In honor of the Raiders/Niners playing this Sunday, I put together my all time bay area team. Players who have played for either the Niners, Raiders or both at some point in their career. This was a tough list to put together. Of course you have your no brainers like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, but there were some tough calls. Like how do I leave Tim Brown or George Blanda off the list? Take a look and see if you agree.
QB – Joe Montana (SF)
With no disrespect to Young, Tittle, Stabler or Plunkett…this was the easiest choice to make. Montana played for the Niners from 1979-92, leading the Niners to 4 Super Bowl rings, a 3 time Super Bowl MVP and arguably the greatest of all time. Like I said, easy choice.
RB – Marcus Allen (OAK)
Allen rushed for over 12,000 yards for his career and is ranked 6th all time with 145 TDs. Although I love Frank Gore, this was another pretty easy selection to make.
FB – Joe Perry (SF)
“The Jet” was the first player in NFL history to have consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and finished his career 2nd only to Jim Brown for all time rushing yards with 9,723.
T – Art Shell (OAK)
Shell is an 8 time Pro Bowler, 3 time Super Bowl champion and a Hall of Famer. Hard to beat that.
G – Gene Upshaw (OAK)
Upshaw was selected to the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and was on the 70’s All Decade Team.
C – Jim Otto (OAK)
NFL Network has this Hall of Famer ranked as the 63rd greatest football player of all time.
G – Steve Wisniewski (OAK)
Despite being my only selection on the offensive side that’s NOT in the Hall of Fame, Wisniewski still had himself a hell of a career. The 8 time Pro Bowler was on the 90’s All Decade Team, but more importantly finds himself on my All Time Bay Area Team, so congrats Steve.
T – Bob St. Clair (SF)
Not only was St. Clair an exceptional offensive lineman, he also played goal line defense and in 1956 he blocked 10 field goals.
TE – Dave Casper (OAK)
Sorry Dwight, you may have “The Catch” but “The Ghost” makes the list. Casper is a 5 time All Pro and a member of the 70’s All Decade Team.
WR – Jerry Rice (SF/OAK)
People refer to him as The GOAT for a reason. In my opinion, Rice is the greatest of all time. Rice owns pretty much every record you can think of including all purpose yards with 23,546 and is the all time TD leader with 208.
WR – Fred Biletnikoff (OAK)
Here’s where things got a little difficult, filling in the 2nd receiver slot. Tim Brown should be a Hall of Famer and he finished his career with 105 total TDs, but I have to give the nod to Biletnikoff. The former Super Bowl MVP was a 6 time Pro Bowler and played in a much more physical era where the rules didn’t favor the receivers as much as they do now. Let the debate begin.
DE – Howie Long (OAK)
I decided to run a 3-4 defense, and I’m pretty sure that Long is going to be a beast for me on the line. The former Defensive Player of the Year was an 8 time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
DT – Leo Nomellini (SF)
Obviously I never seen Nomellini play being that “The Lion” played from 1950-63. And though I love Bryant Young and Dana Stubblefield, it’s hard to leave off the Hall of Famer who made 10 trips to the Pro Bowl.
DE – Chris Doleman (SF)
Though Doleman only played for the Niners from 1996-98, he finished his career with 150.5 sacks which is 4th all time. Him alongside Long and my line backing core, makes for a pretty scary pass rush.
OL – Aldon Smith (SF)
Despite all of his off field problems, it’s hard to ignore his incredible talent. The 25 year old has 44 career sacks in just 46 games and if he’s able to stay on the field, at this rate, will finish as one of the all time greatest to play the position.
ML – Ted Hendricks (OAK)
The Hall of Famer is an 8 time Pro Bowler, 5 time first team All Pro and 4 time Super Bowl champion. Easy choice.
ML – Patrick Willis (SF)
Though he’s still playing, the future Hall of Famer finds himself on my list. At 30 he’s already been to 7 Pro Bowls and has been named to 5 first team All Pro teams. If he stays healthy, when it’s all said and done, Willis will go down as one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play.
OL – Charles Haley (SF)
Haley, who in my opinion should be in the hall, is a 5 time Super Bowl champion and a member of the 100 sack club. He may not of had the best reputation and was unpredictable at times, but his talent was never questioned, and that’s why he makes my team.
CB – Deion Sanders (SF)
He only played 1 season with the Niners, but that 1 season ended with the Niners winning their 5th Super Bowl. He’s the best shut down corner ever. An 8 time All Pro, Sanders isn’t just one of the greatest defensive backs ever, he’s one of the greatest players ever. Finished his career with 53 INTs and 22 TDs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
FS – Rod Woodson (SF/OAK)
Rod Woodson considered by many as one of the best defensive backs ever finished his career with 71 INTs. He played for the Niners in 1997 and the Raiders in 2002 and 03 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
SS – Ronnie Lott (SF/OAK)
Lott, who had his pinkie finger amputated to avoid a long recovery, is considered to be one of the toughest players to ever suit up. Lott played for both the Niners and Raiders, is one of the most ferocious hitters of all time. The 4 time Super Bowl champion may be the greatest defensive player to ever play.
CB – Charles Woodson (OAK)
Charles Woodson is still putting his Hall of Fame career together, playing 10 of his 17 seasons with the Raiders. Winning pretty much every award possible from Heisman to Defensive Player of the Year, giving him the edge over Hall of Famers Mike Haynes and Jimmy Johnson.
K – Sebastian Janikowski (OAK)
Many will disagree with this telling me I’m crazy and ask how I can leave George Blanda off this list. Easy, in comparison to Seabass, he’s not as good. Now I know that Blanda is a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest of all time and bla bla bla…..but this is strictly for my KICKER! Janikowski has made 80% of his FG attempts with 357. Blanda only made 52.4% of his FG attempts with 335 made. Again, just going off kicking, Seabass is the choice.
P – Ray Guy (OAK)
He’s a punter and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Nuff said. I take it back…THIS was the easiest choice to make.
KR/PR – Deion Sanders (SF)
Out of his 22 career TDs 9 of them came by punt or kick returns. Again, one of the greatest.
Head Coach – Bill Walsh (SF)
As a lifelong diehard 49ers fan, Bill Walsh will always be the greatest football mind I will ever know. A Hall of Famer, a 4 time Super Bowl winning coach, it’s hard to argue against Walsh, and I won’t.
AST Coach – John Madden (OAK)
Ok, so I had to add an assistant coach just because I love John Madden. How could you not? A Super Bowl winning coach, a legendary broadcaster and the number one reason, his video game! Madden has become bigger than football, so I have no problem putting him on the list.
Owner – Al Davis (OAK)
Though it pains me to say, I have to give Al the edge over Eddie DeBartolo. During DeBartalo’s 23 years as owner of the Niners, he saw his team win 5 Super Bowls, which is more than Davis, who only had 3 Super Bowl wins. With that said, Al Davis is an iconic figure in the history of the NFL and you can’t argue what he did for the game. So the slight edge goes to the Hall of Famer, sorry Eddie.
So there you go…did I get it right? Of course I did. Let me know your thoughts, @LittleJoeRadio on Twitter.
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