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category6um
01-12-2012, 09:26 AM
With this weekend taking forever to get here.... maybe some light fun reading will help.


Who is the greatest RB of all time?

http://www.category6um.com/2012/01/11/the-best-um-and-nfl-rbs-of-all-time/

Interesting where Earl Campbell ranks?

mridge01
01-12-2012, 10:51 AM
Bo Jackson not on the list? Best ever IMHO. He had the speed, power, and elusiveness where most backs are really only good at one, maybe two of those traits. He had the whole package. Too bad injury and baseball kept him from a lengthy career. Herschal Walker was pretty good.

cdollaz
01-12-2012, 10:59 AM
The list is "greatest", not "best". Best implies pure talent, while greatest has to factor in historical performance (stats) and longetivity.

Texecutioner
01-12-2012, 11:09 AM
Bo Jackson not on the list? Best ever IMHO. He had the speed, power, and elusiveness where most backs are really only good at one, maybe two of those traits. He had the whole package. Too bad injury and baseball kept him from a lengthy career. Herschal Walker was pretty good.

He would have made this list had he played longer, but these other guys did it for much longer. Personally I don't feel that Sayers belongs on this list since he didn't play nearly as long as these other guys did proving his greatness season after season.

Dread-Head
01-12-2012, 11:22 AM
With this weekend taking forever to get here.... maybe some light fun reading will help.


Who is the greatest RB of all time?

http://www.category6um.com/2012/01/11/the-best-um-and-nfl-rbs-of-all-time/

Interesting where Earl Campbell ranks?

This is just a group of guys who played for Michigan who went to the NFL. If we were talking the greatest of all time we would be seeing Earl, Gail Sayers, Payton ETC.

HJam72
01-12-2012, 11:42 AM
This is just a group of guys who played for Michigan who went to the NFL. If we were talking the greatest of all time we would be seeing Earl, Gail Sayers, Payton ETC.

You need to look down below that. There is a top 10 list of greatest NFL Runningbacks, including Campbell, Dickerson, Payton, Sanders, and, yes, Sayers.

Thorn
01-12-2012, 11:44 AM
LOL, Dread forgot how to use the scroll wheel.

eriadoc
01-12-2012, 11:57 AM
This is just a group of guys who played for Michigan who went to the NFL. If we were talking the greatest of all time we would be seeing Earl, Gail Sayers, Payton ETC.

As others have mentioned, use the scroll wheel. Also, it's Miami, not Michigan.

As for the list ..... meh, whatever. I can't take seriously any attempt to put Gale Sayers ahead of Earl Campbell. I like Earl better than Payton or Emmitt, but I get the arguments for those guys. Jim Brown was a little before my time, but having watched some highlight reels, I don't take anything away from the guy. Earl is still #1 in my heart.

Texecutioner
01-12-2012, 11:57 AM
There are to many backs that were highly productive for much longer than Gale Sayers and I have a huge problem with his rankings in these conversations. I don't doubt his talent level and his skill and feel like he is amongst these guys on this list from a talent and skill perspective, but there are dozens of other backs that have came and gone in this league that have been highly productive like Sayers for a longer time span and they don't get the same credit which is unfair. If Sayers enters this line up, than it is arguable that Curtis Martin, Edrin James, should enter it. I don't see how Gale Sayers should be higher than Tomlinson when Tomlinson was so productive for so much longer and was the best elite back in the league for so many more seasons. And I'd have to agree with Herv that Earl Cambell trumps Gale Sayers by far.

RagingBull
01-13-2012, 09:24 AM
This is just a group of guys who played for Michigan who went to the NFL. If we were talking the greatest of all time we would be seeing Earl, Gail Sayers, Payton ETC.

Scroll down a bit. The top list is the best Univ. of Michigan RBs of all time. The bottom one has Earl listed #8, Sayers listed #5, and Payton listed #1.


Edit: Oops, did not refresh the screen and see that this has been pointed out. My bad.

Double Barrel
01-13-2012, 11:33 AM
There are to many backs that were highly productive for much longer than Gale Sayers and I have a huge problem with his rankings in these conversations. I don't doubt his talent level and his skill and feel like he is amongst these guys on this list from a talent and skill perspective, but there are dozens of other backs that have came and gone in this league that have been highly productive like Sayers for a longer time span and they don't get the same credit which is unfair. If Sayers enters this line up, than it is arguable that Curtis Martin, Edrin James, should enter it. I don't see how Gale Sayers should be higher than Tomlinson when Tomlinson was so productive for so much longer and was the best elite back in the league for so many more seasons. And I'd have to agree with Herv that Earl Cambell trumps Gale Sayers by far.

Sayers is always an obligatory mention in RB conversations much like Johnny Unitas must be obliged with any given QB discussion.

I'd definitely put Earl on my RB list, but I admit a built-in hometown bias. He was a hero to me as a kid and larger than life. Hard to be objective with that kind of history and connection to my youth.

Without a doubt the list has to be topped with Emmit Smith and Walter Payton. They hold the top two spots in running records, and both have championships that they were a large part in winning. Plus, just their durability at a position with an average 3 year life has to be admired and accounted for. Not to mention they were just badasses in their prime.

After that, it becomes a discussion about numbers and intangibles. Guys like Earl, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, O. J. Simpson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, etc....the list is long and can be arranged in many different orders depending on what you qualify.

kiwitexansfan
01-13-2012, 01:07 PM
Personally, I think Smith and Faulk are too high.

dream_team
01-14-2012, 11:10 AM
I can only comment on guys I actually watched. Jim Brown sounded awesome, but never got to watch him on a consistent basis.

So after getting that out of the way, Barry Sanders is hands down the best I've ever seen! It's amazing what he did on all of those crappy Lions teams.

gwallaia
01-15-2012, 09:49 AM
I would put Barry Sanders at #1.

DBCooper
01-15-2012, 11:18 AM
Personally, I think Smith and Faulk are too high.

You know, everyone talks about Emmitt having this wonderful O-line to run behind, which he did, but go back and watch footage of him and count how many yards he got after initial contact.

Amazing.

mancunian
01-15-2012, 12:33 PM
I can only comment on guys I actually watched. Jim Brown sounded awesome, but never got to watch him on a consistent basis.

So after getting that out of the way, Barry Sanders is hands down the best I've ever seen! It's amazing what he did on all of those crappy Lions teams.

The Bears teams that Payton played on from when he was drafted through to about 82 weren't much good either.

Scooter
01-15-2012, 06:45 PM
jim brown
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.
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earl, barry, payton
.
.
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emmitt, dickerson, gale, simpson, etc

infantrycak
01-16-2012, 08:56 AM
You know, everyone talks about Emmitt having this wonderful O-line to run behind, which he did, but go back and watch footage of him and count how many yards he got after initial contact.

Amazing.

While they were in their primes there was a stat about Emmitt and Sanders which was two thirds of Emmitt's yards came after first contact while two thirds of Barry's yards came before first contact. Emmitt was a master of short space movement and handwork to minimize and then run through contact. It wasn't as pretty as Sanders or Dorsett but it was damn effective and the OL should not get all the credit.

eriadoc
01-16-2012, 10:04 AM
While they were in their primes there was a stat about Emmitt and Sanders which was two thirds of Emmitt's yards came after first contact while two thirds of Barry's yards came before first contact. Emmitt was a master of short space movement and handwork to minimize and then run through contact. It wasn't as pretty as Sanders or Dorsett but it was damn effective and the OL should not get all the credit.

Barry Sanders also killed a lot more drives for his team.

Texecutioner
01-16-2012, 02:30 PM
Sayers is always an obligatory mention in RB conversations much like Johnny Unitas must be obliged with any given QB discussion.

I'd definitely put Earl on my RB list, but I admit a built-in hometown bias. He was a hero to me as a kid and larger than life. Hard to be objective with that kind of history and connection to my youth.

Without a doubt the list has to be topped with Emmit Smith and Walter Payton. They hold the top two spots in running records, and both have championships that they were a large part in winning. Plus, just their durability at a position with an average 3 year life has to be admired and accounted for. Not to mention they were just badasses in their prime.

