USA TODAY Sports' All-Joe team was created in 1992 by longtime NFL writer Larry Weisman as a tribute to Joe Phillips, a 14-year defensive lineman who did yeoman's work for the Kansas City Chiefs that season. Phillips' effort in the trenches didn't lead to much glory … unless you point to the 29 combined sacks of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith, Kansas City's fifth-ranked defense or the team's wild-card run. USA TODAY Sports has honored the unsung Joes ever since and compiles them in a 53-man roster that has at least one representative from every NFL team. Only players who have never been named to the Pro Bowl are eligible (note the Broncos and Seahawks share the All-Joe lead with four selections apiece):
Quarterback — Matt Flynn (Packers): He essentially saved Green Bay's season, capably taking the reins as the Plan D passer until Aaron Rodgers returned from a busted collarbone to nail down the NFC North crown in the regular-season finale. Amazingly, the Packers' locker room was Flynn's fourth in less than a year. But he was able to settle back into his old haunts quickly enough to engineer two double digit comebacks against the Falcons and Cowboys, a pair of wins that tripled Flynn's career total in his sixth season. Colin Kaepernick (49ers): After a bumpy start, he had 100-plus passer ratings in five of his final six starts before leading another deep playoff run. Josh McCown (Bears): First Chicago player ever to pass for 300-plus yards in three consecutive games. Some think Bears might have reached postseason if they'd stuck with McCown (his 13-to-1 TD-to-INT ration was bettered only by Nick Foles) over Jay Cutler.
ALL JOE: 2012 team
ALL-JOE: 2011 team
ALL-JOE: 2010 team
Running back — Donald Browns (Colts): He began the year third on the depth chart, but superior production (5.3 yards per carry) meant an eventual promotion over ballyhooed trade acquisition Trent Richardson. Knowshon Moreno (Broncos): Also No. 3 on the summer depth chart, all he did was become the first Denver player to rush for 1,000 yards and add 500 more receiving in the same season. Moreno scored a career-best 13 TDs and hasn't lost a fumble in more than 16 months. Like Brown, he's looking at a nice reward in free agency. Ben Tate (Texans): Ran for a team-best 771 yards despite playing a good chunk of the season with four broken ribs. This tough guy will be tough for Houston to re-sign. Danny Woodhead (Chargers): His 76 catches led all AFC backs as he provided the outlet option QB Philip Rivers had missed in recent years.
Fullback — Bruce Miller (49ers): Converted college defensive end has become a bonecrushing blocker as a pro and the spearhead of the Niners' prolific rushing attack.
ALL-JOE: 2009 team
ALL-JOE: 2008 team
Wide receiver — Marques Colston (Saints): Fell 57 yards short of his seventh 1,000-yard receiving effort. As long as he's barred from Honolulu, Colston will always have an All-Joe spot waiting for him. Jerricho Cotchery (Steelers): He's beloved in locker room even if he's a quiet assassin. Ten of his 46 grabs produced TDs. Julian Edelman (Patriots): Wes Who? Edelman's 105 catches just about tripled his previous career-high (37) and ably replaced the production of the man Bill Belichick now refers to as "the receiver." Edelman also averaged 10.7 yards per punt return. Pierre Garcon (Redskins): His 113 receptions paced the league and broke Hall of Famer Art Monk's 29-year-old team record. Jordy Nelson (Packers): He may have the best hands in the game right now but somehow can't catch a trip to the Pro Bowl. Nelson's legs are pretty good, too, churning out 1,314 receiving yards. Golden Tate (Seahawks): With Percy Harvin out most of the year, he earned a lot of tough catches (64) and yards (898) while facing the opposition's best corners. Tate's also a good special teamer.
Tight end — Charles Clay (Dolphins): Dustin Keller's unfortunate preseason knee injury created an opportunity for Clay, who more than capitalized with 69 catches for 759 yards in a breakthrough campaign. The part-time fullback also led Miami with seven TDs. Greg Olsen (Panthers): Unfortunately for him, he's become an All-Joe staple, too. Olsen (73 catches, 816 yards, 6 TDs) is Cam Newton's favorite target and a force in the community.
Tackle — Chris Clark (Broncos): Not only was he asked to replace arguably the league's best tackle after Ryan Clady went down for good with a Week 2 foot injury, Clark was charged with bubble-wrapping the league's best quarterback. But he did a pretty good job safeguarding Peyton Manning. King Dunlap (Chargers): A virtual unknown in his sixth NFL season, Dunlap filled a gaping hole on the San Diego line and was an unsung reason Rivers rebounded and the offense got back into gear. Zach Strief (Saints): According to ProFootballFocus, he was the highest-ranked tackle not picked for the Pro Bowl. Strief only surrendered three sacks of Drew Brees.
Guard — Rodger Saffold (Rams): He moved to right tackle to accommodate Jake Long, then spent half his season at guard to patch a hole before moving back to left tackle when Long was injured. Matt Slauson (Bears): Free agent solidified an O-line that had long been a sieve, and his efforts brought a four-year extension after the season. Geoff Schwartz (Chiefs): The K.C. line was a Rubik's Cube. But Schwartz may have been its best blocker, playing both guard positions and right tackle. Larry Warford (Lions): Rookie third rounder played like a top-10 pick. A definite keeper.
Center — Jason Kelce (Eagles): All he did was come back from a torn ACL in 2012 to anchor a high-tempo offense that demands ability, smarts and conditioning from coach Chip Kelly. Manny Ramirez (Broncos): He may one day remembered as the pivot man for the greatest offense in NFL history. Pretty remarkable when you consider the demands Manning puts on his snapper and the fact Ramirez hadn't played the position in the NFL prior to this season. "Manny's been awesome," Manning said last month. "That is no easy task to go from guard to center, especially in a sophisticated, fast-moving, always-changing offense. I think it would be one thing if you knew what play was going to be called and you had 40 seconds to process it. But we call one play and change it to the next with five seconds on the play clock and when we change a play, Manny has to make his own calls and he has just gotten better each week."
Kicker — Josh Scobee (Jaguars): No team struggled to score more in 2013 than Jacksonville, but don't blame Scobee, who drilled 23 of 25 field-goal tries. One of his misses was blocked, the other failed from 60 yards. He's 71-for-78 (91%) from three-point range since 2011 and also excels on kickoffs.
Defensive line — Michael Bennett (Seahawks): He may have been Seattle's best offseason pick-up, leading the club with 8.5 sacks while providing stout run defense. Calais Campbell (Cardinals): The best 3-4 end in the NFL not named J.J. Watt, Campbell posted a career-best nine sacks while crushing tailbacks for the NFL's top run defense. He also excels at blocking kicks with his 6-8 frame. Jurrell Casey (Titans): Only Dallas Pro Bowler Jason Hatcher had more sacks among interior linemen than Casey's career-high 10.5. Rob Ninkovich (Patriots): Is he an end? A linebacker? We're not sure, we just know he's a do-it-all type with a fantastic beard. Domata Peko (Bengals): Veteran leader has quietly done the dirty work for a defense ranked in the top 10 each of the past three seasons. Brian Robison (Vikings): Has averaged 8.5 sacks since 2011 while operating in Jared Allen's shadow, though that may change in 2014 if Allen leaves for less purple pastures. Robison showcased his athleticism with a 61-yard fumble return for a TD in Week 2. Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson (Jets): This duo formed the heart of a new-look New York defense. Richardson, a rookie, is a devastating run stopper and gap-shooting disruptor who moonlights as a goal-line back (2 TDs). Wilkerson was voted team MVP after piling up a personal best 10.5 sacks to go along with his stellar all-round play.
Outside linebacker — Lavonte David (Buccaneers): You tell us how a first-team all-pro doesn't go to Hawaii. All David does is make tackles (144), sack quarterbacks (6), and intercept the passes (5) he isn't breaking up (10). Stud. Thomas Davis (Panthers): You might know that the Carolina defensive captain's right ACL has been repaired three times. But did you know he just collected a career-high 123 tackles and has missed just one game in the last two seasons? A great pass defender. Junior Galette (Saints): After registering 12 sacks off the edge, perhaps no one was happier with Rob Ryan's new 3-4 defense than Galette. Jerry Hughes (Bills): A former first rounder cast off by the Colts, Hughes emerged as quite the sub package QB hunter (he only started once in 2013) in Buffalo with 10 sacks. DeAndre Levy (Lions): Don't throw in his zone — only Seattle's Richard Sherman picked off more passes than Levy's six, a gaudy figure for a linebacker.
Inside linebacker — Karlos Dansby (Cardinals): Returned to the desert after three years in Miami and turned in his best season. His career-high 114 solo tackles complemented 6.5 sacks. He also picked off four passes (returning two for scores) and broke up 19 passes, tied for most among linebackers. Jerrell Freeman (Colts): Another playmaker, Freeman's six forced fumbles were the most for an inside backer. He's also solid all around (126 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 INTs). D'Qwell Jackson (Browns): He's taken London Fletcher's place as the league's most underappreciated tackling machine. Nick Roach (Raiders): Didn't miss any of Oakland's 1,074 defensive snaps and provided the steady veteran presence the unit sorely needed after arriving from Chicago. Paul Worrilow (Falcons): Undrafted rookie stepped in as a starter in October and ended up leading Atlanta with 127 tackles, including 54 during a three-game stretch in November. Pen him into the lineup from now on.
Cornerback — Tramaine Brock (49ers): Former practice squad player led Niners with five picks, claimed a starting job in the season's second half and earned a four-year extension. Fun fact: Brock is the only player from Belhaven University (Jackson, Miss.) to play in the NFL. Chris Harris (Broncos): Former undrafted nickelback assumed the starting role of injured star Champ Bailey and emerged as Denver's steadiest defender, playing more snaps than anyone else on the unit before tearing an ACL in postseason. Byron Maxwell (Seahawks): The least heralded member of the Legion of Boom not only stepped in for suspended Brandon Browner late in 2013 but improved the air defense opposite the frequently untested Sherman. Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers): Diminutive (5-8, 195) former seventh rounder emerged as Carolina's No. 1 corner in 2013, equally willing to take on receivers, runners and blockers. Terrell Thomas (Giants): He tore his right ACL prior to both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. But Thomas was back in 2013 to nail down the slot, finishing with 67 tackles. Lardarius Webb (Ravens): He tore his left ACL midway through Baltimore's Super Bowl season but returned in 2013 to tie for the league lead with 23 pass break-ups. Webb also chipped in with 74 tackles.
Safety — Barry Church (Cowboys): He suffered a torn Achilles' in 2012 but reclaimed his starting post in 2013. Church had a heavy workload behind Dallas' injury-riddled front seven, and his 135 tackles were more than any defensive back in the league. Reggie Nelson (Bengals): Perhaps not the superstar first rounder the Jags once envisioned, Nelson has settled in as another unheralded mainstay of the top-shelf Cincinnati defense. He rarely misses a snap despite his hard-hitting style.
Punter — Jon Ryan (Seahawks): He's figured out how to combine hang time and directional kicking so well, that he only allowed 82 punt return yards in 2013. Only Rams Pro Bowler Johnny Hekker was better, but he's usually operating in a dome, not Seattle's elements.