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Cooper, Jackson, Scifres and Binn makes USA TODAY "All Joe Team"

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Haterproof2020, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Haterproof2020

    Haterproof2020 BoltTalker

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    Annual All-Joe team: Honoring those who won little acclaim


    The 17th annual All-Joe team honors the overlooked, the overachievers, the hard-working guys named "Joe" (but not the Plumber) who don't grab the headlines.
    The USA TODAY All-Joe team takes its name from Joe Phillips, an NFL defensive tackle for 14 years with the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings.

    The Chiefs signed Phillips in 1992 after his release by the Chargers. Kansas City's problem at the time? Run defense. As then-Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer put it, "We were getting our lunch handed to us."


    TEAM MVPs: Crowning the best for all 32 squads

    The addition of the 300-pound Phillips allowed the team to switch from a scheme of three linemen and four linebackers to four linemen and three linebackers. The Chiefs asked Phillips to line up as the nose tackle and tie up blockers, letting others storm the hole and drill the ballcarriers.


    That's classic grunt work at one of football's truly thankless positions, where the results don't show up in individual statistics, unless they belong to another individual. It wasn't necessary for Phillips to make a lot of tackles, and he didn't.

    He fought off double-team blocks, refused to be moved and made the guys around him better, inspiring the creation of the All-Joe team.

    The NFL's stars wouldn't succeed without the adjacent All-Joes. They would never make the Pro Bowl minus those who perform the grittier tasks. That's one reason the All-Joe team doesn't allow Pro Bowl picks on its roster and it lends bitter truth to its motto: If you work hard, good things will happen — to someone else.

    The All-Joe team, however, has become a springboard to the Pro Bowl. Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff earned All-Joe honors last year and both were named to the Pro Bowl for the first time for their 2008 body of work. Same goes for New York Jets kick returner Leon Washington.

    Other All-Joe alumni who earned subsequent trips to the Pro Bowl include: Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha; New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker; New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen; Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield; Denver Broncos center Casey Wiegmann.

    AFC ALL-JOE TEAM

    OFFENSE

    • OT: David Stewart, Tenn. Nicknamed "Big Country." No missed starts since jumping into the lineup in 2006; Jared Gaither, Balt. Huge figure who can shut down top pass-rushers; Ryan Clady, Den. A No. 1 pick who stepped right in and gives line hopes of a return to greatness.

    • OG: Bobbie Williams, Cin. A team captain who hasn't missed a game since 2006 appendectomy; Brad Butler, Buff. Bills' ground game faded when he went out, perked up (150 yards in three of four games) when he returned; Mike Brisiel, Hou. Texans run to the right side a lot. Helped clear the way for star rookie RB Steve Slaton.

    • C: Jason Brown, Balt. At the heart of a sound run-blocking line that also protected a rookie QB; Justin Hartwig, Pitt. Steadying influence inside with first-year starters flanking him at both guard spots.

    • TE: Marcedes Lewis, Jac. Growing into sound receiver, had most receiving yards by a Jaguars TE in eight years; Dallas Clark, Ind. Dependable receiver who can run in the open field; Heath Miller, Pitt. Excellent blocker on the edge who takes shifts on kickoff, punt and field goal special teams.

    • FB: Ahmard Hall, Tenn. Former U.S. Marine was undrafted, now a three-year starter for a run-loving team; Vonta Leach, Hou. Takes on LBs so Slaton can hit the holes.

    • RB: Sammy Morris, N.E. Old plugger overcame injuries and helped the Patriots' ground game do the same; Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac. Topped all RBs in receptions and receiving yards.

    • QB: Matt Cassel, N.E. Who knew? Passed for 400 yards in consecutive games, which Tom Brady never did; Kerry Collins, Tenn. Another rebirth for ancient head.

    • WR: Vincent Jackson, S.D. First Chargers receiver to surpass 1,000 yards since 2001; Kevin Walter, Hou. Became a clutch receiver but Texans love his downfield blocking; Dwayne Bowe, K.C. Rips through tackles. Most catches and yards in first two seasons of any Chiefs player in history.

    • K: Phil Dawson, Cle. Last player left from the '99 expansion Browns, set club record for FGs this season; Rob Bironas, Tenn. Tremendous accuracy, plus power on kickoffs.

    • KR: Ellis Hobbs, N.E. Explosive returner who is also a starting cornerback; Joshua Cribbs, Cle. Only player in NFL the last two years to lead his team in kickoff return yards, punt return yards and special teams tackles.

    • Off. coord.: Dan Henning, Mia. Coached power running in the past, now big on guile and trickery.

    • Coach: Bill Belichick, N.E. Might have been his finest coaching job, with no playoff berth to show for it.

    DEFENSE

    • DE: Ty Warren, N.E. Sturdy, solid presence who fortifies front against the run, battled nagging groin injury; Shaun Ellis, N.Y. Jets. Led Jets in sacks; Aaron Smith, Pitt. Led Steelers defensive linemen in tackles, draws blockers and frees up sack artist LaMarr Woodley.

    • DT: Haloti Ngata, Balt. Space-eater who makes plays, doubles as FB on goal-line offense; Vince Wilfork, N.E. Wide-body who occupies the middle, pushes the pocket; Kyle Williams, Buff. Second-leading tackler among Bills' defensive linemen was fifth-round pick in 2006.

    • ILB: Stephen Cooper, S.D. Led team in tackles despite missing first four games. Sound in pass coverage; D'Qwell Jackson, Cle. Had 20 tackles and 2 INTs vs. Tennessee, led Browns in tackles; Larry Foote, Pitt. Longest-tenured of the Steelers' backers and the most overlooked in a star-studded constellation.

    • OLB: Rashad Jeanty, Cin. Starter and special teams ace who had played in Canada; Justin Durant, Jac. Active tackler who gets in the backfield and makes hits for losses; Jamie Winborn, Den. Eight-year vet played mostly with two rookies, had second 100-tackle season and set emotional tone for injury-battered defense.

    • CB: Jabari Greer, Buff. Undrafted free agent in 2004, he had two INT returns for TDs; Kelvin Hayden, Ind. "Reminds me a lot of Ronde Barber," says recently departed Colts coach Tony Dungy, who helped develop both; Brandon Carr, K.C. First Chiefs rookie to start 16 games at CB since 1984. Division II player picked in fifth round played most snaps of any Chiefs defender.

    • S: Melvin Bullitt, Ind. Undrafted in 2007, this super sub for Bob Sanders led Colts in INTs with four; Yeremiah Bell, Mia. Dolphins' leading tackler is always around the ball (a sack, three forced fumbles); Ryan Clark, Pitt. Team's second-leading tackler and a solid hitter.

    • P: Mike Scifres, S.D. Any doubts? Go watch a rerun of the playoff win against Indianapolis and see what those boomers did for field position; Sam Koch, Balt. Can boot them long or drop them neatly inside the 20.

    • PR: Johnnie Lee Higgins, Oak. Three TDs on punt returns, four more on receptions.

    • ST: Antwuan Molden, Hou. Rookie proved to be solid tackler, recovered one fumble; Montell Owens, Jac. Scored TDs on faked punt and fumble return.

    • Def. coord.: Dick LeBeau, Pitt. Belongs in Pro Football Hall of Fame for sterling career as player and as creative force behind the zone blitz.

    • Special teams: Bobby April, Buff. Even with stud returner Roscoe Parrish often hurt, Bills' specials excelled again.

    • Long snapper: David Binn, S.D. Old reliable is last remaining Charger from the 1994 Super Bowl team.

    NFC ALL-JOE TEAM

    OFFENSE

    • OT: Marc Columbo, Dal. Started 48 in a row, is a mauling run-blocker who improved his pass blocking; David Diehl, N.Y. Giants. Undersized, a guard at tackle, he has heard it all and keeps proving critics wrong; Todd Weiner, Atl. Made 11 starts for injured rookie Sam Baker, played on a gimpy knee and persevered by dint of will.

    • OG: Anthony Herrera, Minn. A rookie free agent in 2004, he became a starter in '07 and helped open holes for Adrian Peterson despite a shoulder injury; Todd Herremans, Phi. Former tackle in fourth year at left guard may have been Eagles' most consistent blocker; Roberto Garza, Chi. Started every game the last three seasons, helped Bears re-establish the run.

    • C: Eric Heitmann, S.F. Niners line should return intact next year and Heitmann holds it together; Todd McClure, Atl. The glue of this o-line has started 112 consecutive games.

    • TE: John Gilmore, T.B. A hammer as a run blocker, he hit career highs in catches and yards as well; John Carlson, Sea. Hey, rookie. Get up on your chair and sing that college fight song; Jim Kleinsasser, Minn. Punishing blocker on run-oriented team.

    • FB: Leonard Weaver, Sea. Multi-faceted contributor who can play RB; Madison Hedgecock, N.Y. Giants. They have Earth, Wind and Fire and Hedgecock, an earth-mover.

    • RB: Pierre Thomas, N.O., Undrafted free agent in 2006, he had to replace Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush while also returning kickoffs; Derrick Ward, N.Y. Giants. He and Brandon Jacobs each rushed for 1,000 yards, last done by a pair of RBs on the same team in 1985.

    • QB: Aaron Rodgers, G.B. Handled the Brett Favre affair with grace and played well though Packers slipped; Shaun Hill, S.F. Kept playing well at the end of the season when all else has failed.

    • WR: Antonio Bryant, T.B. Out of football a year ago, he became the productive receiver the Buccaneers have long sought; Lance Moore, N.O. Undrafted in 2005, stepped up this year with injuries felling other pass-catchers and led Saints in receptions and TD catches; Steve Breaston, Ariz. Third receiver in potent passing game and a solid punt returner whose offseason work set an example for other young players.

    • K: Jason Hanson, Det. This 17-year veteran is the only kicker in NFL history to make six 50-yard FGs without a miss; Matt Bryant, T.B. Overcame loss of infant son, playing through sorrow.

    • KOR: Rock Cartwright, Wash. Made big returns at key times; Allen Rossum, S.F. Old reliable averaged 14.9 yards per punt return, returned one kickoff for a TD.

    • Off. coord.: Mike Mularkey, Atl. Creative play-caller nurturing a rookie QB.

    • Coach: Ken Whisenhunt, Ariz. To the brink of the Super Bowl in his second season? With the Cardinals? He dreamed the impossible dream.

    DEFENSE

    • DE: Trent Cole, Phi. Plays in the opponent's backfield; John Abraham, Atl. Had nearly half (16.5) of Falcons' 34 sacks; Aaron Kampmann, G.B. Solid, steady, rock-like presence.

    • DT: Jonathan Babineaux, Atl. Penetrator who makes tackles for losses, becoming a sound inside pass-rusher; Barry Cofield, N.Y. Giants. Underrated run stuffer overshadowed by marquee pass rushers; Mike Patterson, Phi. He and Broderick Bunkley anchored the inside for a defense that allowed 92.5 rushing yards a game. A shared honor here.

    • ILB: London Fletcher, Wash. Has missed one start in last 10 years, always leads his team in tackles, never makes the Pro Bowl; Barrett Ruud, T.B. "Never comes off the field," former coach Jon Gruden said of his leading tackler; Gerald Hayes, Ariz. Active guy with three consecutive seasons of more than 100 tackles.

    OLB: Thomas Davis, Car. Second on Panthers in tackles with career-high 136, nine for loss; Chad Greenway, Minn. No sacks in '07, 5.5 in '08. Back-to-back seasons with more than 100 tackles; Danny Clark, N.Y. Giants. Moved in after Mathias Kiwanuka returned to DE.

    • CB: Chris Gamble, Car. Five-year vet is second on Panthers' all-time list with 20 picks, had career-high 103 tackles; Sheldon Brown, Phi. Seven-year vet has played in 96 consecutive games, third-most as his position among active players; Corey Webster, N.Y. Giants. Led team in passes defensed and tied for team lead with 3 INTs.

    • S: Kevin Payne, Chi. Missed most of rookie season with broken arm, bounced back to lead Bears with four INTs. Tanard Jackson, T.B. "A relentless worker," says new head coach Raheem Morris. Quintin Mikell, Phi. Now the equal of backfield mate Brian Dawkins.

    • P: Donnie Jones, St. Louis. Gross punting average of 50 yards ranks second in NFL history; Chris Kluwe, Minn. Six punts of 50 or more yards … in one game.

    • PR: Will Blackmon, G.B. Scored twice on returns; Reggie Bush, N.O. Three TDs on punt returns despite limited playing time.

    • ST: Kevin Burnett, Dal. Team's leading special teams tackler also plays MLB in nickel and dime coverage schemes; Garrett Wolfe, Chi. Smallest guy on the team became special teams force.

    • Def. coord.: Jim Johnson, Phi. Crafty old blitzer restored Eagles defensive intensity.

    • Special teams: Dave Toub, Chi. Bears remain masters of blocked kicks, field position and directional punting.

    • Long snapper: Chris Massey, St. Louis. One bad snap in eight years and also gets downfield to make tackles on punt coverage team.
     
  2. Haterproof2020

    Haterproof2020 BoltTalker

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    Good job guys. Theres a lot of big names on that list. :icon_party:
     
  3. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Nice to see Binn and SciFi get some well deserved recognition! VJ and Cooper too :yes:
     
  4. ESCOBAR 92113

    ESCOBAR 92113 BoltTalker

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    cooper is turning out to be a NICE player....Jackson is exciting, Rivers has good chemistry with him.
     

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