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All-decade team of the 70s: Part II

Posted by Chase Stuart on July 21, 2009

Yesterday, I looked at the top offensive players of the 1970s, and compared them to the actual All-Decade team as selected by the voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Today, we're going to look at the defensive players and special teams stars from the 1970s. For a year-too-early look at the eventual '00s All-Decade defense, click here.

     First Team       Second Team 
DE:  Jack Youngblood  L.C. Greenwood 
DE:  Carl Eller       Harvey Martin 
DT:  Joe Greene       Alan Page 
DT:  Bob Lilly        Merlin Olsen 
OLB: Jack Ham         Robert Brazile 
OLB: Ted Hendricks    Bobby Bell 
MLB: Dick Butkus      Jack Lambert 
CB:  Willie Brown     Louis Wright 
CB:  Jimmy Johnson    Roger Wehrli 
S:   Ken Houston      Larry Wilson 
S:   Cliff Harris     Dick Anderson

Let's get started with the defensive line.

Defensive Ends

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER
104.6   7       130     116     8       0       5       2       Jack Youngblood
104.3   4       141     126     9       0       3       1       Carl Eller
 89.8   6       129     114     9       0       2       0       L.C. Greenwood
 82.5   6       115      43     8       0       2       2       Claude Humphrey
 81.4   1       144     133     9       0       0       1       Fred Dryer
 78.4   0       144     144    10       0       0       0       Jim Marshall
 74.6   7       137     135    10       0       0       2       Elvin Bethea
 71.0   4        96      78     6       0       1       1       Bill Stanfill
 68.6   1       143     128     9       0       0       1       Tommy Hart
 68.1   3       140      84    10       0       0       0       Coy Bacon
 67.6   0       128     107     9       0       0       0       Ron McDole
 64.6   2       114      98     8       0       1       1       Lyle Alzado
 64.6   2       119      39     8       0       0       0       Dwight White
 63.8   0       127     113     8       0       0       0       Vern Den Herder
 59.7   1       140      16    10       0       0       1       Jack Gregory
 58.5   2       139     103     9       0       0       0       Cedrick Hardman
 56.9   4       101      14     5       1.5     1       2       Harvey Martin 


Among defensive ends, only Martin and Lee Roy Selmon (as a 3-4 DE, no less) won AP Defensive Player of the Year awards during the decade. Martin, along with teammate Randy White, was also co-MVP of Super Bowl XII, giving him 1.5 major awards during the decade. But it's Eller and Youngblood who stand out as the top DEs of the decade, with over 100 points of AV each. AV loves Eller because he played on some great defenses, while Youngblood has seven combined AP nominations and made seven Pro Bowls during the '70s.

Who should our two second-teamers be? Steelers great L.C. Greenwood seems like a strong choice, with six Pro Bowls and two first-team AP honors. A year before taking George Kunz with the 2nd pick in the '69 draft, Atlanta selected Claude Humphrey with the 3rd pick in the '68 draft. Along with Tommy Nobis, the 1st pick in the '66 draft, the trio helped make the expansion Falcons respectable. Humphrey has four combined all-pro nominations in the decade and made six Pro Bowls, making him a solid choice as our last defensive end.

Harvey Martin earned three AP nominations in five seasons, and had some excellent seasons at the end of the decade. But as good as Martin was, Humphrey was good for even longer. Even in Martin's best season, Humphrey was arguably a more valuable defensive end in 1977 (so says AV -- more on the '77 Falcons, later). The only other end to consider is Fred Dryer, Youngblood's teammate in Los Angeles. But with only one Pro Bowl and one second-team AP nod, Humphrey has a better resume.

