Defensive Backs

NFL Defensive Backs have a reputation for being mean, hard-hitting guys. And many defensive backs like "Mean" Joe Greene, Dick Butkus and Ronnie Lott were just that.


Jack Lambert was named All-Pro seven times in a nine-year span and played in nine straight Pro Bowls. His career was cut short due to a turf toe injury that destroyed much of his speed and agility.

Willie Lanier one of the best middle linebackers to play was All-Pro All-AFL or All-AFC every year from 1968-75. He was known for chasing ball carriers down with a ferocity that was unmatched by other players at the time. Learn about Willie Lanier.

Ronnie Lott had speed strength and a knowledge of the game that set him apart from other defensive backs. He'd sense the direction a play was about to take and disrupt it any way possible.

Joe Greene went from being unknown to being the most dominating lineman of his time. An integral part of the Steelers defense, Greene was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969. Read more about the intelligent and friendly Joe Greene.

Jack Ham was a small linebacker who never expected his career to last for 12 glory-filled years. He retired in 1982 after amassing 32 pass interceptions and 19 fumble recoveries from opponents.

Ray Nitschke was a ruthless middle linebacker but an all-around nice guy off the field. He recovered two fumbles and deflected a pass in the 1962 title game and was named MVP of the game.

Mike Haynes managed 46 interceptions during his career, helping him get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He made a large impact with the Raiders and played a major role in their title run in 1983.

Ted Hendricks recovered 16 fumbles and intercepted 26 passes in 15 seasons. He retired in 1983 and was later elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Ken Houston set an NFL record by returning nine interceptions for touchdowns with the Oilers. He earned All-NFC or All-Pro honors seven times and played in 10 Pro Bowls. Discover more about Football Hall of Famer Ken Houston.

Larry Wilson was the All-Pro Safety for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was an outstanding coverage player, led the league with 10 interceptions in 1966 and retired with a team record of 52 interceptions.

Rod Woodson was a three-time NFL MVP during his career as a defensive back. He set a record for the most Pro Bowl appearances by a defensive back with 11 and made the NFL 75th Anniversary Team in 1994. Get stats and bio information on Rod Woodson.

Joe Schmidt was one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL. He helped develop the middle linebacker position into the dominant pro defensive position. Schmidt entered the Hall of Fame in 1973.

Chuck Bednarik was a great football player who effortlessly switched between offensive center and linebacker. He was known as a tough hitter. Read about how a tough hit from Bednarik left Frank Gifford lying unconscious on the ground.

Bobby Bell was a great defensive player and was inaugurated into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. His career spanned 12 years, and in that time, he amassed 26 interceptions, six of which were returned for touchdowns. Learn about Bobby Bell's achievements.

Mel Blount played in five Pro Bowls and holds the Steelers' record for most interceptions. He was one of the best cornerbacks of his era and part of the reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers were the most dominant team in the '70s.

The "Maestro of Mayhem" Dick Butkus was a one-man wrecking crew on the football field. Butkus was known for his punishing hits and desire to be the best player on the field. He was elected to the Hall in 1979. Read about this agile player and his great achievements.

Herb Adderley played cornerback for nine seasons with the Packers and three more with the Dallas Cowboys. Adderly was known as being one of the best cornerbacks professional football has ever seen. Learn about football legend Herb Adderley.

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