It’s that part of the offseason where opinions fly on the NFL’s __ best _______ of all time. Today’s contribution came from Elliot Harrison who gave his take on the Top 5 cornerback duos of all time. Topping the list as the best all time was the Raiders’ lethal duo of Lester Hayes and Michael Haynes.
Two ballhawks.— NFL (@NFL) July 5, 2017
One secondary!@HarrisonNFL's Top 5 All-Time Cornerback Tandems (via @NFLTotalAccess) pic.twitter.com/P0TobcmkiA
As Harrison notes, the Raiders already fantastic defense was taken to another level when the team acquired Mike Haynes in trade with the Patriots and teamed him up with Hayes. That season, they headed back to their third Super Bowl and dominated Washington’s offensive attack which was considered the one of the best in the history of the NFL.
“For these guys to shut them down playing man coverage...” Harrison said with Steve Wyche immediately interrupting him to try and diminish the accomplishments of them by noting “man coverage and a whole lot of Stick’em,” referring to the (legal) sticky substance Hayes and many other NFL players coated themselves with in those days.
That ‘Stick’em’ argument seems to be what has kept a very deserving Lester Hayes out of the Hall of Fame. Five of Hayes’s 10 NFL seasons, he was in the Pro Bowl including one All Pro selection. He was already a major factor all his own on the Raiders’ Super Bowl XV winning team a couple years before Haynes teamed up with him. That season Hayes had 13 interceptions and added another 5 in the playoffs. That 18 (!!!) interceptions. Stick’em or not, that’s impressive.
Haynes was named by Gil Brandt as one of the top five corners of all time along with three other former Raiders defensive backs.
Haynes and Hayes patrolled the boundaries of the Raiders’ secondary together on their respective islands for 4 seasons from 1983 until Hayes’s retirement following the 1986 season.