Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Green Bay Packers All Career-Year Team

By John Turney
At Pro Football Journal we are trying to pick the best individual seasons in the history of each franchise, which we will continue today with the Packers. By "Career-year" we mean the best performances at each position, with the following rule: Only one season per player per position. For example, here, we cannot pick Brett Favre’s best two seasons and use all quarterback slots.

Here is the team, First-team on left, Second-team on right:

Our First-team center is Jim Ringo, 1961 (All-Pro), and the Second teamer is Larry McCarren, 1983 (Second-team All-Pro). It was a close margin between him and the honorable mentions who are Charley Brock, 1939, Frank Winters, 1996, Mike Flanagan, 2003, and Scott Wells, 2011.

Jerry Kramer, 1967 (National 1,000 Yard Club NFL Offensive Linemen of the Year, All-Pro) and Mike Michalske, 1929 (All-Pro), are the top guards. The backups are a pair of All-Pros, Gale Gillingham, 1971 (All-Pro, NFLPA NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year), and Fuzzy Thurston, 1961 (All-Pro).

The list of honorable mentions is:  Buckets Goldenberg, 1939 (All-Pro), Rich Moran, 1989 (NEA All-Pro), Josh Sitton, 2014 (All-Pro), Lon Evans, 1936 (All-Pro), and Adam Timmerman, 1998.

Forrest Gregg, 1967, (All-Pro, NFLPA NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year), Cal Hubbard, 1931 (All-Pro). The backups are Baby Ray, 1939, Greg Koch, 1982 (Second-team All-Pro).

The HMs are Bob Skoronski 1966 (Pro Bowl), Chad Clifton, 2010, Ken Ruettgers, 1993, Mark Tauscher, 2004, Earl Dotson, 1998, and Bryan Bulaga, 2011.  
Johnny Blood, 1931, is the top closed end. The Second-team tight end is Paul Coffman, 1983. Technically a running back Blood played a variety of positions in his NFL career for various teams. and in 1931 he was often a wing-back, lining up just outside of the tackle, but also he flanked out and of course was in the backfield. Our modern-day conversion for that position is tight end/H-back. The honorable mentions are Jermichael Finley, 2011, Ron Kramer, 1962, and Mark Chmura, 1995.

The recent-era fullbacks are First-teamer John Kuhn, 2014, and Second-teamer William Henderson, 2004. The two honorable mentions are Cully Lidberg, 1926, and Bo Molenda, 1931 who were blocking backs of that era.

The ball carriers are a pair of MVPs/Players of the Year: Jim Taylor, 1962 (AP Player of the Year) and Paul Hornung, 1961 (AP NFL MVP). Backing them up are Clarke Hinkle, 1937 (All-Pro), Ahman Green, 2003, (Packers rushing record-1883 yards).
The honorable mentions at running back are Verne Lewellen, 1929, Curley Lambeau, 1924, John Brockington, 1971, Ted Fritsch, 1946, Dorsey Levens, 1997,  Tony Canadeo, 1949, Howie Ferguson, 1955, and Edgar Bennett, 1995.

Vince Workman, 1991, is the 3rd down back. The second-teamer is  Dorsey Levens, 1996. The two honorable mentions are Eddie Lee Ivery, 1986, and Herman Fontenot, 1989.

Our extra wide receiver slot goes to James Jones, 2011, backed by Javon Walker, 2003. The rest of the list is Corey Bradford, 1999, Perry Kemp, 1988, Don Beebe, 1996, and  Randall Cobb, 2012.

Don Hutson, 1942, and Sterling Sharpe, 1992, are our First-team picks at wide-out. Our Second-team picks are Lavie Dilweg, 1929, and James Lofton, 1983.

The top honorable mention is Billy Howton, 1952, followed by Jordy Nelson, 2014, Antonio Freeman 1998, Robert Brooks, 1995, and Randall Cobb, 2014.

