New England Patriots: NFL Nation Confidential: Most respect

Live chat: NFL Nation Confidential

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
1:00
PM ET
ESPN.com’s NFL Nation staff of 32 team reporters conducted interviews with more than 320 players over a six-week period in November and December for its “NFL Nation Confidential” series, which launched on Jan. 9. The anonymous survey asked players around the league to answer a wide range of questions about the NFL. In today’s installment, we touch on the following subjects: “Who is the “NFL’s most respected player” and “If you had to start a team with one player, whom would it be?”

Beginning at 1 p.m. ET, our NFL Nation staff will be on hand to debate the top vote-getters as part of NFL Nation Confidential results chat. You can also join today’s discussion on Twitter, using #NFLUltimatePlayer.

Survey/respected player: Patriots

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
10:00
AM ET
Of all the categories in the NFL Nation player survey, the "most respected" was the one that piqued my interest more than the others. I like to hear how players view their peers on other teams.

Of the 10 players surveyed, I heard nine different answers. The only repeat was Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (who won the overall vote, with Tom Brady second).

For me, the qualities of the most respected player is one who rises up in the critical situations, has done it for an extended period of time, and carries himself with class in victory or defeat.

I thought Colts receiver Reggie Wayne would be a good choice, especially after hearing one Patriot mention him. I also like the fact he stayed with one team throughout his career, which isn't always an option for players, but it's a choice that Wayne made in 2012 after the team bottomed out and he was a free agent.

ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, a lifetime Patriot, sometimes talks about his approach of preferring to "right the ship" instead of "jumping ship."

That type of approach leads to respect and it's one of the reasons Wayne gets the vote from here.

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