By John Turney
Andy Russell, in his book Andy Russell: A Steeler Odyssey made mention of a Mid-Decade All-Star team that he was named to, however, he didn't list the other selections with the exception of the linebackers who were Willie Lanier, Nick Buoniconti, Lee Roy Jordan and Chris Hanburger
Nonetheless, it is a great idea in my view. Being named to an All-Pro team that spans a decade is certainly more difficult than being named All-Pro in a single season or even over a few seasons. Often, being All-Decade carries a lot of weight when determining a player's worthiness for being elected to the Hall of Fame. So, if there was a 1965-75 team I hope we can (a) locate it and (b)
However, what about the players who come along mid-decade? Are they overlooked on All-Decade teams? And what about the odd selections that make an All-Decade team that don't seem to fit for that decade. Case-in-point Earl Campbell got 8 votes and was Second-team All-Decade for the Official HOF All-Decade Team. He played in 1978 and 1979 of the Seventies. Two years? Yes, he was an MVP both seasons. But All-1970s? Campbell would fit much better into a 1976-85 or 1975-84 All-Decade Team, no?
So, in that spirit,
This is the first installment.
To not have as many repeated from the All-Decade teams I wanted 6 years of the experience to be eligible, therefore, no J.J. Watt, for example. And I was not super picky about the ten-year period. I view 2006-2015 as about the same as 2005-2014. There may, as always, be cases that are exceptions (Gale Sayers in the 1960s comes to mind), but in general, if someone played 6 years of 10 from the 06-15 years or the 05-15 years, they are eligible.
Additionally, we will be posting the honorable mentions, but we have a series of five articles beginning tomorrow that are outstanding, written by NFL Films's Chris Willis so this will take a back burner for a while.
As honorable mentions for offense: Jeff Saturday, Steven Jackson, John Kuhn, and Brandon Marshall
defensive honorable mentions are: Justin Smith (very close to Second-team), Mario Williams, Justin Tuck, Albert Haynesworth, Jay Ratliff, Brian Urlacher, Tamba Hali , Lance Briggs, Antonio Cromartie, Peanut Tillman.
Agree, disagree? Post in the comment section below.