AFC East: Manny Fernandez

A look at draft all-stars from AFC East

April, 18, 2010
4/18/10
12:09
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In case you overlooked it, NFL editor Sheldon Spencer delivered an impressive series in which he assembled the best teams by draft round in NFL history.

The project was considerable, and the results make for a fun read.

A breakdown of AFC East representatives underscores how important a strong draft is to winning championships. All but a handful of those players belonged to a team that was great for a long time.

Five players who made the cut played for the Miami Dolphins' undefeated 1972 squad and won multiple Super Bowls.

Seven more played in at least on Super Bowl for the New England Patriots, with three joining as free agents.

Three played in four straight Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills.

Before you take a look at the list, check out Spencer's explanation of how the draft all-stars were selected.

First round: Bills defensive end Bruce Smith, Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour, Chargers linebacker Junior Seau (Dolphins, Patriots).

Second round: Bills running back Thurman Thomas (Dolphins), Dolphins center Dwight Stephenson, Dolphins defensive tackle Bob Baumhower.

Third round: Dolphins running back Mercury Morris, 49ers receiver Terrell Owens (Bills), Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi.

Fourth round: Bills receiver Andre Reed, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel.

Fifth round: Dolphins running back Jim Kiick, Patriots tight end Ben Coates, Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, Chargers safety Rodney Harrison (Patriots).

Sixth round: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Jets defensive tackle Joe Klecko, Dolphins defensive end Doug Betters, Ravens outside linebacker Adalius Thomas (Patriots).

Seventh round plus: Dolphins defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, Ravens linebacker Bart Scott (Jets).

Mercury Morris scoffs at Upshaw's legacy

August, 22, 2008
8/22/08
12:12
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Whenever someone dies it's customary, regardless of whether they were loved or loathed, to speak reverentially out of respect to their memory and their loved ones.

The sudden passing of controversial NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw late Wednesday elicited a somber reaction. Players and alumni who despised Upshaw's tactics so much they publicly ridiculed him quickly turned contrite.

At least one adversary, however, declined to observe the traditional bereavement moratorium.

"Gene was not totally a guy whose interest with the players was always there," former Miami Dolphins running back Mercury Morris told the Palm Beach Post for Friday's edition.

"I'd like to put some sugar all over it and do like people do when someone passes away, but the legacy he is leaving is not one people would want to pick up and run with. ... When I heard about his passing, I thought to myself that it is unfortunate he had to pass away now because we as former players were looking forward to the fight with the guy."

Upshaw became a lightning rod for criticism in recent years. Retired players railed against the NFLPA for not taking care of its destitute brothers. Many current players wanted to overthrow Upshaw because they felt misled on various issues.

In his column, Dave George also spoke with former Dolphins safety Dick Anderson, who served as NFLPA president in 1976 and '77 when Upshaw was vice president, and with former Dolphins defensive end Manny Fernandez, who replied "No comment" when asked about Upshaw's legacy.

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