Brady, Brown Among Grogan’s Favorite All-Time Players


Jul 17, 2009

Brady, Brown Among Grogan’s Favorite All-Time Players Former New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan, one of the most popular players in the history of the franchise, took some time this week to list his favorite football players of all time.

As a disclaimer to anyone he might have missed, Grogan said, “If I started to list all of them, I’d have to go on forever.” Still, the hard-nosed quarterback, who grew up watching the Kansas City Chiefs and became the longest-tenured player in Patriots history, shed some light on the guys whom he has always enjoyed watching.

Here, in no particular order, is a capsule on each of them:

Len Dawson
Quick hit: Played quarterback for four teams in the AFL and NFL from 1957-75 and was named the MVP of Super Bowl IV, when he led the Kansas City Chiefs past the Minnesota Vikings. Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Grogan on Dawson: “He was a great leader and took them to two Super Bowls when I was in high school. He had a big impression on me.”

Larry Csonka
Quick hit: Bruising running back who played eight of his 11 NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Csonka was a two-time Super Bowl champion and was named MVP of Super Bowl VIII, when the Dolphins dropped the Vikings. Csonka was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Grogan on Csonka: “I loved his toughness, the way he ran over people.”

Terry Bradshaw
Quick hit: Played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1970-83. The four-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP and 1978 NFL MVP was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Grogan on Bradshaw: “Terry Bradshaw was a tough quarterback, had a strong arm and didn’t back down from anybody. I liked that about him.”

John Hannah
Quick hit: In the conversation among the best offensive linemen of all-time, Hannah was the Patriots’ left guard from 1973-85. Similar to Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, Hannah’s intensity was unrivaled on game days. Hannah, a nine-time Pro Bowler, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Grogan on Hannah: “John Hannah was an extremely intense perfectionist on the football field. He brought everybody’s level up close to his.”

Stanley Morgan
Quick hit: One of the game’s great deep threats during his era, the speedy Morgan was a tremendously smart wide receiver for the Patriots from 1977-89 before playing one season for the Indianapolis Colts. He finished his career with more than 10,000 receiving yards and 72 receiving touchdowns, and Morgan was inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame in 2007.

Grogan on Morgan: “Stanley Morgan was a guy that was fun to be around on the football field. He enjoyed what he was doing, and he was great at running routes and catching passes.”

Steve Nelson
Quick hit: Played linebacker for the Patriots from 1974-87 and was one of the leaders of New England’s defense through the organization’s first really prosperous era. Nelson will admit he wasn’t the greatest athlete, but he was always smart enough to put himself in the right place at the right time, similar to Tedy Bruschi. Nelson was inducted into the Patriots’ Hall of Fame in 1993.

Grogan on Nelson: “Steve Nelson was one of the toughest guys I played with. He was smart, like a coach on the field.”

Pete Brock
Quick hit: Brock was an offensive lineman for the Patriots from 1976-87, playing mostly at center. Grogan actually threw a touchdown pass to Brock during a victory against the Jets in 1976.

Grogan on Brock: “Pete Brock was a guy that took great pride in protecting me and knowing our entire offense.”

Tom Brady
Quick hit: A three-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Super Bowl MVP and 2007 NFL MVP, Brady has already earned himself a spot in Canton, and he deserves a large amount of credit for the Patriots’ dynasty.

Grogan on Brady: “Tom Brady, of course, speaks for itself. He is one of the greatest to play the position ever. I’ve gotten the chance to watch him grow up here and do all of those things. That’s been fun.”

Troy Brown
Quick hit: The ultimate team player, Brown won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and epitomized the team formula under head coach Bill Belichick. While Brown was a legitimate offensive threat for much of his career, he earned his highest praises from the organization for learning how to play cornerback when the team was thin at the position.

Grogan on Brown: “Troy Brown is a guy that is just a football player. He could have played in any era, did whatever they asked him to do whenever they asked him to do it. I admire a guy that plays like that.”

* Photo courtesy of STATS.

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