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Best Players To Wear Every Number

Part 8: Numbers 70-79

The Pug (Anthony Pugliese) takes a look at the best players in NFL history to wear every number from 0(00) up to 99. In the eighth part of a ten part series, The Pug tells you who the best players in NFL history to wear jersey numbers 70-79 were(or are).

If you missed the first seven parts, click the links below to see 0-69

0-9               10-19               20-29               30-39               40-49               50-59               60-69

#70: Jim Marshall, Defensive End: Another close call for a former Bucs player on this list, but Marshall and his huge role for the ‘Purple People Eaters’ takes number 70. Originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 1960 NFL draft, he was traded to the expansion Minnesota Vikings team where he finished out his career. Marshall finished second all-time in consecutive starts, including the playoffs, at 289. Although sacks weren’t an official NFL stat during his playing time, he ranked second all-time in Vikings history 127 sacks, and played in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances in the 1970’s. Marshall retired following the 1979 season; he was the last player to retire from the original 1961 expansion team. Marshall will unfortunately always be remembered for scooping up a fumble against the 49ers in 1964 and running 66 yards the wrong way. When he made it to the end zone, thinking he scored a touchdown, he threw the ball out of bounds, resulting in a safety. Honorable Mention: Logan Mankins

#71: Walter Jones, Offensive Tackle: Walter Jones takes 71 with ease. Jones was a first round pick by the Seattle Seahawks, and spent the next 12 years protecting the quarterback for the Seahawks. Two impressive stats come to mind when referring to Walter Jones. Jones only gave up a total of 23 sacks of the 5,500 pass attempts that were made with him on the field. He was also only penalized for holding nine time over the course of his career which is incredibly low. Jones was also a huge part for the successes of Ricky Waters and Shawn Alexander. His number 71 jersey was retired after he suffered a knee injury that essentially ended his career. Walter was accepted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after nine Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro selections in 2014, which was his first year of eligibility. Honorable Mention: Willie Anderson

#72: Edward Jones, Defensive End: His name might not jump out at you, but he sneaks by a Hall of Famer. Better known by his nickname Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones, he played his entire 15 year career with the Dallas Cowboys. Drafted with the first pick overall in the 1974 NFL draft, Jones became a starter in 1975 and won Super Bowl XII with the Cowboys in 1977. In 1978 he decided to leave football to try his hand at a professional boxing career and going 6-0, before ultimately returning to football and the Cowboys in 1980. Although it wasn’t an official stat at the time Jones had a knack for knocking down passes at the line thanks to his 6’9″ stature. He unofficially finished his three time Pro Bowl and All-Pro career with 1,032 tackles and 106 sacks. Honorable Mention: Dan Dierdorf

#73: John Hannah, Offensive Guard: Proclaimed in 1981 by Sports Illustrated to be “The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time”, John Hannah played his entire 13 year career with the New England Patriots. He was a cog in the 1978 Patriots team that set a still standing record of 3,165 rushing yards in a season. His accolades are amazing. Ten All-Pro selections, nine Pro Bowls, four NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year awards, and a member of the all 70’s and all 80’s All-Decade teams. He retired after helping to bring New England to Super Bowl XX. For recognition of his fantastic career, Hannah had his number 73 retired by the Patriots and was enshrined in Canton in 1991. Honorable Mention: Larry Allen

#74: Bruce Matthews, Guard, Center, Offensive Tackle: The first round pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1983 NFL draft, Matthews was an amazing lineman for the Houston/Tennessee franchise who played every position in the trenches. Matthews played in 296 NFL games before retiring after the 2001 season, which is a record for offensive lineman. Hawaii became essentially a second home for him as he was voted to the Pro Bowl 14 times during his career, something only accomplished by Merlin Olsen and Peyton Manning. Matthews was also honored with ten first-team All-Pro selections en route to having the number 74 retired by the Tennessee Titans. Bruce earned is spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Honorable Mention: Merlin Olsen

#75: Joe Greene, Defensive Tackle: Another player on the list better known by his nickname, ‘Mean Joe Greene’ was a first round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent his entire career. A huge part of the ‘Steel Curtain’ defense that won four Super Bowls, Greene was a player that wore his emotions on his sleeve, which occasionally landed him in trouble. Considered by many to be the best defensive tackle in NFL history, Greene played in 181 games with the Steelers and recorded 78.5 (unofficial) sacks and 16 fumble recoveries, both impressive for a defensive lineman. After ten Pro Bowl selections and five first-team All Pro honors, the Steelers retired the number 75 in his honor. Mean Joe Greene was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. No one will ever forget his role in the Coke commercial that is widely considered to be the greatest commercial of all time. “Hey kid, nice catch!”. Honorable Mention: Howie Long

#76: Orlando Pace, Offensive Tackle: The first overall pick in the 1997 NFL draft, Pace was a dominant tackle for some equally dominating Rams teams during the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ era. Pace was the anchor of a dominant offensive line the Rams boasted, and played at an All-Pro level until a 2007 knee injury took him out for the year, and he was never quite the same. He played for a final season with the Chicago Bears in 2009 before finally deciding to retire with seven Pro Bowl appearances and three first-team All-Pro selections under his belt. Pace is slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the 2016 class in August. Honorable Mention: Steve Wisniewski

#77: Willie Roaf, Offensive Tackle: When you work in the trenches, and your nickname is ‘Nasty’, you know you are respected in the NFL. The 11 time Pro Bowler played for nine years with the New Orleans Saints and four years with the Kansas City Chiefs. Roaf was a first round draft pick by the Saints that left the team via trade after suffering a knee injury in 2001 that he returned from in dominant form, making the Pro Bowl in each of his final four seasons. Overall, Roaf made 11 Pro Bowl rosters, and ultimately was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, his second year of eligibility. Honorable Mention: Jim Tyrer

#78: Bruce Smith, Defensive End: The NFL’s all time leader in sacks(200), Smith was a number one overall pick by the Buffalo Bills who didn’t disappoint. Bruce played for 19 seasons, and recorded ten or more sacks in 13 of them. He finished out his last four seasons of his career in Washington after being dumped by the Bills for salary cap reasons. Smith won the Defensive Player of the Year Award three times on top of being an 11 time Pro-Bowler and receiving nine first- team All-Pro selections. Smith made the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame in 2008, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, and had his number officially retired by the Bills this year, although no one has worn it since he left. Honorable Mention: Anthony Munoz

#79: Ray Childress, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End: Taken third overall in the 1985 NFL draft, Childress started his career as a defensive end for five years, then spent the last seven years of his career controlling the inside. In 1992, he had 13 sacks playing a defensive tackle, an amazing amount from that position. Childress was not just a pass rush specialist though he was also very effective against the run. Childress was the anchor of a successful defensive unit that was a big part of the Oilers making the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons. He finished his career after the 1996 season where he was a backup player with the Dallas Cowboys. When Childress retired, he had accumulated 887 tackles and 76.5 sacks which earned him five Pro Bowl appearances and three first-team All-Pro honors. Honorable Mention: Jacob Green

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