Posted: Monday June 5, 2006 1:47PM; Updated: Tuesday June 6, 2006 1:01AM
Bill Parcells is trying to lead a third franchise to a Super Bowl this year in Dallas.
4. Bill Parcells, coach. I always say the same thing about this. When MarvLevy was actively trying to get back into coaching, even at his advanced age, he and Parcells came up for a vote. I must be blind, because I think it's no contest that a man who has led four different teams to the playoffs, three different teams to the conference title game, two different teams to the Super Bowl and won two world titles is more deserving by far than Levy.
5. Dermontti Dawson, C, Pittsburgh. More All-Pro nods (six) than DwightStephenson or Jim Langer, to go along with a durable 184-game career. He played 13 years compared with Stevenson's eight. And while I think Stevenson was a better player, technically especially, I also think the longer career definitely plays in Dawson's favor.
6. Charlie Sanders, TE, Detroit. Two big problems with Sanders: He played for a team that lost a lot and never won a title, and he played tight end. People don't know how to look at tight ends. Imagine having a guy who was every bit the blocker of John Mackey -- and who averaged 14.3 yards per catch! Jerry Rice averaged 14.8. Sanders played 10 years at the highest level and he was every bit the player Mackey or Mike Ditka was. Just ask the men who competed against them.
7. Roger Craig, RB, San Francisco. I can't believe he doesn't get more consideration. Was I the only one who thought for five or six years he was the guy you had to stop in the San Francisco offense to have a chance to win? Think of what he did at his peak. Remember back 20 years. Unstoppable, durable, Mr. Inside-Mr. Outside. In 1985 he rushed for 1,050 yards and had 1,016 receiving yards. Imagine a year in which everyone knows you're getting the ball and still you pick up five yards per rush and 11 yards per reception. That's one of the best years a runner has ever had.
8. Bob Kuechenberg, G, Miami. SI.com's Paul Zimmerman rails every year about Kuechenberg belonging. I've come around on the Dolphins offensive lineman. For a long time I felt that because the center on that Miami team, JimLanger, and the other guard, Larry Little, were in the Hall, that was enough for one line. I am convinced that Kuechenberg was better at his position than Langer was at his, so why penalize him because one of his linemates is in and maybe is only a borderline guy?
9. Derrick Thomas, OLB, Kansas City. I have wavered on Thomas, who I feel could be stopped by the best offensive tackles. But he passes the eye test. That is, I remember seeing him make so many plays with my own eyes and saying, "Wow -- how many more players could do that?'' And there haven't been many in my lifetime. He wasn't Lawrence Taylor, but he was in LT's league.
10. Gary Zimmerman, T, Denver. No really good player I've been around was more invisible than Zimmerman off the field. He didn't like the media stuff, but he wasn't rude about it. He was just a no-nonsense drive-blocker with good feet to slow down the great pass-rushers of his day. That's why, in part, he did something precious few players have ever done -- be a two-time NFL all-decade player. He made it in the '80s and the '90s.
There are my 10. Zimmerman edged L.C. Greenwood, who I also support, by the way.