My Team USA American Football Selections

I saw a post on this from Philly Barstool the other day about the Team USA American Football Team for the Olympics (if it was an Olympic sport) and had to put in my pics on this. It’s an interesting argument you can slice a ton of ways, so there really isn’t a right answer, but man is it a fun to think about. I’m giving a 2-deep by position on offense (except WR, where I’m going to list several, given the prolific passing nature of the league). I’m not going to name any OL players because it’s really not my forte and it feels too nitty-gritty for me. Defense I name several per position because of the potential differences in schemes (4-3 vs. 3-4). Here’s my selections and explanations.

Offense:

QB

1. Aaron Rodgers – last years MVP. Does everything right. Mobile, accurate, strong arm and very intelligent. It’s tight at the top, but I’m taking the young stud to throw for tons of yards and TDs over the other countries.

2. Tom Brady – You could go with any number of others, but I’m going with Brady for 2 reasons. 1) He has been playing at a very high level for a long time, at times without always having elite level weapons. 2) He has the competitive spirit of “I want to throw for 500 yards in 1 quarter and post 70 points over every country” kind of attitude.

RB

1. LeSean McCoy – Shady is the best running back in the league and he can do it all, block, run, catch the ball and make plays in space. He’s the #1 back for this team.

2. Maurice Jones Drew – Again, you could go several ways on this, but I’m going with MJD. He’s last year’s rushing leader, blocks very well and can catch. He’s a little more thunder to Shady’s lightning. Amazing 1-2 punch.

FB

1. Vonta Leach – The consumate best FB in the league. Easy choice.

2. You don’t need two FBs.

TE

1. Rob Gronkowski – All time greatest season by a TE last year. He blocks well and is a match-up nightmare, especially for any team that doesn’t have the all around natural talent the USA has.

2. Aaron Hernandez – I know, two Patriots and Jimmy Graham could easily be the other TE. I’m going Hernandez because he’s the size of a TE, with the route running and speed of slot receiver. He can run, catch and block. You could put him any where an motion him out anywhere. Love his versatility over Graham, and the Gronk-Hernandez connection is proven chemistry.

WR

1. Calvin Johnson – His nickname is Megatron…. ’nuff said.

2. Larry Fitzgerald – He has amazing hands, is an on field leader and can catch anything.

3. Desean Jackson – World class speed and play making ability.

4. Wes Welker – The scrappy, over the middle receiver you need to have. Not that there would be a ton of situations where a 3rd down slot receiver like Wes would be needed, but he’s proven to be great where ever you put him on the field and knows how to get open. Plus he’d be great in post-game Olympic interviews.

Defense

For defense, I’m naming general players at their position here because I’m not going to discuss whether we should run a 4-3 vs. a 3-4.

DL

1. Haloti Ngata – He’s a freakishly large and athletic man. He’d dominate.

2. Ndamukong Suh – Like Ngata but really mean.

3. Vince Wilfork – Best cover DT in the game.

4. Kevin Williams – Dominant DT who does everything well.

5. Justin Tuck – Speed, power and size. Plus we need some serious face mask intimidation and he’s bringing the heat.

DE

1. Mario Williams – Freak athlete who would literally rip the head off of another country’s QB.

2. DeMarcus Ware – It’d be a race between him and Mario to kill the QB. I know he’s more of 3-4 OLB, but in this I”m putting him as a DE because it’s my list.

3. JJ Watt – Loved his motor at Wisconsin, love his motor in the NFL and he’s only going to get better.

4. Trent Cole – Pure pass rusher and 3rd down specialist. Him, Ware, Williams and Tuck in 3rd and long would be the most fun you could have watching a pass rush.

MLB

1. Ray Lewis – He could not play a single snap and would be the undisputed emotional leader of the defense.

2. Patrick Willis – Best in the game.

3. Brian Urlacher – Long time vet still bringing the heat.

4. Jerrod Mayo – He’s like a heat seeking missile when it comes to making tackles.

OLB

1. Terrell Suggs – The uninjured version might be one of the best OLBs in the game.

2. Clay Matthews – Because him doing the Predator during international competition is too good not to want.

3. James Harrison – He will cause more concussions than anyone else, especially without Goodell to fine him.

4. Von Miller – Young, fast and athletic is never bad.

CB

1. Darrelle Revis – He’s the best in the game.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha – Not far off of Revis when he’s actually playing as a man cover corner.

3. Patrick Peterson – Upcoming superstar. Excellent return game.

4a. Charles Woodson – Old versatile vet who would be perfect in the nickle sets.

4b. Joe Haden – He plays on the Browns so he’s not a household name, but he’s near the top of the league.

5. Champ Bailey – Purely a name/legacy pick here. He’s still great but not needed with the others.

Free Safety

1. Ed Reed – The best in the game. He could play center field on this defense and almost never have to make a tackle and just intercept deep balls all day.

2. Eric Weddle – I love the way this guy plays and he’s right there with Reed as the best in the game.

Strong Safety

1. Troy Polamalu – The hair.

2. Adrian Wilson – Physical freak and great safety. Too good not to have.

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