Still Got It: Randy Moss and The NFL's All-Veteran Team

Hardy EvansContributor IAugust 25, 2010

Still Got It: Randy Moss and The NFL's All-Veteran Team

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    The NFL is quickly becoming a "youth-centric" league.

    The Eagles traded Pro-Bowl quarterback Donovan Mcnabb in favor of the younger Kevin Kolb. The Jets prematurely released the 33 year-old Alan Faneca after they drafted rookie guard Vladimir Ducasse.

    However, a lot of these veterans still have gas in the tank, and some of them are among the best players in the league.

    Criteria: Each player must have at least 10 years professional football experience

QB: Peyton Manning

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    I had to go with the four-time MVP here. Tom Brady and Brett Favre are also strong candidates, but Peyton Manning is currently the best of the veteran quarterbacks.

HB: Thomas Jones

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    Years Experience: 10

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2008

    Most Recent All-Pro: none

    Thomas Jones actually inspired me to right this article. Running backs easily have the shortest shelf life of any position in the NFL. Jones rushed for 1,402 yards in 2009, good enough for third in the league. I don't care how good the Jets' O-line is, Jones' durability is nothing short of amazing.

FB: Tony Richardson

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    Years Experience: 16

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2007

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2007

    Richardson is, as Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski so accurately put it, football's "best man." Richardson consistently leads the way for 1,000-yard rushers, from Thomas Jones in 2009, to Priest Holmes in 2002. He even blocked for Chester Taylor's only 1,000 yard season in 2006.

    The success of the RBs Richardson has blocked for over the years is almost ridiculous. He is still an elite fullback. The Jets want rookie fullback John Conner to replace Richardson soon. Conner will certainly have his hands full.

WR: Randy Moss

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2007

    Despite his age, Moss still managed to post 1,264 receiving yards last year, good enough for fifth in the NFL. His speed and hands hardly seem to decline, and he will probably be a star for several more years.

WR: Donald Driver

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    Years Experience: 11

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2007

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2006

    These days, everyone seems to call the NFL a "what have you done for me lately?" league. For this reason, I made the difficult decision of choosing Donald Driver over Terrell Owens.

    I really want to believe that Owens's lack of production last year can be attributed more to his team than his lack of talent. However, until Owens proves that he can still shine with Carson Palmer under center, the spot goes to Donald Driver.

TE: Tony Gonzalez

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    Years Experience: 13

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2008

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2008

    Tony Gonzalez is still going strong after 13 years in the league. In 2009, he posted 83 receptions for 867 yards and six TDs. Even at 34, he is still one of the best TEs in the game.

OT: Chad Clifton

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    Years Experience: 10 

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2007

    Most Recent All-Pro: none

    Even though the Packers' offensive line allowed an atrocious 51 sacks last year—the most in the league—Chad Clifton is still a strong spot on the line. Despite his age he remains a strong run blocker and a good pass blocker.

OG: Alan Faneca

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    The Jets released Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca way too early. He is still a devastating run blocker, and was no small factor in the Jets' league-best run game last year. 

C: Jeff Saturday

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    Jeff Saturday and Peyton Manning have been together for about 12 years. For his entire career, Saturday has been a perennial Pro Bowler and year after year is one of the league's best blockers.

OG: Brian Waters

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    Years Experience: 10

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2008

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2005

    Brian Waters was the only bright spot on the Chiefs offensive line in 2009. He has been a dominant blocker for his entire 10-year career, and is still talented enough to make this list.

OT: Flozell Adams

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    Years Experience:

    Most Recent Pro Bowl:

    Most Recent All-Pro:

    Not a lot of options here, but Flozell still has some gas left in the tank.

DE: Aaron Smith

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    Years Experience: 11

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2004

    Most Recent All-Pro: none

    One of the more under-appreciated players in the league, Aaron Smith has been a key part of the Steelers' defense for the past 11 years. He is still one of the better defensive linemen in the league, due mostly to his impressive ability to shed blocks.

DT: Pat Williams

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    Years Experience: 13

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2008

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2007

    At 37, the big man may not be the presence he once was. However, he is still a very good run stuffer and is a very important part of the Vikings' dominant defensive line. 

DT: Jamal Williams

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2007

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2006

    Sports Illustrated's Peter King once called Jamal Williams a "textbook block-of-granite noseman." There is no denying that the once-cornerstone of the Chargers defense has lost a step. However, he has continued to show some dominance, especially in stopping the run. 

    Even if he declines sharply in 2010, having a 350-pound body to clog up running lanes will still prove useful for the Broncos.

DE: John Abraham

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    Years Experience: 10

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2004

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2008

    Tough call, taking Abraham over Jason Taylor. Even though Jason Taylor posted seven sacks in 2009 to Abraham's 5.5, the Falcons' best pass rusher registered 23 sacks over the last two years. Taylor only had 10.

OLB: Julian Peterson

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    Years Experience: 10

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009 (alternate)

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2007

    Julian Peterson is not the same player he once was. However, he still provides valuable talent and experience to the Lions' sub-par defense. The Lions quietly built a very solid defensive line in the offseason, capped off by the drafting of Oklahoma standout Ndamukong Suh. Maybe this will help Peterson continue to age as well as he has.

MLB: Ray Lewis

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    Years Experience: 14

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    This was probably the easiest decision on the list. Ray Lewis has been dominant since day one in the NFL, and he remains the face of the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis posted 134 tackles last year, fifth in the league. He is still one of the best defenders in the NFL.

OLB: Joey Porter

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    Years Experience: 11

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2008

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2008

    The newly designated Arizona Cardinal continues to be a force. Joey Porter recorded nine sacks last year and 17.5 in 2008. He was a pretty easy choice.

CB: Charles Woodson

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    The 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year always seems to defy his age. Charles Woodson was part of a four-way tie for most interceptions in 2009, with 9. Woodson remains one of the best defenders in the league, and he shows no sign of declining play.

CB: Champ Bailey

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    Years Experience: 11

    Most Recent Pro-Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2007

    The lightning fast Denver Bronco is arguably the best cornerback of the decade. Champ Bailey is still a dynamic defender, though he may start to slow down soon.

FS: Darren Sharper

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    Years Experience: 13

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    In 2009, Darren Sharper broke Ed Reed's record 358 single-season interception return yards. He posted 376 return yards. Not only is Darren Sharper a dangerous ball-hawk, he is always a threat to take it to the house. 

    If his knee injury doesn't hurt him too much, expect Sharper to again be a feared defender in 2010.

SS: Brian Dawkins

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    Years Experience: 14

    Most Recent Pro Bowl:

    Most Recent All-Pro:

    Though he is currently playing free safety for the Broncos, Brian Dawkins played plenty of strong safety in his day, and excelled at it. 

K: David Akers

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    Years Experience: 12

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    David Akers may be the best kicker in the league, not much argument here.

P: Shane Lechler

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    Years Experience: 10

    Most Recent Pro Bowl: 2009

    Most Recent All-Pro: 2009

    Again, not much to be argued here. Shane Lechler is pretty darn good at what he does.