The Top 10 Most Intense NFL Players
Here are the Top 10 Most Intense NFL Players - featuring players like Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins all of whom deliver the best pregame speeches and hardest NFL hits...
Intensity can be measured in a number of ways. It can be defined as an extreme degree of strength, force, energy, and feeling. We try to define it within an athlete's realm as being "all about business" when it comes to Sundays. We measured all of the individuals in the NFL to narrow it down to a narrow few based upon a few factors. We measured the top 10 most intense athletes in the NFL in terms of:
Troy Polamalu has a motor like no other. Polamalu goes all-out on every single play that he is on the field. This image of him diving to make this improbable tackle is testament to how hard he works during a game. Regarded as one of the best safeties in the game, the 5 time Pro-Bowler is the backbone of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. The reason why he gets the nod over his fellow teammate James Harrison is quite simply because the Steel Curtain isn't quite the same without Polamalu. When the Samoan is healthy and able to contribute the way he wants to, the Steelers defense is the best in the league and when he's not there, that defense is not the same. Soft-spoken off of it, Polamalu is one of the most intense football players on the field and has the ability to make game-changing plays multiple times throughout a game by intercepting an impossible pass, making a bone-jarring hit, or forcing a fumble to give Big Ben one last go for the win.
Adrian "All Day" Peterson came into this league with a lot of hype surrounding him given his incredible career at Oklahoma, and he has certainly lived up to it. He is given that nickname simply because he goes at opposing defenses all day long. Peterson is probably the most elite running back since Barry Sanders hit the scene and is the hardest person to tackle. Opposing defenses only succeed when they force themselves to gang tackle AP. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and broke the single-game rushing record with a flat out ridiculous 296 yards. He is incredibly intense all game long and that is evident when he trucked William Gay after catching the ball as shown in the video below. Let's not forget about the one against Al Harris too. He just refuses to go down.
Ed Reed, also known as the ball hawk of all ball hawks is one of the best safeties in the game, not only for his uncanny ability to run back interceptions for touchdowns, but because he can actually lay a hard hit on an offensive player at any given moment- and he certainly isn't afraid to lay his body out there to do so either. The 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year has racked up 6 Pro Bowl Selections and even made the NFL 2000 First-Team All-Decade-Team for the Safety position. Ed Reed is known to give great speeches to his teammates in an effort to get them fired up, especially when he was the defensive standout at Miami and the player that all his teammates looked up to. His ability to hit hard, make clean tackles, score touchdowns as a defender, and be the vocal leader his teammates need makes him a clear choice to be put on this list. Not to mention his 49 interceptions for 13 touchdowns in 9 NFL seasons is just insane.
4. Clay Matthews
Clay Matthews has turned into one of the best outside linebackers in the game. His raw athleticism, speed, strength, and agility makes him a sack-machine and a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses. Drafted in 2009 by the Green Bay Packers, Matthews made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and has 20.5 sacks in 17 games as a Pro. Perhaps Matthews is famous for his sacks, but he is even more famous for the pose that he delivers to the crowd and the television cameras: The Predator Pose (as in the movie featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger- he kind of looks like him with that long, ugly hair). Clay Matthews goes hard and intense on every play and you can see him shouting and screaming throughout the course of a game, showing that he is fired up and always comes ready to play. There are a lot of similarities between Clay Matthews and Shawne Merriman, but let's just hope Matthews is clean as a whistle, while Merriman..well..wasn't.
3. John Henderson
At 6'7" and 331 pounds, John Henderson is one of the biggest men in the NFL. The 2002 9th pick immediately made a presence for the Jaguars, being nominated to 2 Pro-Bowl selections. Perhaps what Henderson is most famous for though is his pre-game ritual. No, we're not talking about lucky socks or charm bracelets. We're talking about the most hardcore pre-game ritual in the business. Just take a look at the video below and you'll understand why he's #3 on this list.
Dawkins has recorded an unbelievably ridiculous 1,041 tackles, 22 sacks, and 37 interceptions. he is one of 10 players to join the 20/20 club. He is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame and encompasses more passion for the game of football than anybody in the league's history.
The Inquirer said this in regards to Dawkins' intensity on Sundays, "The Eagles' free safety is a maze of fun and entertainment from the moment he steps out of the tunnel for pre-game warm-ups to the moment he disappears into the locker room at the end of a game. He has more energy than the sun and an endless range of emotions."
Dawkins is the leader that the players can actually relate to. His pregame speeches are testament to the intensity he brings and his teammates respond to it wholeheartedly. They get fired up off of his lead, whereby he leads by example, both on and off the field. He brings a certain unparalleled level of intensity to the game that is looked up to by his peers. He teaches them the intricacies of the game to make them better as athletes and teaches them about his life experiences to make them better people in the world. He simply makes everyone around him be better, not because of their fear that he'll get on their backs for acting in defiance, but because of their own rubbed-off self-righteousness to give it their all "on every 'doggone' play". Dawkins, often revered for his work ethic, has been recognized as the most diligent man in the NFL. Anyone associated with Dawkins knows that he works out harder, and with more intensity than anyone else in the league. Sheldon Brown said Dawkins was the most dominant defensive player he’s ever played with in all his 15 years of football, and that now he’s gone, “they’re missing a little heartbeat”. Teammate and all-star corner, Champ Bailey, noted that Dawkins was the greatest addition the Broncos could have ever asked for. That is the impact this one player has on the entire team. He makes his teammates want more out of themselves. His passion for the game is unparalleled. It was apparent in Philadelphia and now the city of Denver is experiencing it first-hand. Even when he isn’t on the field delivering play-making hits and turnovers, you can see him on the sidelines yelling at his teammates to “turn it up”.
Dawkins' former coach Andy Reid said, "When he comes out, you know he transforms into that wolverine thing, I mean he believes it. He just is out of his mind, and he maintains that now though the whole game, on fire the whole game".
Brian Dawkins epitomizes the Wolverine’s attitude of never backing down from a battle. He’ll always face confrontation. He’ll always exit his comfort zone and lay it all out there knowing that he could get hurt from the punishment he tries to deliver with every bone-jarring hit. He is intense all the time no matter what he does…from the pregame warm-up to the final tick of that clock…from early Monday morning to late Sunday night. Brian Dawkins, like the Wolverine, never backs down from a battle. He has entered that world of giving everything he’s got, acting in principle, to give it his absolute all on “every ‘doggone’ play” of the game we call life. He has pride in how he acts as a person and that’s the ultimate pride to have- more than the pride of winning a game could ever signify.
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Date Published : 2011-12-10 16:18:40
Written By : Jaret Grossman
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