Tom's still Terrific: Brady one of eight unanimous picks to all-decade team
Quarterback Tom Brady is one of eight unanimous choices on the 2010-19 all-decade team released Monday, and no surprise there. It’s the second time Brady has been an all-decade pick.
He was part of the 2000-2009 all-decade team, too.
But then so were four others named to the latest all-decade club, and the envelope, please: Coach Bill Belichick, kick returner Devin Hester, punter Shane Lechler and defensive end Julius Peppers also made the team each of the past two decades.
All but Brady and Belichick are retired.
The 55-member team was chosen by the 48 members of the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame’s board of selectors. Only players who received at least one selection to a Pro Bowl, Associated Press All-Pro team or Pro Football Writers of America all-conference team during the 2010-19 seasons were eligible.
Curiously, the Hall did not announce choices as members of a first-or-second team.
One of two quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers is the other), Brady was a slam-dunk. All he did the last 10 years was win 10 division titles, go to five Super Bowls, win three Lombardi Trophies, be named Super Bowl MVP twice and get chosen to the Pro Bowl every season but 2019.
But he wasn't alone in his encore performance. Joining him as a unanimous selection were seven others: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, linebacker Von Miller, running back Adrian Peterson, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, kicker Justin Tucker, defensive end J.J. Watt and guard Marshal Yanda.
Thomas and Yanda are retired.
All can take a bow, and they're not alone. So can the following:
-- Belichick. He’s one of only two coaches to appear on multiple all-decade teams. Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll is the other (1970s and ‘80s).
-- The NFC West. It’s the most heavily represented division, with eight players who spent most of the decade within it.
-- Darren Sproles. Chosen as an offensive flex player and punt returner, he’s the fourth-ever player to appear on all-decade teams at multiple positions. The others are Mel Gray (kick and punt returner in the 1990s), Dante Hall (kick and punt returner in the 2000s) and Deion Sanders (cornerback and punt returner in the 1990s).
-- Dallas and Cleveland. They were the only teams to place multiple offensive linemen on the team. The Cowboys have Zack Martin and Tyron Smith, while Cleveland was led by Thomas and center Alex Mack.
THE 2010-19 ALL-DECADE TEAM
WR -- Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones.
TE – Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce.
OT – Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Joe Staley, *Joe Thomas.
OG – Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Zack Martin, *Marshal Yanda.
C – Alex Mack, Maurkice Pouncey.
QB – *Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers.
RB – Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, *Adrian Peterson.
Flex – Darren Sproles.
DE – Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Julius Peppers, *J.J. Watt,
DT – Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox, *Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh.
LB – Chandler Jones, Luke Kuechly, Khalil Mack, *Von Miller, Bobby Wagner, Patrick Willis.
CB – Patrick Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman.
S – Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle.
DB – Chris Harris, Tyrann Mathieu.
P – Johnny Hekker, Shane Lechler.
K – Stephen Gostkowski, *Justin Tucker.
Punt Returner – Tyreek Hill, Darren Sproles.
Kick Returner – Devin Hester, Cordarelle Patterson.
Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll.