Buffalo Bills

The Battle of the Eras

A few weeks ago, Adam Nannini and I began a series on our NFL Basement podcast called “Battle of the Eras.” Catchy, right? The concept is simple. We are both constructing a 53-man roster, position by position. Adam is using only players from the “classic” era, meaning they were in their prime before 1980. Nate is creating his roster with “modern” era players who started their careers after 1980.

This series is great if you’d like to learn a little more about NFL History and the context of the modern era game! You’ll learn about rule changes, trend setters, forgotten names, style changes, and more.

To listen to the “Battle of the Eras” series on the NFL Basement, be sure to subscribe to the Buffalo Fanatics Podcast Network! It’s on every major platform like Apple and Stitcher.

iTunes: http://apple.co/33c3dBg

The Setup

Here is a quick breakdown of what the roster numbers will be:

QB (3)
RB (4)
FB (2)
WR (6)
OL (9)
DT (4)
DE (4)
LB (5)
CB (5)
TE (4)
S (4)
LS (1)
K (1)
P (1)

Each week on the NFL Basement, we select our players for a given position. We defend our choices and debate one another’s picks. The goal is not to necessarily pick the best and most talented players at each position but to construct the best team. For example, if you were creating the best band of all time, you’d want your lead singer, guitarists, and drummer to fit together.

Current Picks

So far, we have selected four positions: wide receiver, cornerback, tight end, and safety. If you’ve missed those episodes of the NFL Basement, what the hell are you doing with your time? In any case, here are the rosters as they currently stand.

Adam’s Classic Team

Wide Receiver:

Paul Warfield
Cleveland Browns 1964-1969; 1976-1977, Miami Dolphins 1970-1974
» Two-time Super Bowl champion, One-time NFL champion
» Voted to 8 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 8,565 career receiving yards and scored 85 career touchdowns

Raymond Berry
Baltimore Colts 1955-1967
» Two-time NFL champion
» Voted to 6 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 9,275 career receiving yards and scored 68 career touchdowns

Bob Hayes
Dallas Cowboys 1965-1974, San Francisco 49ers 1975
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 3 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 7,414 career receiving yards and 71 career receiving touchdowns

Lance Alworth
San Diego Chargers 1962-1970, Dallas Cowboys 1971-1972
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 7 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 6 times
» Had 10,266 receiving yards and scored 85 receiving touchdowns

Don Hutson
Green Bay Packers 1935-1945
» Three-time NFL champion
» Voted to 4 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 8 times
» Recorded 7,991 receiving yards and 99 career receiving touchdowns

John Stallworth
Pittsburgh Steelers, 1974-1987
» Four-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 3 Pro Bowls, one-time First Team All-Pro
» 537 career receptions, 8,723 receiving yards, 63 receiving touchdowns

Cornerback:

Mel Blount
Pittsburgh Steelers, 1970-1983
» Four-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 5 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 57 career interceptions

Dick “Night Train” Lane
Los Angeles Rams, 1952-1953; Chicago Cardinals, 1954-1959; Detroit Lions, 1960-1965
» Voted to 7 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 68 career interceptions, which ranks No. 4 on the all-time list

Mike Haynes
New England Patriots, 1976-1982; Los Angeles Raiders, 1983-1989
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 46 career interceptions

Wille Brown
Denver Broncos, 1963-1966; Oakland Raiders, 1967-1978
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 5 times
» 54 career interceptions

Herb Adderly
Green Bay Packers, 1961-1969; Dallas Cowboys, 1970-1972
» Three-time Super Bowl Champion, Five-time NFL champion
» Voted to 5 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 48 career interceptions, seven returned for touchdowns

Tight End:

Mike Ditka
Chicago Bears, 1961-1966; Philadelphia Eagles, 1967-1968; Dallas Cowboys, 1969-1972
» One-time NFL champion and one-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to Pro Bowl 5 times, First Team All-Pro 5 times
» 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns

Dave Casper
Oakland/L.A. Raiders, 1974–1980, 1984; Houston Oilers, 1980–1983; Minnesota Vikings, 1983
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to Pro Bowl 5 times, First Team All-Pro 5 times
» 378 receptions for 5,216 yards and 52 touchdowns

Jackie Smith
St. Louis Cardinlas, 1963-1977; Dallas Cowboys, 1978
» Voted to 5 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 480 receptions for 7,918 yards (most ever by tight end at time of retirement)
» 40 touchdowns

John Mackey
Baltimore Colts, 1963-1971; San Diego Chargers, 1972
» One-time NFL champion and one-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to Pro Bowl 5 times, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» Finished career with 331 receptions for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns

Safety:

Emlen Tunnell
New York Giants, 1948-1958; Green Bay Packers, 1959-1961
» Two-time NFL champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 79 career interceptions

Jack Tatum
Oakland Raiders, 1971-1979; Houston Oilers, 1980
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 3 Pro Bowls
» 37 career interceptions

Paul Krause
Washington Redskins, 1964-1967; Minnesota Vikings, 1968-1979
» Voted to 8 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 81 career interceptions (most in NFL history)

Ken Riley
Cincinnati Bengals, 1969-1983
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 65 career interceptions

Nate’s Modern Team

Wide Receiver:

Randy Moss
Minnesota Vikings 1998-2004; 2010, Oakland Raiders 2005-2006, New England Patriots 2007-2009; 2010, Tennessee Titans 2010, San Francisco 49ers 2012
» Voted to 6 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» Recorded 15,292 career receiving yards
» Scored 156 career receiving touchdowns
» Holds NFL records for most receiving touchdowns in single season (23)

Jerry Rice
San Francisco 49ers 1985-2000, Oakland Raiders 2001-2004, Seattle Seahawks 2004
» Three-time Super Bowl champion
» Super Bowl XXIII MVP
» Voted to 13 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 10 times
» Had 22,895 receiving yards and scored an NFL-record 197 touchdowns while adding an NFL-best 1,549 career receptions

Steve Smith
Carolina Panthers, 2001-2013, Baltimore Ravens, 2014-2016
» Voted to 5 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 1,031 receptions, 14,731 receiving yards.
» No. 8 all time in receiving yards

Tim Brown
Los Angeles Raiders 1988-1994, Oakland Raiders 1995-2003, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2004
» 1,094 receptions, 14,934 receiving yards
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls
» 100 career receiving touchdowns

Larry Fitzgerald
Arizona Cardinals, 2004-present
» Voted to 10 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro one time
» Holds NFL record of four consecutive playoff games with at least 100 yards receiving.
» No. 3 on the all-time receptions list with 1,12

Calvin Johnson
Detroit Lions, 2007-2015
» Voted to 6 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» Holds NFL’s single-season receiving yardage record with 1,964 yards in 2012
» Third-highest receiving yards per game (86.1) in NFL history

Cornerback:

Charles Woodson
Oakland Raiders, 1998-2005, 2013-2015; Green Bay Packers, 2006-2012
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 65 career interceptions, returned 11 for touchdowns
» Defensive Player of the Year (2009)

Champ Bailey
Washington Redskins 1999-2003; Denver Broncos, 2004-2013
» Voted to 12 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» 52 career interceptions, four returned for touchdowns

Darrell Green
Washington Redskins, 1983-2002
» Two-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 7 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro one time
» 54 career interceptions

Deion Sanders
Atlanta Falcons, 1989-1993; San Francisco 49ers, 1994; Dallas Cowboys, 1995-1999; Washington Redskins, 2000; Baltimore Ravens, 2004-2005
» Two-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 8 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 6 times
» 53 career interceptions, returned nine of those for touchdowns

Rod Woodson
New England Patriots, 1976-1982; Los Angeles Raiders, 1983-1989
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 46 career interceptions

Tight End:

Tony Gonzalez
Kansas City Chiefs, 1997-2008; Atlanta Falcons, 2009-2013
» Voted to NFL-record 14 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 6 times
» Holds NFL records for career receiving yards (15,127), receptions (1,325) and touchdowns (111) for tight end

Shannon Sharpe
» Three-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to Pro Bowl 8 times, First Team All-Pro 3 times
» Finished career with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns

Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots, 2010-2019
» Two-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to Pro Bowl 4 times, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 405 receptions for 6,095 yards and 68 touchdowns

Jason Witten
Dallas Cowboys, 2003-2018
» Voted to Pro Bowl 10 times, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 1,089 receptions for 11,388 yards and 63 touchdowns
» Has four 1,000-yard seasons

Safety:

Ronnie Lott
San Francisco 49ers, 1981-1990; Oakland Raiders, 1991-1992; New York Jets, 1993-1994
» Four-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 10 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 6 times
» 63 career interceptions

Ed Reed
Baltimore Ravens, 2002-2012; Houston Texans, 2013; New York Jets, 2013
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 5 times
» 64 career interceptions

Troy Polamalu
Pittsburgh Steelers, 2003-2014
» Two-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 8 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 4 times
» 32 career interceptions

John Lynch
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1993-2003; Denver Broncos, 2004-2007
» One-time Super Bowl champion
» Voted to 9 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro 2 times
» 26 career interceptions

The Rosters to Come

The “Battle of the Eras” is just getting started. We still have several positions to select including Quarterback, Running Back, Defensive Line and Offensive Line. Don’t miss the next episode of the NFL Basement as we select our running backs and fullbacks. Also, feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and give us your thoughts. Who is building the most dominant roster, Adam or Nate?

And if you’d like to listen to these podcasts, be sure to subscribe to the Buffalo Fanatics podcast network where you’ll get great shows like The Bills Guys, The NFL Basement, The Overreaction Podcast, and many more!

You can subscribe on Apple, Stitcher, and every major podcast app.

iTunes: http://apple.co/33c3dBg

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