With the release of the NFL's Networks 100 Greatest players, I think its a good time to release my all time team. This line-up will be my favorite players at each position. Many of them will be some of the all-time greats but these may or may not be who I think are the greatest to have played that position. For example, Ronnie Lott is probably the greatest Strong Safety of all time but he's not the strong safety on my all time team. I'm starting with the defensive backfield and will work my way back until I finish up with the quarterback. So here are my starting safeties.
Strong Safety - Jack Tatum
If you have read my blog, you already know that I love the way Tatum played. He played with reckless abandon. He patrolled the middle of the field and if you ran a crossing pattern, you risked serious injury. That's the kind of safety I like. Guys who change offensive play calls and make good receivers shorten their routes and get "alligator arms." Nothing changes momentum like a devastating hit and no one laid people out quite like Tatum. I was saddened when he passed away this year but his memory lives on.
Free Safety - Ed Reed
A free safety needs to be a ball-hawk. There is no better ball-hawk than Ed Reed. EVER! His instincts are amazing. He has a knack for being around the ball and making big plays in big games. He makes interceptions, forces fumbles and can return a kick in a pinch. Injuries have taken their toll on him now but in his prime, there has never been a more effective defensive centerfielder.
Honorable mention -
Strong Safety: Andre Waters - as you can tell, I like my safeties aggressive maybe even borderline dirty. Andre was nicknamed "Dirty" Waters. However, protecting the middle of the field is important stuff. Waters protected the field fiercely from the mid 80s to mid 90s for the Eagles.
Free Safety: Sean Taylor - Another ferocious hitter. Too bad his life was cut short. The sky was the limit with his abilities. He could cover and hit. Immense talent.
Who are your favorite Safeties?