The NFL All-Bad-Ass Team
We've seen the best collective groups of talent for the NFL, and we've seen just about every genre or category there is.
This isn't about rookies. This isn't about Hall of Famers.
This list is about guys who live and breathe "bad-ass". They scare you. They excite you. They punish the opposition, and they do it with style.
Well, most of the time.
They're not the best players. Sometimes, they aren't even starters. But if you could have these guys on your team, you'd gladly accept them.
Because if you didn't, they'd beat you up.
(Players are all currently playing)
QB: Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
Rivers ain't the good ol' country boy some think he is. While a well-mannered guy off the field, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more fiery competitor than Rivers.
He's played through injury, openly gotten into spats with Jay Cutler, and is as outspoken as they come.
He hasn't missed a game in three seasons, has tossed at least 21 touchdowns in each year over that span, and made his first Pro Bowl last season.
Just give the guy a motorcycle, already. 'Cause he is super bad-ass.
RB: Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants)
I know he doesn't look so tough lying on the ground, but he's a lot scarier than he looks.
Jacobs has the body of a linebacker and the speed of an elite runner.
Combined with his calm demeanor, he brings his offense to life with a ferocious running style that the defense rarely sees coming.
He hasn't truly put it all together yet, but Jacobs will, in time, show us all why he represents the running back position for this list.
FB: Peyton Hillis (Denver Broncos)
Hillis is only entering his second season, but no player listed at fullback has shown this much versatility, talent, and toughness.
Hillis has the ability to make acrobatic catches, elude defenders, lay destructive blocks, or bulldoze through the opposition.
If you can find a "fullback" who can do what he does as effectively as he does, I'd like to see him.
WR: Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills)
He's with two women and wearing a lame-o mask. It doesn't get much more bad-ass than that.
Owens has been one of the best trash talkers, buzz creators, and team-wreckers of all-time, and more than likely will continue to be.
He's been in a controversial commercial, has had outlandish touchdown celebrations, oh, and he has consistently dominated opposing cornerbacks.
Few have done it as well as Owens and made it look as good. Love him or hate him, he's one of a kind.
WR: Randy Moss (New England Patriots)
Right away as a rookie, you could see what Moss was destined to become.
He was extremely outspoken, as well as dominant. He owned the Green Bay Packers in both meetings, and ended the season with a rookie record 17 touchdowns.
Moss has seen himself traded from Minnesota because of his antics, while he's even been seen fake-mooning Green Bay fans.
Yeah, he's got stones, and everybody knows it.
WR: Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Ward is a consummate team player, while also being a star receiver.
He's recorded multiple 1,000-yard season, while establishing himself as one of the toughest receivers over the middle, while also being extremely reliable.
Ward still has the ability to break the big play, but has become even more popular for his "dirty hits," blocking, and overall nasty demeanor.
If you ask him yourself, he'd probably just tell you, "that's football, baby."
But in reality, he's one tough SOB.
TE: Jeremy Shockey (New Orleans Saints)
As you can see above, Shockey can play without a helmet if he has to.
He's never been a poster boy for health or good, solid handshakes, either.
And that's why he's here at the tight end spot.
Shockey has been an elite tight end for most of his career, thanks to his solid route running and willingness to destroy the defender with his body.
Shockey will sport the long, rebellious hair, say what he wants to say when he wants to say it, and can punish anyone is his way.
He had an off-year last year, but he's still as bad-ass as they come.
OL: Alan Faneca (New York Jets)
No, that's not Mickey Rourke. That's the Jets' most bad-ass offensive lineman, Alan Faneca.
His game slipped a bit last year, but the reasoning could range from supporting line talent, to Brett Favre, to offensive philosophy.
Regardless, Faneca has been and should continue to be one of the toughest, most dominating offensive linemen in the game.
He's been to multiple Pro Bowls, has won a Super Bowl, and even called out his then-rookie quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.
Faneca can grow a mean beard, and also possesses a mean streak.
DL: Jared Allen (Minnesota Vikings)
He sacks quarterbacks at will, and sometimes eats them.
