Most intriguing Commanders five-year span
- Brian Mitchell – 1994-1998
Brian Mitchell, who is second on the NFL’s all-time list for all-purpose yards - trailing only Jerry Rice - averaged more than 2,250 yards per season over a five-year span. He accounts for three of the 25 best all-purpose yardage seasons in league history.
No one else can say that. And there have been some exceptional players to grace an NFL field both before and after Mitchell's retirement.
Darren Sproles comes close. So do iconic figures like Gale Sayers and LaDainian Tomlinson. But none did it like B-Mitch - an explosive force that was almost impossible to stop when early momentum was generated.
Put in perspective, Mitchell’s five-year average is equal to what Eric Dickerson accomplished in 1984 when he was the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Year. That is no mean feat whatsoever.
I realize that running backs and kick returners have different relative values to a team. Then again, Mitchell was not simply one of the greatest returners in league history. He was arguably the greatest all-around special team player to ever step onto the gridiron.
Steve Tasker and Matthew Slater may be better gunners, and Dante Hall and Devin Hester may be better kick returners. But Mitchell did everything, and he did it at an elite level.