Chart: Mark Craig's defensive dream team

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 20, 2012 - 11:32 PM

MARK CRAIG'S DEFENSIVE DREAM TEAM

Left end: Reggie White (three teams, 1985-2000) The "Minister of Defense" had 10 first-team All-Pro selections, two league defensive MVPs, 198 career sacks and that classic "hump" move, which was pure power personified.

Tackle: Mean Joe Greene (Steelers, 1969-81) He was a two-time league defensive MVP, the foundation upon which Chuck Noll built the dynasty of the 1970s and one nasty dude when he got angry.

Tackle: Alan Page (Vikings 1967-78, Bears 1978-81) One of the first defensive tackles who could stuff running backs and chase down quarterbacks. He's one of only two defensive players and the only tackle to win league MVP honors (1971).

Right end: Bruce Smith (Bills 1985-99, Redskins 2000-03) The NFL's all-time sack leader (200) made not one but TWO all-decade teams.

Strong side linebacker: Jack Ham (Steelers, 1971-82) A quiet Hall of Famer who had 32 interceptions while using the speed and instincts to cover like a safety, thereby helping redefine his position.

Middle linebacker: Ray Lewis (Ravens, 1996- ) A two-time league defensive MVP and one of the greatest leaders the NFL has ever seen. In his prime, no one was more of an intimidating presence in the middle.

Weak side linebacker: Lawrence Taylor (Giants, 1981-93) He's the best defensive player in NFL history, the league MVP in 1986 and a guy who terrorized quarterbacks and popularized the strip-sack move that all players use today.

Right cornerback: Deion Sanders (four teams, 1989-05) Had 53 career interceptions, nine of which were returned for touchdowns. Will remain the gold standard for cover corners for years to come.

Left cornerback: Mel Blount (Steelers, 1970-83) A towering 6-3 corner who had 57 interceptions and played the position with such dominance that it contributed to the NFL's decision in 1978 to make rule changes to significantly favor the offense.

Strong safety: Ronnie Lott (three teams, 1981-94) The best safety and one of the league's hardest hitters regardless of position. He was an intimidator who also had 63 interceptions.

Free safety: Ed Reed (Ravens, 2002- ) The 2004 NFL Defensive MVP has 57 regular-season interceptions, eight postseason picks and is one of the most instinctive playmakers ever.

Coach: Bill Belichick (NFL coach since 1975; 1985-90 Giants defensive coordinator; 1991-95 Browns head coach; 1996 Patriots assistant; 1997-99 Jets assistant; Patriots head coach since 2000) Whether it's manhandling the Bills' "K-Gun" receivers in Super Bowl XXV, neutralizing Marshall Faulk and "The Greatest Show on Turf" in Super Bowl XXXVI or countless other examples, Belichick is second to none as a defensive game-planner.

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San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Boston
Washington 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Anaheim
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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