First team All-Decade DEs: Jack Youngblood and Carl Eller
Second team All-Decade DEs: L.C. Greenwood and Claude Humphrey

Defensive Tackles

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER 
128.8   7       144     144    10       2       5       2       Alan Page 
115.7   9       138     136    10       2       4       2       Joe Greene  
 82.6   5       141       0    10       0       1       2       Curley Culp  
 76.5   6        98      98     7       0       1       1       Merlin Olsen  
 74.4   1       140     139    10       0       0       0       Diron Talbert  
 68.9   4       101     100     8       0       1       1       Larry Brooks  
 64.7   4       131      36     9       0       1       0       Jerry Sherk  
 61.9   0       118      13     9       0       0       0       Jethro Pugh  
 59.2   1        98      84     7       0       0       1       Otis Sistrunk 
 57.6   4        70       0     5       0       1       1       Bob Lilly 
 55.2   3        88      74     5       1       1       2       Wally Chambers 
 54.5   0       126      83     7       0       0       0       Mike McCoy 
 51.3   0       113     101     7       0       0       0       Jim Osborne 
 50.7   0       120      12     7       0       0       0       Mike Lewis 
 48.8   1        98      13     7       0       0       0       Robert E. Brown 
 48.1   0       120      91     7       0       0       0       Wilbur Young 
 48.0   0       101      16     8       0       0       0       John Mendenhall 
 47.9   0       102     102     7       0       0       0       Ray Hamilton 
 47.3   2        64       0     5       0       1       1       Mike Reid 

While I admit that AV has an unhealthy crush on Alan Page, it's hard to think of a bigger snub in All-decade history than Alan Page not being named a first team tackle of the 1970s. He was ages 25-through-34 during the decade, which helped him acquire more AV than any other player at any position in the 1970s. He played in every game of every season, and in 1971 was named the Defensive Player of the Year and the MVP of the NFL. Only one other defensive player in history has won the NFL MVP. How the HOF voters chose Lilly -- who made just four Pro Bowls, one all-pro team, and played for only five seasons -- over Page, is a mystery. Just as clearly, Mean Joe Greene should be the other defensive tackle. Greene and Page were the dominant tackles of the '70s, and in the discussion for greatest defensive players of all time. On a defense stacked with Hall of Fame talent, Greene still managed to stand out as one of the most dominant players in history. In '72 and '74 he was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year, and he forms an elite group with Ray Lewis, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor (three) as the only players to win that award multiple times.

The 1970s brought the 3-4 defense to the NFL, with three coaches installing it for the first time in 1974. Bum Phillips, like his son Wade, loved the 3-4 scheme, and was the Oilers' defensive coordinator that season. Chuck Fairbanks brought the scheme from Oklahoma (where it originated) to New England, and tweaked it with help from defensive coordinator Hank Bullough. Buffalo was the third team that season to run the 3-4, and did so under Head Coach Lou Saban, whose distant relative would also rely on the formation one day. But the 3-4 defense was most successful in Houston, and Curley Culp was a big reason why. As Phillips once said:

Coaching is pretty simple really. If you don't got something, find something you do got. Really we didn't have but one [defensive lineman] - [Hall of Famer] Elvin [Bethea] - until we got Curley [Culp] in the middle of that season. Then we had two. What we did have was four real good linebackers so all I done was find a way to get our best players on the field.

Culp was the first dominant nose tackle in the 3-4, and his five Pro Bowls and three combined All Pro nominations make him a terrific choice for our second team. Wally Chambers won a rookie of the year award and received three combined AP honors, but Rams great Merlin Olsen made three more Pro Bowls, played for a couple more seasons, and has a big edge in AV.

