Emanuel and Andre Hastings—he caught 10 passes for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, remember?—are my wideouts, backed up by Webster Slaughter, formerly of the Jets. Spears will start opposite Zimmerman at one tackle, and we'll keep our fingers crossed here. The Chicago Bears got down on him, but I liked what I saw at times. Sapp, fellow guard Mike Zandofsky (Falcons) and center Jerry Fontenot (Bears) are my middle three, although I wouldn't be surprised if guard Lance Smith breaks in here, just as he did for the New York Giants last season. Not bad, not great—solid.
I guarantee that my defense will get after the passer. Brown, Taylor, Vrabel, highly underrated Lester Archambeau (Falcons), pass-rush specialist Martin Harrison (Minnesota Vikings), West Virginia 260-pound outside linebacker Canute Curtis, another sleeper, and Wiley, if we can harness that raw talent, will be alternating like crazy. I'll have a constant supply of fresh legs to get after the quarterback. Bill Walsh once told me, "Pass rush late in the game is the key to the NFL." That's something I've never forgotten.
The tradeoff is that this is an upfield-rush unit, and the opposition will put it to the test with draws, counters and traps. That's where my inside guys come in. I've always felt that Tony Siragusa (Indianapolis Colts) is one of the sturdiest and most technically sound defensive tackles in the game. My second guy, Matt Brock, was active last year, and at times inspired, playing in hopeless causes for the Jets.
Darrin Smith (Cowboys) cost me a lot of money, but he's worth it. Space linebackers, gifted in coverage, are rare breeds in the NFL, or any FL. He and Brown are my outside backers, Perry is a good situation sub, and Matt Vanderbeek (Washington Redskins) will double as my special teams wacko number two.
I love my left cornerback, Dwayne Harper (Chargers), who has never gotten enough credit. On the other side Ray Buchanan (Colts) is proven. I'm hoping former Baltimore Ravens strong safety Stevon Moore still has enough giddyap. If not, dimeback Chad Cota (Panthers) will get a shot. Another former Panther, nickelback Toi Cook, gets the call at free safety. He hasn't played there much, but he's an 11-year veteran who has plenty of smarts and instinct.
Kicker and punter? Those are no-brainers. You pay the price here, you get proven talent—Chris Jacke and Tom Rouen, late of the Green Bay Packers and the Broncos, respectively.
Rod Dowhower, who was most recently the coach at Vanderbilt, assists Spurrier with the quarterbacks and helps coordinate the offense, and assistant head coach Vic Fangio, who was Carolina's defensive coordinator the past two seasons, manages the defense.
That's my team. Come and get me, Peter.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]