Active players will not be included in this list, if they were Adam Vinatieri, Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs just to name a few would be on here. These players will be guys that are best known for being special teams players, so Deion Sanders, Lemar Parrish etc… will not be included.
10) Mel Gray
Following two seasons in the USFL, Gray made an immediate NFL splash by earning the first of his seven All-Pro honors as a returner in 1986. Gray was a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team and is the oldest player (33 years, 276 days) to have returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
9) Terry Metcalf
936 punt return yards, and 3,087 yards returning kickoffs. Metcalf was explosive and one of the most exciting players in Cardinals history.
8) Jan Stenerud
Jan Stenerud was the first special teams player to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is a member of the class of 1991 and is the only pure placekicker in the Hall. He was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1967 to 1979 and then the Green Bay Packers from 1980 to 1983. Stenerud ended his career with the Minnesota Vikings in 1984. He made the Pro Bowl four times throughout his career. He also was a huge contributor to the Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl IV.
7) Larry Izzo
Larry Izzo spent four years with the Miami Dolphins before becoming the special team captain of the New England Patriots from 2001 to 2008 and retiring with the New York Jets. During his time in New England, Izzo made three Pro Bowls, won four AFC Championship titles, and won three Super Bowls. He holds the record for most special team tackles of all time.
6) Billy”White Shoes”Johnson
Johnson played wide receiver and returner for the Oilers, Falcons, and Redskins from 1974 to 1988. He made three Pro Bowls as a return specialist during that time. He was also the 1975 Pro Bowl MVP; however it is partially due to playing wide receiver and returning punts that he was awarded this honor. He is listed as the return specialist for the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
5) Morten Andersen
Andersen holds the record for scoring the most points in NFL history. He played from 1982 to 2007 for five different teams. He is actually the all-time leading scorer for both the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints.
4) Brian Mitchell
Among his numerous NFL records, Mitchell is the all-time NFL leader in punt and kickoff return yardage. He also ranks second in NFL annals with 23,316 combined yards accumulated during a 14-year career.
3) Bill Bates
The first player voted to the Pro Bowl solely for his special-teams abilities, Bates was known more for his gunner skills than his snaps at safety. His 15 seasons playing for Dallas are tied for the most in franchise history. He ranks this high, because he was one of the toughest football players I have ever seen.
2) Steve Tasker
1) Ray Guy
Ray Guy was the first punter to ever be chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft. He spent his entire career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and made the Pro Bowl seven times from 1973 to 1986. Guy was a huge contributor to the Raiders’ three Super Bowl victories. He originally turned heads with his uncanny ability to kick the ball so high in the air that the other team would not be able to field it before the Raiders were already down field.