In moments of reflection, concerning many of today's Social & Political crises, one often finds that lessons taught to us decades ago still remain ever so relevant. In the past, We at The Wandering Eyes Blog have featured lectures from such great minds as Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Neely Fuller, Kwame Ture aka Stokely Carmichael, Dr. Joy Degruy, Dr. Umar Johnson & more. So adding to that divine lineage of scholars, we now point to the teachings of Dr. Chancellor Williams. Dr. Williams is credited with having journeyed to 26 different parts of Africa to study the true his of The Oppressed-and most importantly-what was happening in The Motherland prior to Invasion/Exploitation by European & Arabian forces. For those not familiar with the works of Dr. Chancellor Williams, please take time to listen to the videos posted below; and then go out & purchase you a copy of "The Destruction of Black Civilization." Born the son of a slave, Dr. Williams elevated himself to become one of the greatest minds this world has ever known. We Salute You Dr. Chancellor Williams!!!
In today's NFL, it's all about Offensive Production & Scoring Highlights. But for Me, and most Old School Lovers of the game, it was all about The DEFENSE!!! While today's game may showcase some truly incredible Talents, Catches, Runs, etc-the things we remember most were those feared tacklers & game changers on the other side of the ball. After a lot of thought & research, here's PART TWO of what WE at THE WANDERING EYES BLOG believe to be the Top 20 Defenders of All Time. Check this Link for PART ONE. Comments & Feedback Welcome.
10. "MEAN" JOE GREENE
As Leader of the infamous Steel Curtain Defense, “Mean” Joe Greene won four Super Bowls as a punishing mountain of aggression. His size, speed, strength, & determination were amazing & rare for his era. To the flip-side, “Mean Joe” also became one of the first Black athletes to become the face of a major marketing campaign (Coca Cola).
Ten Pro Bowls - NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1972 and 1974
9. "PRIMETIME" DEION SANDERS
“Neon” Deion Sanders lit it up for five different teams, over the course of his 14 year career (Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens). At one point Sanders seemed to be almost a mercenary, as Jerry Jones saw fit to sign him away from his #1 competitor in San Francisco. Fast, versatile & inspiring, Deion earned eight Pro Bowl honors & will go down as one of the most exciting players to ever grace the field.
52 interceptions - 22 touchdowns (nine interception returns, six punt returns, three kickoff returns, three receiving and one fumble recovery).
8. DICK BUTKUS
Dick Butkus was undeniably one of the most feared players ever. Plain & simple, he hurt people bad. Imagine what he would have accomplished-had injuries to his knees not shortened his career…
Dick Butkus Earned trips to the Pro Bowl eight straight years (out of nine seasons played) - 1,020 Tackles - 22 Interceptions - 25 Fumble Recoveries
7. ED REED
One of MANY Game-Changers to come out of The University of Miami (aka “The U”), Ed Reed was that player that always had to worry about on Every Play. Failure to do so usually led to a big play on his part. So crafty & talented, Ed even hid behind a referee to intercept a pass in the end zone. Speaking of Interceptions, he set the record for the longest Int Return for a TD-then broke his own record two years later (106 yards in 2004 and 108 yards in 2008). Before retiring in 2013, Ed Reed recorded 644 Tackles, 64 Ints, 11 Forced Fumbles, played in nine Pro Bowls, was selected as Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 & broke numerous other records…
6. ROD WOODSON
Rod Woodson is one of the mist slept on Defensive Greats of All Time. Putting in work, at a High Level, for 17 years (ten with The Pittsburgh Steelers + time with the 49ers, Ravens and Raiders). Woodson is the All Time Leader in Interception Return Yardage, INTs Returned for Touchdowns (10), and Fumble Recoveries (32).
71 career interceptions – Four Kickoffs Returned for Touchdowns – 11 Pro Bowl Selections - NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1993
5. REGGIE WHITE
Reggie White - Known as "The Minister of Defense," Reggie White put in work for 15 Stellar Seasons (Eagles, Packers, & Panthers). A native of Chattanooga, TN, Reggie would earn Pro Bowl Honors for 13 consecutive Seasons & Win One Super Bowl (with the Green Bay Packers). He would also be voted the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1991, & 1998.
1,112 Tackles – 198.5 Sacks – 3 Ints
4. RAY LEWIS
There’s really not much to say about Ray Lewis that most don’t already know. One of the Top 10 Most Feared Tacklers of all Time, Ray-Ray was also one of the Smartest. He knew where to be & made things happen.
