The offense will forever keep you in games, but the defense will always win you a championship. I’ve had the pleasure of a lifetime to see a few great defensive players. I’m seeing one now continue to build his resume in Aaron Donald. At one time, the safety position was dominated by a few players. Most notably, Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. Many consider those two legends to be amongst the best to play the position. One guy who I felt was underrated was John Lynch. After a wait, he’s finally going to Canton. He will be a Hall of Famer as he joins a loaded 2021 class this year.

Many defenses in football have that one player I refer to as the “enforcer” or the “hammer”. What I’m saying is these are the guys who make offensive players think twice before running in their direction. That’s exactly the type of player John was throughout his career. He was the tone-setter for those Buccaneers defenses back in the day. John had no problem with laying a hit on someone. These were the days when you could drill someone and not have a flag thrown after it takes place. Whenever I watched him play, he had the mentality of a linebacker. I always noticed how he was around the ball. He forced fumbles, came into the box as a Blitzer, and wherever the football was, you saw number 47. He was as dominant of a force in stopping the run as he was in pass defense.

John was the heart and soul of those Buccaneers teams with Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. I always said he was just as important as those two I named. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Tampa Bay and helped lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl win over the Raiders in 2003. In 2004, he signed with the Denver Broncs and served as their defensive captain. He becomes a member of the Hall of Fame in his ninth year of eligibility.

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