Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

31 Jan 2010

NFL All Decade Team

The NFL has announced the All-Decade Team of the 2000's. Feel free to use this thread to critique the chosen ones and suggest your own replacements, while I go vent 3-4 v. 4-3 OLBs and Keith Bulluck getting screwed once again.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 31 Jan 2010

85 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2010, 9:06pm by bachslunch

Comments

1
by Josh :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:03am

Priest Holmes, Keith Bulluck.

If they have 4 RBs, they should have 6 WRs.

Jamal Lewis is a complete joke.

6
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:24am

Yes, Lewis is the worst selection at any position. Don't think much of Shaun Alexander either; would put Ahman Green ahead of him.

13
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:12am

Alexander, Lewis, and James? Were there really no great RBs this decade except Tomlinson? Also, did everyone forget about Brian Westbrook?

I would put Westbrook above any of those 3. I think I would take a top 3 of LdT, Westbrook, and Holmes, with nobody else really deserving. Alexander, Lewis, James, and Green are all pretty much interchangeable to me. Holmes had a shorter career, but his peak was much higher than any of the others. I guess I'd throw Alexander a bone for his MVP season when he was the best offensive player on a conference champion. Then again, Lewis had a 2,000 yard season and started for a Super Bowl winner. So it's pretty much a toss-up for the 4th spot, if you must name 4 RBs. Lewis had the worse QB play so he wins the tiebreaker.

I freely admit that I am biased in favor of RBs who can catch passes, since that is a skill which is harder to replace and less dependent on the quality of the O-line. I'm also biased in favor of RBs who didn't play their entire primes with both stellar O-lines and Pro Bowl QBs (Holmes is guilty here, but at least he was the engine that drove his offense, unlike James or Green. Alexander is probably the most overrated RB in history because he faced such a weak slate of opponents over his career and benefited from a great line and a Pro Bowl QB.)

EDIT: Forgot Tiki Barber. He easily beats the competition to make the top 4.

23
by t.d. :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:14am

Marshall Faulk and Brian Westbrook both were much better than Lewis or Alexander. I think they're hurt by being multidimensional, when it should be an asset.

29
by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:06am

This is for the 2000s. Faulk didn't have enough of a career in this decade to be in the conversation.

38
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:38am

He may not have been good for that long in this decade, but he had certainly the best single season by any back this decade (2000), and arguably the second best (2001), and has an MVP and two OPOY awards to show for it. I'd certainly rather him than Alexander.

26
by stay firm (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:48am

The Priest Holmes love in the thread is a bit much. He had a few incredible years, then his career came to an unfortunate end. Three seasons above 1000 yards rushing (even if he had >2k yfs in all of them), with a good, but not spectacular YPC doesn't make him the lock that some people assume he should be. Tiki Barber is far more deserving for one.

48
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:00pm

I disagree. If I had to pick one RB from this decade besides Tomlinson to make the HOF, and I couldn't pick players whose peaks straddled the decades like Faulk, Martin, and Bettis, it would have to be Holmes. I can't see any other RB who even has a real HOF case except Barber. (Sadly, Alexander has a decent shot to make it even though he is plainly not deserving.)

However, I totally forgot Portis. LdT, Holmes, Barber and Portis are probably the best 4, although Westbrook still has an argument as well. The actual selections of James, Lewis, and Alexander demonstrate that the voters have no concept of which RBs carry their teams and which are carried by their teams (including Lewis, who got lots of carries in lots of close games because he played with mostly good defenses). Apparently they just looked at the raw numbers, which is absurd.

39
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:51am

In no way was Alexander the best player on the 2005 Seahawks offense. I'd be inclined to put him 4th, behind Jones, Hutchinson and Hasselbeck. I think he's a significantly worse choice than Lewis for this team, and agree with you that Alexander is probably the most over-rated running back in history. He's certainly the least deserving MVP winner I'm aware of.

I guess I'd go with Tomlinson (duh), Barber, Portis and . . . regrettably Lewis. Faulk, Holmes and Westbrook all had great peaks, but they were only two (Faulk and Westbrook) or three (Holmes) years, and Holmes benefitted from one of the all time great offensive lines, as well as a good passing game. Lewis's supporting casts were by and large terrible - he was frequently his team's only realistic way of moving the ball - and the fact that he's been incredibly durable and hung around longer than he should have oughtn't to blind us to the fact that he was at one point a very good (if one-dimensional) player.

76
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 1:20am

You make a good point about Alexander and the 2005 Seahawks. That line did all the work, and Hasselbeck was quite good also. Like Trent Green, people seem to have forgotten how good he was in his prime. At least with Green people have the excuse that he was a more of a DVOA darling than a traditional stat guy and he was a very underrated scrambler. But Hasselbeck completed 65% of his passes, threw 24 TDs and only 9(!) interceptions that year. And that was with Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicious as his top receivers (plus 6 games from Darrell Jackson). Peter Warrick had 5 starts!

9
by jp6v (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:51am

They do have 6 WRs. Just 2 of them are listed under TE...

14
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:14am

Now come on. Gonzalez is a real TE. Gates is more of a Shannon Sharpe/Ozzie Newsome type fake TE.

2
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:08am

N Asomugha belong there,. Much bteter than Ty law. Law good from like 2000-2003, Asomugha great for more years in 2000s.

45
by Independent George :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:29am

I agree completely. Asomugha started in 2005, was voted 2nd team all-NFL in 2006, and people stopped throwing to him entirely in 2007. He was more dominant over a 4-year stretch than Ty Law ever was in his career. Right now, he is arguably better than Champ Bailey at his prime. His career is beginning to resemble that of Aeneas Williams - a dominant player at a low profile position on a bad team.

3
by Paul R :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:09am

So who's the coach?

Also, no Dallas Clark? Bah!

5
by Josh :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:16am

Dallas Clark was maybe the 4th best TE of the decade.

Gonzalez and Gates are the two best TE's statistically.

40
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:53am

If anyone's a snub at TE it's Witten: his receiving numbers may not be as good as Gates's, but they're still stellar, and unlike Gates or Clark he's a genuine two-way tight end who can be a real asset as blocker.

8
by otros :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:44am

In prolly the biggest cop out of the team, Belichick and Dungy.

4
by Yaguar :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:11am

Casey Hampton would be a good replacement for La'Roi Glover.

16
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:21am

I disagree, as do 1st team all-pros, Pro Bowls, and P-F-R's Approximate Value. However, you could make a case for bumping Seymour off the list to add Hampton, when you consider that Seymour is listed at DT but spent most of his career as a (3-4) DE.

25
by Yaguar :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:43am

I would argue that All-Pros and Pro Bowls both have a systemic bias against run stoppers. Approximate value is mostly derived from All-Pros and Pro Bowls for defensive players.

41
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:57am

Seconded. Nose tackles are serially under-recognised. Hampton's peaks weren't as high as those of Kris Jenkins or Shaun Rogers, but he was an elite player at his position pretty much throughout the decade, and had the best post-season of anyone at any position in 2005, annihilating a string of Pro Bowl centers (Nalen, Saturday, Tobeck).

7
by puffbronfman :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:42am

Tiki Barber is the biggest snub IMO. Even though he retired in 2006, he finished 3rd in the decade in yards from scrimmage. I'd dump Alexander for him in a heartbeat.

Also, I'd rather have seen 3 RB and 5 WR (with Derrick Mason replacing Alexander).

10
by BSK (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:54am

If you want Bullock on, who do you want off? Or do you just want more players at a position? I hate when people cry "snub", list 13 guys who should have made it, but don't name a single guy that shouldn't have.

17
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:26am

I think I'd bump Joey Porter for Bullock.

Also, Peter King had London Fletcher on his all-decade team ahead of Urlacher and Thomas on the strength of Fletcher's consistency and health. Despite the source, I can't help but agree.

30
by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:09am

Can't really bump Porter-- he was second in the decade in sacks behind Jason Taylor. His career overlaps with the arbitrary 2000s timeline very well. Definitely one of the top 3-4 OLBs, if not the top.

Urlacher has missed too many seasons for him to be on here, IMO. I'd replace him with Bullocks or Brooking.

34
by Brian :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:21am

I don't really buy injuries being the reason to leave Urlacher off the list -- he's missed 22 games in his career. Both Zach Thomas (23) and Ray Lewis (26) have missed more games over the same time frame.

If you think Urlacher doesn't belong, that's fine, but I don't think poor health would be a very strong argument for replacing him.

31
by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:10am

How does anyone beat Thomas in terms of consistency? I get the argument against Urlacher, but Thomas is just as consistent as Fletcher is, and was better at his peak.

65
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:37pm

Wow really? Urlacher was probably the best MLB in the game for 2-3 season this decade. Produced 10 more sacks 2 more interceptions and got Rex Grossman to the Super Bowl. However, Urlacher doesn't like to talk to the press, and has missed 1.5 seasons, so he's inconsistent.

77
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 1:29am

You gloss over 1.5 seasons like it's nothing. And let's not forget that while Urlacher started every game in 07 and 08, that doesn't mean he was healthy.

However, I am willing to reconsider being that Urlacher had a much higher peak than Fletcher.

11
by MarkV :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:58am

They definitely should have gone with 3 RBs and 5 WRs.
And, in this era, RBs are a silly measurement, because average effectiveness is SO much shorter than a decade. Only one of the RBs put up consistant numbers for the majority of the decade.

I also was extremely unimpressed with the selections of Ware, and of Sharper. The CB choices seem pretty mediocre, but once I get past barber and bailey, I can't think of anyone I would want on an all-decade team.

I would MUCH rather see just one KR/PR/K/P and give some other talented players the credit they deserve.

44
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:11am

I really, really think Ronde Barber is over-rated by the public and the media. Yes, he's been a superb zone corner. Unfortunately, zone corners aren't as valuable as man corners, not even close. Bailey and Woodson are the only CBs who really have the resume you want to see for an all-decade team, but I guess I'd take Law and Asomugha as the next two, prefering great players who were born at the wrong time to good ones born at the right time.

60
by Error (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 4:35pm

I think you have it backwards. Zone corners are much harder to find. Man coverage is the standard in the NFL but that seems like it is a developmental thing more than that they are more valuable. It is about how you construct a team. Ronde is arguably the greatest zone corner in NFL history and that TB defense might be the third or fourth best in history.

12
by Costa :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:03am

Jamal Lewis instead of Priest Holmes is the one that really jumps out at me as plain wrong. You can nitpick here and there about the rest, but no other ones seem truly indefensible as far as I can tell.

55
by Jim C. (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:44pm

Not saying you're wrong, but I do have to point out that Lewis and Holmes were teammates on the 2000 Ravens. Lewis beat out Holmes and became the core offensive weapon on a Super Bowl champion, while Holmes mostly rode the pine. After that season the Ravens let Holmes walk in free agency.

78
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 1:35am

Holmes was more valuable to a team with a good QB (because he was good in the passing game and could make plays in space). Lewis was more valuable to a team with a bad QB (because he could smash into the line). So Lewis was more effective on the Ravens, but Holmes was better than Lewis would have been when he got to a team with a real offense.

If you want to see what Lewis would have looked like on the Chiefs, picture Larry Johnson but without the speed. That's good, but it's nowhere near as good as Holmes.

15
by Bobman :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:15am

What, no Vince Young?

All he does is win.

18
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:29am

yes, jam lewis pick crappy one. if only counting guys who play 3 or more seasons in 2000s then these are top 5 guys in running yards per gaem-

portis 89.8, tomlsion 88.6, barber 86.5, holmes 82.2, martin 82.1

19
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:41am

made sure numebr sare right above there. spelled some words worng but stats are right, thats all that matters

anyone else wish the lady in the crucial ad woudl turn around? seems hot from side

20
by Kibbles :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:03am

Yeah, a brief list of RBs more deserving of all-decade status than JamLew: Tomlinson, Holmes, Barber, Martin, Portis, James, Westbrook, Alexander, Green, Faulk, SJax, Corey Dillon, Jones-Drew... I'm sure I could name more if I thought about it. Jamal Lewis wasn't one of the top DOZEN RBs of the decade, to say nothing of the top 4.

No other major gripes, although Seymour likewise doesn't belong- no player has ever coasted for so long on reputation. Seymour is still getting credit in 2009 for being an awesome player in 2003. I'd call him the second best DT of the decade... on his own team. I'd replace Sharper with John Lynch, Law with Nnamdi, Ware with Bulluck, and Peppers with Freeney. Also, I feel like Kreutz has cruised on reputation almost as much as Seymour has. I'd personally replace him with Tom Nalen, although I'm admittedly biased. Still seems like a no-brainer to me- Nalen is, in my opinion, a HoF center who played the bulk of the decade. If you aren't a Nalen fan, I'd take either Birk or Saturday over Kreutz, too.

For the most part, though, a solid list.

42
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:02am

My favourite center of the decade is a Bronco, but it's not Nalen. The post-season honours haven't been kind to him, but Casey Wiegmann is a fantastic player who is the common factor between the two best lines of the decade. I don't think there's been any center this decade I would send to Canton, though.

51
by DrewTS (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:54pm

Jones-Drew? I think you're reaching mightily with that one. Next decade, maybe, but not this one.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/L/LewiJa00.htm

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/D/DrewMa00.htm

I'm not even sure I'd consider Jones-Drew as the most deserving Jaguar running back for this list. No, I don't actually think that Fred Taylor should be in the discussion for all-decade 2000s. But he did at least have 5 seasons this decade as a top 10 rusher, as opposed to MJD's one.

71
by Kibbles :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:03am

I agree that Taylor has a much stronger case for the All Decade Team than MJD. There were a couple of other names that I forgot, too (starting with Thomas Jones, Warrick Dunn, and Ricky Williams). I wasn't trying to argue for MJD's inclusion so much as I was trying to demonstrate how silly it was to include Lewis (who has as many pro bowl appearances over the last decade as MJD). I think there are probably 20 RBs more deserving of Jones-Drew for the honor. I just think that Jones-Drew is more deserving than Lewis, still.

If you disregard his 2000 yard season, Jamal Lewis didn't even average 4 yards per carry for the decade. He scored 6 fewer TDs in nine seasons than MJD over the last four. Jamal Lewis is a guy who was good but not special to start his career, then had the single most overrated RB season of all time, and since then has been as much of a liability as an asset. If not for that 2000 yard season, nobody would even be mentioning Lewis in these discussions. The guy also spent 4 months in jail for intent to distribute cocaine, and while you can argue about whether or not character SHOULD matter in these types of discussions, I think the HoF committee has demonstrated in the past that character DOES matter to them, at least a little bit.

79
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 1:38am

To be fair, Lewis's 2000 yard season is at worst the second-most overrated RB season of all time, the first being Alexander's MVP season.

21
by Temo :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:40am

I say this as a Cowboys fan: There's an argument to be made that DeMarcus Ware should be off and Keith Bulluck on.

If you notice, the other LBs on the list have played the whole decade; Ware has not.

22
by Temo :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:44am

Also, Larry Allen started to fall off by 2004.

32
by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:13am

I'm also a Cowboys fan and I agree on Allen. Heck, I think Flozell is more deserving than Allen (I'm aware that they don't play the same position, but just relatively speaking, I think Flo has the stronger case). He played a much better decade than Larry did, and for more years.

33
by Tim Wilson :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:15am

Wow. I had not looked at the Tackle position on the list yet. Probably the strongest position on the team. Nevermind on Flozell.

54
by Temo :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:33pm

If you use the "every year counts" thing, you may have a case for Flozell over Pace, though it would be very, very close. Flo is still a solid LT, and Pace hasn't been one for 2 or 3 years now. Plus, Pace has been injured a lot.

43
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:04am

Yeah, I think I'd have given Allen's spot to Waters.

24
by Alexander :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:18am

No Tiki Barber is a joke.
My only other gripe is that Hester is only on punt return, but I suppose its the Bears' fault for ruining him on offense.

58
by Independent George :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:26pm

To be fair, Tiki Barber was a horrible fumbler through 2003. I would find his exclusion more justifiable if I thought for a moment that the voters cared about anything other than yardage & TD totals.

27
by Arson55 :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 4:29am

Gah, Jason Witten is more deserving than Antonio Gates. Yeah, he not as big a playmaker, but he is still a reliable target. And can, you know, actually block.

Tiki Barber was better than every back on the list except one. Westbrook probably was too.

Richard Seymour? Really? Hampton over Seymour sounds really good.

Larry Allen doesn't deserve it, speaking as a Cowboys fan.

Bullock over Porter seems a viable fix to me. Over Ware would work too.

Really, the Larry Allen inclusion bugs me the most. He was suck so early into the decade that it makes no sense.

28
by bubqr :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 4:32am

Ty Law over Hole in Zone ?

35
by jimmy oz (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 7:38am

It doesn't say that Shaun Alexander played for Redskins, Edge played for Seahawks, Larry Allen for 49ers, & Jason Taylor for Redskins.

Its kinda weird. Forgettable contributions, but i'd have thought they'd have included them on the league website.

The RB's: Marshall Faulk was a tweener and peaked from 97 to 01, Westbrook only had 3 seasons with over 1500 yards from scrimmage. Barber is glaring, but i guess the Giants winning after he left has hurt him? I'd have Edge, Portis, Barber, LdT.

I'd also put Jared Allen in over Freeney.

47
by dmb :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:38am

The omission of those forgettable contributions is even stranger in light of the fact that they included one of the most memory-defying appearances of all time: David Akers on the Redskins. He played one game, was 0/2 on FGs, 2/2 on XPs, and kicked off three times. Also, that appearance didn't even fall during the 2000s; it was in 1998.

36
by billsfan :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:21am

As TMQ would say, "All-Decade Team? But that's two teams!"

Two players at every position is such a cop-out. At least if they made them All-Decade NFC and AFC teams, it wouldn't be so ridiculous.

Or if they're going to double up the skill position players, they could at least cut some of the linemen, and add a few more QBs, so it more accurately represents the makeup of the Hall of Fame ;)

An All-Decade Kick/Punt Returner is somewhat amusing, since one of the slots goes to a guy who only played two years before switching to WR, as opposed to a guy like Allen Rossum, who at least played the whole decade.

(I also like the Eagles)

37
by Darren Rasmussen (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:36am

How did Michael Irvin make the all-decade team for the 2000's when he retired following the 1999 season?

46
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:26am

None of the guys who vote on this stuff (now that Dr. Z is sadly no longer involved) see enough games to have an educated opinion on who is worthy and who isn't. Actually, when it comes to a lot of positions, simply watching a ton of games is not enough; you have to break down film to really get a good take on who is playing the best. Hell, I probably watch more games than a lot of these writers, given their game day job responsibilities, and I don't even come close to the seven or eight games a week one would need to see to even have a ballpark guess as to who is worthy, for some of the easier to decipher positions. This all becomes an exercise in gorup-think, of a not very well-informed group.

I wish some media outlet would pursue getting the cooperation of 32 pro personnel directors, the guys who break down miles of film of players on rosters other than their employers', to get a confidential poll of who they think is playing the best each year.

49
by Independent George :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:18pm

But that would be a tacit admission that its reporters don't actually know what they're talking about.

66
by tuluse :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:55pm

I think the idea is that you get a large number of reporters voting (they use 50 I believe). Then each guy only has to watch around 4 games per week, and vote for the best players he saw. If they do that, then the overlap of games watched should lead to the best players surfacing on these lists. However, like you said it just becomes an exercise in group-think.

74
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:36am

I doubt that most of these guys closely watch four games a week. Look at Peter King, prior to his NBC gig. He usually was at the site of a game. Given his interview responsbilities, he could not have watched an early afternoon, late afternoon, and Sunday night game closely, even if he had a t.v. available without a lot of distracting activity around it. I'd say three games closely watched is about the best he could do, and that may be pressing it. It should not be understated how difficult it is to really grasp what is happening in a football game, if you don't have the luxury of, with remote in hand, going back and forth to see plays two or even three times. And we haven't even addressed how incompletely the t.v. feed covers the passing game.

I don't think these guys know all that much.

75
by tuluse :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 1:09am

Yeah, the execution is terrible, but the theory isn't too bad.

68
by Jerry :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:28pm

The other thing that the electors do is talk to the people who watch tape. This article is probably close to the presentation that will be made for Dermontti Dawson Saturday; it's more than a writer's half-assed opinion.

73
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:26am

Do some guys attempt to educate themselves? Sure. Then some other guys deliberately take the path of ignorance, like the meathead selector from Dallas a few weeks ago who argued for Alstott being on the All Decade Team.

I just think it would be nice to formally solicit and publish the confidential opinions of guys who live in the film room.

50
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 12:51pm

I had already put together at least a preliminary all-decade team, so here's what I had different. (And I planned to do more research after the Super Bowl to decide it for sure.)

At running back, I had Tiki Barber and Fred Taylor instead of Jamal Lewis and Edgerrin James. I argued with myself quite about between Taylor and James. I don't think there's even a decent argument for taking Lewis or leaving off Barber.

At wide receiver, I took Larry Fitzgerald instead of Torry Holt.

I had no fullback. That's just stupid. People don't use them anymore, so why include one?

At offensive tackle, I had Matt Lepsis instead of Willie Roaf. That one is probably a homer pick, so I would definitely accept that. I also very seriously considered Roaf over Orlando Pace, but I'm probably the only non-Chiefs fan on earth who would.

At guard, I had Brian Waters instead Larry Allen. I have always gotten the impression that Larry Allen was extraordinarily overrated, especially as he aged. I may be wrong and the NFL right on that, because I did not see him often.

At center, I had Tom Nalen instead of Olin Kreutz. I'm not even going to try to debate this.

At linebacker, I had Keith Bulluck and Lance Briggs instead of Joey Porter and DeMarcus Ware. I also had 8 LB (I made a 4-4 team--that seems more fair.) and my last two were Al Wilson (I know, that's probably laughable.) and James Farrior. Ware is certainly good enough to be deserving, but I didn't feel like he was dominant enough to make up for only playing half the decade.

At cornerback, I had Nnamdi Asomugha instead of Ty Law. I really see no way to pick Law over Asomugha. Asomugha is by far the best corner I've ever seen play, and I am a Bronco fan.

Overall, I didn't think it was bad. I, for what that's worth, ended up with the same quarterbacks, tight ends, defensive line, and safeties.

However, I have a question. Did they get rid of the idea of doing them as first- and second-teams like they used to?

53
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:25pm

Several teams still use fullbacks, off the top of my head, Washington, Chicago, SF, Carolina, San Diego, Baltimore. But don't let reality impede you.

59
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 4:00pm

Thank you for your kind response. It's not like you could just have disagreed, no--the obvious response is to say that I am psychotic* for saying "people don't use them anymore."

61
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 5:12pm

I take your point and offer an apology, though I didn't exactly call you psychotic. I just thought that you were pretty dismissive yourself.

62
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:02pm

I accept the apology, and I reciprocate if the psychotic comment was out of line. Psychosis is defined as a break from reality, so it was technically accurate. However, I don't think "normal" (read: non-psychologist) people use the word in that manner, which is confusing and could have made that sound worse than I intended.

You're probably right that I sounded dismissive of fullbacks. I didn't really intend to sound as dismissive of them as I did. I just don't see that there are enough players at the position playing often enough that there's any kind of decent pool from which to draw a player of the decade. I could see disagreement there, certainly, but I did not mean to sound like "screw fullbacks--there aren't any" and I see that my explanation above does rather sound like that.

If I had to pick a fullback for the decade, Lorenzo Neal would undoubtedly be my choice, so I wouldn't have disagreed with the voters anyway.

56
by rageon :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 2:51pm

As a Denver fan, I to thought that Nalen belonged over Kruetz; but I'm not sure I'd agree with Lepsis over Roaf.

63
by The Guy You Don't Want to Hear (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:06pm

I initially had both and left off Orlando Pace, but I decided that it just wasn't possible to leave off Pace.

I honestly can see any two of those three in behind Jones and Ogden without complaint.

52
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 1:22pm

Bryant Young was a much better player than Leroy Glover, better run defender, similar pass rusher even though Glover usually had more talent around him. I think Briggs is a better player than Zach Thomas ever was.

These all decade lists are inherently silly though, trying to fit players into an arbitrary ten year period will inevitably result in very good players missing out for inferior players who better fit the ten year time frame.

67
by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 9:22pm

who is Leroy glover?

82
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:55pm

That's fair enough, my bad.

57
by cowboys fan (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 3:14pm

I say this as a Cowboys fan:

I am an idiot.

I have no scruples.

My favorite team averages a super bowl every 7 years.

We're going to do pretty well in an un-capped year.

64
by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 6:10pm

Snubs: Reggie Wayne, Jason Witten, Jeff Saturday, Jamal Williams, Nnamdi Asomugha, John Lynch.

Eyebrows: Darren Sharper(?), Zach Thomas, La'roi Glover, Olin Kreutz (I know he's a respected guy, but what successful offense has he been a part of, exactly?), Torry Holt (okay, okay, but the long kiss goodnight has been hard to stomach), Jamal Lewis.

If I had to replace Lewis I'd go for Fred Taylor before Tiki Barber. Holmes is just Shaun Alexander in St. Louis, without the long history.

72
by Kibbles :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 12:19am

You know who had the most receiving yards for the entire decade? Torry Holt, and no one else even came close (his closest competitor, Randy Moss, is more than 850 yards behind). Holt had 3201 more yards than Wayne in the '00s, and he had 5 more TDs.

In addition to Holt, 6 other guys had more receiving yards than Wayne this past decade. Moss is 2nd, Owens is 3rd, and Harrison is 5th, with Derrick Mason finishing a surprise 4th. Ward weighs in at 6th, while Ochocinco checks in at 7th. Ochocinco is actually a good comparison, since he entered the league the same year as Wayne. Ocho has 550 more yards, 1 fewer score, 2 more pro bowls, and 2 more first team AP All Pro awards. If you want to award spots on the team based on total value compiled and heavily reward longevity, then I think the voters got the top 4 exactly right, and Ward/Ochocinco/Mason should all stand above Wayne, as well.

If you'd rather reward dominance than longevity, then Holt still rates ahead of Wayne, with 7 pro bowls and one 1st team AP All Pro compared to Wayne's 4 and 0, respectively. I think Steve Smith and Larry Fitzgerald would both stand above Wayne in terms of dominance, too.

Basically, long story short, Wayne is far from a snub. He's not one of the four most deserving players of the decade no matter HOW you measure deserving (either longevity/consistency or outright dominance). I really think that WR was the easiest all-decade position, as the four chosen WRs really were head and shoulders above their peers for the past decade.

81
by Yaguar :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 5:29am

Sharper absolutely belongs. This decade, Sharper has 1330 interception return yards. That exactly matches the total for Deion Sanders's entire seventeen-year career. This decade, he has 9 interception TDs. Only one player, Rod Woodson, has surpassed that number in an entire career. On three different teams, in four different seasons, Sharper has put up dominant, DPOY-level performances as a big-play threat.

In his "bad" seasons, he's good for above-average coverage, average but non-flashy run support, and sixteen games started. At his worst, he's a typical good safety, and at his best, he's perhaps the most terrifying interception threat in league history.

Is he the best safety of all time? No way. Is he the best of the decade? Probably not. Is he among the four best of the decade? Without question.

83
by Kibbles :: Wed, 02/03/2010 - 12:24am

Without question? I think that's far too strong of a sentiment. I think there's a lot of question of whether Sharper is one of the four best of the decade. I've always viewed him as a guy with a propensity for big plays, but without any other major strengths in his game. That's awesome when the big plays are actually coming, such as in 2000, 2005, or 2009 (9 INTs in each of those seasons), but not so good in seasons like 2006-2008, where he totaled 9 INTs over the entire 3-year span.

I don't think there's any question that Dawkins was the gold standard this last decade, with 7 pro bowls and 4 first-team AP All Pro awards. Ed Reed is another slam dunk, with 6 pro bowls and 4 1AP awards (despite not playing the first two seasons of the decade). After that, in my mind, you've got 3 players to consider, and who you pick is going to depend on what you value. Sharper is in the mix with 5 Pro Bowls and 1 1AP award. So is Troy Polamalu (5 PBs, 2 1APs), and John Lynch (7 PBs, 1 1AP award). In my opinion, Polamalu should be a lock after making the pro bowl in all five seasons where he played at least 10 games (as well as bringing back two first-team AP All Pro awards). I can understand someone picking Sharper over Lynch, but I certainly don't think there's "no question" that Sharper deserves to go over Lynch, who was phenomenal early in the decade and who played at a good-to-great level with much, much more consistency than Sharper. Lynch made the pro bowl in 7 of the 8 seasons he played this decade, and for all the talk about those being reputation picks, you have to remember that Lynch was once good enough to earn that reputation in the first place. Besides, while he wasn't always amazing, he was consistently very good.

84
by tuluse :: Wed, 02/03/2010 - 2:24am

This whole discussion makes me said that Mike Brown couldn't stay healthy.

85
by bachslunch :: Wed, 02/03/2010 - 9:06pm

Yaguar, would be very interested to see your thoughts on why interception statistics are actually meaningful. For example, why are INTs better then airtight coverage? Keep in mind that the latter indicates not being thrown on at all, while the former could well indicate a DB who takes big risks and maybe or maybe doesn't do well in coverage as a result, or someone who is seen as weak link and thrown on a lot.

Am thinking there's a reason Deion Sanders may not have high INT totals, as he was considered one of the best cover corners who ever played in the NFL -- at least per Dr. Z.

69
by R. Carney (not verified) :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 10:04pm

I am a bit surprised/frustrated about the anti-Holt sentiment. Its an all-decade team, not an all last three years team. Holt was a staple throughout the decade, 6 1300+ yard seasons, won and contributed in (7-109-td) a Super Bowl (something Moss, Owens and Fitzgerald failed to do) and was consistantly one of the best receivers in football until '08. Can you make an argument for Fitzgerald? I guess, but Holt is the choice due to his consistancy and the fact that his peak years were better than Fitzgerald's (2 1600+ seasons, 2000, 2003). Typical for the what have you done for me latelys to favor Fitzgerald. I love Andre Johnson and think he's the best in the game today but hasn't had the longevity to make an all decade team, but his case is better than Fitzgerald (more ypg, league leader 2x)

70
by Arson55 :: Mon, 02/01/2010 - 11:14pm

I've got no problem with La'Roi Glover on the all decade team. He wasn't just a pass rusher, he was good in run defense too. In his prime, the man could do anything you wanted a defensive tackle to do. He had the quickness to penetrate, and the strength to regularly take on double teams.

Maybe I'm biased though since he's one of my favorite players ever.

80
by Yaguar :: Tue, 02/02/2010 - 5:26am

In that one season, you know the one, he was as good as Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor at their best. In other seasons, I'm not that impressed with him against the run.