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Monday, June 22, 2009
Lewis, Reed and Polamalu no-brainers

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

As we inch closer to the 2009 football season, ESPN.com has put together an all-decade NFL team, which highlights the best players since 2000.

NFC West blogger Mike Sando revealed the defense on Monday, and to no surprise Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed made the cut from the AFC North.

These were no-brainers as the trio dominated their respective positions, combined for three Super Bowl wins, and kept the Steelers and Ravens consistently at the top of the defensive rankings for this entire decade. Lewis also is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, while Reed and Polamalu appear well on their way.

Here is the complete list of all-decade defenders:

DE: Michael Strahan, N.Y. Giants,
DT: Warren Sapp, Tampa Bay/Oakland
DT: Kris Jenkins, Carolina/N.Y. Jets
DE: Jason Taylor, Miami/Washington
LB: Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay
LB: Ray Lewis, Baltimore
LB: Brian Urlacher, Chicago
CB: Champ Bailey, Washington/Denver
CB: Troy Vincent: Phil./Miami/Buff./Wash.
S: Ed Reed, Baltimore
S: Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh