, held the job for five year before being replaced by Bell because owners thought him too much a gentleman and not forceful enough for the job.

While Goodell has tried to pretend his was forceful regime, it has been severely tainted with hypocrisy. He reduced a suspension of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by two games this year, but then proceeded to tell people, right before the quarterback was to play Super Bowl XLV, that at least two dozen Steelers did not support Roethlisberger.

The reporter, Peter King, tried to back peddle soon after, but most likely because he was ordered to by Goodell. Still, the damage was done and the timing could not have been more inappropriate. The Super Bowl is the biggest game the league has, one where billions of dollars are involved and where more viewers from other parts of the world tune in.

Not only was the big game marred by Goodell's boorish behavior, but perhaps the worst pre-game and halftime entertainment shows in Super Bowl history followed in a game where hundreds of fans were displaced because Goodell's people did a poor job preparing Cowboys Stadium for the event. These fans are now suing the league.

These debacles took place on the eve of a players strike that is almost certainly going to occur. Players strikes are nothing new in the NFL, having occurred in 1968, 1970, 1982, and 1987. Yet each strike dealt with different issues.

When the players threatened a strike in 1968, the owners countered by declaring a lockout. Since players salaries were low in that era, which caused them to hold second hobs, this strike was brief. There was another brief strike during training camp in 1970.

Just nine regular season games were played in 1982 because of the strike. When the 1987 strike went down, players missed a month of the regular season but the games were still played.

Owners hired replacement players, which was largely a group of players who had been cut in training camps. Many unionized players, including Hall of Famers like Joe Montana, Steve Largent, and Randy White, crossed the picket lines to play.

This strike may be different because NFL players see how Major League Baseball players get paid. The NFL is the king of professional sports right now and players want a bigger piece of the pie. Considering an average career lasts less than two years, their request doesn't seem ridiculous.

The players today are afforded luxuries like never before. Though the game still contains hard hitting at times, the rules today make it a much less violent game. Goodell is now saying the league cares about players suffering concussions, an issue they ignored since their beginnings.

Past players suffer today, ignored by their own brethren who are enjoying the path paved for them. Yet the players see how the legends are doing today and are trying to prevent repeating that in their own future. Goodell's recent claims of caring are generally considered just lip service by most so he can resolve the impending strike sooner.

Besides continuing Tagliabue's mission to pamper quarterbacks and offenses while castrating defenses, there are many other things about Goodell that anger players. Many feel he is out of touch, sitting in an ivory tower with a blind eye as his wallet fills up at a rapid pace.

Many players lately have been echoing the same sentiment in regards to their commissioner. They feel he has too much power and control over the game while maintaining a constant predilection of making wrong decisions ultimately. He once was referred to as an obtuse fascist who has ruined the integrity of the game in favor of money.

Though it is unknown if things would be much better or worse now if Goodell did not retain those two votes in 2006, the question if he is the right man for the job gets louder each day. Whether the owners are listening or even caring is the question.

Bell and Rozelle, generally considered the best commissioners in NFL history, never uttered such ramblings like Goodell has while holding the office over 30 years combined. Neither besmirched their players like Goodell has. Though it is doubtful a person as good as Bell or Rozelle is out there right now, it would behoove the NFL to try and find out while firing Goodell.

If the league stays complacent behind his questionable leadership, the United Football League could very well find success the the American Football League did in the 1960's, forcing the NFL to allow all 10 of their teams to merge. Before that, the All-American Football Conference had the NFL take in three teams in 1950.

Though the game of football needs the upstart UFL, now entering their third season, to compete with the NFL to make their product better, the NFL learned 41 years ago from the AFL that it can take a long time to get back on top after being the only game in town several years. A game that has been eroding under the direction of Roger Goodell.  

JaMarcus Russell Remains Dazed and Confused About His NFL Return With Week 7 Picks
Category: FEATURED
Tags: JaMarcus Russell NFL Ryan Leaf John Lucas Arena Football League Canadian Football League UFL NBA Houston Rockets Golden State Oaland Raiders

In a modern day society where short-term memories are prevalent, JaMarcus Russell walks around it each day with the label "bust" on him like a permanent tattoo.
 
"Biggest NFL Bust Ever" is probably used a lot more than even he realizes, even if is a tag unfair and living in the moment too much. History shows there are many men, drafted first overall like Russell was in 2007, who did not nearly have the career many had hoped for.
 
While Russell carries the term of biggest bust now, relieving Ryan Leaf of that title, it mainly comes from the fact he held out for more money before ever playing a down professionally. He got $61 million with $32 guaranteed, then proceeded to win just seven of 25 career starts.
 
Those unaware or unconcerned with NFL history fail to realize his seven wins actually exceeds many other former first overall picks in terms of career production. Russell, however, walks around with the label and unemployed.
 
He was given the label of drug addict too, thanks to a concoction called "Purple Drink". He was caught in possession of the elixir, that contains the narcotic codeine, when the police raided his home over the summer. Though a friend of his took responsibility for making the drink, the damage was done.
 
Russell is now under the tutelage of former NBA player John Lucas, whose own professional career was derailed by drugs until he sobered up. Lucas has gone on to have success as an NBA coach, yet he still tries to help others kick substance abuse addictions.
 
While working out under the watch of Lucas, Russell went on record saying he would never play for the Arena Football League or Canadian Football League. Calling Lucas an angel sent by God, he also said,"Guys in the NFL that came back had some things more serious (than his situation). I think that's a minor setback."
 
Lucas, who was the first pick of the NBA's 1976 draft, played for six teams over 14 seasons. He played with the Houston Rockets, the team that drafted him, three different times over his career for five of those years. He said, "What I saw in him was me 33 years ago when I was out in Golden State. His troubles started there and so did mine after I left the Rockets."
 
What Russell now expects is a second chance in the NFL, thinking his time with Lucas will serve as his penance. There is a huge pool of unimpressive quarterbacks like him in the NFL today, making is feasible a team will invite him to a training camp in 2011. Russell is confident about his eminent return.
 
"I know for a fact it's going to happen. I can't say when, but until it happens I am going to stay here in Houston and continue to work out each and every day no matter how long it takes. I need to be there (in the NFL)."
 
What any NFL general manager can read from Russell's message is he is a man content resting on laurels basted in nonachiement. He seems to feel he is owed a tryout because he was the first overall draft choice in 2007, instead of proving his worth. Men like Steve Howe and Roy Tarpley were given several "second chances", thus making it reasonable he is given his too.
 
He had a chance to do so immediately after the Oakland Raiders released him a few months ago. The United Football League was right there to be joined, thus showcasing his skills and desire to the many NFL teams in need of an upgrade at quarterback. He decided he was either above the UFL or not ready to play professional football at the moment.
 
One of the biggest complaints about Russell was that he showed little desire in the NFL, while seeming content on cashing his paychecks and counting his money. He seems oblivious to this complaint, or perhaps there is more truth to that thought than he would lead one to believe.
 
Though it is admirable of Lucas to try and help another lost soul, this might be a case where the soul is as confused as it was during the days that brought it here to this point. Instead of buckling down, intent on proving the critics wrong and proving to himself that he can be a great NFL quarterback, Russell seems content on finding another team that will give him more paychecks to cash in.
 


 
 
 Week Seven Picks :
 
 
 
Cincinnati Bengals @ Atlanta Falcons
 
The Bengals are one of the more disappointing teams in 2010. Some call it the T.O. effect, as they rarely lean on the ground game that brought them the successes they had last year despite the fact halfback Cedric Benson has been effective when given the ball.
 
While quarterback Carson Palmer tries to sooth the cancerous egos of drama queens T.O. and Ochocinco, the team heads towards a losing season.
 
That works for Atlanta, who needs to get back on the winning track after losing to Philadelphia last week. Their secondary might be missing their best player, which bodes well for Cincinnati.
 
The key to this game is how effective Atlanta's seventh ranked running game does against the 18th ranked run defense of the Bengals, keeping Cincinnati's passing game on the sideline griping and preparing for talk shows.
 
Atlanta 27    Cincinnati 23
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins
 
The big news was that "Big Ben" had returned to be the Steelers quarterback until linebacker James Harrison told a bunch of unathletic reporters how defense was played so they could feign surprise.
 
Miami loves to run the ball, but this will not be easy against a Pittsburgh defense that gives up just 63 yards on the ground each game. Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne must face a fierce Steelers blitz if his team wants to win this game.
 
Though Roethlisberger is still rubbing off rust, Pittsburgh might lean on halfback Rashard Mendenhall and the ninth ranked rushing attack against Miami's 16th ranked run defense.
 
Steelers 24   Dolphins 13
 
 
 
 
 
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens
 
Things are ugly for the Bills right now. Not only are they without a win this season, but a former NFL coach claims they couldn't beat a UFL team.
 
Shades of the AFL, where the Bills came from.
 
Baltimore is upset from their loss last week. They look to vent their frustrations this weekend.
 
Ravens 34   Bills 13
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs
 
Jacksonville might be the most erratic team in the NFL, and that says a lot in a season known for its erraticism from the commissioner to the gridiron.
 