First team All-Decade DTs: Alan Page and Joe Greene
Second team All-Decade DTs: Curley Culp and Merlin Olsen

Outside Linebackers

Here comes our first difficult position:

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER
106.9	7	126	126	9	0	6	1	Jack Ham
 97.0	6	127	118	8	1	2	3	Isiah Robertson
 91.1	5	119	118	8	0	3	1	Chris Hanburger
 87.9	4	144	 51	9	0	2	2	Ted Hendricks
 73.9	4	118	117	8	0	0	1	Phil Villapiano
 69.7	6	 98	 14	7	0	0	1	Andy Russell
 68.0	0	130	 97	7	0	0	0	Wally Hilgenberg
 66.9	3	112	112	8	0	0	0	Fred Carr
 60.2	1	126	121	9	0	0	0	Paul Naumoff
 60.1	0	127	 11	9	0	0	0	Greg Brezina
 59.2	3	 91	 86	6	0	1	1	Tom Jackson
 55.3	4	 74	 74	5	1	2	2	Robert Brazile
 53.8	0	140	  0	7	0	0	0	D.D. Lewis
 53.2	4	 69	 53	5	0	2	1	Dave Wilcox

You can't discuss the top outside linebackers of the '70s without discussing Jack Ham. Six first-team All Pro nominations, seven Pro Bowls, nine seasons and four Super Bowl rings. Ham's as obvious a choice as any player at any position for our All-decade team.

The other spot, though, could be up for healthy debate. The HOF selectors chose Ted Hendricks for its first team and Bobby Bell and "Dr. Doom" Robert Brazile for its second team. Bell doesn't make my final cut, though, as he played for seven seasons and only earned one second team All-Pro award; he had an AV of just forty-eight. Robertson, Hanburger, Hendricks and Brazile stand out as obvious choices, with four or more combined All-Pro nods.

Brazile was a pass rushing specialist, a 3-4 outside linebacker who played behind Curley Culp in Houston. If we had sack data from that era, Brazile would surely look even more impressive. Just as Culp paved the way for the big space eaters of today, Brazile was the LT of his day back when Lawrence Taylor was still in high school (and Brazile was solid as a run defender, as well). Choosing just three of these four great LBs is a tough task, and that's putting aside 49ers great Dave Wilcox and another Steeler, Andy Russell. Both of those players had great careers, but had a lot of success in the '60s and just miss out on making this team.

Like Brazile, Hendricks was a terrific 3-4 outside linebacker who could both rush the passer and drop into coverage effectively. In the first half of the decade he was a 4-3 outside linebacker, and was named a first-team All-Pro with both the Colts and Packers. The majority of his success with the Raiders came in the '80s, which is when he made his four Pro Bowls in Oakland.

Isiah Robertson certainly benefited from playing behind the great Rams defensive lines of the '70s, which often featured three or four Pro Bowl linemen. But he made six Pro Bowls on his own, and his 97 points of AV and five combined AP nods top all outside linebackers except Ham. Parceling out the credit among his fantastic teammates (and not just on the line) and him is difficult, but those Rams had a phenomenal defense for a very long time, seven times ranking in the top five in points allowed in the '70s.

Chris Hanburger is arguably the best linebacker not in the HOF, and his 9 Pro Bowls (four in the '60s) and four first team All Pro nominations (one in the '60s) give him a strong case for induction. Only Maxie Baughan, Walt Sweeney, Jim Tyrer and Tim Brown have made nine Pro Bowls and are eligible but not yet in the HOF (there are no eligible players who made 10 Pro Bowls and are not in Canton).

In the absence of other data, I don't think we can get very far. Brazile was the great pass rusher, Hendricks the HOFer (but in large part due to his work in the '80s), Hansburger has the first team All Pros while Robertson has the AV and the combined All Pros. When things are this close, I like to use whatever tiebreakers I can get. Hendricks' success on three different teams in the decade is particularly impressive, especially compared to a player like Robertson who achieved his success in very favorable lineups. And while Dr. Doom was a talented and underappreciated player, his five seasons in the decade make him the odd man out.

First team All-Decade OLBs: Jack Ham and Ted Hendricks

Second team All-Decade OLBs: Isiah Robertson and Chris Hanburger

Middle Linebacker

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER
86.1	4	129	 75	9	0	2	3	Bill Bergey
75.3	6	111	 25	8	0	2	1	Willie Lanier
71.9	5	 85	 81	6	2	2	1	Jack Lambert
66.0	4	115	105	8	0	0	0	Jeff Siemon
62.1	4	 88	 76	5	1	2	1	Randy Gradishar
61.7	1	129	 94	6	0	0	0	Jack Reynolds
61.5	2	 98	 14	7	0	0	1	Lee Roy Jordan
57.1	3	109	 32	7	0	0	0	Mike Curtis
54.7	0	120	 99	8	0	0	0	Harold McLinton
52.1	2	 79	 68	5	0	0	1	Nick Buoniconti
48.8	1	106	  0	7	0	0	0	Jim Carter
47.8	2	 86	  0	6	0	0	0	Tommy Nobis
47.2	3	 51	  0	4	0	2	0	Dick Butkus

The 1970s were dominated by five middle linebackers -- Bergey, Lanier, Lambert, Gradishar and Butkus were each named the top inside linebacker in the NFL by the Associated Press in two different seasons. Lambert and Gradishar both won defensive player of the year awards, with Lambert also picking up a rookie of the year honor. Lambert and Gradishar didn't overlap with Butkus at all, with the latter playing from '65 to '73 while Lambert and Gradishar entered the league in 1974. Lanier and Bergey were both born in '45, putting them in their prime years for the decade, although Lanier peaked (and retired) early.

We can eliminate Butkus pretty easily -- with only four seasons, he doesn't have much to vault him over the other four. Siemon was part of those great Vikings defenses, but he doesn't have much individual recognition beyond his Pro Bowls to compete with the other guys.

  • Certainly the least famous of the quartet, Bill Bergey made the Pro Bowl as a rookie for the Bengals in '69 but did not earn any individual honors until Paul Brown traded him to Philadelphia before the 1974 season. With the Eagles, his career would take flight: he was a first-team All-Pro in '74 and '75, and a second-teamer in '76, '77 and '78. Unofficially, he had a 233-tackle season (equivalent to a 266-tackle season in a 16-game schedule). Even if that number is slightly inflated, it would be quite a feat -- the highest number on PFR is Hardy Nickerson's 214 total tackles in 1993. With five All-Pro selections and an AV of 86 easily leading all inside linebackers, you'd think Bergey was a lock for this team. But he's got to compete with two HOF linebackers and a third who is constantly listed among the best players not in the Hall.
  • Willie Lanier dominated the early part of the decade -- he's the only reason Dick Butkus didn't get named first-team All-Pro in five straight seasons. While he won his ring in '69, Lanier may have been at his best in '73 when he earned 20 points of AV. Lanier played for eight seasons in the '70s, with all of them coming during his prime years. He was traded to the Colts before the start of the '78 season, but retired before ever playing a game with Baltimore.
  • On a team loaded with Hall of Famers, Jack Lambert still managed to stand out. For many, it is his image that is synonymous with the '70s Steelers. Lambert actually ranks as the 4th best Steelers' defender ever according to AV (Rod Woodson, Joe Greene, Jack Ham) but middle linebackers are always remembered fondly as the heart of a defense. What's harder to remember is that Lambert was just as much a product of the '80s as he was the '70s. He made four of his nine Pro Bowls and four of his six first-team All-Pro teams beginning in 1980. A worthy pick for any team, Lambert was the starting middle linebacker on all four Steelers champions, and recorded an incredible 21 points of AV (and a DPOY award) on the famous '76 Steelers.
  • Nothing irks Broncos fans more than hearing that Randy Gradishar isn't yet a HOFer. Woody Hayes said Gradishar was the best linebacker he ever coached, and Ohio State hands out the Randy Gradishar award to its top linebacker every season. After working his way into the lineup as a rookie, Gradishar averaged 15.25 unofficial tackles per game for the next nine seasons. Some argue that the Broncos inflated their tackle numbers, and that certainly seems plausible. Believing the unofficial numbers meanss that for nine seasons, Gradishar was on a 244 tackle-per-sixteen-game pace. In '78, the year he won the DPOY award, Gradishar was credited with 286 tackles, while helping the Orange Crush have another dominant season.

As you can see, all four have terrific resumes and arguments for selection. Lambert and Gradishar played fewer seasons but have the DPOY awards as trump cards. Gradishar and Bergey have the big tackle numbers, while Lambert and Lanier are in Canton. The margins here are razor thin -- perhaps the most competitive position on either the '00s or '70s all-decade teams. I'll go with Bergey on the basis of his five All-Pro selections, and Lambert thanks to his DPOY award, being part of an all-time great defense ('76), and his standing as captain of the Steelers.

First team All-Decade ILB: Bill Bergey
Second team All-Decade ILB: Jack Lambert

Cornerbacks

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER
91.5	4	143	132	10	1	1	2	Mel Blount
89.7	7	132	132	10	0	1	0	Lemar Parrish
89.2	7	140	 40	10	0	3	1	Roger Wehrli
77.5	4	112	 86	 7	0	2	1	Willie Brown
71.6	4	 96	 94	 7	0	3	0	Jimmy Johnson
69.4	0	138	  0	10	0	0	2	Ken Riley
67.4	4	 98	 20	 7	0	0	2	Mel Renfro
66.1	4	 99	 36	 8	0	0	1	Lem Barney
64.0	4	128	 14	 9	0	1	1	Emmitt Thomas
63.6	1	123	 99	 7	0	0	0	Bobby Bryant
61.9	3	 96	 96	 6	1	1	0	Willie Buchanon
61.7	1	102	 88	 6	0	1	0	Rolland Lawrence
61.6	2	115	 83	 6	0	1	0	Ken Ellis
60.0	3	 71	 71	 5	0	2	0	Louis Wright
55.4	0	125	111	 9	0	0	0	Curtis Johnson
53.0	4	 60	 59	 4	1	0	4	Mike Haynes
52.5	0	 84	 84	 6	0	0	1	Mike Bass
50.5	1	129	106	 9	0	0	0	Clarence R. Scott
50.2	0	133	 84	 6	0	0	0	Charlie West
49.9	0	 98	 98	 7	0	0	0	Pat Fischer
49.0	2	 66	 54	 4	0	1	1	Monte Jackson
48.4	3	 69	  0	 5	0	2	0	Robert James

If you're good enough to have a rule named after you, you're good enough to make my All-decade team. Mel Blount was the only cornerback to win a DPOY award (Buchanon and Haynes both received rookie of the year awards) in the decade, as his 11 interceptions in 1975 helped seal the award. Blount played in more games and accumulated more AV than any other corner in the decade. Even ignoring his role on four Super Bowl champions, 10 seasons as a strong starter, three All-Pro teams, and a DPOY would likely have been enough to make the roster. While his one first-team All-Pro is a little light, he did get selected as a first teamer in two other seasons by other sources.

Roger Wehrli is a HOF corner whose career with the Cardinals lined up perfectly for him to make this team -- the first of his seven Pro Bowls came in 1970, the last in '79. With four All-Pro selections to his name, he's got a better case than the Bengals' Lemar Parrish, although both lap the field with seven Pro Bowl nominations.

Parrish made seven Pro Bowls, but I think at least one of them (1974, maybe 1970) was for his work as a return man. Regardless, he was a terrific athlete and playmaker -- he scored twelve times in the decade, five as a return man and seven more as a defender. In 1979, at the age of 32 and with the Redskins, he earned his only first-team All-Pro selection. Considering his seven Pro Bowls, that's a good sign that he was able to maintain an elite level of play for a very long time.