He has always been outspoken (which led to a trade to Minnesota), and he's an inspirational team leader, as well as a dominant defensive force.
If you chop-block him, he'll go after you.
If you curse him out, he'll go after you.
If you shake his hand...
LB: Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens)
If you've ever seen Ray Lewis do his "thang" before a game, you've seen all you need to see. But if you want more, just check out the footage, my friend.
Lewis has lost a step over the years, but still remains a force to be reckoned with over the middle of the field.
When he's not busy forcing would-be blockers into regret, he's punishing ball-carriers or forcing fumbles.
There is an old Lewis adage: If you see Ray, get out of the way.
LB: Shawne Merriman (San Diego Chargers)
His future may be in doubt due to this year's draft, as well as his injury status, but that doesn't mean he can't kick your ass.
Merriman is the most feared linebacker rushing on the outside in the league, and is an absolute terror to fight off. Once he reaches the quarterback, forget about it.
Before his injury last season, he had begun his career with three straight seasons of at least 10 sacks.
The fact that he actually tried playing with two torn ligaments in his knee isn't just gutsy. It's insane.
The dude can beat your dad up.
LB: Joey Porter (Miami Dolphins)
Who can talk as much trash and guarantee as many wins, and still get away with it?
The answer is nobody.
Porter is a true motor mouth, with every bit the amount of talent needed to back it up. He's an elite pass rusher with great athleticism and awareness.
However, his ability to get inside his opponent's head may be his best asset.
Regardless your opinion of him, as a Steeler or a Dolphin, Porter is/was not to be messed with.
CB: Al Harris (Green Bay Packers)
He's tiny and light as a feather, but just try pushing this guy around. It won't happen.
As strong as Terrell Owens is, he had a difficult time in his first meeting with Harris, despite eventually having a great game.
Harris has been credited by many top receivers, including Chad Johnson, as one of the top cover-corners in the game.
Oh, and he returned from a severe spleen injury to play last season.
Small guy with big heart prevents touchdowns. Is that a headline I see?
No, that's Al Harris.
CB: Adam "Pac-Man" Jones
While his "badass-ness" could be confused for stupidity or insanity, he's still one cocky and confident dude.
Despite not realizing his full potential, or intelligence, he's still flashed greatness in coverage and on special teams.
He's been mixed up with gambling, violence, and strip clubs.
Combine that with his talent, and you've got yourself an A+ bad-ass.
S: Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Polamalu has the hair, the talent, and the attitude.
He's swagger in a jar, baby. Drink it up. Get Polamulized.
Still, he's one of the premier safeties in the league, is a team leader, and one of the nastiest hitters in the game.
It seems he makes a game-changing play at least five times a season, and is always around the ball.
He has 17 pass deflections and seven interceptions during last year's Super Bowl season, furthering his awesomeness.
S: Brian Dawkins (Denver Broncos)
Dawkins is a ferocious hitter, and better than average in coverage.
No matter his age and physical limitations, Dawkins has always had fear on his side, and can strike it into the heart of his opponent at will.
He was part of five Eagles teams that reached the NFC title game, and guided one of the better defenses over the past decade.
He may be doing evil deeds in a new uniform, but that doesn't make him any less awesome.
Quiet, Philly fans.
K: Jay Feely (New York Jets)
For the longest time, he was the kid with the big leg, but no accuracy.
Then it was "the kicker with huge arms".
But that's not all Feely was. No, besides being the last line of defense on special teams, he has slowly but surely turned into a reliable, and even clutch kicker.
Don't think so? Write down his game-winner against the Patriots in overtime last season.
Muscles, a leg, and ice in his veins? Nice.
P: Brian Moorman (Buffalo Bills)
Moorman has long been a consistent, if not elite punter in the league.
But what separates him from all other punters is his...wait for it...SPEED.
The guy used to be able to run the 40 in the 4.4's, and National champion in several track categories.
Moorman still retains some of that speed, even at 33, and is the living reason why punters (some, anyways) are football players, too.