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Showing posts with label pepper johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pepper johnson. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The 25 greatest New York Giants players: Part 4/7, No. 20- No. 16


So far, we have named number 25 through number 21 on the list. Now we will go through the next five, number 20 through number 16.

No. 25- Bart Oates (C)
No. 24- Mel Hein (C)
No. 23- Joe Morris (HB)
No. 22- Rodney Hampton (HB)
No. 21- Kyle Rote (HB/WR)

No.20- Pepper Johnson -LB. Johnson was a second round draft pick in 1986. He was nicknamed "Pepper" by his aunt because he loved pepper so much as a child, he would sprinkle it on his cereal. His rookie year, he stepped into the starting lineup to create one of the fiercest and greatest linebacker corps in the history of the NFL. His rookie season campaign ended with hoisting a trophy, along side of Lawrence Taylor.

During his playing career, he was a part of two Super Bowl teams (86' and 90') with the Giants. He was also a Pro Bowl representative (1990) for the Giants one time and total of two times. He accumulated 19 sacks and 579 tackles in 106 games as a Giants player. He also scored 2 TD's and had 9 forced fumbles while wearing the big blue. His 579 tackles is good for fifth all-time in the Giants history in that category. He is one of the rare players to have success as a coach.

He has coached under former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick since 2000. Johnson has been a part of three Super Bowls there under Belichick. He was the defensive line coach of the Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl, coaching against the team that drafted him, the New York Giants. Today, he still coaches in New England and is a key reason for their defensive success over the years.


No. 19- Ottis Anderson -RB. Anderson may be one of the most beloved running backs in franchise history. However, he didn't start out that way. the Giants were his second and last stop in the NFL. He started with the St. Louis Cardinals as the premier starting running back and after 8 seasons with them, was traded in mid-season to the Giants. He was a key contributor in his first few seasons, but eventually accepted a diminished role.

He rushed for a career total of 10,273 yards, only 2,274 of which was with the Giants. His 35 rushing TD's is sixth best in Giants history for that stat, but he is remember for far more than these numbers. In 1990, he was the main running back for the Giants offensive attack on the Buffalo Bills.

His contributions in that game, earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. He totaled 102 yards and a TD in a ball control strategy that enabled the Giants to keep the explosive Buffalo Bills offense off of the field, just enough to keep the game in reach and win it on a Bills' missed field goal at the end of regulation.

During his playing career, Anderson was a two-time Pro Bowl player (though neither was with the Giants), a two-time Super Bowl champion (86' and 90'), rookie of the year (also not with the Giants) and comeback player of the year in 1989. He is just one of 22 running backs to rush for over 10,000 yards. After his playing career, he turned to the media and did analysis on the Giants on their flag station WFAN. He also became a motivational speaker, which he still does to this day.


No. 18- Joe Morrison -HB/WR. Morrison was nicknamed "old dependable" for a Giants team that needed his versatility. He played from 1959 to 1972, all with the Giants. He played for some bad teams in that time, including a team that won only one game in 1966. Ironically, he had his best season then, racking up 724 receiving yards.

His career numbers included 395 receptions, 4993 receiving yards, 47 receiving TD'S, 2474 rushing yards, 18 rushing TD's and on defense, he forced 28 fumbles while recovering 16 of them and even gaining two interceptions. He was one of those rare players that played both sides of the ball and was all over the place. The Giants retired his number 40, in appreciation of all of his contributions to the team. He spent his post-playing career as a coach in the college ranks.

He coached Tennessee-Chattanooga, University of New Mexico and University of South Carolina. He won his 100th game as a college coach in 1988. Tragically, he died at the age of 51, in February of 1989, due to congestive heart failure. His memory will live on in the minds of those who cheered for him and those bad 60's New York Giants teams.


No. 17- Leonard Marshall -DE. Marshall was a long-time disruptive pass rushing presence for a very successful Giants defense. His career spanned from 1983 to 1994, and all but the last two seasons were spent with the Giants. He was a second round pick in the 1983 NFL draft. In his 10 seasons with the Giants, he was a starter on two Super Bowl teams (86', 90'), a three-time Pro Bowl player (85', 86', 91'), accumulated 660 tackles and 79.5 sacks. He is second on the team all-time in tackles and third all-time in sacks.

He has one of the most memorable hits in NFL history under his belt. In the 1990 NFC Championship game, he laid a hit on Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana that was so fierce, it took Montana out of the rest of that game and ended his 49ers career. Montana's injuries from that hit included a bruised stomach, bruised sternum, cracked ribs and a broken hand.

All from one hit, and while Montana was trying to mount a comeback, Marshall put an abrupt end to it. The Giants held on to beat the 49ers and eventually beat the Bills in the Super Bowl. It can be argued that without that hit, they wouldn't have been in the Super Bowl to begin with and the 49ers dynasty would have lasted a few more years under Montana's direction.

After his playing career was over, Marshall has kept very busy. He has branched out into the media by hosting radio shows on WFAN and CBS radio. He has been active in charity work. He also has been a professor at Seton Hall University. He recently has been named head coach of Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, NJ.


No. 16- Y.A. Tittle -QB. Tittle is an iconic figure in NFL history. He played a total of 17 seasons. All but the final four of them (61' through 64'), were with other teams. In the last four seasons, however, he stamped his mark on the league and he did it in a Giants uniform. He led the team to three straight NFL championship games. They lost all three, but at least they were there.

While with the Giants, he threw for 10439 yards and 96 TD's. His career totals were 33070 yards passing and 242 TD's. He was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1971, and his # 14 was retired by the Giants. That should tell us the impact he had on this franchise in just four seasons. He threw for a record 7 TD's in one game in October 28, 1962 against the Redskins. He was the first and only one of 8 other QB's to pass for consecutive 30 TD passing seasons.

He was a 7 time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time (61' and 63') NFL MVP with the Giants. He is iconic for a photo that was taken of him in his final year playing. The photo changed the way photographers think of photographing sports. After his career, he turned to insurance. He still is an iconic figure in the region and the sport of football.


That will bring us to the next part, where we will crack the top 15 on the list. I hope you will join me.
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