After that, it becomes a discussion about numbers and intangibles. Guys like Earl, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, O. J. Simpson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, etc....the list is long and can be arranged in many different orders depending on what you qualify.

I will not put Emmit up there with Payton. He simply was not as good at being a big time back and Payton did not run with nearly the O line that Emmit did along with a passing game to take the pressure away from the running game that Payton had to carry. No way I'd put Emmit above Erick Dickerson or Barry either. If you put anyone of those guys in the Cowboys in those years they would have been amazing just as well and even better. Earl Campbell on the Cowboys would have been insane. Emmit had the best situation. I don't like to sound like I'm discrediting him, because he still earned and achieved what he did, but he had way better pieces to make him successful and wasn't nearly the HR threat that these other guys were, nor was he a stronger runner than guys like Campbell and Dickerson.

ObsiWan
01-16-2012, 06:13 PM
Gayle Sayers, Bo Jackson, Billy Sims (remember him?) all belong in a special "their careers were too short" category. Who knows how the record book would read if Sayers and Sims hadn't blown out knees or if Bo hadn't got that hip thing.

Texecutioner
01-16-2012, 06:22 PM
Gayle Sayers, Bo Jackson, Billy Sims (remember him?) all belong in a special "their careers were too short" category. Who knows how the record book would read if Sayers and Sims hadn't blown out knees or if Bo hadn't got that hip thing.

I don't think that any of them would have been up there with Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, or even maybe Curtis Martin maybe other than Bo Jackson, but Bo shared the backfield early on with Marcus Allen. We never got to see a full season of Bo playing with all the carries as a full time back.

Another back we've forgotten to talk about that was amazing was O.J. Simpson.

Double Barrel
01-17-2012, 03:38 PM
I will not put Emmit up there with Payton. He simply was not as good at being a big time back and Payton did not run with nearly the O line that Emmit did along with a passing game to take the pressure away from the running game that Payton had to carry. No way I'd put Emmit above Erick Dickerson or Barry either. If you put anyone of those guys in the Cowboys in those years they would have been amazing just as well and even better. Earl Campbell on the Cowboys would have been insane. Emmit had the best situation. I don't like to sound like I'm discrediting him, because he still earned and achieved what he did, but he had way better pieces to make him successful and wasn't nearly the HR threat that these other guys were, nor was he a stronger runner than guys like Campbell and Dickerson.

We can certainly agree to disagree, but just understand that history will side with my perspective, because I side with NFL history:

NFL record for career rushing yards (18,355)
NFL record for career rushing touchdowns (164)
NFL record for career 100+ yards rushing games (78)
4× NFL Rushing champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995)

Part of evaluating a RB must include durability. All of this "what ifs" about certain players getting injured is part of the big picture. I've never been a Cowboys fan - been an active anti-Cowboy person most of my life actually - but credit where it is due. Those numbers above represent a career of greatness. They certainly benefit from great teams, but part of a great team is great individual players. And Emmitt is one of those players that made his team great.

It's funny that you mention the passing game benefiting Emmitt, because a somewhat recent interview with Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman said the passing game was so great because they had Emmitt. It's tough to separate players from their teams (much like evaluating a QB like Montana when he had the all-time greatest WR to throw to, and visa versa).

Also take into account styles, which is why Emmitt's career continues to impress in hindsight, like 'cak mentions below:

...two thirds of Emmitt's yards came after first contact...

That a RB can get most of his yards after getting hit certainly helps improve the status of his offensive line.

DBCooper
01-17-2012, 04:16 PM
While they were in their primes there was a stat about Emmitt and Sanders which was two thirds of Emmitt's yards came after first contact while two thirds of Barry's yards came before first contact. Emmitt was a master of short space movement and handwork to minimize and then run through contact. It wasn't as pretty as Sanders or Dorsett but it was damn effective and the OL should not get all the credit.

I didn't know that, pretty cool.

I just remember being in awe of the fact that most of the time the first person to hit Emmitt couldn't bring him down.

