For those that have played or watched high school football, two-way players are still commonplace and, for some teams, required. However, NFL players are rarely seen as two-way players in the modern-day NFL.
Before the 1961 season, NFL players were expected to be two-way players.
In fact, according to electro-mech.com, two of the best two-way players were Chuck Bednarik and Mel Hein. Here is an excerpt on these two players:
"Hein played every minute of every New York Giants game for 15 years. He played center on offense and linebacker on defense from 1931 to 1945. Center was a particularly challenging position on the Giants, who played a single wing offense. This offense required that the ball be snapped directly from the center to the tailback, much as the shotgun offense today requires a long snap to the quarterback. As a linebacker, Hein was noted for his pass coverage. He helped to pioneer the technique of jamming a receiver at the line of scrimmage.
Chuck Bednarik was the last NFL player to play on both sides of the ball for every play, achieving the feat in 1960. Bednarik played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949 to 1962. Like Hein, he was a center on offense and a linebacker on defense. He capped his impressive 1960 season with a game-saving tackle against Green Bay in the championship game. But Bednarik’s most memorable play of that year was a devastating hit on New York Giants running back Frank Gifford; Gifford was sidelined for a full year because of the tackle."—From electro-mech.com
**Photo courtesy of allposters.com