the greatest RBs of all time?

Discussion in 'The National Football League' started by category6um, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. category6um

    category6um Rookie

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  2. mridge01

    mridge01 Veteran

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    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.
     
  3. cdollaz

    cdollaz All Pro

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    The list is "greatest", not "best". Best implies pure talent, while greatest has to factor in historical performance (stats) and longetivity.
     
  4. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  5. Dread-Head

    Dread-Head Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  6. HJam72

    HJam72 Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  7. Thorn

    Thorn Dirty Old Man

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    LOL, Dread forgot how to use the scroll wheel.
     
  8. eriadoc

    eriadoc Texan-American

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    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.
     


  9. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  10. RagingBull

    RagingBull Hall of Shame

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    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.
     
  11. Double Barrel

    Double Barrel Modified Simian

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    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.
     
  12. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    Personally, I think Smith and Faulk are too high.
     
  13. dream_team

    dream_team Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  14. gwallaia

    gwallaia Moderator Staff Member

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    I would put Barry Sanders at #1.
     
  15. DBCooper

    DBCooper Outlaw

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    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.
     
  16. mancunian

    mancunian Daleks Rule

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

    Scooter Funky

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    jim brown
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    earl, barry, payton
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    .
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    emmitt, dickerson, gale, simpson, etc
     
  18. infantrycak

    infantrycak Mod. Staff Member

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    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.
     
  19. eriadoc

    eriadoc Texan-American

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

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    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.
     

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