Texecutioner
01-17-2012, 05:09 PM
We can certainly agree to disagree, but just understand that history will side with my perspective, because I side with NFL history:

NFL record for career rushing yards (18,355)
NFL record for career rushing touchdowns (164)
NFL record for career 100+ yards rushing games (78)
4× NFL Rushing champion (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995)

Part of evaluating a RB must include durability. All of this "what ifs" about certain players getting injured is part of the big picture. I've never been a Cowboys fan - been an active anti-Cowboy person most of my life actually - but credit where it is due. Those numbers above represent a career of greatness. They certainly benefit from great teams, but part of a great team is great individual players. And Emmitt is one of those players that made his team great.

It's funny that you mention the passing game benefiting Emmitt, because a somewhat recent interview with Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman said the passing game was so great because they had Emmitt. It's tough to separate players from their teams (much like evaluating a QB like Montana when he had the all-time greatest WR to throw to, and visa versa).

Also take into account styles, which is why Emmitt's career continues to impress in hindsight, like 'cak mentions below:



That a RB can get most of his yards after getting hit certainly helps improve the status of his offensive line.

YOu can definite;y win if you want to play the stat game with Emmit, but it's a reason that no one hardly ever mentions his name as the greatest or at the top 3 other than ex Dallas players for the most part. Emmit played a lot of extra garbage seasons to get those stats when he should have retired prior, but that was still his choice either way. He extended his career just to pad records. I can't knock that or anything, but he simply wasn't the best RB ever and had Barry Sanders played behind that O line that would have been creepy scary. I'd put Campbell over Emmit any day of the week.

silvrhand
01-18-2012, 07:25 AM
Barry Sanders and Jim Brown are the only two RB's to have a 5 yard average for their career.

HJam72
01-18-2012, 09:57 AM
Barry Sanders and Jim Brown are the only two RB's to have a 5 yard average for their career.

Yes, and Barry got it by going 1, 3, -4, -2, 0, .5, 1.5, -2.5, 87, 0, .5, .25, .132142314, -1, 3... :)

infantrycak
01-18-2012, 11:18 AM
Yes, and Barry got it by going 1, 3, -4, -2, 0, .5, 1.5, -2.5, 87, 0, .5, .25, .132142314, -1, 3... :)


Yup. Sanders didn't pull off this, well basically nobody else ever has - Link (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d810a63f5/Top-Ten-Gutsiest-Performances-Emmitt-Smith)

I mean c'mon, playing with a dislocated shoulder and bruised sternum and instead of going out or decreasing in performance dude demands the ball and up the gut runs for 170 yards and tacks on another about 75 yards receiving. And every time he got up you could see his pain and yet he continued to go back to the huddle and demand the ball. Barry had beautiful moments. Emmitt was the bomb. Lots of prettier RB's - OJ, Sayers, Sanders, Dorsett - but the most effective and dependable was Emmitt. Having said all that, Brown is my all time greatest.

IDEXAN
01-18-2012, 12:04 PM
Barry Sanders and Jim Brown are the only two RB's to have a 5 yard average for their career.
Sanders one of the greatest ever but Jim Brown not so easy to rank because he was usually faster than anybody on the defense he played against most Sundays and very often bigger than anybody but the DLineman. He was the origional physical freak compared to his opposition and would have had many peers and even superiors vs contemporary running backs and their defensive opponents. The thing is back in Browns day the colleges and even the NFL had quotas in terms of black players who were allowed to play and there very easily could have been other Jim Browns in that day who weren't ever discovered. Ollie Matson was another great back of the Jim Brown era
Emmit Smith was only great statistically because he was more lucky than talented since he played with immensly talented teammates on great teams.
I would put OJ, Campbell, Sanders, Dickerson, Payton, & Faulk in the most elite group of backs.

Doppelganger
01-18-2012, 04:16 PM
I might catch flack for this, but I will say it anyway.

Jim Brown is one of the most overrated players in NFL history. He played from 1957 to 1965.

Prior to Jim Brown, the Browns, already had a very good rushing attack. In n 1955, Cleveland’s leading rusher was Fred Morrison. He finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. In 1956, Cleveland’s leading rusher was Preston Carpenter. He finished 6th overall in rushing. he averaged 4.2 yards per carry.

In 1957 Jim Brown arrived. Through his career he averaged the following yards per game: 4.7, 5.9, 4.6, 5.8, 4.6, 4.3, 6.4, 5.2, and 5.3. Good numbers and an average that is 5.2 yards per game. But let's look at his Halfback (since Brown was the FB in his scheme). Bobby Mitchell averaged 5.5 yards per carry over the 4 seasons he was with the Browns. Better numbers than Brown.

In 1966, when Jim Brown retired, Leroy Kelly took over. Kelly averaged 5.5 yards per carry, finished second in the NFL in rushing and first in rushing TDs. In 1967 and 1968, Kelly rushed for the most yards and tds in the NFL. He averaged 5.1 and 5.0 yards per carry over these years.

The reason the Browns rushing attack was so good was becuase of the O line. Cleveland had one of the best O lines of the era and well before Brown got there to well after he retired, the Browns would send at least one and sometimes as many as 3 OL players to the Probowl YEARLY. Jim Brown benefited from having one of the best O lines and offensive schemes in front of him.

In my mind, Terrell Davis is a modern day equivalent of Jim Brown. A good back that looked like a superstar becuase of the system. Prior to and after Davis, the ZBS created solid running backs becuase of the OL and the system. A good RB like Davis became a superstar. Likewise, the Browns system took solid running backs and made then good backs for their system. It took a good running back like Brown and made him look like a superstar.

Therefore, I conclude that Jim Brown was a good, but not superstar back. He is worthy of HOF induction, but does not deserve to be at or near the top of greatest backs of all time. That is why I believe Jim Brown is overrated.

So apparently, all you had to do to lead the NFL in rushing and average 5 yards a carry was play for Cleveland. The Browns didn’t need Brown. They just needed a warm body to run behind an offensive line that featured at least one Pro Bowler—and as many as three—every year from well before Jim Brown arrived until well after he retired.

Double Barrel
01-18-2012, 04:23 PM
YOu can definite;y win if you want to play the stat game with Emmit, but it's a reason that no one hardly ever mentions his name as the greatest or at the top 3 other than ex Dallas players for the most part. Emmit played a lot of extra garbage seasons to get those stats when he should have retired prior, but that was still his choice either way. He extended his career just to pad records. I can't knock that or anything, but he simply wasn't the best RB ever and had Barry Sanders played behind that O line that would have been creepy scary. I'd put Campbell over Emmit any day of the week.

It's not really a stat thing for me, but we are talking G.O.A.T., so they must be accounted into the equation.

Perhaps we need to quantify what defines standard for G.O.A.T.?

If you said one game, pick one RB in his prime, I'd pick Earl every day of the week. Put him on any team and he'd succeed. Dude was carrying defenders across the goal line, and even ending careers with his bruising running style. So no argument from me in that regard.

But, G.O.A.T. can also be evaluated as big picture, which is where my perspective was coming from earlier. Taking into account a full career, championships, individual accomplishments, and the impact on the game he had for his team, I think Emmitt should certainly be in the conversation.

Yup. Sanders didn't pull off this, well basically nobody else ever has - Link (http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d810a63f5/Top-Ten-Gutsiest-Performances-Emmitt-Smith)

I mean c'mon, playing with a dislocated shoulder and bruised sternum and instead of going out or decreasing in performance dude demands the ball and up the gut runs for 170 yards and tacks on another about 75 yards receiving. And every time he got up you could see his pain and yet he continued to go back to the huddle and demand the ball. Barry had beautiful moments. Emmitt was the bomb. Lots of prettier RB's - OJ, Sayers, Sanders, Dorsett - but the most effective and dependable was Emmitt. Having said all that, Brown is my all time greatest.

That performance is what really cemented Emmitt's legacy in my mind. That was pure toughness, showing that he was much more than some finesse RB that had a long career by avoiding hits (something often leveled at Tony Dorsett back in the day, iirc).