Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with a position that has become a centerpiece of a good defense – safety. It’s no coincidence that teams like Kansas City and Seattle saw their fortunes turn on that side of the ball when they added a great, young safety to their roster; in today’s game, it’s a vital player on the field, one who can make an impact against both the run and the pass. For proof of its importance, check out the contracts being handed out to safeties this offseason.
Let the debate begin!
10. Kam Chancellor
Playing alongside one of the best free safeties in football, Earl Thomas, certainly makes Chancellor’s job easier, but he certainly isn’t just riding the coattails of his teammate. During his four seasons in the NFL, this former fifth-round pick has made a name from himself, rising from relative obscurity to a two-time Pro Bowl selection to a Super Bowl champion. That’s not a bad path to be on.
9. Bernard Pollard
One has to wonder why Pollard, a guy who has a reputation for being one of the best hitters in all of football and has helped his team win at every stop during his career, has bounced around so much during his eight-year NFL career. Currently, he’s in Tennessee, which is his fourth stop on his pro football odyssey. It seems like a player with so much talent should last more than two years at each stop.