Also: It's a Dirty Little Secret
Based on a Sports Illustrated poll of more than 150 NFL players, these are the league's dirtiest players:
1. Steve Wisniewski, guard, Raiders
A near-unanimous choice who racked up $65,000 in fines last year. "Wiz is a dirty bastard," says Minnesota long-snapper Mike Morris, an 11-year veteran. "He chops from behind. He'll shoot knees ... I'll take sides with any old lineman, but this m----------- had me cursing and swearing on TV. I couldn't believe the shots he took." Says a Raiders teammate, "Wiz is probably the dirtiest offensive player of all time, whether he admits to it or not." Adds a Buffalo Bill: "He'll get his."
2. Erik Williams, tackle, Cowboys
According to several players, he likes to go for the throat. "Ever since he got hurt in that car wreck [in 1994], he's been the dirtiest son of a bitch I've seen," says an AFC defensive lineman. "He can't move like he used to, so he goes for the knees, gouges eyes, whatever it takes to slow a guy down."
3. Kevin Gogan, guard, 49ers
He learned from the worst: Gogan played alongside Wisniewski for two years. "Anytime Kevin can hit you in the back, anytime he can punch you, he'll take a shot," says former Cowboys and Cardinals linebacker Garth Jax.
4. John Randle, defensive tackle, Vikings
Several players cited his association with Broncos defensive line coach John Teerlinck, formerly of the Vikings, who has a reputation for teaching dirty tactics. "Randle's always talking, trying to get you out of your game somehow," says one AFC lineman. "He's so quick that if he can get you to hesitate just the smallest bit, he wins. He taunts and he talks. If that doesn't work, he'll start head-slapping to get you to pay attention to him."
5. Dale Carter, cornerback, Chiefs
Carter, who lined up at receiver last year, is double trouble. "He's just nasty," says one AFC wideout. "It doesn't matter which side of the ball he's on, he'll go for the knees. Their receivers are coached to cut [block], and when he plays receiver, he goes for the knees. He doesn't stop when the whistle blows. But when he's at corner, he gets mad when the receiver cuts him."
6. Chuck Smith, defensive end, Falcons
His late hit to the knee of Carolina quarterback Kerry Collins was last season's most egregious display of dirty play. "He got Kerry last year," says Panthers guard Matt Elliott. "He's always giving somebody a shot in the back after the play."
7. Frank Winters, center, Packers
His nice-guy image doesn't fly on the field. "Winters is a guy who dives over piles to get somebody," says a Minnesota defensive tackle. "He'll roll up people's legs. He'll grab your face mask. He tries all kinds of things."
8. Alonzo Spellman, defensive end, Chicago Bears
He's the most notorious trash talker in the game. "He's a late-hit guy," says St. Louis tight end Aaron Laing. "If a play is over, he'll come in the pile and try to throw an elbow in your back, or he'll throw a knee into you. I've talked to guys who play for his team, and they don't have a hell of a lot of good things to say about the guy either."
9. Orlando Brown, tackle, Ravens
A young Wisniewski who plays with reckless abandon. "He'll do incredible stuff to a person, and I'll say, 'Hey, why did you do that?'" says guard Wally WilliamsBrown's own teammate. "He'll say, 'Hey, Wally, be quiet, man. It's Orlando against the rest of the world.'"
10. Dave Widell, center, Jaguars
He and his brother Doug, a Colts guard, were popular choices. "He's dirty," says one Steeler. "If you get a guy like Widell on the bottom of the pile, I guarantee you six guys out of 11 are trying to do something to him."
11. Lake Dawson, wide receiver, Chiefs
He is seen as the dirtiest of a nasty group of K.C. receivers. "They come in and cut you and chop you," says an AFC defensive back. "Dawson is probably the worst in the league."
12. Winston Moss, linebacker, Seahawks
Opponents are wary of him both before and after the whistle. "As long as I've been in the league, he's always been one of the dirtiest players," says Denver tight end Shannon Sharpe, entering his eighth season. "He pushed John [Elway] under the bench one day, and he clubbed me in the jaw to the ground one year."
13. Neil Smith, defensive end, Broncos
Practices should be interesting: Smith was nominated for the list by one of his new teammates. "He thinks he's above being cut," says an AFC West offensive player. "You cut him and it's like, 'Jeez, I can't believe you actually cut me.' Then he'll do it to you on the next play."
14. Bennie Thompson, safety, Ravens
Known for punching while in the pile. "He's a master of all the basic stuff," says a Kansas City receiver. "Pushing you back into the pile if you're blocking him, pushing you back into the ball, head slaps, late hits, you name it."
15. Greg Lloyd, linebacker, Steelers
Out last year due to injury, but his rep endures. Says a Bengal, "When you watch the film, he'll be the guy running downfield to take a cheap shot when the play is over."