Brett Favre, 1996 (Super Bowl win, MVP, All-Pro), takes the First-team spot at quarterback. We chose Bart Starr's 1966 (Super Bowl win, MVP, All-Pro, passing leader) next. The stellar honorable mentions are Aaron Rodgers, 2011, Cecil Isbell, 1942, and  Arnie Herber, 1932.
The top kicker is Chester Marcol, 1972, followed by Jan Stenerud, 1981. Our HMs are Don Chandler, 1967, Mason Crosby, 2013, Chris Jacke, 1993, and Ryan Longwell, 2000.
Jerry Norton, 1963, (39.2 net punting average), Craig Hentrich, 1996, Don Chandler, 1966 (36.4 net), and Tim Masthay, 2015 (40.2 net) are the list of punters.
Desmond Howard, 1996, easily take the First-team punt return slot and he's followed on the Second-team by Billy Grimes, 1950.

The HMs are Will Blackmon, 2008, Willie Wood, 1961,  Micah Hyde, 2014,  and Ken Ellis, 1972.

Travis Williams, 1967 (41.1-yard average, 4 touchdowns), is the top kick returner and next is Roell Preston, 1998 (Pro Bowl, 2 TDs). The list of HMs includes Dave Hampton, 1971, Allen Rossum, 2000, Herb Adderley, 1963, Steve Odom, 1975, and Al Carmichael, 1956.

Our special teams demon is Travis Jervey, 1997, first and then Ray Nitschke, 1959. Jervey was a Pro Bowler and Nitschke toiled away at special teams before he secured a full-time starting job in 1962.

The HM are Corey Bradford, 1999 (16 tackles), K.D. Williams, 2001 (17 tackles and a FF, and a FR) and Jeff Janis, 2015. Tight end Gary Lewis blocked five place kick (3 FG, 2 PAT) in 1983 and Fred Carr did the exact same in 1976. They get a mention, too and also Ted Hendricks, who in 1974 blocked seven kicks, 3 FG, 1 PAT, and 3 punts.

The First-team defensive specialists are nickel back Casey Hayward, 2014 (47 tackles, 3 picks for 1 TD and 2 FR one for a TD), and nickel rusher Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 2001 (23 tackles, 3 FF, 13.5 sacks).

The Second-teamers are DB Jarrett Bush, 2011 (30 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 picks), and DE Ezra Johnson, 1984 (7 sacks).

The nickel-back HMs are Tiger Greene, 1989, Antuan Edwards, 1999, Will Blackmon, 2008, Ron Pitts 1988, Estus Hood, 1981 (though 1978 was a good year as well, and arguably the better season) and finally LeRoy Butler, 1990.

Two nickel rushers merit honorable mention, they are Mike Daniels, 2013, and Keith McKenzie, 1998.

The First-team secondary is composed of corners Herb Adderley, 1965 (Consensus All-Pro, 3 pick 6s), and Charles Woodson, 2009 (NFL Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pro, 9 picks, 3 for TDs) and strong safety LeRoy Butler, 1996 (All-Pro, 87 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 5 INTs), and free safety Willie Wood, 1965 (Consensus All-Pro).
The Second-team secondary is Willie Buchanon, 1978 (All-Pro, 9 INTs), and Bob Jeter, 1967 (All-Pro) at corner and strong safety  Steve Luke, 1978 (114 tackles, 4 FF), and Bobby Dillon, 1957 (All-Pro, 9 picks one for a score).

The honorable mention list for cornerbacks is Ken Ellis, 1972, Jesse Whittenton, 1961, Sam Shields, 2014,  Al Harris, 2007, Tramon Williams, 2010, Tim Lewis, 1984 and Mark Lee, 1986.

Strong safety honorable mentions are John Symank, 1957, Mark Murphy, 1985, and Atari Bigby, 2007.

The free safety counterparts are Nick Collins, 2008 (Pro Bowl, 7 picks, 3 TDs), Darren Sharper, 2000 (All-Pro, 92 tackles led NFL with 9 INTs), Tom Flynn, 1984 (9 picks), and Chuck Cecil, 1992.
Ray Nitschke, 1967 (All-Pro, NFLPA NFL Linebacker of the Year, and Nick Barnett, 2007 (Second-team All-Pro, 131 tackles, 3.5 sacks), are the First- and Second-team middle linebackers. The honorables are Jim Carter, 1973 (Pro Bowl), Brian Noble, 1987 (Second-team All-NFC), and Randy Scott, 1985.
Dave Robinson, 1967 (Consensus All-Pro, 4 picks, 3 sacks) and Clay Matthews, 2010 (Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pro, 59 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and a pick-six), are the First-team outside linebackers. backing them up are Ted Hendricks, 1974 (Consensus All-Pro, 75 tackles, 5 picks, 7 blocked kicks), and Tim Harris, 1989 (NEA Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pro, 70 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 6 stuffs, 4 FF).

Mike Douglass, 1981 (Sports Illustrated All-Pro, 134 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 12.5 stuffs, 7 FF, 3 INT, 3 FR), heads a fine list of honorable mention corner linebackers: Bill Forester, 1962 (All-Pro), Dan Currie, 1962 (All-Pro), Fred Carr, 1975 (Second-team All-Pro), Roger Zatkoff, 1955 (All-Pro), John Anderson, 1983 (113 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 INT, 11 PDs), Na'il Diggs, 2002 (83 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT), Bryce Paup, 1994 Pro Bowl, 79 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 3 INT), and Julius Peppers, 2015 (Pro Bowl, 36 tackles, 10.5 sacks).
Henry Jordan, 1961 (All-Pro, 8½ sacks), and Dave Hanner, 1959 (Sporting News All-Conference) are the top of the defensive tackle group. 

The Second-teamers are Bob Brown, 1969 (9 sacks), and B.J. Raji, 2010 (39 tackles, 6.5 sacks). Bob Brown was a Pro Bowler in 1972, but we went with 1969 instead. Raji was a Pro Bowler in 2011, but as with Brown we felt the season we chose was a bit superior.
The honorable mentions are Dave Pureifory, 1975 (11 sacks), Mike McCoy, 1976 (60 tackles, 5 PD, 8½ sacks), Dave Roller, 1977 (76 tackles, 8 sacks, 9 stuffs), Santana Dotson, 1997 (71 tackes, 5.5 sacks and 5 stuffs) and Gilbert Brown, 1996 (51 tackles, 7 stuffs).

Willie Davis, 1962 (All-Pro, 13½ sacks), and  Reggie White, 1998 (Defensive Player of the Year, 46 tackles, 16 sacks, 4 FF), take the First-team defensive end slots.
The Second-teamers are Ezra Johnson, 1978 (68 tackles, 17½ sacks—though the coaches total was slightly higher), and Aaron Kampman, 2006 (Second-team All-Pro, 89 tackles, 15.5 sacks).

The list of honorable mentions are Sean Jones, 1994 (Second-team All-NFC, 59 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 9 stuffs), Lionel Aldridge, 1970 (13½ sacks), John Martinkovic, 1954 (Pro Bowl), Alden Roche, 1976 (8½ sacks), Clarence Williams, 1972 (10½ sacks), and Mike Butler, 1978 (63 tackles, 10 sacks).

Agree or disagree? Post in comments sections below.


  1. Excellent Post...I must thank you for this informative news....
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  2. Willie Buchanon, not sic Buchanan. Alden Roche, not sic Roache, Clarence Williams, not Clancy, his nickname was Sweeny also Big Cat. Herb Adderley, not sic Adderly.

  3. It's so good that I finally found out which team does these sports apparel belong to. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Consider Donny Anderson as the punter circa 1967-1968. He reinvented punting in the NFL. Huge hang time with excellent net yardage, left foot reverse spin causing a number of fumbles. His average return yardage was effectively nil.