There's very little separating Willie Brown and Jimmy Johnson. Both played for seven seasons in the seventies, made four Pro Bowls and earned three All-Pro selections. They both began playing in the early sixties, and never should have been around long enough to make an All-decade roster of the '70s. Brown was undrafted out of Grambling State, and played for four seasons with the Broncos before playing the last twelve seasons of his career with the Raiders. Johnson went to UCLA and was a first round selection of the 49ers in 1961; he played all sixteen seasons of his career with San Francisco. Both are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Despite the disparity in their draft status, Johnson didn't make his first Pro Bowl until his 9th season; Brown had already made seven Pro Bowls by then. Starting in '70, both were elite cornerbacks, but had little in the tank after 1975. There's not much to use to separate the two; I'll take Brown because of his higher single-season AV (a 21 in 1973) and because of his place in NFL history: as stated by Sean Lahman in the Pro Football Historical Abstract, Brown was the first cornerback to perfect (and arguably, invent) the bump and run coverage.

I can't leave the discussion of corners in the 1970s without a brief comment on Rolland Lawrence, the owner of the highest single-season AV score since 1950. The 1977 Falcons defense, nicknamed the "Gritz Blitz", allowed fewer points per game than any defense since the 1944 New York Giants. Allowing just 9.2 points per game, you can see why we'd want to give lots of AV points to the Falcons defensive players. The problem? Only one player -- Lawrence -- was named a first-team All-Pro. Only one other player, DE Claude Humphrey (who made our second-team All-decade roster), even made the Pro Bowl. The unusual combination of exceptional team performance with just one individual star is how Lawrence became the top single season player in AV history (Alan Page on the '70 Vikings tied with him; both have 26 points of AV each).

First team All-Decade CBs: Mel Blount and Roger Wehrli
Second team All-Decade Ss: Lemar Parrish and Willie Brown

Safeties

AV	PB	G	GS	SEA	awards	AP1	AP2	PLAYER
96.4	10	141	 99	10	0	2	2	Ken Houston
89.9	 5	126	123	 9	1	2	2	Jake Scott
87.0	 5	144	118	 9	0	1	1	Paul Krause
84.1	 6	141	 28	 9	0	3	0	Cliff Harris
71.7	 0	130	130	 9	0	0	1	Dave Elmendorf
71.1	 2	133	133	 9	0	1	0	Bill Thompson
63.9	 3	120	106	 9	0	0	1	Jack Tatum
63.2	 3	 93	 66	 5	1	2	1	Dick Anderson
58.7	 2	104	  3	 7	0	0	1	Mike Wagner
57.5	 2	118	 85	 7	0	0	1	Glen Edwards
56.0	 3	128	 30	 7	0	0	2	Charlie Waters
54.8	 1	108	 25	 7	0	1	0	Rick Volk
54.8	 0	116	 94	 8	0	0	0	George Atkinson
54.1	 1	127	 97	 8	0	0	0	Tim Foley
53.4	 0	122	 42	 9	0	0	0	Ray Brown
52.9	 3	100	  1	 6	0	2	1	Bill Bradley
52.9	 1	128	 50	 8	0	1	0	Tony Greene
49.9	 3	 71	  0	 6	0	1	0	Tommy Casanova

That 10 isn't a typo -- Ken Houston was the only player in the '70s to make the Pro Bowl in every season. Along with leading all safeties with four All-Pro selections, Houston set an NFL record with four interceptions returned for touchdowns in 1971. Houston excelled both as a pass defender and as a tackler in the running game; he stood out with the Oilers and then the Redskins as one of the elite players of his day.

Jake Scott comes up next according to AV, thanks to his four All-Pro selections (tied with Houston for the most) and nine seasons as a starter. That one award he has? It came when he picked off two passes to clinch the Super Bowl for the '72 Dolphins.

Paul Krause is a HOFer who holds the records for most interceptions in a career (81). But as a February 1942 baby, his prime didn't coincide well with our arbitrary cut-offs. Krause made 8 Pro Bowls and 3 first-team All-Pros in his career, but they were split pretty evenly among the '60s and '70s. Krause was a star for those '70s Vikings defenses, but wasn't good enough for long enough to beat out Scott.

