The 25 Greatest New York Giants Players: Part 5/7, No. 15- No. 11

Frank Gray@https://twitter.com/#!/nyfaninsjerseyCorrespondent IJune 3, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Defensive end Michael Strahan #92 of the New York Giants holds a copy of the Bergen Record with the headline 'GIANTS WIN!' after the Giants defeated the New England Patriots 17-14 during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

So far we have gone two-thirds of the way through the list. Here's a recap of those you may have missed:

No. 25
- Bart Oates (C)
No. 24 - Mel Hein (C)
No. 23 - Joe Morris (HB )
No. 22 - Rodney Hampton (HB )
No. 21 - Kyle Rote (HB /WR )
No. 20 - Pepper Johnson -LB
No. 19 - Ottis Anderson -RB
No. 18 - Joe Morrison -HB /WR
No. 17 - Leonard Marshall -DE
No. 16 - Y.A. Tittle -QB

Now we can move on to the next five.

No. 15 - Emlen Tunnell - CB . Tunnell played in the NFL from 1948 to 1961. He played his first 11 seasons with the Giants. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. His Giants career includes 74 interceptions, which is the most in franchise history. He also scored four defensive TDs , which ties him for first all-time in franchise history with Jason Sehorn and Dick Lynch.

He was named to the NFL's 1950's all-time team. He also won two NFL Championships, one with the Giants in 1956, the other with Green Bay in 1961. He was the first African American to play for the Giants. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1967.

After football, he became a scout (1963-1965) and eventually an assistant coach (1965-1973) for the Giants. He passed away from a heart attack in 1975. He will be remembered as a pioneer and a terrific athlete in New York Giants history.

No. 14 - Amani Toomer - WR . Toomer could arguably be the most successful receiver in New York Giants history. The Giants drafted him in second round of the 1996 draft. In his rookie season, he returned two punts for touchdowns , including one for a Giants record of 87 yards. He didn't score his first receiving TD until his second season—his first as a starter.

From there, he went on to lead the team all-time in several receiving categories, including receiving yards (9,497), TD receptions (54), catches (668) and games played at wide receiver (190).

He had 5 consecutive seasons ('99-'03) of more than 1,000 receiving yards. He was a member of the 2000 and 2007 Super Bowl teams. He played a pivotal role in the '07 campaign, making key catch after key catch in the playoff run.

While with the Giants, his flashes of talent and brilliance made him hard to ignore. In a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in '06, he helped lead the team to a 17-point comeback with his 12 catches.

He was so spent after the game that trainers had to carry him off of the field—a testament to his work ethic. He left everything on the field and at the end of the day, and fans knew he tried his very best to help his team win.

He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in the '09 offseason but was released before playing with them. He has tried to catch onto an NFL team, but his options are dwindling. He has yet to announce his official retirement, but speculation says that when he does, he will begin to rack up the career recognition achievements that he deserves.

No. 13 - Alex Webster - RB . Webster played his entire NFL career with the New York Giants. The Washington Redskins drafted him in 1953, but he instead chose to play in the Canadian Football League for his first two professional seasons. He joined the Giants in 1955. He was part of the 56' NFL championship team. He was a two-time NFL Pro Bowl selection and a CFL All Star.

While playing for the Giants, he accumulated 240 catches for 2,679 yards. He is fourth among Giants running backs all-time in games played with 109. He racked up 4,638 rushing yards in 1,196 attempts—both fourth in franchise history.

After his playing career, he became a Giants assistant coach and worked his way to become the team's head coach in 1969. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1970. He remains mostly out of the spotlight these days but will always be remembered as the player who would always get the tough yards.

No. 12 - Charlie Conerly - QB . Conerly played his entire 14-year career with the New York Giants. Like Webster, he was drafted by the Redskins but never played for them. He was also a member of the '56 NFL Championship team with Webster and played in the '58 NFL Championship between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts.

He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1948. He played in three championship games for the Giants in four seasons. During his playing career, he amassed 2,833 attempts, 19,488 passing yards and 173 passing TDs in 161 games.

All of these career numbers placed him first all-time among Giants QBs for nearly 30 years. Phil Simms eventually surpassed them all, but they still remain second in Giants history.

His number 42 was retired by the Giants. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1961. While playing, he made several commercials for Marlboro cigarettes. He played the character that commonly became known as the Marlboro man.

After his career, he was an author and a business man, owning shoe stores in his native Mississippi where he retired to after his playing career. He passed away in 1996.

College Football developed an award in his honor for the most outstanding college football player in the state of Mississippi. It has been awarded to several prominent athletes since its inception including Patrick Willis, Jerious Norwood , Deuce McAllister and two-time award winner and current New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who many expect to surpass several of Conerly's career statistics next season.

Conerly may have had his career New York Giants numbers and accomplishments matched, but he will always be remembered for his contributions to the game.

No. 11 - Sam Huff - LB . Huff was an influential figure in the history of the NFL. He may be a controversial choice at No. 11, but when studying his career, it was a logical choice. Keep in mind the criteria that was first set for this series. Huff was drafted in the 1956 NFL draft by the Giants.

He was originally drafted as a defensive lineman. During training camps, he grew frustrated because the team didn't know where to play him. He decided to quit. While at the airport, ready to leave, an assistant coach persuaded him to stay. That assistant coach was Vince Lombardi, the same man credited for building the NFL and after whom the Super Bowl trophy is named.

The defensive coach, Tom Landry, designed a new defensive scheme tailored specifically for Huff. It is known to every football fan as the 4-3 defense. Huff was moved from defensive lineman to middle linebacker. During his Giants playing career ('56-'63), he had 18 interceptions, first all-time among the Giants linebackers.

He played before the league began calculating tackles and sacks, though his career may have been one argument for creating those stats. He was selected to the Pro Bowl five times; four of those selections came with the Giants. He was on the NFL Championship team in '56 and played in the championship game in '58, '59, '61, '62 and '63.

He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1982. Huff had the distinct honor of being a part of arguably the worst transaction in Giants history. In 1964, head coach Allie Sherman traded him to a division rival, the Washington Redskins. He went on to revolutionalize the Redskins defense.

After his playing career, he turned to business. He works as a partner with ESPN for the West Virginia Breeder's Classic horse race and he was vice president of sports marketing for the Marriott Corporation.

He has been known widely to football fans as a radio commentator for Redskins games for decades. Many will remember him as a pioneer of the game, and when he did that, he was a Giants player.

In the next segment, we will enter the top ten. Please join me.


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