Fourth of July
Today, the NFL is the most popular sport in America. Coincidentally, a number of great NFL players share a birthday with the United States of America on the Fourth of July. Take a look back at the top five NFL players born on the Fourth of July.
Since 2004, Will Smith has been the New Orleans Saints' best pass rusher. As a Saints fan, I've seen a lot of defensive players come and go, but Smith has started over 100 games. Will Smith ranks second among NFL players born on the Fourth of July with 61.5 sacks and he has appeared in one Pro Bowl.
4. RB Floyd Little: Denver Broncos
There was nothing little about Floyd Little's Hall of Fame NFL career. In nine seasons, all with the Denver Broncos, Little appeared in five Pro Bowls and was first team All-Pro once. Floyd Little rushed for 6,323 yards which is the most of any NFL player born on the Fourth of July. He also had 2,418 yards receiving.
3. DB Rosey Taylor: Chicago Bears
Rosey Taylor is from New Orleans and I met him once at Lakeside Mall. A true gentleman, Taylor was one of the best NFL defensive backs in the 1960s. He also played on the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, appearing in two Pro Bowls. Taylor ranks second among players born on the Fourth of July with 32 interceptions.
2. DB Erich Barnes: Cleveland Browns
The NFL player born on the Fourth of July with the most career interceptions is Erich Barnes with 45. Barnes played in the same era as Rosey Taylor and also spent time with the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. The six-time Pro Bowler had a phenomenal season in 1961. He had seven interceptions for 195 return yards and two TDs.
1. DT La'Roi Glover: New Orleans Saints
La'Roi Glover may be the most athletic DT in NFL history. In 2000, he recorded a whopping 17 sacks at a position not known for getting to the QB. There's no telling how good the Saints could have been if they had kept Glover after the 2001 season. He made six straight Pro Bowls and also played for the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams.
With 83.5 sacks, La'Roi Glover is clearly the greatest NFL player born on the Fourth of July in history.
Honorable mention NFL players born on the Fourth of July
Emerson Boozer, Bob Breunig, Rick Casares, Charlie Clemons, Frank Lewis
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
"Players Born on July 4," pro-football-reference.com
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