Tasker, Bauer head John Turney's all-time Top 15 of core special teamers

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Bills

Clark Judge

Two weeks ago, NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal gave us his top 15 punters of the post-World War II era, and let’s just say his list rattled some cages.

Now, he goes a step farther. He ranks his top 15 core special teams’ players of all time, beginning with one of the game’s most notable special-teams contributors of the past 30 years.

Buffalo’s Steve Tasker.

And no surprise there. A seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro and member of the Bills’ Wall of Fame, Tasker has been a Hall-of-Fame semifinalist six times.

But he’s not in. Nor are the other 14 on this list, including second-ranked Hank Bauer, and there’s a reason: Hall-of-Fame voters are reluctant to act on special teamers, with only three specialists – kickers Jan Stenerud and Morten Andersen and punter Ray Guy – inducted since the Hall opened in 1963.

More to the point: There are no special teams return specialists, gunners, blockers or snappers in Canton. So without the Hall honoring them, Turney took the initiative to cite them himself.

And so he does, right here, right now:


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