Kansas City is the Cinderella of 2010, and everything is falling into place for them to possibly win their division behind a sound rushing attack and underrated defense.
 
Chiefs 24    Jaguars 13
 
 
 
 
 
Cleveland Browns @ New Orleans Saints
 
While Cleveland struggles in every facet of football, New Orleans spent the first five weeks of 2010 battling with struggles of their own.
 
The Saints played like defending champions last week, and look to keep that momentum.
 
Saints 31    Browns 16
 
 
 
 
 
Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears
 
Chicago loves to pass the ball. Perhaps too much, considering star halfback Matt Forte leads the team with just 80 carries after six games. They will pass more this weekend, facing a Redskins defense last in the league in yards allowed and second to last in passing yards allowed.
 
Washington ran the ball well last week, but not enough times. They rely heavily on quarterback Donovan McNabb, who faces the 18th ranked pass defense this week. Chicago is also very stingy on run defense, ranking 3rd best, so McNabb will have to be perfect this Sunday if Washington wants to win.
 
Though the Redskins pass rush is wildly inconsistent, they are exceptional in the red zone. What Chicago does inside the 20-yard line will be worth watching extra closely.
 
Bears 19    Redskins 17
 
 
 
 
 
San Francisco 49ers @ Carolina Panthers
 
Both teams are good against the pass, but inconsistent at passing the ball themselves. Carolina will look to win their first game of the season by running often against the 19th ranked run defense in the league.
 
San Francisco, fresh off the first win this year, has the 27th ranked rushing attack even after halfback Frank Gore exploded for 149 yards last week. They need to continue riding his back against the 26th ranked run defense this week.
 
49ers 21   Panthers 17
 
 
 
 
 
Saint Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 
Both teams have been pleasant surprises so far, winning three games each. Some thought that would be the win totals for both the entire season.
 
Neither team is particularly excellent on either side of the ball statistically, though the Rams do give up about 45 yards less per game. That might make difference in this evenly matched mediocrity that has found success.
 
Rams 23   Buccaneers 21
 
 
 
 
 
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tennessee Titans
Game of the Week
 
Both of these teams run the ball extremely well. Tennessee is fourth best in the NFL, Philadelphia is eighth by averaging just six yards less.
 
The Eagles passing attack ranks fourth, while Tennessee is fourth from the bottom. With Philadelphia's eighth ranked pass defense, it shouldn't matter if Vince Young or Kerry Collins plays. Both will feed the pill often to Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer against the 22nd ranked run defense.
 
Even though Kevin Kolb is showing why Andy Reid traded Eagles legend Donovan McNabb in favor of him, some fans eagerly anticipate the return of backup Michael Vick. Kolb will be missing his best receiver in DeSean Jackson, recovering from a clean hit that gave him a concussion off a whiplash effect.
 
If Kolb can dissect the 23rd ranked pass defense, it may quiet the Vick murmurs more. Tight end Brent Celek is due to bust out a big game and rookie receiver Riley Cooper might help in the red zone.
 
It comes down to Kolb's arm against Johnson's legs, but the key really is if the Eagles offensive line can keep an aggressive Titans pass rush away from Kolb long enough to fire away.
 
Eagles 34  Titans 31
 
 
 
 
 
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
 
Though rookie quarterback Max Hall was statistically unimpressive last week, no one can take away the fact he won in his debut against the defensing champion Saints..
 
Besides Arizona's second ranked run defense, both teams rank near the NFL bottom in every offensive category, total defense, passing defense and happen to have winning records.
 
Cardinals running back Tim Hightower holds the key this week, yet he hardly touched the ball last week, Beanie Wells, the oft-injured running back they think has a world of ability, carried the ball 20 times for 35 yards. Hightower leads the team in carries and yards, while averaging almost two yards per carry more than Wells.
 
Seattle will try to attack Arizona in the air. Mike Williams and John Carlson are quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's favorite targets, but youngsters Deon Butler and Golden Tate can stretch the field so Carlson can work underneath.
 
Arizona 23  Seattle 17
 
 
 
 
 
New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers
 
It is utterly amazing Norv Turner is still an NFL head coach. His return this year was maybe a worse move by general manager A.J. Smith than re-signing Vincent Jackson or re-signing Marcus McNeil right away.
 
The Chargers have been slow starters under Turner, which is somehow acceptable to Smith. Yet no one saw the Bolts at 2-4, as they are right now. Maybe that is why critics call Smith "The Lord of No Rings". It is time for both Smith and Turner to go, as they have wasted talent and produced no championships.
 
New England is on a roll, as they have shown the past few weeks. They face a Chargers team first in offense and defense, so victory will not be easy against a team so deep in despair.
 
Patriots 27   Chargers 23
 
 
 
 
 
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
 
This is a bitter rivalry that stretches back to the AFL, and only holds importance to their fans this year. Both teams are at 2-4 with lots of holes in their games.
 
Oakland's biggest hole is at head coach, where Tom Cable joins Turner on the list of guys you won't see next year with the same job probably. Cable also has yet to names his quarterback this week, as rumors fly that journeyman third-stringer Kyle Boller might get the nod.
 
The Raiders need Darren McFadden, but he is not at full health. Denver does not run the ball well, which helps the Raiders because they cannot stop the run well.
 
This games comes down to the Raiders run game against Denver's passing attack led by Kyle Orton. Orton is quietly having a Pro Bowl season.
 
Broncos 24   Raiders 18
 
 
 
 
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
 
Before the season began, fans thought these two teams would be battling for first place in this game. Yet both are actually struggling right now just to have a shot at winning their division right now.
 
Green Bay got off to a hot start until injuries began to crumble their roster. Minnesota has struggled since day one with injuries, an over-the-hill quarterback and the drama he brings. Yet a win here keeps both very much alive in their division.
 
Though Minnesota is best served to lean on running back Adrian Peterson, they also need to test the Packers 17th ranked pass defense. What hurts Green Bay is that their best running back is gone for the year, so they will need to attack a passing defense that is sixth best in the league on the fifth ranked overall defense.
 
This might be another notch in the Favre Legacy, his returning to Lambeau Field for another win. Peterson might actually have more to do with it, but the media will put the lore on Favre to help distract folks from his issues off the field.
 
Vikings 31  Packers 23
 
 
 
 
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
 
From the 1960 to 1984, there was little going on between these two teams. Since then, it has been quite a fight twice a year. Dallas has won 17 more games in this rivalry, though the 1970's is a big reason why.
 
Dallas has just one win, and their dreams of hosting a Super Bowl representing the NFC are just about gone. They have a good defense and pass the ball well, but they neglect their running game too much to hold a lead.
 
Why offensive coordinator Jason Garrett keeps his job is a mystery to some, nepotism is the answer. His dad was a scout for the team for 18 years, until 2004, and his two brothers also work for the Cowboys. One coaches the tight ends, who are vastly underused, while the other is the Director of Pro Scouting.
 
New York relies on a balanced offensive attack that is led by a veteran offensive line. Their defense is the second best in the NFL right now, echoing the time when the Jints won Super Bowls in the past.
 
This game might not remind long-time fans of the past, because the Cowboys are not a smash mouth team. Yet New York is expected to try to force their will down the Cowboys throats, starting at the line of scrimmage.
 
Giants 23   Cowboys 21
 
 
 
Power Rankings
1. Steelers
2. Jets
3. Patriots
4. Giants
5. Falcons
6. Ravens
7. Colts
8. Saints
9. Texans
10. Bears
11. Titans
12. Eagles
13. Chiefs
14. Dolphins
15. Packers
16. Chargers
17. Vikings
18. Broncos
19. Bengals
20. Redskins
21. Cowboys
22. Jaguars
23. Buccaneers
24. Cardinals
25. Raiders
26. Seahawks
27. Rams
28. Lions
29. 49ers
30. Browns
31. Bills
32. Panthers  


 

NFL Week 2 Picks And The Worst First Overall Draft Choices Ever
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL CFL UFL AFL AAFC AFC NFC Peyton Manning Dennis Dixon Eli Manning Arian Foster Michael Vick Ryan Grant Terrell Owens
The National Football League has a wasteland of first round draft picks who never did much if or when they played. Many players are on ever draft board every year with lackluster numbers few expected at the time they were chosen. 
 
In 1936, the NFL created a draft. There were nine teams in the league at that time, so they held a nine round draft.
 
The league was not very popular at the time, taking a distant backseat to Major League Baseball and college football.  Many of the players drafted eschewed the opportunity to play in the NFL, a practice that continued into the 1950's, because they could earn much more money working elsewhere.
 
This includes the first player ever drafted, who happened to also be the first winner of the Heisman Trophy.
 
Jay Berwanger

 
Jay Berwanger was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but declined to play. The Chicago Bears traded for his rights after hiring Berwanger's college coach, Clark Shaughnessy, to improve the T-formation offense that had made Berwanger a star at the University of Chicago. 
 
Of the nine players drafted in the first round in 1936, only Berwanger and Notre Dame legend Bill Shakespeare decided not to play. Five players careers did not last past 1939, and the remaining two players careers lasted until 1944.
 
