Just thought I'd have a little fun with this. Peter King from SI recently displayed his All-Decade Team on the website, so I thought I'd offer my thoughts and analysis on his picks. Here we go.
QB Peyton Manning. Only possible counter argument is Brady, but Manning is the better pure passer. Tom has more Lombardi trophies, but I agree that Peyton is a little bit better overall.
RB / FB LaDainian Tomlinson and Lorenzo Neal. Tomlinson has lost his edge to AP, but hard to argue his amazing productivity the last 6 years. Marshall Faulk was the best in the biz up until about 2002, but after that the decade belonged to LT. Neal was the best blocking fullback and could make a tough yard when you needed one, so both of these guys are worthy.
OT's Walter Jones and Jon Ogden. King actually chose the top two LEFT tackles of this decade rather than taking a left and right tackle, but gives Jon Runyan the honorable mention at RT. Jones is a no brainer and in his prime may have actually been the best player in football, regardless of position. Absolutely amazing player. I'm not sure if Runyan was the #1 right tackle, but that dude was just nasty as hell and one of the game's all time Ironmen.
OG's Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson. I agree with Hutch, but I would take Larry Allen (the Cowboys version) over Faneca. Allen was just an immovable object due to his obscene physical strength. I once remember Brian Urlacher blitzing against Allen where Urlacher had like a 7 yard running start and hit Allen at full speed and the guy didn't even budge. First ballot Hall of Famer.
C Kevin Mawae. If Dermonti Dawson had played this decade, I would have chosen him, but Mawae was the gold standard for a good while. Good choice.
WR's Randy Moss, Hines Ward, and Tony Gonzalez (TE). Gonzo is a slam dunk at tight end. Moss was the game's premier deep threat, so I'll agree. Hines Ward was a brain fart. If playing WR was about just blocking, no problem. But in no way is Ward a greater pass catching threat then either Harrison, Owens, or Holt. Absolutely ridiculous pick. I like Owens here (yes i said it) because of his physicality and run after the catch skills.
DE's Aaron Smith and Jason Taylor. I like Taylor here. He was extremely hard to block with those long arms that made it almost impossible for a O lineman to get to his body. He had a killer first step too. I scratched my head with Aaron Smith. (anyone.....is Peter king a Steelers fan??) I hate to admit it, but Mike Strahan is the appropriate pick here and I could probably name 3 or 4 more guys I would take over Smith.
DT's Jamal and Kevin Williams. Agreed. They are more than wide loads. They also rush the passer. Haynesworth was the most dominant the past two years, but he was considered a bust before that.
LB's Ray Lewis, Derrick Brooks, London Fletcher, Mike Vrabel. Okay....Lewis and Brooks, absolutely. Those two are among the best of all time, not just the decade. Fletcher and Vrabel.....not so sure. I can't put Fletcher ahead of Urlacher at MLB. Urlacher was 260 pounds and ran like a free safety.
DBs Champ Bailey, Antoine Winfield, Brian Dawkins, Ed Reed. All great picks. Bailey was the gold standard for years at cornerback. Reed and Dawkins are potential HOFers. Nnamdi Asomugha and Troy Polamalu would have entered this discussion but they've only played 6 seasons.
P and K. Shane Lechler and Adam Vinitieri. No problems. If I had to stake my life on a field goal, I'd want Adam kicking it.
Did I miss anybody???