It’s time for the next edition of My Big NFL 5. This time, we will be going over defensive backs. You have the safeties: hard hitters, ball hawks and play makers who are great in zone coverage. Then you have corners: very fast, very quick, very agile and excel in man coverage. These men who make up the defensive backfield are the defense’s last line of defense. They make a mistake, and the offense usually finds themselves in the endzone. These five men were the best at making sure that those devastating errors don’t occur:
5. Ronnie Lott (49ers/Raiders/Jets/Chiefs)
When you think of all those great San Fransisco 49ers teams of the 80s and 90s, you probably think of the Joe Montanas, Jerry Rices, Steve Youngs and Terrell Owens of the world, but the team had one of the greateds DBs to ever play the game. Ronnie Lott was extremely versatile. He played strong safety, free safety, and cornerback, having success in all three positions. During his illustrious career, Lott racked up 63 interceptions, returning 5 for touchdowns. He was also elected to 10 Pro Bowls and was an 8X All-Pro, all 1st Team. He was also featured on the NFL’s 75th All-Anniversary Team. Lott was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Dec 6, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) defends during the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 26-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
4. Champ Bailey (Redskins/Broncos)
His name speaks for itself; Champ Bailey is literally a champ, and one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever lace up a pair of cleats. He is also quite underrated. Under the wing of guys like Deion Sanders, Bailey’s career started in Washington, where he made an immediate impact and reputation as one of the best defensive backs in the league. He actually owns the record for the longest non-scoring play in NFL history. He returned a Tom Brady interception for 100 yards to the NE 1 yard line in the 2004 Playoffs as a member of the Broncos. He is the youngest player to intercept 3 passes in a game. Bailey is a 12x Pro Bowler (the most among cornerbacks), as wel as a 7x All-Pro. He is nearing the end of his career, and will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame sooner than you might think.