The NFL is an acronym for the National Football League. The NFL is the governing body for the league and is responsible for organizing the teams, their games and the business of professional football.
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Tom Fears was an extremely precise catcher who set records only to break them himself. He led the league in receptions in his first three seasons as a pro. Fears was known for running precise routes. Read about Tom Fears' triumphs with the Los Angeles Rams.
Len Ford was one of the best defensive players in pro football history, playing in six championships with the Browns. He needed facial reconstruction due to an injury, but was able to come back and play for a championship in 1950.
Dan Fortmann joined the Chicago Bears in 1936 and became the youngest NFL starter. He retired from football in 1943 and became a highly respected doctor on the West Coast. Find out how Dan Fortmann wen from football field to medical field.
Bill George started out in a middle guard position but found his full strength as a linebacker. His talents on defense helped him get elected to eight Pro Bowls and a Hall of Fame induction in 1972. Learn how Bill George excelled at middle linebacker.
Otto Graham was approached by Paul Brown to join the Cleveland Browns in the new AAFC league. His passing abilities and leadership skills helped keep the Cleveland Browns at the top of the standings for 10 years.
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.
John Hannah was a small lineman with a big attitude. He was named Offensive Lineman of the Year four times and was also voted onto nine Pro Bowl teams. Read about John "Ham Hocks" Hannah and the feats that got him into the Hall of Fame.
Franco Harris led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl victories. He retired in in 1984 after amassing 12,120 rushing yards, which was ranked third overall at the time. Read about Franco Harris, the NFL's intelligent and agile fullback.
Roger Staubach, known as "Captain Comeback," led the Cowboys to fourth-quarter comebacks 23 times. In his career, he posted stats of 2,958 attempts 1,685 completions 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns.
Jim Taylor's accomplishments as fullback for Green Bay were unfortunately overshadowed by the hype around Jim Brown. His greatest season came in 1962, when he posted 1474 rushing yards and topped all players.
Lawrence Taylor redefined the linebacker position with his ability to change the outcome of a game. Taylor played in 10 Pro-Bowls and was named the league MVP after making a career-high 20 sacks.
Emlen Tunnell was the first African American in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement in 1961, he held the records for interceptions, interception yardage, punt returns and punt return yardage. Learn more about New York Giant Emlen Tunnell.
Nicknamed "the Dutchman," Norm Van Brocklin could do everything on a football field but run. In his career, he passed for 23,611 yards and 173 touchdowns. Van Brocklin also punted 523 times.
Defensive tackle Merlin Olsen was with the Rams for eight years and was named to the Pro Bowl 14 times. He was a natural leader that successfully merged his physical skills with his mental abilities.
Jerry Rice set many records in his 20 seasons of playing football and is considered the greatest receiver of all time. In his career, he amassed amazing totals of 22,895 receiving yards 207 touchdowns and 1,549 receptions.
Mel Hein was possibly the best two-way center ever to play and the first center to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was selected the Most Valuable Player in 1938 -- a great honor for an interior lineman.
Clarke Hinkle was the leading rusher in NFL history with 3,860 yards. He entered the Coast Guard after retiring in 1941. Learn about Clarke Hinkle, one of the greatest all-around fullbacks.
Deacon Jones is considered by many to be the best defensive end ever to play in the NFL. He was named the NFL's outstanding defensive player twice and elected to play in eight Pro Bowls. Learn more about the innovative David "Deacon" Jones.
Bob Waterfield quarterbacked the Cleveland Rams to the NFL championship in 1945. In his career, he totaled 573 points on 13 TDs, 315 PATs and 60 field goals. Learn more about Bob Waterfield's successful pro football career.
Reggie White was a defensive end with one of the best sack records of all time. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year five times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
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.
Sonny Jurgensen was a classic drop-back passer known for his pinpoint passing abilities. Unfortunately, his playing time decreased in his later years due to a defensive-minded coach.
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.
Gale Sayers, at 34, was the youngest player ever to be named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, nagging injuries began to take their toll, and Sayers decided to retire in 1972. Learn about Gale Sayers, the 1977 inductee.
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.