Greatest NFL Players – Jersey #’s: 76-99

Ok. Here it is. The final edition of the 100 Greatest NFL Jersey’s Numbers. This is my picks for numbers 76-100. There are bound to be a few controversial selections, so let’s get to it. By the way…out of this group, I am selecting number 80, Jerry Rice, as the best. I’m open to arguments against, but you’re going to find that number hard to argue against. I look forward to your comments. By the way, I have updated the 50-76 post. After we’ve hammered this out, I plan to post an overall 00-99 list.

76 Lou Groza – K – 60’s Cleveland
77 Red Grange – RB – 30’s Bears
78 Bruce Smith – DE – 90’s Bills
79 Roosevelt Brown – OT – 50’s Giants
80 Jerry Rice – WR – 80’s 49ers
81 Dick “Night Train” Lane – CB – 60’s Lions
82 Raymond Berry – WR – 60’s Colts
83 Ted Hendricks – OLB – 70’s Raiders
84 Shannon Sharpe – TE – 90’s Broncos
85 Nick Buoniconti – MLB – 70’s Steelers
86 Hines Ward – WR – 00’s Steelers
87 Willie Davis – DE – 60’s Packers
88 Alan Page – DT – 70’s Vikings (Thanks to Jimbo Booth) Replaces John Mackey
89 Mike Ditka – TE – 60’s Bears
90 Neil Smith – DE – 90’s Chiefs
91 Kevin Greene – DE – 90’s Steelers
92 Reggie White – DE – 90’s Packers
93 Dwight Freenly – DE – 00’s Colts
94 Charles Haley – DE – 90’s Cowboys
95 Richard Dent – DE – 80’s Bears
96 Cortez Kennedy – DT – 90’s Seahawks
97 Simeon Rice – DE – 00’s Buccaneers
98 Tony Siragusa – DT – 90’s Ravens
99 Warren Sapp – DT – 00’s Raiders

26 thoughts on “Greatest NFL Players – Jersey #’s: 76-99

  1. Hmmm…I would agree that he may be the better selection at #84. However, to call Moss the 2nd best receiver of all time? Come on. Moss has had two great seasons. His first and last year. He is an incredible talent. But he has a long way to go before he should be considered ahead of the likes of Largent, Berry, Stallworth, Swann, Irvin, Pearson, Monk, Reid, Chris Carter, Marvin Harrison, or even Hines Ward.

    Lets’ be real. Moss never goes over the middle. He drops tons of passes. He doesn’t block. And, when things start to go bad for his team, he pouts like a baby. The WR position is more than simply running up the sideline. The two years that Moss has dominated, he has drawn single coverage because he had a dynamic receiver on the other side of the line to keep defenses honest. With the Vikings he had the great Chris Carter. Last year he had Wes Welker AND Donte Stallworth. Who did Largent have? Who did Irvin have? Who does Hines Ward have? Who did Drew Pearson have? Dude, Largent didn’t even have a decent QB and he dominated for years…every year. If we had to place Moss right now, I doubt he could even be considered top 10. The jury’s still out. I’ll give you that. But let’s not put any crowns on his braided head just yet.

    Still, he might warrant the #84 number. Let’s ruminate on that a bit. Shannon Sharpe was no slouch. He may be in the top 5 TE’s all time.

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  2. …Swann, you joking?…of all people to name. He is the first choice on most peoples “undeserving of HOF” list. He’s much better than Monk, Irvin…basically everyone you listed(there could be a numbers argument for Harrison). Numbers wise TO is the 2nd best to Rice, by the smallest hair…and hes 34.Moss will finish his career #2 with numbers overall. With out the numbers Moss is a freak of nature with his vertical, size, body control, speed, and hands, more so than anyone in the history of WR. You can name me people who lined up beside him…but watching the man play is a different story. I can see you arguing “numbers aren’t everything” and you are right but he is THE GREATEST as far as talent…if his attitude were just better he would have put every record Rice held to shame….but it wasn’t and he won’t…so thats a non issue, First ballot HOFer and Sharpe as good as he was..isn’t.

