By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
In the NFL, most of the marquee players are on the offensive side of the ball. But ask any successful coach, and he’ll tell you that winning teams are built on defense. This Pop Quiz spotlights some of the greatest defenders (past and present) that the game has ever seen. So tighten your chin strap and get ready to tackle this set of questions as we make a case for the defense!
- Six defensive players selected in the first two rounds of the 1981 NFL Draft are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Name at least three of them.
- Where did L.A. Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald play his college ball?
- Who holds the NFL record for most QB sacks in a single season, with 22.5?
- In the 1970s, the Minnesota Vikings featured a fierce defensive line anchored by Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen. What was the unit’s famous nickname?
- This first-ballot Hall of Famer won two Super Bowl rings – and also played in the World Series.
- Before becoming a 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year, this standout defensive end spent a year playing tight end at Central Michigan.
- All-Pro Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ed “Too Tall” Jones briefly left football to pursue what other sport?
- What feared Oakland Raiders safety was nicknamed, “The Assassin”?
- Prior to the 2004 season, the Denver Broncos traded RB Clinton Portis and a second-round draft pick to Washington for this future Hall of Fame defensive standout.
- In 1082, the Miami Dolphins unleashed an imposing defense led by players such as Bob Baumhower, Doug Betters, Bob Brudzinski and Kim Bokamper. What was the defense’s catchy nickname?
- Choose from Lawrence Taylor, Kenny Easley, Ronnie Lott, Mike Singletary, Howie Long and Rickey Jackson.
- Donald played at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Michael Strahan of the New York Giants set the record in 2001.
- They were known as the “Purple People Eaters.”
- Deion Sanders.
- JJ Watt.
- In 1979, Jones left the Cowboys to become a professional boxer. After going 6-0 in the ring, he returned to football.
- Jack Tatum.
- The Broncos acquired cornerback Champ Bailey.
- The Dolphins’ D generated a lot of buzz as “The Killer Bees.”