posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 03:34 PM
Ronnie Lott was not only talented but also versatile. He was a Pro Bowl cornerback before he moved to free safety, the position everyone remembers
him playing at. He was a starter his rookie year. Great against the run and pass, and, of course, a brutal hitter. I'll never forget, though, that
play in 1986 when the Giants' Mark Bavaro bulled through him and dragged him 15 yards downfield.
Darrell Green was fast, but not really that talented. His speed enabled him to compensate for mistakes. The image I always recall when I think of
Green is his chasing down Tony Dorsett when he was a rookie.
Many people will agree that the best pure cover corner ever was Deion Sanders. The term "shutdown corner" was coined specifically for him. I never
saw him get burnt for a whole game, and rarely for even a single play. Jerry Rice, who I considered to be the greatest player in NFL history, had to
work very hard to get receptions against Sanders. Deion was also an outstanding athlete who had the potential to go all the way any time he touched
the ball. In 1994, when he was Defensive Player of the Year with SF, his stats were incredible: 6 INT, 303 INT return yards, and 3 TD returns.
That's 50.5 yards a return!
Rod Woodson may be the best DB of all time. Like Ronnie Lott, he started his career at CB before moving to safety. He had 73 interceptions in his
career, with a record 12 of them returned for touchdowns. In his early years he was very fast and exceptionally quick. Always powerful, he relied
more on that power at safety in his later years. If one were to pick an all time defensive backfield, Woodson would have to be on that team.