Winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal for every current and former NFL player. After each season, only three percent of the league’s players and coaches will end up with a Super Bowl ring, so the achievement is especially significant.
Some of the best players in the history of the NFL are remembered mostly for their performances in the league’s most watched game of the year. Players such as John Elway, Tom Brady, and Jerry Rice are glorified for being the owners of multiple Super Bowl rings.
The goal of today’s players is no different, as each team will be trying to get to this year’s Super Bowl in Houston, Texas. However, some of today’s most notable players and coaches have already been a member of a Super Bowl winning team during their career.
Listed below are a few players that some may have never guessed to be the owner of an NFL championship ring.
16 Tyrod Taylor, QB (2012 Baltimore Ravens)
Before he won the job as the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback in 2015, Taylor spent the first four years of his NFL career as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens selected Taylor out of Virginia Tech in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As Baltimore’s backup in 2012, Taylor was able to be on a championship winning roster as the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII.
Now in Buffalo, the young quarterback is trying to lead the Bills back to the playoffs. A destination where the franchise has not been since the 1999 season.
His current team is hoping that his experience on a championship team in Baltimore will eventually lead to a possible Super Bowl win for the Bills. But with the kind of luck Buffalo has had throughout the franchise’s history, Taylor may have a better shot at winning the lottery than leading Buffalo to the very top of the league.
15 Brian Griese, QB (1998 Denver Broncos)
As the son of legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese, the younger Griese did not quite live up to the expectations he was given when the Denver Broncos chose him to be the successor to John Elway in 1999.
After two straight Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998, the Broncos came back down to earth in their first season without their Hall of Fame quarterback. Griese only won 4 of his 13 starts in 1999 and Denver missed the playoffs with a 6-10 record.
He would go on to start 38 more games for the Broncos over the next three years before Denver decided to move on from the quarterback. Griese would go on to play five more years in the league that included stints with the Dolphins, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He is currently a college football analyst with ESPN.
14 Dan Campbell, TE (2009 New Orleans Saints)
The Miami Dolphins interim head coach in 2015, Campbell was a member of the 2009 New Orleans Saints team that won the Super Bowl over the Indianapolis Colts.
Campbell did not play a single snap for the Saints during their Super Bowl season, as he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before the start of the 2009 regular season. The tight end spent a total of 11 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and New Orleans.
He retired from the league after 2009 and joined the Miami Dolphins coaching staff in 2010 as an intern. He would go on to be the team’s tight ends coach for the next five seasons and was eventually chosen to fill in as the Dolphins’ head coach for the remainder of 2015 after Miami fired Joe Philbin four games into the season.
Currently, he is back with the Saints as an assistant head coach and also coaching their tight ends.
12 Don Beebe, WR (1996 Green Bay Packers)
Beebe is most likely remembered for a moment that took place when he was on the losing side of a Super Bowl matchup in 1993.
With under five minutes left to play in Super Bowl XXVII, the Buffalo Bills were trailing the Dallas Cowboys 52-17. The Bills were driving down the field on offense when Buffalo quarterback Frank Reich suddenly fumbled the ball after being sacked.
Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett picked up the ball and it seemed like he was about to easily score another touchdown for Dallas. Then as a member of the Bills, Beebe chased Lett down and forced him to fumble the ball before the lineman could cross the goal line.
Despite his team having absolutely no chance at coming back in the game, Beebe still committed to the job he was put on the field to do.
The wide receiver played nine seasons in the NFL and was a member of a record, six teams that made it to the Super Bowl. After spending six years with the Bills (1989-94), Beebe played a season with the Carolina Panthers in 1995 before joining the Green Bay Packers in 1996.
He retired after the 1997 season with the Packers at the age of 33.
11 Bryan Cox, LB (2001 New England Patriots)
Thought of by some as a borderline psycho during his playing career, Cox may be most notably known for his actions before and after the whistle on the football field.
In 1991, Cox and the Miami Dolphins were playing a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. During the game, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich was the victim of a brutal, blindside hit courtesy of Bengals linebacker Alex Gordon.
