NFL

Special teams finalists announced for NFL 100 All-Time Team

The NFL is revealing the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest coaches in NFL history. Every Friday night at 8 ET through Dec. 27, NFL Network will announce the latest members of the All-Time Team during a one-hour special hosted by Rich Eisen and featuring Bill Belichick and Cris Collinsworth.

Below are the 12 special teams finalists for the All-Time Team. The six special teams players (two kickers, two punters, two returners) on the All-Time Team will be revealed this Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network:

Kicker finalists

Morten Andersen (1982-2007)

2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee… Played in NFL-record 382 games… Ranks 2nd all-time in points (2,544) and FG made (565), 3rd in extra points made (849)… Topped 100 points 14 times, T-3rd most in NFL history… Became 1st player to kick three FG of 50+ yards in same game, 1995… Retired at age 47, 2nd-oldest player in NFL history… Made seven Pro Bowls, NFL record by a kicker… Earned three 1st-team All-Pro honors, tied for NFL-high by kicker… Named to NFL All-Decade Team for 1980s and 1990s… Selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 4th round of the 1982 NFL Draft… Born August 19, 1960 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Lou Groza (1946-1959; 1961-1967)

1974 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee… Won four AAFC, four NFL titles with Browns… Made last-second FG to win 1950 NFL title game… Retired as all-time leading scorer (1,608). Made nine Pro Bowls, four 1st-team All-Pro berths as OT… Revolutionized FG kicking in era before skill became specialized… Nicknamed "The Toe" for kicking success… Also starred as offensive tackle for 13 seasons, 1947-1959… Missed 1960 season due to back injury… Returned as kicker only, 1961-67… Named to NFL All-Decade Team for 1950s… Member of NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team… Born January 25, 1924, in Martins Ferry, OH.

Jan Stenerud (1967-1985)

1991 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee… Kicked three FGs in Super Bowl IV win with Chiefs… Made six Pro Bowls, T-2nd most by kicker in NFL history… Was 1st pure placekicker to enter Hall of Fame… Helped usher in more accurate soccer-style FG kicking… Retired as NFL’s second-leading all-time scorer (1,699 points) with then-record 373 FG made… 1st-team All-Pro, 1970… Member of NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team… Entered college on skiing scholarship, joined football team as senior… Born November 26, 1942, in Fetsund, Norway.

Adam Vinatieri (1996-Present)

Has won four Super Bowl titles in five appearances, kicking game-winning FG in SB XXXVI and XXXVIII for Patriots… Owns NFL records in (regular season and playoffs) for most career points, field goals made… Only kicker in NFL history to score 1,000+ points for two different teams… Set NFL record with 44 straight FG made, 2015-2016 seasons… Three-time Pro Bowl and 1st-team All-Pro selection… Named to NFL All-Decade Team of 2000s… Signed with Patriots as undrafted free agent after becoming all-time leading scorer at South Dakota State (since broken)… Born December 28, 1972, in Yankton, South Dakota.

Punter finalists

Ray Guy (1973-1986)

2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee… Played in seven AFC championship games, three Super Bowls (winning 3 titles with Raiders)… Averaged under 40 yards only once in 14 NFL seasons (42.4 career gross average)… Had only three of 1,049 punts blocked… Made seven Pro Bowls, tied for most by punter in NFL history… Three-time 1st-team All-Pro, T-3rd most by punter all-time… Named to NFL All-Decade Team for 1970s… Member of NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team… Selected by Raiders in 1st round (23rd overall pick) of 1973 NFL Draft, the 1st punter ever picked in 1st round… Born December 22, 1949, in Swainsboro, GA.

Yale Lary (1952-1953; 1956-1964)

1979 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee… Major contributor to three NFL championship teams with Lions, 1952-1953, 1957… Was 11-year fixture at exceptional punter, safety, long-distance threat on kick returns… Posted career 44.3 yard punting average, 4 NFL punting crowns (1959, 1961-1963)… His 50 career INT ranked T-3rd all-time at time of retirement. Made Pro Bowl in nine of 11 NFL seasons… Three-time 1st-team All-Pro… Named to NFL All-Decade Team for 1950s… Selected by the Detroit Lions in 3rd round (34th overall pick) in 1952 NFL Draft… Born November 24, 1930, in Fort Worth, TX.

