Gale Gilbert of the Los Angeles Chargers became the only player in NFL history to be a member of five consecutive Super Bowl teams. Gilbert was a Bills player who appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls (XXV-XXVIII). Gilbert was a member of the losing team in all five Super Bowls. He died of a heart attack at age 57 after playing in a regular season game on January 26, 1995.
Another player who played for the Bills in four consecutive Super Bowls was Pete Goguen. Goguen started three of those games and finished with a record of 0-3. He is still one of few players in NFL history to lose every single match they have played in a Super Bowl contest.
The first NFL player to win a Super Bowl ring in his first try out was John Elway. The Denver Broncos selected Elway with the first overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft. He went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. In his first season as a starter, Elway led the Broncos to their first Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Elway returned for more game action in 1983 and helped the Broncos win another Super Bowl title this time against the Chicago Bears. Elway retired after the '87 season but came back for one final run with the Broncos in 2019. He ended his career as one of the most successful QBs in NFL history having won three Super Bowl titles.
Pearson has the unusual distinction of having appeared in five Super Bowls with three different teams. He played in Super Bowl III for the Baltimore Colts, Super Bowl IX for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Super Bowls X, XII, and XIII for the Dallas Cowboys. He was a solid role player who carried for 3,609 yards in his career.
He finished his career with the Cowboys with 1,084 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He returned two kicks for scores during his time in Dallas.
After retiring as a Cowboy, Pearson stayed in the game as a coach. He worked under three different coaches in three seasons (1977-79) with the Chicago Bears. Pearson helped the team reach the NFC Championship Game each year he was there.
He then moved on to work as a television analyst for CBS until 1993 when he finally hung up his helmet. He died in 2013 at the age of 74 due to complications from multiple sclerosis.
Number one overall pick Barry Sanders came very close to breaking Pearson's record for most rushing yards in a season. In 1998, Sanders rushed for 2,710 yards - not too far off of Pearson's 3,097 total yards in 1964.
However, because of rules changes implemented in 1999, no player has ever reached 3,000 rushing yards again. The current record holder is Donald Brown who had 2,631 yards in 2008.
Tight end Marv Fleming was the first player to win four Super Bowl rings, earning two with the Green Bay Packers in 1966 and 1967 and another with the Miami Dolphins in 1972 and 1973. The only other player to do so is Bill Belichick, who won three with the New England Patriots.
Fleming's accomplishments are especially remarkable given that he played only five seasons in total - four with the Packers and one with the Dolphins - and didn't begin his career until after the Packers had already won their first title in 1965. He did lead the league in receiving twice while with the Packers and also earned All-Pro honors twice during his career.
Another notable receiver who won four Super Bowls is Jerry Rice. The San Francisco 49ers star caught 521 passes for 7,097 yards and 38 touchdowns over the course of his career. He won three with the 49ers in 1991, 1992 and 1996 and another with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. That makes him one of only six players to win multiple Super Bowls with different teams (Brady, Manning, Montana, Rice and Singletary).
Rice is also one of only nine players to score at least 10 touchdowns throughout his career. He did so twice: in 1985 with the San Francisco 49ers and in 1998 with the Baltimore Ravens.
John Elway is the only quarterback in NFL history who has led his club to five Super Bowl victories. Following defeats in each of his first three Super Bowls, Elway led the Broncos to back-to-back championships in his last two seasons. Elway's career high point came against the Browns in the 1986 AFC title game. He passed for 563 yards and six touchdowns that day as Denver defeated Cleveland, 42-20.
Elway's five Super Bowl wins are more than any other player in NFL history. He is also one of just four quarterbacks (Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers) to win the trophy with multiple teams. The others are Joe Montana, Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger.
In addition to his work with the Broncos, Elway spent three seasons (1995-97) with the XFL's Colorado Crush. He was the MVP of both the 1996 and 1997 NFL Drafts before going late in the 1998 draft to the Colts as a favor to friend and former coach John Fox. However, Elway refused to play for Andrew Luck's team because he wanted to remain with the Broncos. In the end, Denver traded him to Baltimore where he finished his career.
During his illustrious career, Elway completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 22,907 yards and 153 touchdowns against 82 interceptions. He also ran for 2,010 yards and 21 scores and caught 91 passes for 1,597 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Dan Reeves holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl appearances, taking into account his playing years, assistant coaching years, and head coaching years—"five with the Dallas Cowboys, three with Denver, and one with Atlanta," according to his biography. The only other man who has ever coached in more Super Bowls than Reeves is George Seifert, who has a total of nine.
Reeves died in March 2019 at the age of 85. He won two Super Bowls as a player for the Cowboys and was an assistant on the teams that lost in the final games of the 1970s seasons. He became the youngest head coach in NFL history when he took over the Broncos in 1981 and left after three seasons to take over the Falcons. After one season, Reeves retired due to health issues related to multiple myeloma.
He was the first player in NFL history to be selected to five All-Decade Teams during the 1990s. During his playing days, Reeves made the Pro Bowl after his first two seasons and was named First Team All-Pro after his third season.
After retiring as a player, Reeves went on to have a long career as an assistant coach, including six years as the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys.