(Darrell Green photos courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
Talk of Fame Network
Darrell Green may have been the fastest cornerback ever to play in the NFL.
Our Talk of Fame Network listeners and readers also voted him the best cornerback ever to play in the NFL.
In a bit of an upset, Green received 42 percent of the votes to race past Deion Sanders at 30 percent and Dick “Night Train” Lane at 11 percent. Champ Bailey, Mel Blount, Willie Brown, Mike Haynes and Jimmy Johnson all finished in single digits in the balloting.
Green was only 5-feet-8, but he made up for any size deficiencies with his speed. He reportedly clocked a 4.09 40-yard dash while with the Washington Redskins.
The 28th and final player selected in the first round of the 1983 draft, Green went on to play 20 seasons in the NFL, all with the Redskins, and win three championships. His 54 interceptions tie Willie Brown for 11th all-time among pure cornerbacks. He never intercepted more than five passes in a single season but intercepted at least one pass in 19 consecutive seasons, an NFL record.
Green was voted to seven Pro Bowls and the 1990s NFL all-decade team.
Sanders won back-to-back Super Bowls with two different teams in 1994 (San Francisco) and 1995 (Dallas) and was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. Lane was voted by the Hall-of-Fame selection committee as the greatest cornerback in the NFL’s first 50 years and was joined in the NFL’s 75th anniversary team by Mel Blount and Mike Haynes.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts were split in their voting but none tabbed Green. Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge cast their ballots for Lane and Ron Borges for Willie Brown.
“Sixty years after playing Night Train still holds the single-season record for interceptions and also the career record for most interceptions by a cornerback,” Judge said. “To say he was ahead of his time is a gross understatement. He was at the head of his class.”