He added another two touchdowns on fumble recoveries. Due to his ability to diagnose plays, Dick Butkus always appeared one step faster than the competition and emerged as one of the most feared tacklers of all time. Taylor revolutionized the position of outside linebacker in the NFL. He led the NFL in interceptions twice and touchdowns once. Smith was one of the best and most consistent defensive ends to ever play the game. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Class Act Sports is strictly prohibited. Yet he was never voted to a Pro Bowl and has never received the respect he deserves. Illegal today, Jones perfected his infamous head slap to dominate the line of scrimmage. Lists that rank the best players, positions, and more from the world's most popular sport. Despite the creativity, nothing worked. The Oakland native, who was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team a remarkable nine straight times, was also a master of angling his body to deny opponents from beating him off the dribble. In my eyes, Atwater was a harder hitter than Ronnie Lott, which is saying something. To operate in space, The Deacon would smack an offensive lineman upside the head. There have been many great defensive players throughout history, some that have revolutionized the game and others that have defined an era or position. Twice named Defensive Player of the Year, a nine-time Pro-Bowler and a six-time First-Team All-Pro, Page was a force in the NFL. He would often play virtually every minute of a game. 10 of them showed up in my top 60 defensive players of all time. Lanier was one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play the game. Green played cornerback in the NFL for an amazing 20 years! Here are 10 of the best defensive players the NFL has ever seen. Bad things, man. He picked off 38 passes and scored nine touchdowns in his seven years with the team. For now, it belongs to the Hall of Fame safety that punished any opponent silly enough to come near him. Deacon Jones and fellow Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen alongside Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier joined forces as the Fearsome Foursome for the 1960s Rams. Cowboy” and the fact that he was the first Cowboy player to be inducted into the Dallas Cowboy Ring of Honor. Paolo Cesare Maldini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo malˈdiːni]; born 26 June 1968) is an... Franco Baresi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfraŋko baˈreːzi; -eːsi]; born 8 May 1960) is an... Franz Anton Beckenbauer (pronounced [ˈfʁants ˈbɛkn̩ˌbaʊɐ]; born 11 September 1945) is a German... Marcos Evangelista de Morais (born 7 June 1970), known as Cafu [kaˈfu], is a Brazilian former... Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore OBE (12 April 1941 – 24 February 1993) was an English... Cesare Maldini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃeːzare malˈdiːni, ˈtʃɛː-]; 5 February 1932 – 3... Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrɑŋk ˈrɛi̯kaːrt] (listen); born 30... Giacinto Facchetti (Italian pronunciation: [dʒaˈtʃinto fakˈketti]; 18 July 1942 – 4 September... Daniel Alberto Passarella (born 25 May 1953) is an Argentine retired footballer who played as... Alessandro "Billy" Costacurta (Italian pronunciation: [alesˈsandro ˈbilli ˌkɔstaˈkurta]; born... Fulvio Collovati (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfulvjo kolloˈvaːti]; born 9 May 1957) is an Italian... Alessandro Nesta (Italian pronunciation: [alesˈsandro ˈnɛsta]; born 19 March 1976) is a... Mauro Tassotti (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmauro tasˈsɔtti]; born in Rome, 19 January 1960) is... Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien (French pronunciation: ​[li.ljɑ̃ ty.ʁam]; born 1 January 1972) is a... Luís Edmundo Pereira (born June 21, 1949) is a retired association footballer. An eight-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, I would categorize Deacon Jones as the NFL’s first great pass rushing defensive end, and the best that ever rushed the passer. In response, Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs and other NFC East division rivals were forced to install two-tight end sets, H-backs, motion, and jumbo offenses in an attempt to contain Taylor and his raw athleticism. He was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s. A true Monster of the Midway, Butkus opened up the door for the likes of Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher at Bears’ middle linebacker. Few were or will be better than Butkus. 17. Recap Vikings Win Over Da Bears! Between 1985 and 2000, Reggie White’s hump move helped him to record 1048 tackles, 198 sacks, 13 trips to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and two NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Marchetti went to every Pro Bowl between 1954 and 1964. Every team has their best. In 1985, Lott alternated between free safety and corner, while going on to record 104 tackles, 6 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 2 fumble recoveries. Eventually he was moved to a more natural fit at safety and went on to claim another six Pro Bowls. For some reason, Tippett is often overlooked these days. The 2009 Defensive Player of the Year could do just about everything and was a key component in bringing another Super Bowl to Title Town.

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