Cox did not take a liking to Gordon’s actions and proceeded to express his feelings by challenging the entire Cincinnati bench to a fight. The legend of Bryan Cox was indeed born on that night in Miami.
He had a few more controversial moments in his career, including a charming, double-bird salute to the fans of the Buffalo Bills, but Cox was a solid linebacker during his 12 seasons in the NFL. His 127 tackles in 1992 are still the most ever by a Dolphins defensive player in a single season.
Cox is currently the defensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
10 Rob Johnson, QB (2002 Tampa Bay Bucs)
Johnson was really a quarterback before his time when speaking in terms of being signed to a big contract based strictly on potential. Despite only starting one game during his first three years in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills traded for the young quarterback and signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract in 1998.
He spent four seasons with the Bills, winning only nine of his 26 starts with the team. His claim to fame may have come when he was selected to start for Buffalo in their 1999 playoff game against the Tennessee Titans.
He did not start a game during that season until the very last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Johnson led the Bills to a 31-6 win over the Colts while throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
Apparently that performance was enough to convince Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips to bench the quarterback who led his team to 10 wins that year, Doug Flutie, and go with Johnson for the playoff game in Tennessee. So the Bills went with Johnson as their starter and eventually lost to the Titans in dramatic fashion.
After four years with in Buffalo, Johnson played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, and Washington Redskins over the next two seasons. When it was all said and done, he spent a total of nine years in the NFL and never won more than four games in a single season.
9 Duce Staley, RB (2005 Pittsburgh Steelers)
A 10-year NFL veteran, Staley spent of a majority of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles in front of their wonderful fans. His 7,305 total yards from scrimmage in seven seasons with the Eagles ranks fifth all-time in the franchise’s history.
From 2001-2003, Philadelphia won a total of 35 games and appeared in three straight NFC Championship games. Staley played a big part in the Eagles’ success during those three seasons as he was the team’s leading rusher in both 2001 and 2002.
Of course the season that he goes across town to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, 2004, Philadelphia is able to make it all the way to the Super Bowl. Luckily for Staley, he was a member of the Steelers’ team that won the 2005 Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks.
He is currently back with his old team as the Eagles’ running backs coach.
8 Jared Lorenzen, QB (2007 New York Giants)
After a stellar career at the University of Kentucky, where he still holds the school record for career passing yards with 10,354, Lorenzen joined the New York Giants as an undrafted free-agent in 2004.
He did not make his first appearance in a regular season game for the Giants until 2006, but he did serve has Eli Manning’s backup in New York during 2006 and 2007.
Since he only had a grand total of eight pass attempts during his time in the league, Lorenzen’s claim to fame was more related to his eating habits than his playing abilities. When he signed with the Giants in 2004, his weight had him listed at 280 pounds.
He certainly did not have the typical weight of an average NFL quarterback, but he managed to play well during his time in college with Kentucky while at a similar weight.
Lorenzen was last seen on a professional football field in 2014 with the Northern Kentucky River Monsters of the Continental Indoor Football League. The team listed him on their roster with a weight of 320 pounds.
7 Jimmy Smith, WR (1992, 93 Dallas Cowboys)
The wide receiver spent his first two years in the league with the Dallas Cowboys after the team selected Smith in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft. But it was not until 1995 when he joined the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars that Smith began to flourish as a playmaker on the football field.
He is currently the Jaguars’ franchise leader for career receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns among other categories. Smith was selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his 11 years with Jacksonville and he led the league with 116 catches in 1999.
From 1995 to 2005, his 862 receptions were the second most by a wide receiver to only Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison (927).
Smith was never able to play in a Super Bowl during his NFL career, but he still received a ring as a member of the Dallas roster during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
6 Kliff Kingsbury, QB (2003 New England Patriots)
Being the current head coach at the Texas Tech University and playing quarterback for the school from 1998 to 2002 is likely what Kingsbury is most known for. But he was actually drafted in 2003 and spent a few years as a quarterback in the NFL.
In the 2003 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected Kingsbury in the sixth round. Some guy named Tom Brady prevented Kingsbury from taking a snap in his rookie season, but the Patriots’ young quarterback did receive a Super Bowl ring by being on New England’s roster during that season.
