The safety position in the NFL plays a crucial role in the overall defense of a team. Throughout the history of the league, there have been exceptional safeties who have made a significant impact on the game. These players possess the skills and instincts to read plays, provide solid coverage, and deliver impactful tackles. Here is a list of the 24 greatest safeties in NFL history, highlighting their achievements and contributions to the game.
1. Ronnie Lott
2. Ed Reed
3. Troy Polamalu
4. Brian Dawkins
5. Steve Atwater
6. Sean Taylor
7. Paul Krause
8. Kenny Easley
9. Earl Thomas
10. Rod Woodson
11. John Lynch
12. Jack Tatum
13. Darren Woodson
14. Eugene Robinson
15. Dennis Smith
16. Bob Sanders
17. Donnie Shell
18. Tyrann Mathieu
19. Adrian Wilson
20. Joey Browner
21. Deron Cherry
22. Harrison Smith
23. Cliff Harris
24. Landon Collins
These players have left an indelible mark on the NFL, showcasing their exceptional skills, leadership, and playmaking abilities. From interceptions and forced fumbles to bone-crushing hits, these safeties have consistently demonstrated their impact on the field. As the game continues to evolve, the contributions of these safeties will forever be remembered as they have shaped the history of the NFL.
The Importance of Safeties in NFL History
The importance of safeties in NFL history cannot be overstated. Their versatility, playmaking abilities, strategic contributions, and leadership make them integral to a team’s defensive success. Safeties have played a crucial role throughout the history of the NFL, solidifying their importance.
They are key players on defense who significantly contribute to the overall success of a team. Here are some factors that highlight the significance of safeties in NFL history – emphasizing the importance of safeties in NFL history.
1. Versatile Defenders: Safeties, which emphasize the importance of safeties in NFL history, are adaptable players who can effectively defend both the pass and the run. They are responsible for covering receivers, making tackles, and even intercepting passes. Their ability to perform multiple tasks enhances the defense’s efficiency, further underscoring the significance of safeties in NFL history.
2. Game-Changing Plays: Safeties, highlighting the importance of safeties in NFL history, possess the potential to make game-changing plays. They can intercept passes, force fumbles, or deliver bone-crushing hits that can dramatically shift the momentum of a game. Their impactful plays often lead to turnovers and scoring opportunities for their team, further emphasizing the importance of safeties in NFL history.
3. Quarterback’s Nightmare: Safeties, exemplifying the importance of safeties in NFL history, have the ability to disrupt an opposing team’s passing game and put immense pressure on the quarterback. They can effectively read the quarterback’s intentions and quickly react to make interceptions or break up passes. Their presence on the field makes quarterbacks think twice before attempting deep passes, reiterating the significance of safeties in NFL history.
4. Defensive Strategy: Safeties, emphasizing the importance of safeties in NFL history, play a vital role in defensive strategies. They communicate with their fellow defenders, ensuring everyone is in the right position and executing the correct defensive plan. Their deep understanding of the game and ability to analyze offensive formations contribute to the success of the defense as a whole, further highlighting the importance of safeties in NFL history.
5. Leadership on the Field: Safeties, which underscore the importance of safeties in NFL history, are often considered the leaders of the defense. They make calls, adjustments, and provide guidance to their teammates, showcasing their experience and football IQ. Safeties help cultivate a strong defensive unit, exemplifying the importance of safeties in NFL history.
6. Impact on Championships: Throughout NFL history, championship-winning teams have consistently featured exceptional safeties in their ranks. These players have made game-altering plays that have helped their teams secure victories and championships. The importance of safeties in NFL history has been instrumental in the success of these teams.
1. Ronnie Lott
A former professional American football player, is widely regarded as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. Throughout his career, Lott showcased exceptional skills and made a significant impact on the field. Here is an overview of Ronnie Lott’s career achievements and statistics:
|Number of Seasons||14|
|Teams Played For||San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Pro Bowl Selections||10|
Ronnie Lott’s dedication to the sport and his exceptional skills as a safety made him an invaluable asset to every team he played for. His ability to consistently make game-changing plays and his fierce tackling skills set him apart from his peers. Lott’s impressive career statistics, including his 63 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles, demonstrate his exceptional defensive abilities.
As one of the greatest safeties in NFL history, Ronnie Lott’s impact on the game cannot be understated. His contributions to the teams he played for, as well as his numerous accolades and championships, solidify his status as a legendary player.
When discussing the greatest safeties in NFL history, Ronnie Lott’s name is always at the top of the list. His skill, dedication, and determination are a true inspiration to aspiring football players and fans alike.
Remember to appreciate the contributions of players like Ronnie Lott, who have left an indelible mark on the history of the sport and continue to inspire future generations of athletes.
2. Ed Reed
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. Throughout his career, Reed showcased exceptional skills and instincts on the field. He played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2002 to 2012 and had a successful stint with the Houston Texans and New York Jets in his later years.
Reed’s active playstyle made him an imposing force in the secondary. His ability to read plays and anticipate the movements of opposing quarterbacks was unparalleled. Reed was known for his knack for intercepting passes, accumulating an impressive total of 64 interceptions during his career.
In addition to his interceptions, Reed also made a significant impact as a playmaker. He returned his interceptions for a total of 1,590 yards and scored seven defensive touchdowns. Reed’s ability to create turnovers and turn them into scoring opportunities for his team was instrumental in the Ravens’ success.
Reed’s proficiency in pass coverage and ball-hawking skills were complemented by his physicality as a tackler. He was known for delivering bone-crushing hits that often forced fumbles and disrupted opposing offenses.
Off the field, Reed was a highly respected leader and mentor to younger players. His dedication to the game and the professionalism he displayed throughout his career made him a role model for many.
Ed Reed’s legacy as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history is cemented by his numerous accolades. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler, a five-time First-team All-Pro, and the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Ed Reed’s impact on the game of football cannot be overstated. His exceptional skills, playmaking ability, and leadership qualities make him a true legend in the history of the NFL.
3. Troy Polamalu
An iconic safety in the history of the NFL, made a significant impact on the game with his exceptional skills and versatility.
Polamalu was known for his exceptional athleticism and football instincts. His ability to read plays and react quickly made him a dominant force on the field. Throughout his career, Polamalu showcased his knack for delivering bone-crushing tackles. His physicality and tackling skills made him a feared defender.
Polamalu’s interception ability was unmatched. He had a knack for coming up with big plays and turning the tide of the game with his timely interceptions.
Polamalu’s versatility was a key asset. He was equally effective in both run defense and pass coverage. His speed and agility allowed him to excel in covering wide receivers and tight ends. His impact extended beyond statistics. He was a leader on the field, inspiring his teammates and setting the tone for the defense.
Polamalu’s play recognition skills were exceptional. He had a unique ability to anticipate the offense’s next move, often disrupting plays before they even had a chance to develop. His impact was felt in big games and playoff matchups. He consistently elevated his performance when it mattered the most.
Troy Polamalu’s impact on the game of football cannot be understated. His athleticism, versatility, playmaking ability, and leadership qualities made him on this list.
4. Brian Dawkins
Known as “Weapon X,” was one of the most dominant and impactful safeties in NFL history. With his unique blend of athleticism, intelligence, and ferocity, he revolutionized the safety position.
Dawkins had an illustrious career with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. During his time with the Eagles, he was a force to be reckoned with, consistently making big plays and providing leadership to the defense. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a four-time First-Team All-Pro selection.
What set Dawkins apart was his ability to disrupt offenses and make game-changing plays. He had a knack for interceptions, finishing his career with 37 picks. He forced 36 fumbles and recorded 26 sacks, showcasing his versatility and impact on the field.
Off the field, Dawkins was known for his leadership and dedication to the game. He was a mentor to younger players and a true ambassador for the sport. His passion and intensity were contagious, and he was widely respected by teammates, coaches, and opponents alike.
In addition to his on-field success, Dawkins was a pillar of the community. He established the Brian Dawkins Impact Foundation, which focuses on helping children and families in need. His philanthropic efforts further solidify his legacy as not only a great player but also a great human being.
Brian Dawkins’ impact on the game of football cannot be overstated. His contributions to both the sport and the community will be remembered for years to come.
As you delve into the history of the NFL, exploring the greatness of players like Brian Dawkins will provide a deeper appreciation for the game and its legends. Let their stories inspire you and ignite a passion for football that will last a lifetime.
5. Steve Atwater
He is a former safety in the NFL who is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the league. He played for the Denver Broncos from 1989 to 1998 and then finished his career with the New York Jets in 1999. Atwater was known for his hard-hitting style and his ability to make game-changing plays.
During his career, Atwater recorded 1,180 tackles, 24 interceptions, and 5 sacks. He was a two-time winner of the Super Bowl with the Broncos, in 1998 and 1999, and was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times. Atwater’s impact on the game was not only felt in his individual statistics but also in the respect he commanded from his teammates and opponents.
Atwater’s physicality and presence on the field were unmatched, and he was often able to intimidate opposing quarterbacks and receivers with his hard hits. He was known for his ability to read the play and make quick, decisive tackles. His skill set made him a key component of the dominant Broncos defense in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.
In addition to his achievements on the field, Atwater was also a respected leader in the locker room, known for his work ethic and dedication to the game. He was a role model for many of his teammates and was highly regarded by the coaching staff.
Steve Atwater’s impact on the NFL as a safety cannot be understated. When discussing the legacy of Steve Atwater, it is important to recognize his exceptional skills, accomplishments, and impact on the game. His presence on the field was respected by both teammates and opponents, and his leadership qualities were admired by all.
6. Sean Taylor
He was an exceptional football player who is considered one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. He played for the Washington Redskins from 2004 until his tragic death in 2007. Let’s take a look at some key details about Sean Taylor in a table form:
Pro-tip: Sean Taylor’s impact on the game was far beyond his stats. He was known for his incredible athleticism, hard-hitting tackles, and exceptional instincts on the field. His passion for the game and dedication to his teammates made him a true leader. Sean Taylor’s legacy continues to inspire football players and fans alike.
7. Paul Krause
Paul Krause is a legendary safety in NFL history. He played for the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings during his career. Krause holds the record for the most interceptions in NFL history, with 81 interceptions over his 16-year career. This remarkable achievement showcases his exceptional skills and instincts on the field.
Krause’s impact on the game cannot be overstated. He was known for his ability to read the opposing team’s plays and make timely interceptions, often changing the course of the game. His intelligence and anticipation allowed him to consistently make game-changing plays for his team.
Not only was Krause a playmaker on defense, but he was also durable, playing in 226 consecutive games. This longevity speaks to his physical toughness and dedication to the sport.
Krause was a leader on and off the field. He served as a captain for the Vikings and was respected by his teammates for his work ethic and professionalism. His presence in the locker room undoubtedly played a role in the success of the teams he played for.
Paul Krause’s career as a safety in the NFL is unparalleled. The impact he had on the game and his teams cannot be overstated.
8. Kenny Easley
Easley played his entire NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks from 1981 to 1987. During his seven seasons, he made a significant impact on the field with his exceptional skills and athleticism.
Easley’s physicality and aggressive playing style made him a dominant force in the secondary. He had a knack for delivering bone-crushing hits and was known for his ability to read plays and make crucial interceptions.
Throughout his career, Easley achieved numerous accolades. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984. In that same year, he led the league with a remarkable 10 interceptions.
Unfortunately, Easley’s career was cut short due to a kidney disease that forced him into early retirement. Despite the brevity of his career, his impact on the game cannot be denied.
Pro Tip: When discussing the greatest safeties in NFL history, it is essential to acknowledge the incredible contributions of Kenny Easley. His skill, tenacity, and playmaking ability set him apart and solidify his place among the best in the game.
9. Earl Thomas
A former NFL safety, is one of the most accomplished players in the league’s history.
- Thomas played for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010 to 2018 before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.
- He was known for his exceptional athleticism and versatility, which made him a dominant force on the field.
- Throughout his career, Thomas recorded numerous impressive statistics, including 30 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, and 11 fumble recoveries.
- His ability to read opposing offenses and anticipate plays allowed him to make impactful plays consistently.
- Thomas was also a key contributor to the success of the Seahawks’ famed “Legion of Boom” defense, which played a significant role in the team’s Super Bowl victory in 2014.
- His accolades speak for themselves, with Earl Thomas being selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and being named a First-Team All-Pro five times.
- Off the field, Thomas was known for his hard work and dedication, always striving to improve and contribute to his team’s success.
- Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to injuries, but his impact on the game is undeniable.