Dick Anderson teamed up with Scott on those great Dolphins defenses, and he won the DPOY award in 1973. His three All-Pro honors match up with Cliff Harris, but Harris played for nine seasons and made six Pro Bowls.

First team All-Decade Ss: Ken Houston and Jake Scott
Second team All-Decade Ss: Paul Krause and Cliff Harris

Special Teams

There were two elite kick returners in the decade -- Jason's podcast hero and Cardinals' great Terry Metcalf (561 yards over average) and Ron Smith (546), who split time between Chicago, San Diego and Oakland during the decade. Perhaps more exciting are the punt returners: Rick Upchurch (834 yards over average) and Billy Johnson (788 yards over average) were the top punt returners of their day, with Johnson making two Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro and Upchurch making three Pro Bowls and selected for two first-team All-Pro squads.

Punter? Once again, I don't even pretend to know how to grade punters. I know Jason has some things to say about Ray Guy in a future post, but with six Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro honors in the decade, he's the easy choice as the All-decade punter. Jerrel Wilson and John James each were Pro Bowlers three times in the '70s, but James was named to two second-team All-Pro squads.

One placekicker stood out among the rest, and that was Garo Yepremian. He added 93 points over your average kicker, led the league three times in raw kicking percentage, made two Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro two times. Yepremian's signature performance in the decade was a famous folly, but if nothing else, it helped make a celebrity out of him. Mark Moseley, who would be famous for winning the 1982 MVP award, ranked second in the decade with 62 points added over average.

Head Coach

While the first string is a no brainer, we could have a very healthy debate about our second string coach. Once again, I'm only ranking coaching records, not coaches. With four Super Bowl champions in the decade, Chuck Noll comes in at +89 in my coaching scoring system, easily the most in the decade and slightly ahead of Bill Belichick (so far) in the '00s. John Madden (+58.0) had a terrific record in the '70s, and won a Super Bowl. Don Shula (+64.9) had a perfect season and won two Super Bowls, and was generally coaching a good team for most of the decade. Bud Grant (+57.2) went to three Super Bowls in the '70s, but Tom Landry (+76) appeared in five Super Bowls in the '70s, won two of them, and reached double digit wins in nine of ten seasons.

First team All-Decade HC: Chuck Noll
Second team All-Decade HC: Tom Landry

Let's close with a recap -- a modern look on the All-decade team of the 1970s:

QB:  Roger Staubach     Fran Tarkenton
RB:  O.J. Simpson       Lydell Mitchell
RB:  Walter Payton      Chuck Foreman
WR:  Harold Jackson     Gene A. Washington
WR:  Cliff Branch       Lynn Swann
TE:  Dave Casper        Riley Odoms
OT:  Ron Yary           Art Shell
OT:  George Kunz        Rayfield Wright
OG:  Larry Little       Tom Mack
OG:  Gene Upshaw        Joe DeLamielleure
C:   Jim Langer         Forrest Blue
DE:  Jack Youngblood    L.C. Greenwood
DE:  Carl Eller         Claude Humphrey
DT:  Alan Page          Curley Culp
DT:  Joe Greene         Merlin Olsen
OLB: Jack Ham           Isiah Robertson
OLB: Ted Hendricks      Chris Hanburger
ILB: Bill Bergey        Jack Lambert
CB:  Mel Blount         Lemar Parrish
CB:  Roger Wehrli       Willie Brown
S:   Ken Houston        Paul Krause
S:   Jake Scott         Cliff Harris
PK:  Garo Yepremian     Mark Moseley
P:   Ray Guy            John James
KR:  Terry Metcalf      Ron Smith
PR:  Rick Upchurch      Billy Johnson
HC:  Chuck Noll         Tom Landry

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