2,061 total tackles (1,567 solo) - 41.5 Sacks, 31 Interceptions - 19 Forced Fumbles - 20 Fumble Recoveries - One Safety - Three Defensive Touchdowns - 1996 Rookie of the Year - Two-Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2000 and 2003) - Two Time Super Bowl Champion (Honored as Super Bowl MVP in 2000) – 13 Time Pro Bowler - Led the NFL in Tackles Five Times - Another Fine Product of “The U” Football Factory.
3. DEACON JONES
David "Deacon" Jones changed the game, in regard to the Pass Rush. With amazing speed, a feared mean streak, and a now infamous “Head Slap” in his Arsenal-Deacon Jones is the sole reason that the “Quarterback Sack is tracked as a statistic. Unfortunately for him, he will not get credit as the all Time Leader in Sacks that most likely is (among other related records). Spending all but three years of his career as part of The Los Angeles Rams "Fearsome Foursome," Deacon Jones was an Eight-Time Pro Bowl Selection & is credited with for recording 179.5 Sacks. He also was honored as NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1967 and 1968.
2. BRUCE SMITH
I’ve got admit that it wasn’t until I started researching for this post, that I realized just how good Bruce Smith was. Again, look at the pictures. Nineteen years in the NFL.
The NFL's All Time Career Leader in Sacks at 200.
Three-Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year - 11 Time Pro Bowl Selection
1. LAWRENCE TAYLOR
An absolute Freak Of Nature, Lawrence Taylor changed the way the Linebacker position was played & how teams prepared blocking schemes. Certifiably Crazy, and Proud to show it, Lawrence Taylor terrorized opposing offenses like none other. He ended at least one Hall of Fame Quarterback’s career & took away the confidence of several others. He was fast, fierce, and one of the greatest trash talkers in NFL History. Tough as nails, Taylor has admitted to having played many games high on cocaine-and/or hung over from a night of epic partying. One the other hand, Taylor once played a 1988 game with a torn pectoral muscle in his shoulder. In that game, he still tallied Seven Tackles, Three Sacks, and Two Forced Fumbles.
1,088 Tackles - 132.5 Sacks – 9 Ints - 33 Forced Fumbles, 10 Fumble Recoveries - Ten Time Pro Bowl Selection - Two Super Bowl Victories – Honored as NFL Defensive Player of the Year a Record Three Times – One of Only Three Defensive Players EVER to be named League MVP
In today's NFL, it's all about Offensive Production & Scoring Highlights. But for Me, and most Old School Lovers of the game, it was all about The DEFENSE!!! While today's game may showcase some truly incredible Talents, Catches, Runs, etc-the things we remember most were those feared tacklers & game changers on the other side of the ball. After a lot of thought & research, here's the first half of what WE at THE WANDERING EYES BLOG believe to be the Top 20 Defenders of All Time. Comments & Feedback Welcome.
20. Darrell Green
Known as "The Ageless Wonder," Darrell Green played a Record-Breaking 20 Years. And all of them for The Washington Redskins! That NEVER Happens (1983-2002). In that time, Green went to Seven Pro Bowls, Won Two Super Bowls, and Won The NFL's Fastest man battle Four Times. In fact, Darrell Green still ran a 4.2 40 at 40 Years Old!!! Dopeness.
1, 159 Tackles - 54 Ints - 6 Ints Returned for TDs
19. JOHN RANDLE
Signed as an Undrafted Free agent in 1990, would quickly rise to become one of the greatest Pass Rushers in NFL History. Over his career, John Randle would be selected to play in seven Pro Bowls & record 137.5 Sacks. Additionally, I'm pretty sure that-if there was a ranking of All Time Trash Talkers-he would rank in that Top Ten Too.
18. ED "TOO TALL" JONES
One of several GREATS that came out of Tennessee State University, Ed "Too Tall" Jones was an Intimidating GIANT (No Pun Intended) that placed True Fear IN THE HEARTS OF quarterbacks ACROSS THE LEAGUE. Mean & standing at 6 Feet/9 Inches, "Too Tall" could still get to the ball-even if he somehow failed to get to YOU!
1,032 Tackles - 57.5 sacks - 3 Ints - 19 Fumble Recoveries - 3 Pro Bowl Selections - 1 Super Bowl Victory (bear in mind that he spent two of his Prime Years pursuing a Boxing Career) #WhatCouldHaveBeen
17. RONNIE LOTT
Universally declared one of the Top Ten Most Feared Tacklers, Ronnie Lott punished Offensive Players for 15 Years (as a 49er, Raider, Jet & Chief). Ronnie Lott was so tough that he once had his Left Pinky Finger amputated, so that he could stay in a game! Starting his career as a Cornerback-before moving to Safety-Ronnie Lott would earn Pro Bowl Honors 10 Times. He also would be the only player to earn All-Pro Recognition at three different positions (Cornerback, Free Safety & Strong Safety). Being on the winning end of Four Super Bowls, Lott recorded 100-plus tackles five times in his career & twice Led NFL in interceptions (1986 & 1991).
1,113 Tackles - 63 Ints - 5 TDs
16. MEL BLOUNT
Southern University Standout, Four Super Bowl Victories, Five Pro Bowls, NFL Defensive Player Of The Year in 1975-but what Mel Blount is Most Known for is his sheer Brutalization of opposing Wide Receivers. So Much so that today we now observe the 5-Yard Bump & Run Rule; but few know that it was originally called "The Mel Blount Rule." As a member of the famed "Steel Curtain," Blount just absolutely destroyed his competition with unique combination of size & Speed.
56 Ints - 2 TDs - 13 Fumble Recoveries
15. MIKE SINGLETARY
Selected to The Pro Bowl Ten Straight years, NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, and Leader of the Famed 1985 & Beyond Chicago bear Defense-Mike Singletary is unfortunately now more known for his Ill-Fated Coaching Days in San Francisco. I see him more for the legend that helped Elevate the games of Ray Lewis & Patrick Willis. Actually, one should bear in mind that the nucleus of the recent 49er teams was drafted under Mike's Watch-not Harbaugh's.
1,488 tackles - 12 fumble recoveries - 7 interceptions – 19 sacks
14. TED HENDRICKS
Known as "The Mad Stork," 6' 7" Ted Hendricks affected opposing teams in all phases of the game. With a career spanning 15 seasons-with the Colts, Packers and Raiders-tallied 60.5 Sacks, 26 Interceptions, 16 Fumble Recoveries, & Blocked 25 Kicks. Hendricks was also selected to play in Eight Pro Bowls & played in Four Super Bowls (winning One with The Baltimore colts & Two with The Oakland/Los angeles Raiders).
13. DICK "NIGHT TRAIN" LANE
known for being an Extremely Fast, Aggressive & Fierce Tackler, The Night Train was One of The Most Feared Tacklers of All Time & was a Seven Time Pro Bowler. With 68 career interceptions, Dick "Night Train" Lane ranks fourth all time in Ints-playing for the LA Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions, over 14 years...
12. JACK LAMBERT
One of the most famous members of The Steel Curtain Defense, Jack Lambert won four super Bowls during his ten year career (1974-1984). Lambert was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976, honored as Rookie of The year in 1974 & was selected to appear in Nine Pro Bowls.
1,479 Tackles - 23.5 sacks - 28 interceptions, 17 fumble recoveries
11. LEM BARNEY
One of the first Shut-Down Corners, Lemuel "Lem" Barney was one of the first "Shutdown Corners. Coming out of Jackson state University, Lem Barney was elected Defensive Rookie Of The Year in 1967. Over the course of his 10 Year career, barney compiled 56 Ints – 7 returned for Tds – 4 More on Special Teams – 7 Pro Bowl selections.
FOR THOSE THAT JUST DON'T GET IT (OR THINK THEY DO): MY REFLECTIONS, AND A FEW VENTS, ON THE CURRENT RACIAL NARRATIVE...
I had a conversation the other day with a white co-worker. I had tried my best to keep quiet, and observe closely, as varying levels of anger took over Ferguson, Missouri. My ability to remain silent became no longer possible upon hearing that the cop that killed Eric Garner, with a choke hold that had been outlawed 20 years ago, would not be indicted. How does one say that this officer did nothing wrong? Even if an accident, he still should be at least charged with Involuntary Manslaughter-as I say again he stepped FAR outside of procedural guidelines. Choked to death for being SUSPECTED of selling "Loosies," or loose cigarettes that were never even found??? But I guess I should not be shocked. No one went to jail when New York cops fired 50 shots at Sean bell, killing him the night before his wedding. In fact, it took six years for the department to discipline the four officers involved. A jury would not convict the officers that fired 41 bullets into Amadou Diallo. Oakland Police Officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted for shooting Oscar Grant, who was handcuffed and laying on the ground; but he only served 11 months of a two year sentence. He's home, while his young daughter has to push on without him. 20 Year Old Pizza Delivery Guy Phillippe Holland was killed by Philadelphia Police, who believed he must have committed a robbery-since he was running to his car. And of course there was John Crawford, who was killed two days before Mike Brown. His crime? Checking out an Air Rifle in an Ohio WalMart. Killed on sight. No charges filed. In each case, the excuse was the same...
"I Thought He Was Going For A Weapon"
"He Resisted arrest"
"He Tried To Grab My Gun"
Returning to the conversation that sparked this post, she said that we just don't know all of the facts... Here's the facts: