By John Turney
A couple of weeks ago we chose a 2005-2015 All-Mid-Decade Teams and a 1995-2005 team to represent the best players from that era, realizing that just an All-Decade team that began in 1960, 1970, 1980, etc., was a bit arbitrary.
Now, here is our 1985-1995 All-Decade team:
It is good to see Lomas Brown, a 7-time Pro Bowler get some notice. Ray Donaldson, Dermotti Dawson (who made the 1990s team) honors and Nate Newton fit very well, too and get honorable mentions. As do Chris Hinton and Mike Kenn of Atlanta who was very, very highly rated by
Proscout, Inc.from 1989-93.
The center position was neck-and-neck. It could go either way in our view. The guards on the First-team were simple but they had a gap between those on the Second-team. Tom Newberry is an honorable mention at guard, just losing out to Fralic. He started out hot, but tailed off.
The quarterback position was difficult, leaving Jim Kelly off, but looking at stats, MVPs, etc.,
Picking a quarterback for the All-Pro voters is an art, we imagine. Voters look at the statistics
Well, an All-Decade team has to be done in a similar way and statistics are not the only thing, but they are something. All-Pro selections within that decade
So, if, for
Ray Childress was a 3-4 DE for his first five years, but always played left defensive tackle in the nickel. Starting in 1990 he was a full-time LDT when the Oilers changed schemes to a 4-3. Michael Dean Perry likely has the most stuffs of any player in this 10-year span.
We so wanted to go with 2
and 3 ILbers the competition is hot and heavy. decided to keep teams to units of eleven. As such, OLBers but had his two DPOY seasons (1985 and 1988) here, so we couldn't leave him out. Sam Mills's mid-decade would be 1986-96 and he was the top ILBer for the whole span. But leaving out players like Chris Spielman, Karl Mecklenburg, Pepper Johnson, and John Offerdahl (talk about a forgotten warrior). Singeltary
Mecklenburg, in fact, deserves a wild-card spot, like Charles Haley. Not many players can be an inside linebacker on run downs, then convert to defensive end in the nickel. Bryan Cox has done it, Brian Urlacher did it as a rookie, Charlie Clemens of the Saints did it in 2000. Mecklenburg did it from 1985-94. It's a tough skill set to have.
We chose one "complete" linebacker and one "
". Wilber Marshall was so good in 1985, his first season as a starter and then got better. Carl Banks was a dominant SAM backer. As far as rush backers, Lawrence Taylor would still fit here, but even he'd tell you his football was played pre-1991. We went with Swilling by the narrow margin of his DPOY in 1991 over Kevin Greene, who had more sacks (story of Greene's career, huh?). rushbacker
|Mike Singletary by Todd Reigle|
Players we like as honorable mentions for OLBer are Greg Lloyd, Darryl Talley, Seth Joyner, Cornelius Bennett, the aforementioned L.T.
Green was in his prime in this period, as was Albert Lewis, just a fine, fine cover corner (Hall of Fame worthy) and as good a rusher on punt blocks as we've ever seen. Deion Sanders, who would be on everyone's 1990s Decade team, and Rod Woodson, too, will have to settle for Second-team selections in this Mid-Decade team.
Ronnie Lott was a simple choice and the other three were a bit ahead of the others in terms of All-Pro selections and statistics. Browner and McDonald and Fulcher would take turns as All-Pro strong safeties. During this era it seemed there were more strong safeties than free safeties, but Wes Hopkins's 1984-93 is an honorable mention
s free safety. Dennis Smith is, too, as a strong safety. sd
We looked at the kicking percentages and distance and these were the top two kickers of this decade. The top net punters got the nod that also avoided big returns and had good inside-the-20 to touchback ratios. The return men who got noticed were the ones who took it to the house the most.
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