By Daniel Friedman
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Continuing with our rankings of the best local athletes by uniform number, we present Nos. 79 to 70.
79. Rosey Brown, Giants
Hall of Fame offensive lineman was a nine-time Pro Bowler and helped the Giants win the NFL championship in 1956.
Honorable mention: Marvin Powell, Jets
78. Barry Bennett, Jets
Often an understudy for the famous “New York Sack Exchange,” Bennett made the most of his playing time.
Honorable mention: Greg Bishop, Giants
77. Pierre Turgeon, Islanders
This was a close call, but Turgeon produced more offense and was better as an Islander than Phil Esposito was as a Ranger.
Honorable mention: Phil Esposito, Rangers
76. Chris Snee, Giants
Giants’ guard was a major part of two Super Bowl winners and went to the Pro Bowl four times.
Honorable mention: Rosey Grier, Giants
75. Winston Hill, Jets
Offensive tackle protected Joe Namath’s blind side for years, including during the Jets’ 1968 championship season. A four-time All-Star in the AFL and four-time Pro Bowler, he has (somehow) yet to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Honorable mention: George Martin, Giants
74. Nick Mangold, Jets
Arguably the best center in football since he entered the league in 2006, Mangold has been to five Pro Bowls and continues to be a dominant presence on that Jet offensive line.
Honorable mention: Abdul Salaam, Jets
73. Joe Klecko, Jets
A Pro Bowler at three different positions and member of the “New York Sack Exchange,” he was a remarkable defensive talent — something the Pro Football Hall of Fame has somehow yet to acknowledge.
Honorable mention: John Washington, Giants
72. Osi Umenyiora, Giants
Outside linebacker helped the Giants win a pair of Super Bowls as an exceptional pass rusher. He led the NFC in sacks in 2005, and also holds the franchise records for most sacks in a single game (6).
Honorable mention: Chris Ward, Jets
71. Mike Rupp, Rangers/Devils/Islanders (sort of)
Drafted by the Islanders but never played for them, he wound up with the Devils and scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2003. He’s known for his physical play, but he’s come through in the clutch multiple times, which is more than other No. 71’s who’ve played in the NY/NJ metro area can say.
Honorable mention: Kerry Jenkins, Jets
70. Sam Huff, Giants
Hall of Fame linebacker was one of the best of his era. Won a Super Bowl with Big Blue in 1956, went to five Pro Bowls. Marshall is a close second, but Huff gets the nod.
Honorable mention: Leonard Marshall, Giants
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