Over the past three months, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
S Ronnie Lott
Ronnie Lott defines himself this way at his Pro Football Hall of Fame bio page:
"The way I play is important to me, because I know I'm not gifted with great athletic ability or speed. But god always gives you the ability to do one thing, and that's to try hard. That's my attitude. If that means going out and running into somebody who is bigger or faster or tougher than you, you just do it.”
Lott ran into and over almost as many bigger and faster guys than almost anybody in the history of the NFL, and for that he is the leading vote-getter at the safety position on our Pro Football Weekly Team For The Ages.
Lott played 14 seasons in the NFL — the first 10 with the San Francisco 49ers, two more across the bay in Oakland and his final two in New York with the Jets.
He undersold himself as an athlete, as Lott is remembered for having played everywhere in the secondary — both cornerback positions, free safety and strong safety — over the course of his 14 seasons.
They said it
The iconic Dallas Cowboys coach, Tom Landry once said of Lott, “He's devastating. He may dominate the secondary better than anyone I've seen.”
Lott won four Super Bowls in San Francisco, recorded 63 career interceptions, which he returned for 730 yards and five touchdowns, and also recovered 17 fumbles.
Did you know?
In the final game of the 1985 season, Lott crushed the tip of his left pinkie finger tackling Cowboys RB Timmy Newsome, and when told that bone graft surgery to have it repaired wouldn't allow him to be ready to begin the next season, Lott instead elected to have it amputated.
It is difficult to single out the greatest game with a player like Lott who dictated the pace and tone of so many with the 49ers. But Super Bowl XXIII, where Lott completely changed the game and game plan for the Cincinnati Bengals when he knocked out Ickey Woods with a crushing hit, was certainly one of his signature moments.
Previous "Team for the Ages" player unveilings