Picking One Legend: Week Three - AFC East
You know the deal by now, people. If one legend could return to help one of their former teams, who would contribute the most? This week we take a look at the AFC East and decide who each team would like to bring back if they could turn back time to when these players were in their primes.
Buffalo Bills - Jim Kelly (QB)
I know I wasn't the only one who was shocked when the Bills didn't grab a quarterback in the draft. I think Tyrod Taylor is an adequate backup, but he has proven a number of times that he isn't ready to lead a team yet. Jim Kelly was leadership personified, and possibly the toughest S.O.B. ever to play the position. On top of those intangibles, Kelly was blessed with all the tangible skill an quarterback could ever ask for. He took his team to an unprecedented 4 consecutive Super Bowls, and along the way, he racked up 5 trips to the Pro Bowl, and cemented himself a place in the Hall of Fame. I can see Kelly in my minds eye, confusing some of the young defenders today with his no-huddle, K-Gun offense, all the while executing with his usual calm determination.
Miami Dolphins - Larry Little (G)
The Dolphins took an OG in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, but there were a few analysts that had the 'Phins snagging one in the first round. The need is definitely still there, and even though they added depth by picking up a couple underwhelming free agents, that still hasn't plugged the leak. Larry Little is an easy choice here. This member of the 1970s All-Decade Team was traded to the Dolphins by the Chargers for a trash cornerback, and immediately started showing everyone the chip on his shoulder. Little made 5 Pro Bowl trips and was a key contributor to the Dolphins 2 Super Bowl wins in the 70s. With an explosive back like Ajayi, and the tackle of the future in Tunsil, Little could add that extra bit of talent which could make the 'Phins straight-up scary.
New England Patriots - Willie McGinest (DE/OLB)
Shut up, Patriots fans...everybody can still use a little help. With the loss of Jamie Collins and a distinct need for a pass rusher, Belichick did his usual stingy picks from the buffet of free agency and the draft. While he likely came up with some winners (as he is wont to do) a guy like Willie McGinest would remove any doubt over choices made. Willie was a sack artist, with 78 sacks in his 12 years with the Pats. He was a diverse weapon of a player, showing elite athleticism as a linebacker, and when he put his hand in the dirt as an edge rusher. McGinest is a member of both the Patriots All-1990s Team, and All-2000s team, and with his propensity for showing up in all the big games, he could totally bring Bean Town a 6th ring.
New York Jets - Vinny Testaverde (QB)
Somewhere, my brother Dominic is reading this and feeling absolutely exultant. Many are probably thinking that Ol' Joe Willy Namath was the obvious choice here, but that simply isn't the case. Namath was a pop culture icon, and that is ultimately what cemented his legacy. His field skills were marginal, and while he had some big moments, he retired with more interceptions than touchdowns. Testaverde easily had the greatest performance of any Jets quarterback ever in 1998, finishing the year with 29 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions, and taking the Jets to the AFC Championship Game. Many like to point to Vinny as a journeyman quarterback who could never quite got things going in his career, but they obviously haven't taken a hard look at his career statistics. Vinny is in the top 20 in almost every passing category in the history of the NFL, and was consistent enough in his skills to have a 21 year career in the NFL. Greatest QB of all-time? No way. Greatest Jets QB of all-time? You could sure as hell make a case.
Agree with my choices? Reply and let me know! Also, it wouldn't kill you to share, friend-o.