One was Bears Hall of Famer Joe Stydahar. 
 
Other famous facts was that future College Football Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was drafted in the fourth round by the Brooklyn Dodgers, but Bryant immediately chose to be an assistant at Alabama University instead.
 
Bears Hall of Famer  Danny Fortmann was the fourth from last player drafted that year. 
 
This is a recollection of some of the biggest busts in NFL history, proving the memory of a Jamarcus Russell will fade over time.
 
Berwanger, however, does not belong in this category. 
 
Here is a list of the first picks of NFL drafts that did not play the way their teams and fans expected.
 
 
Tom Harmon
 
Tom Harmon
Harmon won both the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award after a legendary career at Michigan University. The Chicago Bears made him the first pick of the 1941 draft, but he opted to play for the New York Americans of the second installment of the American Football League instead. 
 
Harmon was also making movies, which paved the way for his children to be actors. Mark Harmon may the most famous, though one daughter starred in Tic-Tac candy commercials in the 80's and another married Ricky Nelson. 
 
He then joined the Army as a pilot and flew several missions in World War II. He was shot down once, and flew a plane into a storm where he was the only surviving member of the crew. These incidents caused leg injuries, but Harmon joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1946. 
 
He played just two years before retiring from the injuries he sustained as a soldier. He scored nine times as a part-time player, including a league leading 84 yard run his rookie season and a league leading 88 yard punt return in his last year. He also picked off 11 passes, scoring once each year. One was returned for a league leading 85 yards as a rookie. 
 
Though the war ravaged his career, his impact in the AFL then is mostly unknown due to poorly kept records and statistics.He had impact in his two years in the NFL, but it came about six seasons after he was drafted by another team.
 
He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, but he could have had more gridiron success in other circumstances.
 
 
 
Angelo Bertelli
 
Angelo Bertelli
"The Springfield Rifle" won the 1943 Heisman despite playing just six games for Notre Dame University before joining the Marines because of WWII.
 
That did not stop the Boston Yanks from making him the first pick of the 1944 draft.  He never played for the Yanks, opting to play in the All-American Football Conference for a few years.
 
He joined the Los Angeles Dons in 1946, starting in three games. He spent the next two years as a backup with the Chicago Rockets before retiring with eight touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in his career. 
 
Perhaps he was destined for greater professional gridiron achievements if it were not for the war.
 
His is also the father of ex-Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert.
 
 
 
Boley Dancewicz
 
Boley Dancewicz

 
The first pick of the 1946 draft by the Boston Yanks, this Notre Dame great lasted three years with the team as a reserve before retiring.
 
He started in two games, and ended up with 12 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. The highlight of his career was in 1947, where he led the NFL in yards gained per pass completion.
 
He is the grandfather of quarterback Chris Pizzotti, who has bounced around several NFL training camps the past few years.
 
 
 
 
Bob Fenimore
 
Bob Fenimore

 
The "Blonde Bomber" was a legendary two-time All-American halfback at Oklamhoma A&M, which is now known as Oklahoma State University.
 
A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, he did not play much in his senior year because of injuries. 
 
The Chicago Bears made him the first pick of the 1947 draft.
 
He lasted one season in the league, scoring three times and intercepting two passes in the ten games he appeared in.
 
Fenimore then walked away from the NFL forever.
 
 
 
 
Harry Babcock
 
Harry Babcock

 
He was a wide receiver taken by the San Francisco 49ers with the first pick of the 1953 draft, which had one of the worst first rounds in NFL history. 
 
Including Babcock, seven of the 13 first round selections were out of the league by 1957 with little contribution. Two others never played in the league. 
 
Babcock's three seasons saw him catch just 16 balls for 181 yards and no scores. He was out of the game after 1955.
 
 
 
 

Bobby Garrett

Bobby Garrett
Garrett was the guy that made teams start doing their homework better before the drafts.
He was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the first pick in 1954. When the quarterback showed up, Cleveland quickly learned he had a severe stutter. 
 
They quickly traded him to the Green Bay Packers, where he lasted one season.
 
He completed 15 of 30 passes for 143 yards and an interception before walking away from the game. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

George Shaw

 

George Shaw

The Baltimore Colts made him the first pick in 1955.

 

He started all 12 games as a rookie, but soon found himself on the bench behind undrafted free agent, and future Hal of Famer, Johnny Unitas after breaking a leg in 1956. 

 

He stayed mostly on the Colts bench until 1958, where the Colts won the championship.

He then bounced around as a backup for the New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and the Denver Broncos of the AFL before retiring at the end of the 1962 season.

 

He won 11 of the 29 games he started, and had 41 touchdown passes versus 63 interceptions. 

 

Though there have been bigger busts than Shaw, and it wasn't his fault maybe the games greatest quarterback ever ended up on his team, he certainly did not quite enjoy the career expected of him.

 

 

 

 

King Hill

 

King Hill

It might be hard to call a guy with a 12 year career a bust, but it wasn't one hoped for when the Chicago Cardinals made him the first pick in 1958.

 

The Cardinals also had the second pick that year, and got great value when they snagged halfback John David Crow. 

 

Hill started out as a quarterback, but barely played as a rookie. He was handed the staring job the next year, and won just two of 11 games.

 

He fumbled the ball a league high 13 times, which was tied with Hall of Famer Bobby Layne as the second most ever, one less than Bobby Wade's 14, at the time. 

 

The Cardinals moved to Saint Louis in 1960, and Hill was moved to punter.

 

He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles the next year and lasted eight years with them as a punter and seldom used quarterback. He rejoined the Cardinals in 1969 as a punter before retiring. 

 

One reason for his longevity was the fact he averaged 41.3 yards per punt on 368 attempts, and never had a kick blocked until his final season.

 

He also was an important man in the players union, holding the title of Vice President of the Players Association in 1968. The league was on strike then, and Hill helped sign the first collective bargaining agreement in NFL history. 

 

Hill immediately stepped into coaching in 1970 as the offensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers, where he stayed until 1980. He then took the same job with the New Orleans Saints from 1981 to 1986 before returning to the Eagles as a scout for six years. 

 

Though he has a fine career as a punter, no one drafts a punter with the first pick of the draft.

 

He threw 48 touchdown passes, but he also tossed 71 interceptions and won just seven of the 30 games he started.

 

 

 

 

 

Randy Duncan

 

Randy Duncan

The Green Bay Packers made this quarterback the first pick of the 1959 draft after a legendary career at Iowa University, where he was the 1958 Big Ten MVP, Walter Camp and Helms Foundation Player of the Year, and finished second in the Heisman vote. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. 

 

Not liking the contract offer of the Packers, he bolted to the Canadian Football League to be a member of the BC Lions. He lasted two years there before deciding to join the Dallas Texans of the AFL in 1961. 

 

He spent most of the year as a backup to Pro Bowler Cotton Davidson, though he did start twice himself and won once. He threw one touchdown pass that year, then retired from the game to become a lawyer.

 

 

 

 

Terry Baker

 

Terry Baker

Baker was an exciting athlete drafted by the Los Angeles Rams first overall in 1963.

He won the 1962 Heisman at Oregon State University, and also excelled at basketball. His team made it to the Final Four that year, making him the only Heisman winner to accomplish this feat.

 

Sports Illustrated named him their Sportsman of the Year and he is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. 

 

He was a running quarterback, but the Rams ran a system that asked for a pocket passer. He played sparingly over his three years in the NFL, mostly lining up at running back.

 

Baker threw 21 career passes, completing 11. He also caught 30 passes and ran for 219 yards on 58 carries with one touchdown. 

 

Unhappy with the Rams, he went to the CFL and joined the Edmonton Eskimos.

He retired after one season.

 

His selection has to be one of the most curious, because the Rams seemed intent on making him something he was not instead of adjusting some of their playbook to his style.

 

 

 

 

Walt Patulski

Walt Patulski

The Buffalo Bills made him the first selection in 1972.

A big defensive end with good speed, the former Notre Dame standout had finished ninth in the 1971 Heisman voting.

 

When he arrived in Buffalo, big things were expected. After five quarterback sacks as a rookie, he improved to seven the following year and was named Defensive Player of the Week after the 11th game.

 

He then got nine and a half sacks over the next two years. 

 

Buffalo then decided to trade him to the Saint Louis Cardinals before the 1976 season, but he hurt his knee and missed the entire year. He returned in 1977, then retired at seasons end. 

 

Though Patulski had some success, it wasn't what both he and the Bills had expected and hoped for.

 

 

 

 

Kenneth Sims

 

Kenneth Sims

The New England Patriots tabbed this defensive end with the first pick of the 1982 draft.

It was a strike year that season, so Sims had three sacks over nine games. He played in just five contests the next year because of injuries. 

 

His best season as a pro was in 1985, when he had a career high five and a half sacks as New England made it to Super Bowl XX before losing.

 

He spent three of his last four years injured mostly. He played four total games over two seasons.  

 

In 1980, he was caught with drugs and the Patriots released him, thus ending his career.

Sims is considered by many as squandered talent.

 

He was called "Game Day" because he preferred not to practice during the week.

 

 

 

 

Steve Emtman

 

Steve Emtman

The Indianapolis Colts had the first two draft picks of the 1992 draft. Emtman was the first, linebacker Quenton Coryatt was the second.

 

Coryatt lasted six years with the team, getting eight and a half sacks and three interceptions before playing four games for the Dallas Cowboys in 1999 and retiring at seasons end. 

 

Emtman was an athletic defensive tackle with a "cant miss" tag on him.

 

He came out as a junior after finishing fourth in the Heisman voting. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. 

 

He got off to a fast start as a rookie, getting three sacks and intercepting a ball, returning it 90 yards for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins. Two weeks later, he blew out his left knee against the Dolphins and was out for the year.

 

He then blew out his other knee in the fifth game of the following year, shelving him again. He came back again the next year, but ruptured a disc in the first game. 

 

Emtman continued to play three more games before the pain became unbearable and his season was shut down early for the third consecutive season. 

 

He joined the Dolphins in 1995, playing all 16 games for the only time of his career as a reserve.

 

After playing in 13 the next year, he joined the Washington Redskins for four games in 1997 before retiring. 

 

Obvious bad luck derailed a very promising career, but Emtman's toughness was undeniable in his ability to come back for more yearly.

 

 

 

 

Ki-Jana Carter

 
 
Ki-Jana Carter

Bad luck met Carter early in his career, a few weeks after the Cincinnati Bengals made the running back the first selection in 1995.

 

He blew out his knee the third time he ever touched the ball in an exhibition game, putting him on the sideline for the year. 

 

He came back the next season and scored 15 touchdowns over two years before injury struck him again. After appearing in just four games over two seasons, Cincinnati cut him.

 

The Washington Redskins picked him up for one season before he moved onto the New Orleans Saints and played in ten games over two years before retiring. 

 

He lasted seven years in the NFL, gaining just 1,144 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns.

 

Yahoo Sports named him as the worst number-one draft pick since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, though injuries had a great part as to the reason why he struggled.

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Couch

Tim Couch

This quarterback was the first selection of the 1999 draft by the Cleveland Browns, who were an expansion team.

 

Both he and the team struggled to two wins that year, though Couch did show promise.

 

He was hurt the next year, appearing in seven games, then seemed to regress each season even though the team was improving with more victories.

 

After a mediocre 2003 season bereft with injury, Cleveland parted ways with him. 

 

Couch spent several years talking about playing again, but he never made a roster and struggled with rotator cuff issues.

 

Too bad the UFL wasn't out then for him.

 

 

 

 

Courtney Brown

 

Courtney Brown

The first pick of the 2000 draft by the Cleveland Browns, this defensive end stayed in the NFL until 2005 with inconsistent play in between injuries. 

 

His rookie season was the only time he played all 16 games, and he got four and a half sacks. He duplicated that sack total in just five games the next year, as well as scoring his only touchdown off a fumble recovery, before he was befell by injury. 

 

He had a career best six sacks in 13 games during 2003, but played in just two games the next year. Cleveland cut him, and he signed with the Denver Broncos.

 

He lasted one year with them before retiring after 2005. 

 

Blessed with good size and athleticism, his critics felt he lacked the inner drive to be the best player he possibly could be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Carr

 

David Carr

This quarterback was the first pick ever by the expansion Houston Texans in 2002.

 

Playing behind a porous offensive line, Carr was hit virtually every time he attempted a pass.

 

He fumbled 21 times as a rookie, leading the league with 12 recoveries while being sacked an NFL record 76 times. 

 

He led the league in times sacked his third and fourth seasons as well, though he showed some improvements. He led the NFL in completion percentage in 2006, but the Texans cut him anyways. 

 

After a one year stop with the Carolina Panthers in 2007, where he won one of four starts, he joined the New York Giants for two years as a backup. He then signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a reserve for 2010. 

 

Though his career may not yet be done, few quarterbacks took the pounding Carr did in his first five years.

 

 

 

 

 

JaMarcus Russell

 

JaMarcus Russell

The first pick of the 2007 draft by the Oakland Raiders, his career might be a lesson as to what can happen when you toss a quarterback onto the field before he is ready.

 

Undeveloped talent might be the best term for Russell so far, but his work ethic is widely regarded as terrible. 

 

Russell was recently cut by the Raiders and is unemployed.

 

A year or two in the UFL would do him good, but there has yet to be a story of his interest in the upstart league. 

 

Blessed with enormous size for a quarterback, and rare arm strength, the knock of him is what is in his head and heart.

 

A story circulated around Raiders headquarters that a coach asked Russell to study a DVD. When asked about it the next day Russell reportedly said he learned a lot. Problem was, he way handed a blank DVD, which further exposed his work ethic and interest in football. 

 

Only 25-years old, it is fathomable he can one day return to the NFL and salvage his career. It is looking like a long shot at best right now, because many feel he will never put in the required work.

 

 

 

Honorable Mention

 

Buck Buchanan

Alex Smith was the first pick of the 2005 draft and has mostly been unimpressive thus far. He might be running out of chances to get off this list.  

 

The AAFC held drafts from 1947 to 1949. Many of their drafted players elected to play in the NFL instead. 

 

Frank Aschenbrenner was the first ever player drafted. He lasted one year with the Buffalo Bills, carrying the ball eight times for 14 yards before retiring. 

 

Clyde Scott was the first pick in 1948 by the Buffalo Bills, but he was also the eighth overall selection by the Philadelphia Eagles. He joined the Eagles for just over three years, before finishing his career with the Detroit Lions. He won a championship with each team. 

 

Abe Gibron was the last number-one draft pick of the AAFC, also by the Bills. He played ten games in Buffalo, then the league went defunct.

 

He joined the Cleveland Bowns for over 6 years, making the Pro Bowl four times. He was traded to the Philadephia Eagles late in 1956, then joined the Chicago Bears in 1958. He retired after the 1959 season, having won three championships with Cleveland. 

 

He later became a head coach of the Chicago Bears for three years, then one year for the Chicago Winds of the World Football League. He later joined the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was beloved for his sense of humor and love of food. 

 

The fourth installment of the American Football League held drafts from 1960 to 1966.

Like the AAFC, many drafted players went to the NFL, though the AFL was much more aggressive and signed more players.

 

This aggressiveness led to better play than what the NFL was producing, forcing a merger between the two leagues. 

 

The 1960 draft was a territorial draft, though officially the Oakland Raiders selected a player in a supplemental draft who never played for them. 

 

The first pick of the 1961 draft was Bob Gaiters by the Denver Broncos, but he opted to play with the New York Giants instead.

 

Roman Gabriel was the first pick in 1962 by the Raiders, but he too chose the NFL. 

 

Hall of Fame defensive tackle Buck Buchanan was the first selection in 1963 by the Kansas City Chiefs, and he became the first to actually play in the AFL. Amazingly, the New York Giants waited until the 19th round to draft him in the NFL, and 264 players were chosen before him. 

 

Buchanan led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning one, in a 13-year career that saw him named to eight Pro Bowls and four First Team All-Pro honors. 

 

Jack Concannon was the first pick in 1964 by the Boston Patriots. The NFL Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in the second round, so he chose to go there. He lasted ten years, promarily as a reserve. 

 

"Broadway" Joe Namath was the first pick of the 1965 AFL draft by the New York Jets.

 

He is widely regarded as the man who saved that franchise from extinction.

 

He became the first man to throw for over 4,000 yards, quite a feat in the ten-yard chuck rule era. He lasted 12 years with the Jets and one with the Los Angeles Rams.

 

He led the league in passing yards three times, as well as interceptions. He went to five Pro Bowls, but the Hall of Famer is best remembered for the "Guarantee". 

 

His Jets upset a favored Oakland Raiders in the AFL Champoionship, a team that handled them just five weeks earlier, that enabled them to oppose the heavily favored NFL Champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

 

New York won 16-7, shaking up the world of professional football and bringing respect to the AFL and helped force the eventual merger in 1970. 

 

The 1966 season was the last AFL Draft before the leagues merged their drafts.

The Miami Dolphins selected Jim Grabowski, but he elected to join the Green Bay Packers. They had selected him ninth overall that season. 

 

Though Buchanan and Namath were the only first overall picks to play in the AFL, their impact is historic.

 

Both brought the AFL their only Super Bowl trophies,proving to all their league wasn't as inferior as the NFL loved to claim.

 

They made football better then, which in turn made the future of professional football better off.

 

 

 

Week 2 Picks (8-7 Last Week) :

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans


Dennis Dixon wasn't great in his start last week, but the defense was. This unit realizes they need to carry the team right now.

Steelers 20 Titans 13





Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas was horrible last week, a far cry from the team expected to win their division. If they do not beat a team that had no business defeating the Detroit Lions last week, they may as well go home now.

Cowboys 23 Bears 21





Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers

Green Bay handled the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but lost star running back Ryan Grant for the year. We will see how they will look without him this week.

