T Nation

Football Studs

Hedo got me thinking whilst reading the Lyle Alzado thread…

Who was the meanest/most intense player you can remember? Who was the one guy you would watch even if he didn’t play for your team?

For me it had to be Ronnie Lott when I was a kid. While I was playing in high school Chris Spielman was the guy.

Nowadays it has to be Ray Lewis and Takeo Spikes who gather my attention like no-one else.


Ray Lewis is the man no doubt. I also like Mike Peterson former Colt now a Jag. Ted Bruschi from the Patriots is a stud too.

ray lewis

Yeah Lott was big time when I was younger. These days it’s Ray Lewis, Urlacher, Arrington, John Lynch on defense.

In the day
Ronnie Lott–meanest
Mike Singletary–most intense
Howie Long–honorable mention


Ray Lewis–most intense
Roy Williams–player who I would most not want to get whacked by

Come on now Dick Budkis was the scariest line backer

how about Warren Sapp and Bill Romanowski

There was a lanky, white safety named Chuck Cecil who played for the Cardinals (and I think the Packers). About 6’1 and only about 185, but holy crap…this guy would take your head off if you gave him a shot. Pound for pound the fiercest player i’ve ever seen.

Now, going old school here…and Ive never seen him play (only read about him in books). Bronko Nagurski played ball back in the 30s-40s and was a 230 pound fullback/linebacker. This was when lineman were only averaging 200! They say that getting hit by this guy was comparitive to getting an electric shock.

Can’t remember his first name but Night-Train Lane

You could just about pick anyone who played for the Oakland Raiders of the 70s, especially Jack Tatum. I am a life long Patriots fan, and one of my favorites was a guy named Vincent Brown. He was in Muscle and fitness a few times for best bodies in the early mid 90s. His nickname was the Undertaker, and he was the only talent they had at the time. For a tough QB, again my biased choice would be Steve Grogan. Screwed up knees and neck, but he kept playing.

Bill Bates. The most underated player. Ever.

How can you put Sapp and Romo in the same sentence? Sapp is obnoxious; Romo is ferocious.

I just remembered that one hit that Sapp put on that guy last year, I think he was from the Packers. But Romanowski is a badass

Personally, I was the most intense player I’d ever seen. One bad ass mother on the gridiron…12 sacks in 1 game (including one where the QB ran over my head and fell behind the line of scrimmage).

Romanowski comes a close second…
And the entire defense of the Raiders in the 80s (even though I’m a HUGE Broncos fan, I gotta give that Raiders defense their respect).

How can anyone forget Kenny Easley, who used to play for the Seahawks?

Bad team at the time (well, most of the time) but he would deliberately try to abuse whoever he was tackling.

I remember when he was chasing down a guy and instead of tackling him from behind, runs up beside him, swings his opposite arm all the way out, and then brings it around full force and tomahawks this guy square in the grill!

Guys legs and lower body keep going forward while his head stops right there.


Oh, and listening to the guys who played against him, Dick Butkus scared the shit out of everybody with his ferocity.

Quick list…Deacon Jones, Butkus, Mean Joe Green, Randy White, Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor, Greg Lloyd, Derrick Thomas, Ronnie Lott, Reggie White, Bruce Smtih, Junior Seau, Ray Lewis …more later. These guys were/are so fierce in their prime that you just couldn’t stop them, no matter what. I know I missed a ton of guys…looking forward to other replies

Good job fellas, keep em’ coming.

I brought this question up to my dad and he contested that Fred Dryer along with Merlin Olson were some tough sons a bitches for the LA Rams back in their prime.

Then one does a cop show and the other one finds his own place “on the prairie”
Hard to believe.

This list can’t go down without mention of John Lynch either.


Deacon Jones man…he was the reason head slaps were outlawed. Also, the reason why the refs check players taped up hands…for metal plates!!!

Jack Lambert, Jack Hamm, Dick Butkis,Mike Curtis,Randy White. I could go on and on,whoops I almost forgot Ronnie Lott