Shane Lechler (2000-2017)

NFL’s all-time leader in gross punting average (47.6 yards per punt)… Finished season 1st in punting average four times, 2003-2004, 2007, 2009… Ranked in NFL’s top two in punting average 12 times in 18 seasons… Earned 1st-team All-Pro honors six times, most by punter in NFL history… Made seven Pro Bowls, tied with HOF Ray Guy for most in NFL history by punter… Named to NFL All-Decade Team of 2000s… Selected by Oakland Raiders in 5th round of 2000 NFL Draft… Born August 7, 1976, in East Bernard, TX.

Jerrel Wilson (1963-1978)

Known for his booming punts, nicknamed "Thunderfoot"… Finished season 1st in punting average five times (tied for NFL record), 1965, 1968, 1971-1973… Named to All-Time All-AFL team by Pro Football Hall of Fame… Most decorated punter in Chiefs history, also tied for franchise record for most seasons (15) and ranking 4th in games played (203)… Earned three consecutive Pro Bowl selections, 1970-1972 seasons… Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in 11th round of 1963 AFL Draft… Born October 4, 1941, in New Orleans, LA.

Kick/punt returner finalists

Mel Gray (1984-1985 (AFL) 1986-1997 (NFL))

Ranks 4th in NFL history in total kick/punt returns (673) and yards (13,003)… Scored nine career kick/punt returns (T-6th in NFL history), including six by kickoff (T-3rd)… Led NFL in punt return average twice (1987, 1991) and kick return average twice (1991, 1994)… Ranked in NFL’s top five in kick return average in six straight seasons, 1989-1994… Four-time Pro Bowl selection… Three-time 1st-team All-Pro… Selected by Saints in 2nd round (42nd overall) of 1984 supplemental draft… Born March 19, 1961, in Williamsburg, VA.

Devin Hester (2006-2016)

NFL-record 19 career kick/punt return TD, including 14 by punt (most in NFL history). In each of first two seasons, broke NFL single-season record for kick/punt return TD (5 in 2006, 6 in 2007)… Only player to return opening kickoff of Super Bowl for TD (SB XLI vs Colts)… One of 6 players to score two kick/punt return TD in same game on multiple occasions… Led NFL in punt return average twice, 2010-2011… Four-time Pro Bowl selection… Three-time 1st-team All-Pro… Selected by the Chicago Bears in 2nd round (57th overall) of 2006 NFL Draft… Born November 4, 1982, in Riviera Beach, FL.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson (1974-1988)

Became popular over his "Funky Chicken" dance, one of first players to celebrate after scoring… Posted eight career kick/punt return TD, including six by punt (T-9th in NFL history)… Ranked in top 10 with 3,317 career punt return yards (7th) and 11.8 punt return average (8th, min. 75 returns)… Led NFL in punt return average twice, 1975, 1977… Three-time Pro Bowl selection… 1st-team All-Pro, 1977… Member of 75th Anniversary All-Time Team… Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team for 1970s and 1980s… Selected by Oilers in 15th round of 1974 NFL Draft… Born January 27, 1952, in Boothwyn, PA.

Brian Mitchell (1990-2003)

Owns NFL career records for total kick/punt return yards for both regular season (19,013) and playoffs (1,214)… Ranks 2nd in NFL history behind HOF Jerry Rice with 23,330 all-purpose yards… Scored 13 career kick/punt return TD (2nd in NFL history), including nine by punt (3rd)… Led NFL in all-purpose yards four times, 1994-1996, 1998… Career-high 14.1 punt return average in 1994 (1st in NFL)… Pro Bowl selection and 1st-team All-Pro, 1995… Selected by the Washington Redskins in 5th round of 1990 NFL Draft… Born August 18, 1968, in Fort Polk, LA.

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