10. Rod Woodson
For the sub-topic “Rod Woodson”, here is a table highlighting some of his career statistics:
|Teams||Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders|
|Super Bowl Appearances||3|
|Pro Bowl Selections||11|
Rod Woodson is considered one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. With his impressive interception record, numerous Pro Bowl selections, and Super Bowl appearances, he has established himself as a legendary player in the league.
11. John Lynch
Was a standout safety in the NFL, known for his impressive skills and leadership on the field. He played for several teams during his career, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Denver Broncos.
Lynch was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball. He was known for his hard-hitting tackles and his ability to read plays and make crucial interceptions. Throughout his career, he amassed an impressive total of 26 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles.
Lynch’s impact was not just limited to his individual statistics. He was also a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room, earning him the respect of his teammates and coaches. His leadership qualities were evident as he helped lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in 2002.
In addition to his on-field achievements, Lynch was also a highly respected player off the field. He was known for his work ethic and dedication to the game, as well as his involvement in charitable endeavors. His impact on the field, his leadership abilities, and his contributions to the community make him a true legend of the game.
12. Jack Tatum
Jack Tatum was an exceptional safety in the NFL who played for the Oakland Raiders from 1971 to 1979. Known for his hard-hitting style of play, Tatum was feared by opponents and respected by his teammates. He was a key member of the Raiders’ defense during their successful run in the 1970s.
Tatum was a fierce and physical defender on the field. His aggressive playing style often resulted in big hits and impactful plays. He had a reputation for being one of the hardest hitters in NFL history, often delivering bone-crushing tackles to opposing players.
During his career, Tatum recorded 30 interceptions, showcasing his ability to read plays and make timely defensive plays. He was known for his strong coverage skills and was an integral part of the Raiders’ secondary.
Unfortunately, Tatum’s career was marred by a controversial play in the 1978 AFC Divisional Playoff game against the New England Patriots. He made a hard hit on Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley, which left Stingley paralyzed. The incident sparked a debate on player safety and led to rule changes in the NFL.
Despite the controversial play, Jack Tatum’s impact on the game cannot be denied. He was a fierce competitor and a dominant force in the secondary.
Fun fact: Jack Tatum earned the nickname “The Assassin” for his hard-hitting style and intimidating presence on the field.
13. Darren Woodson
He is a former American football player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. Throughout his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Woodson showcased exceptional skills, leadership, and versatility on the field. His impressive performance and contributions to the team earned him multiple Pro Bowl selections and helped the Cowboys secure three Super Bowl victories.
Woodson was known for his hard-hitting tackles and exceptional coverage skills. He was not only able to shut down receivers but also had the ability to drop back into coverage and make interceptions. His football instincts and understanding of the game allowed him to make crucial plays in critical moments.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Woodson was a respected leader both on and off the field. He served as the captain of the Cowboys’ defense and was instrumental in providing guidance to younger players. Woodson’s dedication, work ethic, and professionalism set a high standard for his teammates and contributed to the success of the Cowboys during his time with the team.
Darren Woodson’s career in the NFL left an indelible mark on the game.
14. Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson was a professional football player who played as a safety in the NFL. He had a successful career, known for his agility, speed, and ability to read plays. Throughout his career, Robinson played for three different teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons.
During his 16 seasons in the NFL, Eugene Robinson made a significant impact on the field. He recorded a total of 57 interceptions, demonstrating his skill in reading the opposing team’s offense. His ability to anticipate plays and make crucial interceptions was a key factor in his success as a safety. Robinson’s contributions to his teams often resulted in momentum-changing turnovers and defensive touchdowns.
In addition to his on-field achievements, Eugene Robinson was also known for his leadership qualities. He served as a mentor to younger players and was respected by his teammates for his work ethic and dedication to the game. Off the field, Robinson was involved in various charitable endeavors, using his platform as an NFL player to make a positive impact in his community.
As a testament to his skills and contributions, Eugene Robinson was selected to three Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990s. His impact on the game of football and his legacy as a talented safety will always be remembered in NFL history.
Fact: Eugene Robinson was awarded the Bart Starr Award in 1998, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding character and leadership on and off the field.
15. Dennis Smith
He was an impactful safety in the NFL during his career. He played for the Denver Broncos from 1981 to 1994. Smith consistently exhibited talent and skill on the field, earning him multiple Pro Bowl selections and All-Pro honors.
Throughout his career, Smith was known for his aggressive playing style and ability to make big plays. He had a knack for delivering powerful hits and disrupting opposing offenses. Smith was also a strong leader on the field, often providing guidance and support to his teammates.
In terms of statistics, Smith recorded over 1,000 tackles during his career. He was highly effective in pass coverage, with numerous interceptions and pass deflections to his name. Smith’s presence on the field was always felt, both as a playmaker and as a reliable defender in crucial situations.
Off the field, Smith maintained a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence. He was widely respected by his teammates and coaches for his dedication to the game.
Dennis Smith’s contributions to the Denver Broncos and the NFL make him a standout safety in league history. His impact on the game can still be felt today, and his skills and achievements will be remembered for years to come.
16. Bob Sanders
Bob Sanders was a standout safety in the NFL known for his hard-hitting style of play. Throughout his career, Sanders displayed exceptional athleticism and a fearless approach to the game.
- Impact on the Field: Bob Sanders made a significant impact on the field with his ability to disrupt plays and deliver bone-crushing hits. He was a game-changer, often leading his team’s defense with his intensity and playmaking skills.
- Defensive Abilities: Sanders was known for his superb tackling skills and was often regarded as one of the hardest hitters in the league. His instincts and quickness allowed him to make crucial stops and break up passes.
- Injury Concerns: Unfortunately, Sanders’ career was hampered by injuries, which limited his playing time. Despite this, his impact on the field was undeniable, and when healthy, he made a significant difference for his team’s defense.
- Accolades: Despite his shortened career, Sanders earned recognition for his exceptional play. He was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice. These accolades speak to his exceptional abilities as a safety.
- Team Contributions: Sanders played a vital role in helping the Indianapolis Colts win Super Bowl XLI, showcasing his ability to elevate his play during critical moments.
Bob Sanders was a dynamic and impactful safety whose playing style left a lasting impression on the NFL. While injuries limited his time on the field, his contributions and achievements during his career cement his status as one of the notable safeties in NFL history.
17. Donnie Shell
Donnie Shell is a former NFL safety who had a remarkable career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Shell played for the Steelers from 1974 to 1987, making him a key contributor to their success during that time.
- During his career, Shell recorded 51 interceptions, showcasing his exceptional ability to read the game and make impactful plays.
- He was known for his physicality and toughness, recording over 1000 tackles throughout his career.
- Shell was also a key member of the Steelers’ legendary defense known as the “Steel Curtain.”
- He played in four Super Bowls and helped the team win four championships, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history.
- Shell’s contributions to the Steelers’ success cannot be understated, and his impact on the field was instrumental in the team’s dominant defensive performances.
- After retiring from professional football, Shell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020, further cementing his status as one of the all-time greats.
Donnie Shell’s career is a testament to his skill, dedication, and impact on the game of football. His achievements and accolades continue to inspire future generations of players and fans alike.
18. Tyrann Mathieu
Tyrann Mathieu is a renowned football player who has made a significant impact in the NFL. Let’s take a look at his career statistics and achievements:
|Season||Team||Games Played||Total Tackles||Interceptions||Sacks|
Throughout his career, Mathieu has showcased his versatility on the field, making impactful tackles and interceptions. His impressive performance led to numerous accolades, including being named a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time First-team All-Pro. Mathieu’s ability to read plays and disrupt the opposing team’s offense has made him a valuable asset to his teams.
Not only is Mathieu a strong defender, but he also possesses excellent leadership skills. Known for his passion and dedication to the game, Mathieu has been a vocal leader both on and off the field. His contributions to the community and positive influence on his teammates have further cemented his status as one of the NFL’s top safeties.
Tyrann Mathieu’s exceptional skills and achievements have solidified his place among the NFL’s elite safeties. His impact on the field, combined with his leadership qualities, makes him a force to be reckoned with.
19. Adrian Wilson
He was an exceptional safety in the NFL, known for his hard-hitting style and versatility and fastness on the field. Throughout his career, Wilson consistently demonstrated his athleticism and playmaking abilities.
As a safety, Wilson was a key component of the defense, providing strong coverage in both the passing and running game. He utilized his speed and agility to quickly react to plays and make impactful tackles. His ability to read the offense and anticipate plays allowed him to make game-changing interceptions and crucial pass breakups.
One of Wilson’s greatest strengths was his physicality. He had a reputation for delivering bone-crushing hits, often forcing fumbles and intimidating opposing receivers. His presence on the field was a constant reminder to offenses of the risks they took when targeting his area of coverage.
Throughout his career, Wilson showed exceptional consistency and durability. He rarely missed games due to injury, allowing him to contribute to his team’s success consistently. His longevity in the league speaks to his commitment to maintaining peak performance and his ability to adapt to changes in the game.
In addition to his on-field contributions, Wilson was also highly respected as a leader in the locker room. He was known for his strong work ethic and dedication to the game. His professionalism and mentorship positively impacted his teammates, making him an invaluable asset to any team he played for.
Adrian Wilson was an exceptional safety in the NFL, embodying the qualities of a true defensive playmaker. His athleticism, physicality, consistency, and leadership made him one of the most respected players at his position.
20. Joey Browner
Joey Browner is considered one of the best safeties in NFL history due to his exceptional versatility, hard-hitting style, and ability to impact games both as a coverage defender and in run support. His consistency and playmaking ability over a distinguished career with the Minnesota Vikings have solidified his status as a legendary safety in the league.
He had a remarkable career in the NFL, primarily as a safety for the Minnesota Vikings from 1983 to 1991 and later with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992.
Before becoming an NFL star, Joey Browner was a multi-sport athlete in college, excelling not only in football but also in track and field, where he competed in the decathlon.
Browner is often referred to as the “Ironman” of the Minnesota Vikings. He played in 148 consecutive games for the team, showcasing his durability and consistency.
Football talent runs in the Browner family. Joey Browner’s cousin, Keith Browner, also had a successful NFL career as a linebacker, and his nephews, Brandon Browner and Max Starks, played in the NFL as well.
Despite his impressive career, Joey Browner has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which some consider to be an oversight given his impact on the game.
21. Deron Cherry: A Ballhawk in Kansas City
Deron Cherry, a ballhawk in Kansas City, undoubtedly displayed exceptional skills during his time on the field. His impact on the game cannot be overstated, making him a force to be reckoned with.
Cherry’s ability to anticipate plays and read quarterbacks allowed him to make crucial interceptions, showcasing his exceptional ball-hawking skills. Throughout his career, he amassed an impressive total of 50 interceptions, further highlighting his prowess. His incredible range and athleticism often led to jaw-dropping plays that left fans in awe.
In addition to his interceptions, Cherry proved to be a reliable tackler, delivering bone-crushing hits and showcasing his keen sense of timing. His presence on the field always commanded attention and fear from the opposing team.
The contributions of Cherry to the Kansas City Chiefs cannot be overlooked. He played a vital role in the team’s success, leading them to multiple playoff appearances. As a true leader and a fan favorite, he earned the respect and admiration of both teammates and opponents.
For more information about exceptional safeties in NFL history, make sure to check out the full article. It offers a fascinating journey through the careers of these legendary players that any football fan will enjoy.
22. Harrison Smith: A Modern-Day Safety Star
Harrison Smith: A Modern-Day Safety Star stands out in the NFL with his exceptional skills and contributions to his team. With his active playing style and high level of proficiency, Smith has solidified his place as one of the best safeties in the league.
Smith consistently displays his exceptional skills and makes impactful plays, boosting his team’s defensive performance. His ability to read the game and react swiftly enables him to make critical interceptions and tackles, increasing his team’s chances of success.
Throughout his career, Smith has proven himself to be a versatile player. Excelling in both pass coverage and run defense, he has become a well-rounded safety. His proficiency in these areas allows him to contribute strategically to his team’s overall defensive strategy, thus cultivating a strong defensive unit.
One of the key factors that sets Harrison Smith apart from his peers is his deep understanding of the game. He possesses extensive knowledge of defensive schemes and formations, enabling him to anticipate opponents’ plays and make timely decisions on the field. This strategic mindset greatly contributes to his effectiveness as a safety.
Smith’s stellar performance on the field has earned him numerous accolades and recognition. As one of the best safeties in the league, it is no surprise that he is often mentioned among the top players. His consistent delivery of standout performances truly makes him a modern-day safety star.
Harrison Smith’s exceptional skills, versatility, and strategic mindset make him a standout player in the NFL. As one of the best safeties in the league, Smith continues to leave his mark on the game, solidifying his place as a modern-day safety star.
23. Cliff Harris: The Underrated Cowboy
|Player||Team||Years Played||Super Bowl Wins||Interceptions||Tackles|
|Cliff Harris||Dallas Cowboys||1970-1979||2||29||721|
Cliff Harris, the underrated cowboy, played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970 to 1979. During his years played, he won 2 Super Bowls and accumulated impressive statistics of 29 interceptions and 721 tackles. His remarkable contributions to the Cowboys’ defense were essential in their success, especially as part of the renowned “Doomsday Defense.”
Despite being known for his hard-hitting style of play and widely respected for his toughness and tenacity on the field, Cliff Harris is often overlooked when discussing the greatest safeties in NFL history. Nonetheless, his skills and achievements speak for themselves.
24. Landon Collins: The Young Prodigy
Landon Collins, the young prodigy, is one of the most promising safeties in the NFL. With his exceptional skills and talent, Collins has proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with on the football field.
At just 26 years old, Landon Collins has already made a significant impact in the league. In his first few seasons, this young prodigy quickly established himself as a standout player, displaying excellent speed, agility, and tackling ability. His commitment to the game and his desire to constantly improve have helped him become one of the best in his position.
Collins’ performances have been remarkable. He has consistently displayed a high level of proficiency and has become an integral part of his team’s defense. His ability to read the game, anticipate plays, and make critical interceptions has earned him recognition and respect from his peers and coaches.
Not only does Landon Collins excel in defending against the pass, but he also boasts impressive skills in run defense. His physicality and strength allow him to effectively tackle opposing players, preventing them from gaining significant yardage.
The future looks bright for the young prodigy, Landon Collins. As he continues to cultivate his skills, refine his technique, and gain experience, he will undoubtedly enhance his status as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history.
For football enthusiasts and fans alike, keeping an eye on Landon Collins’ career is a must. His contributions to the game are significant, and he is a player who consistently delivers outstanding performances. Watching Collins play will undoubtedly provide excitement, anticipation, and the opportunity to appreciate the skills of a true prodigy.
Some Facts About the Greatest Safeties in NFL History:
- ✅ Ranking the top safeties in NFL history is a challenging task due to the exceptional talent and accomplishments of numerous players.
- ✅ Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson, and Aeneas Williams are not included in the list of the greatest safeties because they primarily played the position towards the end of their careers.
- ✅ Paul Krause, the NFL’s all-time leader in interceptions, is not included in the list of the greatest safeties as statistics hold less value for this position.
- ✅ Eugene Robinson and Lawyer Milloy, who have played the most games as safeties, did not make the top list of greatest safeties in NFL history.
- ✅ Bob Sanders’ career was limited by injuries, and Sean Taylor’s promising career was tragically cut short, preventing them from securing a spot among the greatest safeties in NFL history.
Frequently Asked Questions
2. Who holds the record for the most interceptions by a safety in the NFL?
Paul Krause holds the record for the most interceptions by a safety in the NFL, with 81 interceptions over his career. However, he is not included in the ranking of the top 11 safeties of all time due to the emphasis on other factors besides statistics.
3. Who was the first Black player signed by the New York Giants?
Emlen Tunnell was the first Black player signed by the New York Giants. He played 14 years, 11 with the Giants, and was also the first Black player inducted into the Hall of Fame and the first Black person hired to a coaching position in the NFL’s modern era.
4. Who is known as the “Captain Crash” in the NFL?
Rodney Harrison is known as the “Captain Crash” in the NFL. He was a hard-hitting safety who played aggressively and was feared by receivers going across the middle.
5. Who is the all-time leader in tackles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
John Lynch is the all-time leader in tackles for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He recorded 1,350 tackles over his career with the team.
6. Who is considered one of the best defensive anchors in NFL history?
Brian Dawkins is considered one of the best defensive anchors in NFL history. He was a vocal leader and played with an attacking style, giving his team a competitive edge. Dawkins made a significant impact on the game and was a six-time All-Pro.
7. Who is considered one of the best cornerback in NFL history?
Deion Sanders is regarded as one of the fastest cornerbacks in NFL history.
His combination of speed and coverage prowess earned him a reputation as one of the all-time greats at the cornerback position.