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Best Players To Wear Every Number

Part 5: Numbers 40-49

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 fifth part of a ten part series, The Pug tells you who the best players in NFL history to wear jersey numbers 40-49 were(or are).

If you missed the first four parts, click the links below to see 0-39

0-9               10-19               20-29               30-39

#40: Dick Anderson, Safety: A third round draft choice, Dick Anderson was a huge part of the no name defense for Miami that helped them win two championships, including a perfect season. He was the first individual defensive back to be inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. Anderson has a four interception game to his credit,  one of 13 players in NFL history to do so. Anderson retired after nine seasons, all of which with the Dolphins with 34 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries, and four touchdowns on his resume. Anderson found success after football in business and even became a Florida State Senator. Honorable Mention: James Hasty and Mike Alstott

#41: Eugene Robinson, Free Safety: Robinson saw his fair share of ups and downs during the course of his career. An undrafted player, Robinson played for the Seahawks, Falcons, Packers, and Panthers. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers, and played in a Super Bowl with the Falcons. The night before his Super Bowl appearance with the Falcons, he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. He returned his Bart Starr award given to players with outstanding leadership and character, and played poorly in the Super Bowl as a result. He retired with 1,413 tackles, 57 interceptions, and 22 fumble recoveries. Only 11 players in NFL history have had more interceptions. He is currently a color analyst for the Carolina Panthers. Honorable Mention: Phil Villapiano

#42: Ronnie Lott, Cornerback, Safety: Considered by many to be the best safety to ever play the game, Lott played for the 49ers, Jets, and Raiders over the span of a 14 year career. A first round pick, Lott was selected as a first-team All-Pro an astonishing eight times, and also notched four Super Bowl victories. No one could sniff out a play better than Lott in the backfield and the result was he finished his career with 1,146 tackles, 63 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries. Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, Lott has also had his number 42 retired by the San Francisco 49ers, and he is also a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.                            Honorable Mention: Paul Warfield

#43: Troy Polamalu, Strong Safety: A player with a great knack for sniffing out plays, Polamalu was known for two things, being as tough as they come, and his hair. Polamalu was the only player in Steelers history drafted in the first round, and it payed off.  A four time first-team All-Pro, Polamalu also has two Super Bowl rings to his credit.  He retired in 2015 sporting 778 tackles, 108 pass deflections, 32 interceptions and five total touchdowns. His number is no longer being issued by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the place where he spent his entire career.                              Honorable Mention: Larry Brown

#44: Dick LeBeau, Cornerback: When the name Dick LeBeau is mentioned, right away thoughts of one of the greatest defensive coaches of all time pop into your head, but he was also a fantastic cornerback for the Detroit Lions 1959-1972. Perhaps the most impressive item to note about LeBeau is he has been on an NFL field for 57 consecutive seasons, 14 as a player and 43 as a coach. LeBeau retired from the Lions in 1972 with 62 career interceptions. He is also the mastermind behind creating the zone blitz scheme as a defensive coordinator. LeBeau was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010 and is currently the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans.                                  Honorable Mention: John Riggins

#45: Dave Grayson, Cornerback, Safety: Grayson was an undrafted cornerback out of Oregon in 1961 who played for the Texans/Chiefs and Raiders during the times of the AFL. Grayson is the all-time leader in interceptions for the AFL with 47 and was selected to the AFL All-Star team six times on top of being a first-team All-Pro four times. He was also a decent return man averaging 25.4 yards on 110 career kickoff returns. His career accomplishments earned him a spot on the American Football League All-time Team. Honorable Mention: Gary Fencik

#46: Tim McDonald, Strong Safety: Drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 1987 NFL draft, McDonald has six Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl championship on his resume. Mcdonald was known around the league as a punishing tackler and a fantastic humanitarian. McDonald had 40 career interceptions, 1,138 total tackles and 16 fumble recoveries when he retired. Tim is currently the defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills. Honorable Mention: Herman Edwards

#47: Mel Blount, Cornerback: Bucs fans may be upset to read this but Blount wins best player to sport the number 47. A huge part of the success of the dominant Steelers teams in the 1970’s, Blount played his entire career in Pittsburgh that included four first-team All-Pro awards, four Super Bowl championships and a NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 after accumulating 57 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries over the course of his career. Blount is also a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and his number 47 is no longer issued by the Pittsburgh Steelers.                            Honorable Mention: John Lynch 

#48: Stephen Davis, Running Back: Although there is nothing eye popping for number 48, Stephen Davis had himself a few fantastic seasons. Davis was a fourth round pick by the Washington Redskins in the 1996 NFL draft. He spent his first three seasons working as a fullback and in a back up roll. When given his chance to start in 1999, he didn’t disappoint. Davis led the league in rushing that season posting 1,405 rushing yards, setting a Redskins franchise rushing record. He also scored 17 touchdowns; all in just 14 games. He broke his own rushing record in 2001 with 1,432 yards. He left Washington two years later, and was a huge part of the NFC Championship Carolina Panthers team in 2003, rushing for 1,444 yards. He called it a career after dealing with nagging injuries with 8,052 yards and 65 touchdowns. Honorable Mention: Wes Hopkins

#49: Bobby Mitchell, Running Back, Wide Receiver: Mitchell started his career out as a running back, teaming up with Jim Brown to form one of the most dynamic running back duos in NFL history. He was successful as a running back averaging 5.3 yards per carry, but also was one of the more successful players to transition to a new position on offense when he became a wide receiver after joining the Redskins, easily breaking the 1,000 yard mark in his first two seasons in Washington. He retired averaging 15.3 yards per catch and 83 total touchdowns en route to being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Honorable Mention: Dennis Smith

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