Packers 24 Bills 21





Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay outlasted Cleveland last week, even though their quarterback has an injured thumb on his throwing hand. Carolina's quarterback, Matt Moore, needs to play better than he did last week, and I expect him to.

Panthers 27 Buccaneers 17






Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns

While Kansas City provided a nice surprise last week in their upset victory over the San Diego Chargers, the Browns frustrated a few by dropping their game to Tampa Bay. Though neither team will get to the playoffs this year, but it will be an interesting battle of rebuilding teams.

Chiefs 31 Browns 24






Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings

Both teams like to pound their opponents into the turf, so this will be a real smash mouth grind. Both have good running games, but less than stellar passing attacks. This could go into overtime.

Vikings 23 Dolphins 20







Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

Arizona squeaked by the Saint Louis Rams last week, while the Falcons went toe-to-toe with Pittsburgh into overtime before losing. Though the Cardinals have a good defense, it isn't quite as good as the Steelers, so Atlanta should be more productive.

Falcons 34 Cardinals 21







Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Game of the Week

Terrell Owens and Chad Ocho Cinco's egos will be the downfall of Cincinnati this year. Both cry for the ball every play, but are obviously on the downsides of their careers. Owens seems to have a foot in his career's grave.

Tight end Jermaine Greshem and the running game are more dangerous weapons, but we won't see enough of it because of the two babbling divas. This was seen last week when the New England Patriots thrashed them.

Baltimore was amped up last week, so critics expect a let down in a short week to prepare. This is a veteran team, so their Super Bowl candidacy will broadcast their intentions this weekend. The great teams win these games.

Ravens 30 Bengals 28





Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

While the Lions were robbed last week, the Eagles started their season flat footed. Both teams will be playing their backup quarterbacks this week. Philadelphia's Michael Vick is now getting the chance he once thought he'd never get again. He has a good chance of running and throwing for over 100 yards.

Eagles 34 Lions 17






Saint Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders

While the Rams played fairly well in their loss last week, the Raiders played poorly. Oakland needs to bounce back this week.

Raiders 27 Rams 21






Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos

While the Seahawks surprised many in their blow out victory over the 49ers, the Broncos dropped a game some thought they would win. While neither team is looking very strong right now, this should be a game that goes to the wire.

Broncos 24 Seahawks 23







Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins

The Redskins benefited from poor play calling by the Dallas Cowboys last week. Their top two running backs averaged almost five yards a carry, but the team decided to throw too much.

 

Houston will not make this same mistake, especially after Arian Foster had the second most productive ground game of any player in NFL history. Washington is expected to show more offensive punch than last week.

Texans 26 Redskins 21
 




New England Patriots @ New York Jets

While the Patriots proved themselves to be a serious Super Bowl contender last week, the Jets showed they are further away than they expected. New England will widen the gap further.

Patriots 27 Jets 13




Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are coming off a crushing loss last Monday, and they need to rebound quickly. Jacksonville looked solid last week, and will try to build off that momentum.

Chargers 34 Jaguars 24





New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts

Neither team was very impressive last week. While the Giants defense destroyed the Carolina Panthers, their offense made way too many mistakes. The Colts tiny defensive line might just what New York needs in this battle of the Manning brothers.

Giants 27 Colts 26




New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

This is not how the Niners wanted to start this season. They got blown out by Seattle, a team most did not expect a lot of this year. Now they face the defending champions, who are coming off an impressive win and had a few extra days to prepare as well.

Saints 37 49ers 20  

The ALMOST All-Time Green Bay Packers
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL AFL UFL NFC North Minnesota Vikings Chicago Bears Seattle Seahawks Green Bay Packers Kansas City Chiefs Pro Football Hall of Fame


 



Titletown, USA

Most every football fan knows this refers to the Green Bay Packers. Their 12 championships are more than any other professional football team ever. There have been 21 Packers to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, second only to their main rival the Chicago Bears.

They have played the Bears 178 times, winning 82 and tying six. This is one of the oldest and best rivalries going in the game today, and the Packers are the third oldest team in NFL history. There is a difference of just 116 points scored between the two.

The Packers actually trace back to semi-pro teams in 1896. Curley Lambeau is one of the founders of the professional franchise, borrowing money from his employer, Indian Packing Company, to get uniforms and equipment. The Green Bay Packers are the oldest team by use of nickname and origin in the NFL today.

They were fist referred to as the "Indians", but played their first game known as the "Packers". Their first team colors were navy blue and gold, after Lambeau's Alma mater Notre Dame. Lambeau briefly considered changing the team name to the "Blues".

They changed to their current colors of green and gold in 1950, and then started using the "G" emblem on their helmet in 1961. Despite having the smallest television market in a town of barely over 102,000 people, the fans are considered amongst the most loyal and rabid.

The history that emanates from this team, from Lambeau, who the Packers named their stadium after, to "Blood" McNally, to Don Hutson, the man who many say invented the pass pattern, to Vince Lombardi, the man who the NFL named their championship trophy after, to Bart Starr and even Brett Favre, the lineage is unlike any other franchise.

Now with rising star Aaron Rodgers leading a young roster chock full of talent, Packers fans are looking forward to continue filling up the largest trophy case in the NFL.



Quarterback : Cecil Isbell


Isbell was the Packers first round draft pick in 1938, the seventh overall selection. He was used as a halfback mostly at first, because Hall of Famer Arnie Hebner was the primary quarterback. Hall of Fame head coach Curly Lambeau alternated them often, as well as played them together.

Leading the NFL with a 5.2 yards per carry average, Isbell was named a Pro Bowler his rookie year. He led the team in rushing and passing, helping them get to the NFL Championship game before losing to the New York Giants.

He led the team in rushing again the next year, making the Pro Bowl again. Green Bay faced the Giants again in the championship game and won 27-0. He split time at quarterback with Herber until the end of the 1940 season, when Herber retired.

Now the primary quarterback in 1941, Isbell led the NFL in attempts, completions, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns,, touchdowns and interception percentage, yards gained per pass attempt, completion, and per game played, as well as quarterback rating. He was named to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro. His 1,479 passing yards was an NFL record at the time.

He broke that record with another Pro Bowl season the next year by tossing for an NFL leading 2,021 yards. He also led the NFL in touchdown passes, completions, touchdown percentage, yards gained per attempt, passing yards per game, quarterback rating, and a career long 73 yard pass.

Hall of Fame receiver Don Hutson was his primary target, grabbing 17 scores, a record that stood 42 years, out of his 24 touchdowns total. Hutson also caught 74 of Isbell's 146 completions, and 1,211 of Cecil's passing yards.

Isbell then suddenly retired from the game, stating he wanted to leave at the top of his game.He went on to become a head coach at the college and professional ranks. His four Pro Bowls is tied with Hall of Famer Bart Starr as the second most by a Packers quarterback, and his 61 touchdown passes still rank sixth best in team history.

He is a member of both the Packers and College Football Hall of Fames, as well as the NFL 1930's All-Decade Team alongside Herber. Cecil Isbell is the only quarterback on that team not yet inducted into Canton, but four Pro Bowls in his five year career shows he was great.

Lynn Dickey, Don Majkowski, and Tobin Rote deserve mention.






Fullback : John Brockington


Brockington was the Packers first round draft pick in 1971, the ninth player chosen overall. He quickly became the main staple of Green Bay's offensive attack, running for 1,105 yards at a career best 5.1 yards per carry.

He was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, the only Packer to ever acquire this honor. He won the NFC Rookie of the Year Award by the UPI, and was also named to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro that year. He gained over 1,000 yards the next year on a career best 274 carries and nine total touchdowns, getting to his second Pro Bowl.

The 1973 season was his last as both a Pro Bowler and 1,000 yard rusher. He set career highs with 1,144 yards and 81.7 yards rushing per game. Though he churned out 833 yards the next year, it became apparent the amount of carries has piled up on him.

After running for 840 yards the next two years, he was cut after the first game of the 1977 season. The Kansas City Chiefs picked him up for ten games as a reserve, and he retired at the end of the year.

John Brockington is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, and his 5,024 career yards rushing with the Packers still ranks third best in team history. He three Pro Bowls is tied with Hall of Famer Clarke Hinkle as the second most by any Packers fullback.

Though Hinkle and Jim Taylor are Hall of Famers who are thought to be the best fullbacks in Green Bay history, Brockington was a special player in his own right.

William Henderson, Howie Ferguson, Ted Fritsch, Edgar Bennett, Frank Balasz, Gerry Ellis, and Ed Jankowski deserve mention.





Halfback : Ahman Green


Green was a third round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1998. He spent two years there mostly riding the bench, carrying the ball 61 times total before being traded to the Packers.

Green Bay put him to work immediately as their featured back, and he churned out five consecutive seasons where he gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. He also went to the Pro Bowl four straight years. He also caught 267 passes over those five years, displaying what a complete weapon he was for the team.

No other player gained as many yards in those five seasons than he did. He also was explosive, running for touchdowns from 98 and 90 yards out. He is one of just two players in NFL history to have touchdown runs of 90 yards or more.

After an injury plagued 2006 season that saw him play just five games, Green rebounded the next year with his sixth 1,000 yard season in seven years. He then joined the Houston Texans for two injury riddled years before rejoining he Packers in 2009 to add depth to a depleted backfield.

Though he played just eight games as a reserve, he gained enough yards to become the Packers all-time leader in rushing yards and carries. No Packers halfback has appeared in more Pro Bowls that his four. His 350 receptions are the most by any running back, and ranks seventh on the teams list.

A lot was made of the fact Green fumbled 34 times as a Packer, but he only fumbled one more time with 40 more carries than Hall of Famer Jim Taylor, who is considered the greatest fullback in team history. Ahman Green may very well be the best halfback the team ever had. He recently joined the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League.


Billy Grimes, Vern Lewellen, Joe Laws, Tom Moore, Larry Buhler, Dick Weisgerber, Hank Bruder, Donny Anderson, Dorsey Levins, Terdell Middleton, Andy Uram, Travis Jervey, Brent Fullwood, and Jimmy Lawrence all deserve mention.




Wide Receiver : Billy Howton


Howton was the Packers second round draft pick in 1952. He became a star right away, leading the league with career best marks of 1,231 receiving yards and total yards from scrimmage, 102.6 receiving yards per game, and a 90 yard reception. He also averaged a career high 23. 2 yards on 52 catches, scoring 13 times, and making the Pro Bowl squad.

Despite playing just eight games because of injuries the next year, he went back to the Pro Bowl in 1955. He led the NFL with 1,188 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns, and 99 yards receiving per game in 1956, as well as averaging 21.6 yards per catch on a career best 55 receptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl and garnered a First Team All-Pro nod.

He replicated the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors the next season, and made his final Pro Bowl squad in 1957. He joined the Cleveland Browns for the 1959 season before joining the fledgling Dallas Cowboys in their expansion year in 1960.

He stayed with the Cowboys for four years, catching 161 passes over that time. He retired with 503 career receptions for 8,459 yards after 1963, and both were NFL records at the time.

Though he was the very first NFLPA president, and a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, Howton has yet to be close to induction into Canton though it appears very evident he is worthy.




Wide Receiver : Sterling Sharpe


Sharpe was the Packers first round draft pick in 1988, the seventh pick overall. He started immediately and grabbed 55 balls. He led the NFL with 90 catches the next season, attaining his first Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro nods. He made the Pro Bowl again the next year.

The 1992 season may have been his best. He led the league with 108 catches for a career best 1,461 yards and 13 scores. He also averaged an NFL best 91.3 yards receiving per game. His 108 catches were an NFL record at the time.

He won the Triple Crown for receivers by leading the league in catches, yards, scores, becoming just the 6th player to ever accomplish this. All previous players to have done this are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and only Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers has done this since. He was also named to the Pro Bowl as well as First Team All-Pro.

He broke that record with 112 the next year, becoming the first player to have consecutive seasons of over 100 receptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl and got his third nod as First Team All-Pro.

His last year as a Pro Bowler was in 1994, which happened to also be his last as a player. He led the league with 18 touchdown catches on 94 receptions. He injured his neck so severely that year that he was forced to retire.

Not only is Sharpe a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, his 595 receptions for 8.134 yards were team records until Donald Driver surpassed those marks in 2009. The Packers have had a ton of legendary wide receivers, and Sterling Sharpe certainly ranks near the top.

Lavvie Dilweg, Boyd Dowler, Carroll Dale, John Jefferson, Tom Nash, Tillie Voss, Milt Gantenbein, Harry Jacunski, Carl Mulleneaux, Javon Walker, Roell Preston, Steve Odom, Max McGee, Robert Brooks, and Antonio Freeman all deserve mention.





Tight End : Paul Coffman


Coffman made the Packers squad as a free agent rookie in 1978, but did not accumulate any statistics in the 16 games he played that year. He earned the starting job the next year and snagged a career high 56 passes.

He made the first of his three consecutive Pro Bowls after the strike shortened season of 1982. His best season may have been in 1983, when he set career high marks of 814 receiving yards, eleven touchdowns, and a 15.1 yards per catch average.

He left the Packers after 1985 to join the Kansas City Chiefs. After 17 catches over two years, he joined the Minnesota Vikings and suited up for eight games before retiring at the end of the 1988 season.

His 322 catches for 4,223 yards and 39 scores are far and away the most ever by any Packers tight end in the franchises history. His three Pro Bowls is tied as the most by a tight end in Green Bay history. It is safe to say Paul Coffman is the best to have ever played the position for them.

Mark Chmura, Bubba Franks, Ron Kramer, Rich McGeorge, and Keith Jackson deserve mention.





Center : Charley Brock

Charley with Curley Lambeau

Brock was drafted by the Packers in the third round of the 1939 draft, the 24th player chosen overall. He was named to the Pro Bowl and scored off of an interception in his rookie year as Green Bay won the championship.

He made the Pro Bowl again the next season, then saw time at halfback and fullback over the next two years. He intercepted a career best 6 balls in 1942, and also scored off of a fumble recovery while making his last Pro Bowl.

After Green Bay won the 1944 NFL Championship, he was named First Team All-Pro in 1945 after leading the NFL with 122 yards off interceptions and two returns for score. He also led the league with 52 yards off of 5 fumble recoveries.

Brock retired after the 1947 season with 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries in his career. His three Pro Bowls is the second most by a center in Packers franchise history behind Hall of Famer Jim Ringo.

Not only is Brock a member of both the Packers and Nebraska University Football Hall of Fames, he is on the NFL 1940's All-Decade Team. He is one of the best all around players in team history.

Larry McCarren, Frank Winters, Bo Svendsen, Tom Greenfield, Ken Bowman, Nate Barragar, and Mike Flanagan all are worthy of mention.





Guard : Gale Gillingham


Gillingham was drafted by the Packers in the first round of the 1966 NFL Draft, the 13th player chosen overall. He earned the starting job at left guard late in the year, unseating Pro Bowler and Packers Hall of Famer Fuzzy Thurston.

After helping Green Bay win the famous "Ice Bowl" game against the Dallas Cowboys, he helped the Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first championship game between the NFL and American Football League. It is now commonly known as Super Bowl I.

The Packers repeated as champions the next year as well, as Gillingham started in every game. He would start in every game the team played until 1976, except for 12 games due to injury in 1972.

He made his first Pro Bowl in 1969, as well as garnering First Team All-Pro honors. After repeating that feat the next season, he made the Pro Bowl in 1971 before being injured in the second game of 1972 and missing the rest of the season.

Gillingham returned to the Pro Bowl in 1973 and the following year before deciding to retire at the end of 1976. He is a member of the teams Hall of Fame, and his five Pro Bowls are the most by any Packers guard in franchise history.

Though Packers historians clamor for the induction of ex-guard Jerry Kramer's induction into Canton, Gale Gillingham certainly should be considered as well.





Guard : Jerry Kramer


Kramer was drafted in the fourth round of the 1958 draft by the Packers. He spent his rookie year as a reserve, mostly playing special teams. He earned the starting job the next year, which was also this first of Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi as a head coach. Kramer held onto his starters job until he retired.

He was named First Team All-Pro for the first time in 1960, and was an integral part of Packers teams that won NFL Championships 1961, 1962, and 1965. He made the Pro Bowl and was honored as First Team All-Pro in 1962 and 1963.

What made those two years particularly special was the fact Kramer served as the primary placekicker as well. He led the NFL in field goal percentage in 1962, made 16 out of 34 field goal attempts the next year, and made 81 out of 85 extra point attempts over that time. He would not kick again until his final season.

He played just two games in 1964 because of injury, but rebounded to be named First Team All-Pro in both 1966 and 1967, as well as make the 1966 Pro Bowl squad. He retired after the 1968 season, where he went four for nine on field goals and nine out of ten on extra points.

Jerry Kramer is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, the NFL 50th Anniversary Team, the NFL 1960's All-Decade Team, the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, and the Senior Bowl 50th All-Time Anniversary Team. He has been a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame a whopping ten times. He is the only member of the NFL's 50th Anniversary All-Time team not yet inducted into Canton.

He awaits his induction still, one that should have happened several decades ago, because he is one of the greatest guards in Packers history.

Buckets Goldenberg, Fuzzy Thurston, Gust Zarnas, Bill Lueck, Paul Tinsley, Marco Rivera, Lon Evans, and Ross Letlow deserve mention.





Tackle : Dick Wildung


Wildung was the Green Bays first round draft pick in 1943, the eighth overall selection, but he served in the military until 1946 before joining the Packers.

After playing guard his first two seasons, getting a safety playing defensive tackle as well, Green Bay moved him to left tackle in 1948. He stayed there the rest of his career, but missed the 1952 season because of injury.

He made his lone Pro Bowl in 1951, then retired after 1953. He was inducted into both the Packers and College Football Hall of Fame. Though he was a Packer for just seven years, his impact lasted much longer.





Tackle : Bob Skoronski


Skoronski was drafted in the fifth round of the 1956 draft by the Packers. He won the staring job at left tackle right away that season. He had to leave the team until 1959 because he served in the military during the Korean Conflict. It was also the first season Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi was head coach.

After playing as a reserve that year, he earned back his starting job in 1960 and would hold onto it until he retired after the 1968 season. Skoronski was so reliable that he missed just two games in his whole career.

He was an integral part of a offensive line blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. Green Bay won championships five times between 1961 to 1967. Skoronski was named to his lone Pro Bowl in 1966.

Not only is he a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, but Bob Skoronski is one of the best left tackles the franchise has ever had.

Baby Ray, Ernie Smith, Bill Lee, Paul Kell, Howard "Cub" Buck, Charles Schultz, Greg Koch, and Ade Schwammel deserve mention.







Defensive Tackle : Dave Hanner


Hanner was a fifth round draft pick by the Packers in 1952. He was a Pro Bowler by 1953, again getting the honor for the last time in 1953.

He was steady and versatile in his 13 seasons with Green Bay, playing both tackle positions. He was also extremely athletic, getting four career interceptions and a safety. He missed just four games in his entire career.

Not only was he reliable, but Hanner was a winner. He played on two Packers teams that won league championships. When he retired at the end of the 1964 season, he became an assistant coach immediately and was part of two Super Bowl winning teams. He stayed with the team until 1996, filling roles like defensive coordinator and scout.

Dave "Hawg" Hanner is a member of both the Packers and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fames. He is also remembered for sacking Chicago quarterback Ed Brown for a safety, helping secure Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi's first career victory with a 9-6 decision over the Bears.





Defensive Tackle : Bob Brown


Brown was drafted in the first round of the 1964 AFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, and in the 13th round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

He did not play until 1966, joining the Packers as a reserve. Green Bay won the Super Bowl that season, and repeated the next year. After playing in just six games because of injury in 1968, he earned a starting job the next year and held onto it until he left the team after 1973.

The best year of his career was in 1972, when he sacked Houston Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini for a safety and was later was named to his only Pro Bowl. He was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1974, then joined the Cincinnati Bengals the next year. He stayed with them for two years before retiring.

Brown was a consistent force, only missing the eight games in 1968. He is one of just three Packer defensive tackles to go to the Pro Bowl. Hall of Famer Henry Jordan and "Hawg" Hanner are the others. It is safe to say Bob Brown is one of the best defensive tackles in team history.

Mike McCoy and Ron Kostelnik deserve mention.





Defensive End : John Martinkovic


Martinkovic was drafted in the sixth round of the 1951 draft by the Washington Redskins. He soon joined the Packers and earned a starting job as a rookie. He scored two touchdowns in 1952.

He made the first of his three consecutive Pro Bowls in 1953 and was considered one of the top defensive ends of the 1950's. He was traded to the New York Giants in 1957 and retired at the end of the season.

Not only is he a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, but he is one of the best defensive ends in franchise history.





Defensive End : Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila


Gbaja-Biamila was drafted in the fifth round of the 2000 draft by the Packers. He appeared in seven games, during his rookie season, getting 1.5 sacks.

He was named a starter the next year and got 13.5 sacks. He has 12 in 2002, and took an interception 72 yards for a touchdown. The 2003 season saw him go to his only Pro Bowl after getting 10 sacks. He followed that up by matching his career high total of 13.5 sacks the next year.

Not only is Gbaja-Biamila recognized as the first to have three straight seasons double digit sack totals, but also the first to do it four consecutive seasons.

In 2007, the Packers used him as a pass rush specialist and he added 9.5 sacks. After being able to suit up for just seven games the next year because of injury, the Packers released him.

Gbaja-Biamila is the Packers all-time leader in sacks with 74.5 total. He has yet to officially retire, but he was one of the finest defensive ends in Green Bay history.

Ab Wimberly, Ezra Johnson, Allen Moore Robert Brown, and Lionel Aldridge deserve mention.





Outside Linebacker : Dave Robinson


Robinson was drafted in the first round of the 1963 NFL Draft by the Packers, and in the third round of the AFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He opted to play in Green Bay.

He spent his rookie year as a reserve, but earned a starting job the following season. After helping the Packers win the 1965 season, the 1966 season was his first as a Pro Bowler as the Packers won the first Super Bowl. He earned his second Pro Bowl the next year, as Green Bay won their third straight championship.

After making his last Pro Bowl in 1969, he stayed on with the Packers until 1973 when he was traded to the Washington Redskins. He played two years with them before retiring. He is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and Gator Bowl Hall of Fame.

Dave Robinson is a member of the NFL's 1960's All-Decade Team, and he has been seriously considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame several times. He may be the best outside linebacker the team has ever had.





Middle Linebacker : Bill Forester


Forester was drafted in the third round of the 1953 draft by the Pack, the 31st player chosen overall. He started at middle guard in his rookie year, a position later turned into middle linebacker by Hall of Famer Bill George.

After playing left outside linebacker in 1954, he played the following two years at middle guard and picked off four balls each season. Green Bay then permanently moved him to the right outside linebacker spot in 1957 and matched his career high mark of four interceptions.

He made the Pro Bowl for four straight years from 1959 to 1962, earning First Team All-Pro honors the last three years. He also tallied his only points in 1959, off of a safety.

When Forester retired after 1962, he had 21 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries in his 11 seasons. It was the most ever by a Packers linebacker at the time, and still ranks third best. His four Pro Bowls are the most ever by any linebacker in franchise history.

He is a member of the teams Hall of Fame and the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. Forester was also nominated for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame a few times, but has failed to get in as of yet.

When Vince Lombardi became head coach of Green Bay, part of the Hall of Famers winning formula was built around Forester on defense. The Packers went to three straight NFL Championship games in Forester's last three seasons as a player, winning in his last two years.

He is one of the best linebackers the team ever had.

Ed Neal, Clayton Tonnemaker, and Jim Carter also deserve mention.




Outside Linebacker : Fred Carr


Carr was drafted in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft by Green Bay, the fifth player chosen overall. He spent his first two seasons as a back up to Pro Bowler and Packers Hall of Famer Lee Roy Caffey before earning the starters job in 1970.

He would start in every Packers game from then until he retired after 1977. Carr made his first Pro Bowl in 1970, then went back in 1972 and 1975. He was named MVP of the 1970 Pro Bowl, becoming the first to win it in the modern day AFC-NFC Pro Bowl and just the third Packer ever to win the award.

Not only is Fred Carr a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, his three Pro Bowls are tied with Dave Robinson and Roger Zatkoff as the most ever by a Green Bay outside linebacker. He might be the best one the team ever had.

Lee Roy Caffey, John Anderson, Bryce Paup, Tim Harris, Dan Currie, Deral Teteak, George Koonce, Bob Forte, Mike Douglass, and Roger Zatkoff also deserve mention.





Strong Safety : LeRoy Butler


Butler was drafted in the second round of the 1990 draft and spent his rookie season as a reserve. He still picked off three passes and was starting at cornerback the next year.

The Packers moved him to strong safety in 1992, where he would stay the rest of his career. Butler picked off a career best six passes in 1993, 90 tackles, and took a fumble recovery 25 yards for a score. He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl that year.

He attained those honors again in 1996, where Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI. He swiped 5 balls, taking one 90 yards for a score, and had a career high 6.5 sacks. He was also named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in each of the following two years.

When Butler played nine games because of injury in 2001, he retired. He is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame and the NFL 1990's All-Decade Team. He is the only Packers strong safety to be named to four First Team All-Pro honors, and his 38 interceptions rank fourth best in franchise history.

Hank Gremminger and Mark Murphy deserve mention.






Free Safety : Bobby Dillon


Dillon was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1952 draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the 28th player chosen overall. He attended college at Texas University, and is inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor and to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

He earned a starting job immediately for the Packers, picking off four passes in his rookie year. Then he became even more of a nightmare to opposing teams in 1953, grabbing nine interceptions for 112 yards. He also scored the first touchdown of his career off of a 49 yard return of an interception. Dillon accomplished this despite playing in just 10 of the 12 games that year.

The 1954 season saw him swipe seven more balls, scoring another touchdown as well. He was named to his first First Team All-Pro honor that season. He was named to the first of his four consecutive Pro Bowls and another First Team All-Pro nod the next season after getting nine interceptions for 153 yards.

Dillon gained an NFL-leading and career best 244 yards off of seven interceptions in 1956, scoring another touchdown and was named to First Team All-Pro again.

He tied his career best mark of nine interceptions in 1957, scoring a touchdown off of a 55 yard return in his 180 total yards. He was named to his last Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors in 1958, after picking off 6 balls for 134 yards and scoring his fifth and final career touchdown.

Dillon retired at the end of the 1959 season year and still holds the Packers franchise record for career interceptions and interception return yardage. He is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall Of Fame.

Bobby got a lot of early notoriety early in his career because he was blind in one eye. Since it is more than obvious this did not detract from his play, Dillon's exploits on the field are his real mark on the game.

He averaged over six interceptions a year for his career. There are a few factors that may have kept Bobby from inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame thus far. One is that he played on some bad Packers teams. The only season that he played on a winning team was his last, which also happened to be Vince Lombardi's first year in Green Bay.

Another reason may be that he played just 8 seasons. Those detractors would get some argument from me on these facts. There is the obvious fact of the impact Bobby had on the gridiron. His amazing nose for the ball is not matched by many to have ever played the game.

When he retired, he ranked second all time in NFL history with his 52 career interceptions That mark was tied by Jack Butler of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also retired in 1959. Both are now presently tied for 23rd all time.

There are only four safeties in NFL history with more interceptions than Bobby Dillon (Ronnie Lott's first five seasons were spent at cornerback). If you add these facts up, it eradicates the arguments of his teams won-loss record or his amount of seasons played. Bobby Dillon deserves his inductions into Canton.

Darren Sharper, Chuck Cecil, Irv Comp, and Johnnie Gray are worthy of mention.




Cornerback : Bob Jeter


Jeter was the Packers second round draft pick in 1960, the 17th player overall, after a stellar career at Iowa University. He ran for 194 yards on nine carries in their 1959 Rose Bowl win over California University to procure a National Championship title.

He joined Green Bay in 1963 after military service. Though he spent his first two years as a reserve, he did catch two balls He earned the starting job in 1965 and helped the Packers win the NFL Championship.

After leading the NFL with two touchdowns off of a team leading five interceptions for 142 yards in 1966 that helped Green Bay win the first Super Bowl ever, the Packers repeated as champions the following year with Jeter's eight interceptions leading the team in that category.

He was named to the Pro Bowl and garnered First Team All-Pro honors that season. After a strong 1968 season, he went to his last Pro Bowl the next year.

Green Bay traded him to the Chicago Bears just before the 1971 season, and he played three more years and then retired. His 23 interceptions still rank as the fourth most ever by a Packers cornerback and he is a member of the teams Hall of Fame.




Cornerback : Willie Buchanon


Buchanon was drafted in the first round of the 1972 draft, the seventh player chosen overall, and he stood out immediately. He picked off four passes and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the only Packer to have won this award.

Despite playing just six games the next year because of injury, he was named to his first Pro Bowl. He repeated that honor the next season in 1974. He played in two games the following season due to injury but would not miss another game in the subsequent six years.

Perhaps his best year was in 1978, where he had a career best nine interceptions. Four came in one game against the San Diego Chargers, which tied a still standing NFL record. He was named to his final Pro Bowl and his only First Team All-Pro honor.

The Chargers were coached by Don Coryell, who was Buchanon's coach in college. Coryell traded for him, where Buchanon started in three of the four years he was with the team. He recovered three fumbles in one game, which tied a still standing NFL record.

After starting in just one of the nine games played in the strike shortened season of 1982, he retired. He is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, the Packers All-Time team, the California State Junior College Hall of Fame, the Oceanside High School Hall of Fame, and the San Diego Hall of Champions.

Jesse Whittenton, Ken Ellis, and Mark Lee deserve mention.




Kicker : Chester Marcol


Marcol was drafted in the second round of the 1972 draft by the Packers. He exploded in his rookie year, attempting 48 field goals and making 33. Both led the NFL and are team records, and he was named NFC Rookie of the Year by the UPI. His 48 attempts are still the second most in NFL history, and the 128 points he had that year led the league and was the only time he eclipsed the century mark.

He was named to the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro that year, an honor he duplicated two years later when he led the NFL with 94 points as well as 39 field goal attempts and 25 makes. He is the only Packers kicker to be named to the Pro Bowl.

His last year in the NFL was an interesting one. In the 1980 season opener against the Chicago Bears, he had made two field goals as the game went to overtime tied 6-6. As he attempted a game-winner from 42 yards out, it was blocked. The ball went right back to Marcol, who scooted 25 yards for the winning points.

He was released after five games, but the Houston Oilers signed him for one game. It was against the Packers in Green Bay. Marcol chipped in four points for the Oilers victory. He retired after the game.

The 521 points he scored for Green Bay is still the third most by a kicker, and sixth overall. His 128 point season still ranks seventh best in team history, and he is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame.

Don Chandler, Chris Jacke, Ryan Longwell, and Tiny Engebretson deserve mention.




Punter : Donny Anderson


Anderson was drafted in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft, the seventh player chosen overall. Not only was he a punter, but Anderson was a halfback. He did little of both in his rookie year, as Green Bay won Super Bowl I. He did chip in with a touchdown off a 77 yard punt return.

Gone was the Hall of Fame tandem of Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung in 1967. Elijah Pitts, their other star running back, was in the twilight of his career. Anderson was third on the team in rushing yards and receptions as the Packers repeated as champions. He also punted 65 times, having one blocked for the only time in his career.

The 1968 season was his only Pro Bowl year. He punted the ball 59 times, and had 1,095 all-purpose yards. Perhaps his best season was in 1970, when he ran for a career best 853 yards, caught 36 balls, and punted a career high 81 times.

He was traded to the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1972 and had one of his better years the next season. He ran in a career best ten touchdowns and caught a career high 41 balls and three more scores. He retired after the 1974 season.

Donny Anderson is a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Texas Tech Hall of Fame. He still ranks third best in punt attempts, and fourth in punt yardage.

What makes his feats as punter even better was the fact he was the Packers main running back for years, which shows tremendous grit, athleticism, and durability to still be able to end up with a career average of 39.6 yards per punt.

David Beverly, Don Bracken, Max McGee, Josh Bidwell, Craig Hentrich, Max McGee, Jug Girald, and Don Chandler deserve mention.




Kick Return Specialist : Travis Williams


Travis was a fourth round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1967 draft. He played just five seasons in the NFL, but his impact has him on top of the leagues record books to this very day.

He returned four kickoffs for a touchdown as a rookie, which is the most by a rookie in NFL history. It is also tied with Cecil Turner as the most ever by any player in one season. He averaged an amazing 41.1 yards per kickoff return, which led the NFL., and is the highest average ever by anyone for one year. As a running back, he scored twice more, while helping the Packers win Super Bowl II.

In 1969, Williams scored on a 96 yard kickoff return, while leading the NFL with 1,517 all purpose yards. He also returned the first eight punt returns of his career, and scored on a 83 yard return while averaging a career best 23.6 yards per return. He also led the Packers with 536 rushing yards, and ran for four more touchdowns. He also led the Packers with 27 receptions, while scoring three times.

Williams got hurt in the seventh game of the 1970 season, and missed the rest of the year. He joined the Los Angeles Rams the next year, and led the NFL with a 29.7 kickoff return average on 25 attempts. He also scored on a 105 yard return, which is tied for 3rd longest All-Time in NFL history. He then retired after that season.

His 6 kickoff returns are the most in NFL history, tied with 4 others. He also has the longest kickoff return in Rams history. He averaged 27.5 yards on 102 kickoff returns in his career.

Steve Odom, Dave Hampton, Al Carmichael, Robert Brooks, and Roell Preston deserve mention.



Punt Return Specialist : Desmond Howard


Desmond was a first round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 1992. He was used primarily as a kickoff returner as a rookie, but did manage to score a touchdown off of one of his six punt returns.

In 1994, Howard had his best year as a wide receiver. He established career bests with 40 catches for 727 yards at an 18.2 average for five touchdowns. He ended up with the Jacksonville Jaguars the next year, and returned 24 punts at a 10.3 average, then went to Green Bay the following season.

Though he only played one season for the Packers, it was a memorable season. He led the NFL with 58 punt returns for 875 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a 92 yard return. His 875 yards are an NFL single season record, and he even helped propel the Packers into Super Bowl XXXI with a punt return touchdown in the playoffs.

He ended up being the Super Bowl MVP, when he took a kickoff return 99 yards for a score to help Green Bay win. His 90 punt return yards are a Super Bowl record, and his 244 all purpose yards tied a Super Bowl record. He is the only special teams player to ever be named Super Bowl MVP.

Howard then went to the Oakland Raiders. He led the NFL in 1997 with 61 kickoff returns. He led the NFL in punt return touchdowns in 1998, when he took two in. He split the 1999 season between Green Bay and Detroit, but did score on a 68 yard punt return for the Lions in five attempts.

He made his lone Pro Bowl team the next year with Detroit, as he averaged 14.7 yards on 31 punt returns and had 1,401 yards on 57 kickoff returns. He scored his last special teams touchdown that year with a league leading 95 yard punt return. In 2001, Howard set career highs with 1,446 yards on 57 kickoff returns, to go with a 25.4 average. After an injury plagued 2002, he retired.

Desmond Howard was labeled another Heisman Trophy winning flop in the NFL after his first four years, but he shed that label when it was all said and done. He is the only special teams player in NFL history to win a Super Bowl MVP Award.

He had eight career touchdowns on punt returns, which is tied for the third most in NFL history. He once returned 10 kickoffs in a game, which is tied for the most in NFL history.


Billy Grimes, Antonio Chatman, Phil Epps, Will Blackmon, Walter Stanley, Al Carmichael, Johnnie Gray, Ken Ellis, Jon Staggers, and Steve Odom deserve mention.
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