NFL: Best Special Teams Player on Every Roster

Matt CoanCorrespondent IIJuly 19, 2011

NFL: Best Special Teams Player on Every Roster

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    In the NFL, special teams makes up a third of the game.

    Without a good special teams unit, a team will not have success and will not be in Super Bowl contention.

    Plenty of players have made long careers out of playing special teams and they deserve to be recognized.

    Here is a list of the best special team players on every NFL roster.

Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant

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    Dez Bryant had a great rookie special teams year for the Dallas Cowboys.

    In 15 returns, Bryant scored two touchdowns and had a total of 215 return yards.

    It was a great start to what should be a great career.

Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson

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    New York Giants fans, look away.

    DeSean Jackson's explosive return game makes him a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

New York Giants: Anyone but Matt Dodge

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    Matt Dodge has become just as famous for that punt return as DeSean Jackson.

    Dodge had a horrible rookie year, capped off by that horrible play.

Washington Redskins: Brandon Banks

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    Brandon Banks is the Washington Redskins return specialist and was 12th in the league in kick return average.

    The Redskins lack special teams talent which is why Banks is No. 1.

Arizona Cardinals: Jay Feely

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    Jay Feely is one the league's best kickers and the Arizona Cardinal's best special teams player.

    Last season, Feely made 24 out of 27 field goals and had one of the best field goal percentages in the league.

San Francisco 49ers: Andy Lee

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    One of the best punters in the league, Andy Lee finished fourth in the league in punt average and third in punts inside the 20.

Seattle Seahawks: Leon Washington

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    Leon Washington had a great comeback season last year for the Seattle Seahawks on special teams.

    Washington returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, including two in one game.

St. Louis Rams: Chris Chamberlain

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    Chris Chamberlain was one of the top special teams tacklers in the NFL last season and was the driving force behind the Rams kickoff coverage unit.

Chicago Bears: Devin Hester

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    Devin Hester is the greatest return man of all time and easily the Chicago Bears' best special teams player.

    Hester is the most dangerous player on football and any team in their right mind would kick away from him.

Detroit Lions: Stefan Logan

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    Stefan Logan is one of the top kick return men in the league and provides a nice spark for Lions, before they take over on offense.

Minnesota Vikings: Percy Harvin

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    Young Percy Harvin is a very dangerous return man and has his best days ahead of him.

    Harvin scored a touchdown on a kick return last season and averaged 23.3 yard per return.

Green Bay Packers: Mason Crosby

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    Mason Crosby didn't kick a whole lot of field goals because of the high powered Green Bay Packers offense, but he did kick a lot of extra points.

    Crosby was third in the league extra points made and is an overall solid kicker.

Atlanta Falcons: Eric Weems

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    Eric Weems does it all for the Atlanta Falcons special teams unit.

    Weems led the team in special teams tackles and return yards and is a true special teams wonder boy.

Carolina Panthers: Marcus Hudson

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    Not a well known guy, but that doesn't mean Marcus Hudson doesn't get the job done.

    Hudson led the Panthers in special teams tackles and is a work horse on the field.

New Orleans Saints: Reggie Bush

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    Reggie Bush may not end up with the New Orleans Saints after the free agency period but as of right now he is the Saints' best special teamer.

    Bush is a dynamic return man who uses his explosiveness to set up his offense in great field position.

    Bush will be a great acquisition for whoever ends up signing him.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Michael Spurlock

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    Michael Spurlock was 12th in the NFL in total kickoff return yards and scored one touchdown for the Buccaneers in 2010.

    Spurlock is a consistent return man and a nice player for the Bucs.

Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller

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    C.J. Spiller is another young, dynamic return man in the NFL and has his best years ahead of him.

    Spiller scored a touchdown on a 95-yard kick return last season and had over 1,000 return yards total. 

New England Patriots: Stephen Gotkowski

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    Stephen Gostkowski only made 10 field goals last season and had a down year but is still a good kicker who should bounce back.

    The New England Patriots offense will not need a lot of field goal help but they move the ball so well that Gotkowski should get a lot of attempts this season.

New York Jets: Brad Smith

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    Brad Smith was drafted as a special teams player and he excels there in the NFL.

    Smith lead the Jets in special teams tackles and is a great return man. Smith will make a living in this league as a special teams player like so many before him.

Miami Dolphins: Dan Carpenter

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    Dan Carpenter was the kicker on my fantasy team last year which is why he made this list.

    Carpenter had a solid year for a bad team and put up some solid points.

Denver Broncos: Matt Prater

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    Matt Prater is a solid NFL kicker who made this list only because of the lacking special teams talent on the Denver Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs: Dexter McCuster

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    Dexter McCluster is just another player to add to the "freakishly athletic young return men" list and last season he was a big part of the Kansas City Chiefs' surprise season.

Oakland Raiders: Shane Lechler

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    Shane Lechler is the best punter in the NFL without question and easily the best special teams player on the Oakland Raiders.

    Lechler was second in the league in punt average and his leg is something Raider fans should be proud of.

San Diego Chargers: Nate Kaeding

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    The San Diego Chargers had the worst special teams unit in the NFL last season but that wasn't because of Nate Kaeding.

    Kaeding is a great kicker and is probably the only player worth keeping on that unit.

Baltimore Ravens: David Reed

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    David Reed led the league in kick return yard average and is a quality special teams player.

    Reed had one touchdown to go along with 616 yards on 21 returns. His return "long" was 103 yards.

Cincinnati Bengals: Bernard Scott

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    Another team lacking special teams talent, Bernard Scott makes the list for the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Scott is a solid return man who won't get you great field position but won't screw you either.

Cleveland Browns: Josh Cribbs

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    Josh Cribbs is a great return man in the NFL and only second to Devin Hester.

    Cribbs wasn't his normal self last year but I feel he will return to his once great form and become a threat to score with each return.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Anthony Madison

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    Anthony Madison led the Pittsburgh Steelers in special teams tackles last year and is a great special teams player.

Houston Texans: James Casey

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    James Casey was one of the top special teams tacklers in the NFL last season and led his Houston Texans team in the category.

    I know nothing else about James Casey.

Indianapolis Colts: Adam Vinateri

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    Adam Venateri is the most clutch kicker in NFL history and continues to be productive for the Indianapolis Colts.

    Venateri is near the top of all field goal kicking statistics and his past clutch performances seal him on this list.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Kassim Osgood

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    Kassim Osgood is near the top of the league in special team tackles and leads the category for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tennessee Titans: Rob Bironas

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    The Tennessee Titans have one of the league's best kickers in Rob Bironas and he should continue to kick at that level.

    Bironas was third in the league in field goal percentage and made 24 of 26 kicks.