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  3. Ok…maybe Swann was a reach, but let’s not take anything away from a great player. And make no mistake, Swann was great. So, let’s take him out and put in Rod Smith, the great Denver receiver who retired yesterday after 16 seasons. A man who played every down like it was his last; a receiver who blocked, caught ’em across the middle, played hurt…a real warrior. See, this is what I’m getting at. You said it yourself, Moss is a freak…a physical anomaly. As you say, Moss will probably be a first ballot HOF because of the sheer greatness of his numbers. But there must be more to it than that.

    First of all, the NFL rules are more bent toward the passing game than they have ever been. Add to that the fact that Moss is taller, stronger, and faster, than anyone else at his position has ever been. Therefore, great numbers. Nay, incredible numbers. Yet, even with the rules favoring him, the great numbers and the freakish physical ability, the numbers do not tell the whole story on Randy Moss. With a horrible attitude problem, Moss’ history as a football player and teammate speaks for itself. When his team starts to lose, or when he doesn’t get the ball enough, he pouts, half-asses, whines, blames, jogs, drops passes, and takes plays off. He has never been the guy to inspire his teammates when the chips were down. He has never blocked a guy in his life. I don’t think he has ever ran a slant pattern in his life.

    Now, take a guy like Steve Largent. Slow by WR standards, NFL rules favoring the defense, no quarterback of note, no off-side WR to keep Defenses honest, undersized at 5’11” and 185 pounds, Largent came to play every Sunday. Moss had already surpassed Largent’s numbers. But is far from surpassing his heart as a football player. This same kind of heart can also be attributed to other greats at the position: Jerry Rice, Art Monk, Michael Irvin, Hines Ward, Chris Carter, Don Hutson, and Marvin Harrison.

    Certainly, Moss must be considered as an other worldly talent. But the guy is just awful when it comes to being a football player.

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  4. Tim you are killing me with number 88. John Mackey might be one of the best Tight Ends but if you look at current players like Jason Witten who has only played 5 years he is only 1000 yards(you might say that the TE has more responsiblities then recieving)or so yards behind mackey. I think you need to change the number 88 to Michael Irvin you has 12,000 yards 65 TDs, 3 Super Bowl Rings and 5 Pro Bowls, doing this after missing about 3-4 season because he career was ended short due to back problems.

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  5. Dont cave on Shannon Sharpe he was my first thought at the number 84. You are right he would go anywhere to catch a pass and it wasnt always for a touchdown. Moss is always looking for the TD not the firstdown for the team. Moss is a great talent but so was Judas until he decieved Christ just as Moss has decieved everyone he played for.I know Jimbo will respond to this because he played at marshall and Jimbo used to wear his hair in corn rows but dont cave.

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  6. Yeah, I’m struggling on the #84, because of Moss’ numbers. But he’s so worthless in the crunch. I mean, worthless! Last year’s Superbowl was so indicative of Moss. The whole game, the Giants pass rush was just abusing Brady and the offensive line. No time at all. So, in order to counteract the rush, you have to be able to hit your receivers underneath. NY double up Wes Welker to cover the underneath stuff which often left Moss in single coverage. Yet, Brady did not have time to hit him deep. Welker was just getting killed the whole game. Did Moss step up his game and go over the middle? No. There were a couple of plays in the first half when he ran a slant and he tiptoed across there and short armed a couple of balls. The Patriots knew he was worthless across the middle. Moss was a non-factor until that touchdown at the end of the game. And then he catches the touchdown and does that stupid ‘chicken arm’ thing he does, making it all about him. Arrrghh! He’s so worthless! If Moss had stepped up earlier and been a football player – you know like Rice, John Taylor, Ward, Monk, Stallworth, Swann, or Irvin – the Patriots would’ve won that game. Not that I’m complaining. I was rooting for the Giants. That kid on the other side of the ball, the much less talented, unknown wide receiver – David Tyree, the one who made two incredible catches when the chips were down, that kid showed us what a little bit of heart can do in a tight football game when your team is losing and all hope has been lost. When I see Moss do that kind of thing – he’ll start to get my respect. Until then…I think about him the same way I think about the Loch Ness Monster – a freakish thing that sticks it’s head out of the water for the cameras but then disappears just when you need to see him most.

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  7. I’m glad you agree on Moss’ talent. It’s not that he’s worthless in the clutch or that he can’t go over the middle or run other routes…It’s that he didn’t, his attitude has always been bad. He’s that guy in high school who never practiced, never worked out, and dominated on game day. Moss should very well be the best WR ever, I think most people know that, but he is what a lot of modern day NFL WRs are….a prima donna. Even with out doing all the stuff T.O., Harrison, and other guys do…he still gets absurd numbers. I have read all of what you said, but in 20 years people won’t really remember Moss for not going over the middle and whatnot. They will look at his numbers, his first ballot, and his highlights and say…wow that guy is the 2nd best WR ever, wrong as it is…its how its going to be. I know I sound like I love Moss, but I don’t even like him…I just know how good he is….god if Jerry Rice’s mind was in Moss’ body with his skill set…Rice would have doubled his numbers.

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  8. Bob: If I may shift gears for a moment gentleman, coach Ditka vs. The Hurricane, who would win?

    Todd, Pat, Carl: Ditka, Ditka!!

    Bob: Hold on, Hold on, Hold on. The name of the Hurricane is Hurricane Ditka.

    (Todd begins to pound chest)…..Is everything ok?

    Todd: No problem, just having a heart attack. (Pounds Chest)……..Almost over! Done. Done.

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  9. I would like to know your reason for picking Buoniconti over Jack Youngblood (85). I know it’s hard to compare LB’s with DE’s but Youngblood was a beast and I don’t know if you can say that about Buoniconti. Buoniconti was just fortunate to play on that Dolphin team that went undefeated. I agree with Steven on 84 “GO HERD” he doesn’t have to block he’s a WR Jerry Rice wasn’t know for hi blocking and by the way Randy did block a guy when he was at Marshall. (81) It sure is hard to pass up on Art Monk many consider him to be the second best WR ever but with a name like ” Night Train” I guess that is hatd to pass up on also. I vote for Monk. (82) Ozzie Newsome the only argument I have here is that he is one of my favorite players of all time. (88)Alan Page is a better choice but any body is better than Irvan (he was a cowboy).

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  10. IRVIN, IRVIN, IRVIN, IRVIN….GO COWBOYS!

    Tim, i feel like you didn’t take much from my list…i figured that it would help you out, but hey i guess not.

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  11. Ozzie Newsome? Jimbo, that’s a total homer pick. Ozzie Newsome? The deal with picking Buoniconti over Youngblood is pretty tough. Their stats are remarkably similar – each had seven probowls. I guess, it came down to a couple of things. Let’s consider. Buoniconti picked off 32 passes. That’s eight more than playmaker Derrick Brooks…not bad for an MLB who was relatively slow, stood only 5’10” tall, and weighed under 220lbs!!!!!!!!!!! That’s crazy!!!! He was barely bigger than you Jimbo and he was out there tackling John Riggins and Pete Banasak, and picking off Joe Namath passes. Giving little Nicky some love.

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  12. By the way, I think it’s a travesty that no one has busted me for leaving Marvin Harrison off of the the 88 Jersey.

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  13. I personally feel that if you replace John Mackey with Marvin Harrison that it will not feel like a low blow to the Cowboys and the Cowboy fans for leaving off Michael Irvin.

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  14. Dude,
    After doing a little more research #88 HAS to be Alan Page This guy was awsome. He was the NFL MVP as a DT! one of 3 or 4 defensive guys to do that (LT was one of those) even your boy Larry Wilson ( #8 )can’t say that. 9 straight pro bowls, all NFL 1rst team 6 times 2nd team 3 times, NFL defensive player of the year 2 times. End the controversy, not, Swan or Irvan or Harrison or Mackey. Alan Page is the best #88 ever to play.

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  15. Ok, I have to be honest. I put John Mackey in at 88 as a way of creating some controversy. That number is absolutely stacked with worthy candidates. However, Jimbo made a great argument that makes a lot of sense. Alan Page’s nine straight probowl selections is pretty hard to dispute. Remember that the NFL allstar game is not a popularity contest selected by the fans – as it is in other sports. The probowl game is selected by Football people is meant to indicate the best guy at that position that year. Page was elected nine times, six times all pro, and two NFL Defensive player of the year, and one NFL Player of the Year. Wow! Pretty good. Marvin Harrison is a very legit second with eight selections.

    Here’s what were going to do. We’re going to put Page in at #88 with the understanding that Harrison will probably be more deserving when all is said and done.

    We’ll do the same thing with the #84. Sharpe was one of the best tight ends ever – The Big 5 being Gates, Gonzalez, Mackey, Sharpe, and Kellen Winslow respectively. However, Randy Moss is a very deserving second now, and I would probably go ahead and give it to him except for one thing. Randy only wore the number #84 for seven years. Sharpe wore it for 14 years. Why not wait and see how many years Randy plays with the number #81 on his chest. If he surpasses Jerry Rice’s records, we’ll give him that number instead.

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  16. Hey, I know this doesn’t pertain to the numbers above but it hit me yesterday that the #41 needs to be changed to Brian Piccolo. I don’t know who this Tom Matte guy is, his stats show he was pretty good and if you go by just the stats maybe he is the best choice.”Pic” didn’t play very long his life was cut short by cancer He was an undrafted player that succeded by pure hard work and determination. He was a man of courage who fought on the field and off the field. Tom Matte’s story is not the center of “The Greatest Sports Movie Ever Made” ( the first one not the remake). How many of you guys remember this movie as “the first movie that made me cry”. Stats may not show him to be the greatest #41 but, his story does. As Gale Sayers said,” I love Brian Piccolo and, I ‘d like all of you to love him.

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  17. First, # 76-99.

    At # 86, it should be Buck Buchanon.

    But, I’d even take Stanley Morgan over Hines Ward. When Morgan retired, he was 5th all time in receiving yards (he’s still 22nd. Ward is 52nd). He was 14th in Rec TDs (He’s now 26th. Ward is 39th). He was 14th in yards from scrimmage (He’s still 56th. Ward is 88th.) He still has the 2nd highest yards per catch average over a CAREER among all WRs in the top 50 in receiving yards with a 19.2 average (Ward has a 12.2 yards/rec average).

    Hell, based on those numbers, if Lynn Swann is in the HOF, then so should Morgan. He’s got better numbers in the same era. Swann was great in the POST SEASON. If that’s the criteria, then Deion Branch is a HOFer! OK. Swann played 9 years to Morgan’s 14. Swann’s 14 year projection would be 518 rec for 8497 yards for a 16.3 yards/rec and 79 TDs. Swann made 3 pro Bowls in 9 years, so maybe he gets 1 or 2 more. Morgan finished with 557 rec for 10716 yards with that 19.2 average and 72 TDs and 4 Pro Bowls. Stallworth, the other Pitt WR also played 14 years (same as Morgan) and had 537 rec for 8723 yards for a 16.2 average and 63 TDs and made 3 Pro Bowls.

    The year the Pats set the record for most rushing yards in a season (1978), which still stands, Morgan had 34 receptions for 820 yards for a whopping 24.1 yards/rec with 5 TDs. Swann only topped that yardage total ONCE in his career (ironically, in 1978).

    Sorry, for the tangeant.

    I jumped in late on this, so here are some other on the full 0-99 list. I know there are some real tough choices, but I love this discussion!

    # 6 Benny Friedman. There’s not much choice, but kickers are not football players!

    # 14 Don Hutson. Bar setter for all WRs in any era. Plus, I thought Graham wore # 60 for MOST of his career)

    # 30 Bill Willis. Go with the pioneer not the guy whose career got cut short.

    # 61 Bill George. When there ain’t much, then go with the HOFer. Plus, there’s only one REAL Curley, and it ain’t this guy! Woo woo woo!

    # 65 Tom Mack. 11 Pro Bowls in 13 years is slightly better than Bethea.

    # 68 Joe Dellameillure. Again, when the pickins are slim, go with the HOFer.

    Thanks for the time!

    G

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  18. #78…it’s hard not to have the NFL’s best offensive lineman EVER – Anthony Munoz – not on this list. Granted you have the sack king Bruce Smith there but he stuck around for a few meaningless years at Washington to break the record. I’ll take a solid left tackle over a pass rusher when starting a team any day of the week. I’d be interested to know how many times they went up against each other and even more so, who won the battles. Also, look at ANY poll of the greatest football players of all time. Munoz is always about 15 – 20 (and always the highest offensive lineman) and Smith about 45 – 60. Smith isn’t even the best player at his position (Reggie White)….

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