The Patriots cut Kingsbury after the 2003 season and he later spent time with the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills. As the current head coach at one of the top college programs in the country, it is safe to say he is not too sad that his playing career in the NFL was unable to workout.
5 Wesley Walls, TE (1989 San Francisco 49ers)
His numbers were not Hall of Fame caliber, but the former tight end was a solid contributor for a number of teams during his time in the NFL. Walls spent 14 years in the league that included stints with the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Green Bay Packers.
The most successful time in his career on a individual level came during his years spent with the Panthers from 1996 to 2002. His 44 touchdown receptions with Carolina are still the most by a tight end in the history of the franchise.
Walls was named to the Pro Bowl five times during his career and his 324 catches from 1996 to 2002 were the fifth most by a tight end during that period. Before the NFL, he played college football at the University of Mississippi and he was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
4 David Carr, QB (2011 New York Giants)
Many would consider Carr to be one of the biggest draft busts in the history of the NFL. Taken by the Houston Texans with the number one selection in the 2002 NFL Draft, Carr was never able to live up to the expectations that came with being a top draft pick.
He spent the first five years of his career in the league with the Texans and only won 29 percent of his 75 starts in Houston. He may have had a better chance at success with the Texans if he was not sacked a total of 249 times during his time with the team.
Carr was later rewarded for the beating he took in Houston when he was a member of the New York Giants roster that won the Super Bowl in 2011. He currently works as an analyst for NFL Media and appears on several NFL Network programs.
3 Todd Bowles, S (1987 Washington Redskins)
For some of today’s younger fans of the New York Jets, they might not know that their current head coach actually spent time in the NFL as a player also. Before becoming one of the top defensive coaching minds in the league, Bowles spent eight years in the NFL as a safety with both the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
He was the starting safety for the Redskins team that won Super Bowl XII in 1987 over the Denver Broncos. He played for Washington from 1986 to 1990 and then again from 1992 to 1993.
After his playing career, Bowles got into coaching and landed his first assistant coaching job in the NFL with the Jets in 2000 as the team’s secondary coach. He would go on to work as a defensive assistant for five more teams from 2001 to 2014 before he was named New York’s head coach in 2015.
2 Tony Banks, QB (2000 Baltimore Ravens)
Many people remember the fact that the Ravens won a Super Bowl in 2000 despite the fact that their offense was led by quarterback Trent Dilfer. That team is always the comparison when fans try and rationalize the fact that their favorite team can still win a title with an average quarterback because, “the Ravens did it.”
However, few remember that another quarterback led Baltimore to five of their 12 wins that season. That guy was Tony Banks.
Before landing with the Ravens in 1999, Banks was mostly known for the struggles he had on the field while playing for the St. Louis Rams during his first three years in the NFL. With the Rams, he only won a total of 14 games in 43 career starts.
After St. Louis decided not to re-sign Banks after the 1998 season, he signed with the Ravens as a free-agent during the following offseason.
During one of his eight starts with Baltimore in 2000, Banks threw for a career high five touchdowns in a 39-36 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. His impressive day against the Jaguars still stands atop the Ravens’ record books, tied with current Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco for the most touchdowns thrown in a single-game in franchise history.
After the 2000 season, Banks played a season for the Washington Redskins in 2001 and then spent his final four years in the NFL with the Houston Texans.
1 Jeff Fisher, DB (1985 Chicago Bears)
Among the things Fisher is most known for around the NFL, his facial hair would probably rank higher than the time he spent as a player in the league.
Fisher was drafted out of USC in the seventh round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, but he was only able to play for five seasons in the league due to injury. However, Fisher’s playing career lasted just long enough for him to win a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1985 Bears roster.
Beginning in Chicago, Fisher spent 10 years as an NFL assistant coach before he was named the head coach of the Houston Oilers in 1994. He experienced some success with the franchise, but his team’s did not start to really flourish until the organization moved to Tennessee and became known as the Titans.
Currently, Fisher is back in his home state of California as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
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