NFL: The Coaches Are Speaking Out

John LewisSenior Writer IJuly 2, 2008

There's nothing like a good survey to spark a great debate. The NFL coaches were asked to name names as to who's the smartest and dirtiest in the league.

The votes are in.

The athlete that was voted dirtiest player in the league is none other than Rodney Harrison, safety for the New England Patriots. No surprise here as Harrison has appeared on this list a few other times. He toped the list in 2004 and 2006 as well, and since 2002, he's toped $200,000 in fines.

Voted smartest offensive player, non-QB, was Hines Ward. Not necessarily known as one of the best WRs, he's quietly put up good numbers. Ward is a four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro selection, and Super Bowl XL MVP.

Last season, Ward became both the all-time leader in touchdowns and receiving yards in Steelers' history.

The man who was voted as the smartest defensive player was Zach Thomas. He signed this past offseason with the Dallas Cowboys, and he certainly has plenty of accolades to back up the vote. Thomas is a seven-time All Pro and has been named to seven Pro Bowls.

Voted most reputable owner was Dan Rooney, owner and chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The son of team founder and owner Art Rooney, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

He also helped negotiate the collective bargaining agreement that helped end the 1982 strike, and he was instrumental in the implementation of the salary cap in 1993. The Steelers have always been a model franchise, and since 1972, they have 18 division championships, six AFC Championships, and five Super Bowl wins.