It takes many talented players for a NFL team to achieve success, but only a few players get the distinction of being the best and the brightest. It's easy to pick out the top performers, and just as easy to overlook a star player's supporting cast of teammates. Our top players created headline news in 1978 and under further scrutiny we've listed our ratings of individual co-stars - position by position.
The NFL in 1978:
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* Chuck Foreman, Minnesota Vikings Running Back - an iron man, he keeps going strong... a superb runner plus a great pass catcher, he's been one of football's most consistent offensive backs during the 1970s... He was the Vikings #1 draft pick in 1973 - after attending Miami University (Florida) and gained 801 yards in 182 carries in his rookie year. Foreman scored 9 touchdowns in '74, and had 13 touchdowns in both 1975 and 1976... in his six-year career - 1973-78 - he's gained 5,658 yards in 1,447 carries, for a solid 3.9 yards/per/carry... He has caught 317 career passes - a new Viking record.
* Ray Guy, Oakland Raiders Punter - he is a six-year Oakland veteran (1973-1978) and has been named to the AFC Pro Bowl Team six times in his first six years in the NFL... he has, as of the end of 1978, played in 86 consecutive games... and has one of the highest yards/per punt average in football history - 43.1... in 1977, Ray Guy booted a 74-yard punt... and was the first player to hit the New Orleans Super Dome TV Screen.
* Haven Moses, Denver Broncos Wide Receiver - one of the top receivers in football history... he debuted into pro football with the Buffalo Bills back in 1968, and in his first four seasons there caught 143 passes and averaged over 18 yards per reception... he was traded to Denver in the early part of the 1972 season and has been one of the AFC top performer ever since... fast as lightning, Haven Moses has caught 45 career touchdowns and has galloped for over 6,200 yards, a 18.4 average... and appears he's going to play forever.
* Jack Ham, Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker - one of pro football's greatest linebackers of all-time... he's an explosive tackler and his hustling from side line to side line is legendary, and his knack for finishing plays intensifies the entire Steeler team... a perennial All-Pro, Jack Ham has grabbed 26 life-time interceptions in his first eight NFL seasons - 1971-78.
* Harold Jackson, New England Patroits Wide Receiver - a well-traveled veteran, he's played in the NFL with four different teams in his outstanding 11-year career (1968-1978). Quick as silver, he's a crafty wide receiver and twice gained over 1,000 yards in a single season - 1969 and 1972 while playing with the Philadelphia Eagles... Harold Jackson has 452 career receptions to date ('78) and has registered a resounding 62 career touchdowns.
* Jack Tatum, Oakland Raiders Safety - one of the toughest defensive players in all of pro football... he was the Raiders #1 draft pick in '71 out of Ohio State, where he created sensational collegiate football news with his rough, aggressive style of play... Tatum has been selected for the Pro Bowl three times in his first eight years with Oakland and has 29 career interceptions.
Single Game Records set in 1978:
Tony Galbreath, New Orleans Saints - gathered 14 pass receptions in a single game on September 10, 1978... a new record for running backs... he broke Baltimore Colts' star running back Lydell Mitchell old record of 13 set on December 15, 1974.
* Ken English, Washington Redskins Safety - a stalwart on the team's secondary he broke into pro ball back in 1967 and was selected for his 11 consecutive Pro Bowl in 1978... extremely fast, durable and acknowledged to be one of the best safeties in the NFL, he was an All-American with Prairie View for 3-years running... English has 48 career interceptions and has scored 9 touchdowns - 1967 thru 1978. Houston Oilers (AFL) 1967- 1972; Washington Redskins (NFL) 1973-1978.
* L. C. Greenwood, Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End - he's one of the main players in Pittsburgh success during the 1970s... he has exceptional speed and strength which can stop the opponents' running game cold... considered football's best defensive end during the mid-'70s, his all-around play helped the Steelers reach the Super Bowl in 1974 and 1975... L. C. Greenwood is fast becoming a football legend.
* Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders Guard - 'as good as it gets'... he was the team's #1 draft pick in 1967 and has been selected for 5 Pro Bowls and chosen to the AFL All-Star team three times... one of the strongest men in pro football, he's a tremendous blocker and uses his huge arms to perfection... the 6ft, 5inch - 255-pounder has played 170 straight regular season games, as of the end of 1978, and looks capable to play 100 more.
* Glenn Doughty, Baltimore Colts Wide Receiver - a star receiver for the University of Michigan... he was the Colts #2 draft pick in 1972... the speedster has played seven seasons in Baltimore (1972-78) and currently has caught 164 passes, good for 3,037 yards and has chalked up 22 career touchdowns... rates as one of the smoothest down-field wide receivers in the NFL.
* Lance McCutcheon, Los Angeles Rams Running Back - he's run for over 1,000 yards in a season in four of his six years in the NFL, and carries an outstanding 4.4 yards per carry average in 1,362 attempts to date... an All-Pro performer, he has three 100-yard playoff games during the '70s.
* Lamar Parrish, Cincinnati & Washington Cornerback - he was the Bengals' leading defensive player for eight seasons (1970-77) and was selected for six (6) Pro Bowls... the good guy was traded to the Redskins in 1978... he has 131 career interceptions, totaling 1,205 yards and 4 TD, including 2 touchdown interceptions in one game on Dec 17, 1972.
* Vern Holland, Cincinnati Bengals Tackle - a well-regarded team leader, he's one of the top pulling tackles in the AFC... he was Cincinnati's #1 draft pick in 1971 and has played outstanding All-Pro caliber ball in the offensive line ever since. Holland stands 6ft, 5inches and weighs 265 pounds and is ranked as one of the strongest players in football history.
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* Doug Dieken, Cleveland Browns Tackle - a gusty, consistent performer and the anchor Cleveland's offensive line, he's been an outstanding blocker since joining the team back in 1971... the big, 6ft, 5inch - 250-pounder stands like a brick-wall protecting both the Browns' aerial attack and running game. Dieken also plays on the kickoff return specialty unit. Attended the University of Illinois and was the Browns #6 draft selection.
* Mike Fuller, San Diego Chargers Strong Safety - the 5ft, 9inch - 195-pounder is one of the team's most versatile players... his speed enables him to be one of the top pass defenders in the AFC and also provides him with the necessary tools to be the Charges leading punt returner... Fuller has started 50 straight games at strong safety as of the end of 1978... his four year career record: - 136 punts returned, good for 1,642 yards, 2 TD and a solid 12.1 yards/per/return.
* Doug English, Detroit Lions Defensive Tackle - strong as a bull, the 6ft, 5inch - 255-pounder was drafted out of Texas University in 1975... he's emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the NFC and was voted to the league's Pro-Bowl squad in 1978. He's one of the team's blue-collar workers who provides interior bulk against the opponents running game.