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Old 12-30-2019, 03:16 PM
racepug is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Snohomish County, WA
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NFL All-Time 100: Specialists


Jan Stenerud
Adam Vinatieri


Ray Guy
Shane Lechler

Return men

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson
Devin Hester

Thoughts? Comments?
Old 12-30-2019, 09:06 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
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Stenerud and Vinatieri are probably the right choices. Stenerud was the most successful and iconic of the first wave of soccer-style kicking specialists, and the first pure kicker to make it to the Hall of Fame. His struggles this season (at age 46!) aside, Vinatieri has been a tremendous, clutch kicker for over 20 seasons.

Who could also be considered? Morten Andersen, probably. Maybe Lou Groza, who was among the most accurate kickers through the 1950s and early 1960s.


Guy was the first pure specialist to be drafted in the first round, and he was likely the best punter of his generation. SI's Paul Zimmerman used to complain that Guy was overrated, and that he got too much credit for things like being able to hit the scoreboard at the Superdome with a punt, but I think that Dr. Z's opinion was a minority view.

Lechler was very good for a very long time, and led the league in gross punting average five times.

Who could also be considered? I'd call out Sean Landeta (who was on the All-Decade Team for the 1980s and 1990s), and Sammy Baugh (though he's already on the team as a QB, and his punting average is undoubtedly inflated due to "quick kicks" -- punts he made on 3rd and long, which the defense wasn't expecting).


Hester is a clear choice. The guy was an utter weapon, and close to unstoppable, for the first six or so years of his career.

Johnson, I'm not as sold on. He was amazing to watch, and was a great returner (on both kicks and punts) for the first four years of his career. He then hurt his knee, played little in '78 and '79, and was one of several players who jumped to the CFL in '81. After he returned to the NFL, while he kept playing as a wide receiver until '88, there were only a couple of seasons in there where he was doing much in the way of returning, and he wasn't nearly as dominant as he had been before the injury.

Who else might be considered? Rick Upchurch, Brian Mitchell, and, as a special teams ace, Steve Tasker.
Old 12-30-2019, 09:45 PM
Sir T-Cups is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 8,841
Dante Hall could easily be in there for returners. Ole' Joystick was the first eye-opening returner I can remember.

You could talk me into Sebastian Janakowski for kicker as well. A first-round pick at kicker who played for 20+ years.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:56 AM
Gray Ghost is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,580
Reggie Roby and Andy Lee for punters, though I think they got the right top 2. I'd put Mort over Stenerud, but I understand more after kenobi's post why they went the way they did. Maybe Eric Metcalf for returns? FWIW, Gale Sayers had an absolutely stupid average on kick returns of over 30 yrs per return. Hester's wasn't over 25.


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