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View Full Version : Barry Sanders = GOAT?


xooberon
11-07-2007, 01:45 PM
LINK (http://www.footballdiner.com/nflbarrysanders.html)

What do you think?

bigbluedefense
11-07-2007, 02:37 PM
nope......

LionSmack
11-07-2007, 02:47 PM
As someone who watched Barry's entire career, I will concede that he had some holes in his game.

He didn't have a good sense of when to take a short gain instead of losing yards by trying to get loose. His improvisational style didn't contribute well to a consistent offensive plan. He didn't run pass routes that well, although his hands were good enough and he was just fine on screens and stuff. He didn't have the size to block very well, especially on blitz pickup.

However I don't buy any of that negative stuff about his playoff performances. If you watched any of those games, you'd know that it was the Lions' OL that failed rather than him.

I'd guess that the only RB's who you could realistically argue were better than Barry are Brown, Payton, and now LT is getting in that debate also. The one thing no one can argue is that Barry was the most unique RB and maybe player in NFL history. No one ever ran like him or had moves like him.

bigbluedefense
11-07-2007, 02:52 PM
As someone who watched Barry's entire career, I will concede that he had some holes in his game.

He didn't have a good sense of when to take a short gain instead of losing yards by trying to get loose. His improvisational style didn't contribute well to a consistent offensive plan. He didn't run pass routes that well, although his hands were good enough and he was just fine on screens and stuff. He didn't have the size to block very well, especially on blitz pickup.

However I don't buy any of that negative stuff about his playoff performances. If you watched any of those games, you'd know that it was the Lions' OL that failed rather than him.

I'd guess that the only RB's who you could realistically argue were better than Barry are Brown, Payton, and now LT is getting in that debate also. The one thing no one can argue is that Barry was the most unique RB and maybe player in NFL history. No one ever ran like him or had moves like him.

great summary. i agree with most of it.

my main issue with Barry was his poor vision. he made great highlight reels, but he would too often hit the wrong hole and lose 2 instead of gain 6. he tried to break it too often, and while it made for great highlights, like you said it didn't make for great consistency.

and it mainly stems from his lack of vision. However, Ive always felt that RBs without elite vision need fullbacks. Sanders wanted a FB his whole career, and when he finally got one, had one of the best seasons ever. Detroit in all their glory however, took the FB away from him. Yeah...im still baffled behind their logic.

I have him #3 on my personal list.

1. Jim Brown
2. Walter Payton
3. Barry Sanders
4. OJ Simpson
5. Earl Campbell (personal preferrence)

LionSmack
11-07-2007, 03:06 PM
Barry had incredible vision. A lot of times he would set up the second and third guy in line to try and tackle him as he was juking the first one.

Sometimes the hole just isn't there, though. At times like that, Barry would still try to make something happen and that's when he would lose yards.

Also later in his career, there were a lot of times when he would get the ball and automatically break it down and start moving laterally when there might have been a hole there if he just ran full out. Yes, even when he had a fullback. He was actually more of a home-run threat when the Lions had their run-shoot offense and didn't even have a fullback on the roster, or later when they ran what is now the Colts' singleback-three wide set. Later, under Ross, when they had a FB, he got his 2000 yard season but had less breakout runs.

bigbluedefense
11-07-2007, 03:18 PM
Barry had incredible vision. A lot of times he would set up the second and third guy in line to try and tackle him as he was juking the first one.

Sometimes the hole just isn't there, though. At times like that, Barry would still try to make something happen and that's when he would lose yards.

Also later in his career, there were a lot of times when he would get the ball and automatically break it down and start moving laterally when there might have been a hole there if he just ran full out. Yes, even when he had a fullback. He was actually more of a home-run threat when the Lions had their run-shoot offense and didn't even have a fullback on the roster, or later when they ran what is now the Colts' singleback-three wide set. Later, under Ross, when they had a FB, he got his 2000 yard season but had less breakout runs.

that makes for poor vision though. if youre trying to break it open every play, thats not great vision. thats why the FB helped him out so much, it gave him a lead to show him his where his first burst needed to be.

I remember seeing (before there was an NFL network) on ESPN classic they broke down Barry Sanders run game. Alot of times, while to the naked eye it seemed like the line didn't block for him, that was not true. He had a clear hole, but rather than get 6 yards, wanted to bounce it outside and try to take it to the house, and wound up losing 3 yards because of it.

From a pure runner's standpoint, that is not good. He is great, and im not taking anything away from him, but I think one of the big misconceptions of him is that he had great vision, he didn't.

Now the open field is a different story. But open field running is very different to hitting the hole.

no love
11-07-2007, 03:38 PM
I have him #3 on my personal list.

1. Jim Brown
2. Walter Payton
3. Barry Sanders
4. OJ Simpson
5. Earl Campbell (personal preferrence)

Where does LT go on your top-10?

I think he is one of the top five of all time, but I guess he doesn't do it with as much flash as some of the others. Definitely one of the best receiving backs, along with Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk.

My list would be

1. Jim Brown - Superman
2. Barry Sanders - Redefined how to run the ball
3. LT - TD Machine and a great receiver/homerun threat
4. Walter Payton - Sweetness
5. Marshall Faulk - Ultimate weapon for the modern O

I have a predisposition to a running back who is a weapon in the passing game in addition to being a pure runner. To be honest I never even saw Jim Brown play not even highlights, but my dad talks about how amazing he was. Sounds like superman when the old man talks about him, so I gotta give him some props.

dabears10
11-07-2007, 03:54 PM
How could anyone have LdT above Walter Payton is amazing to me. Payton did everything that LT does but better and for longer. So he's worse?

TimD
11-07-2007, 03:59 PM
He was the best athlete to play running back, but in the traditional sense I don't think he was the best running back.

Ewing
11-07-2007, 04:00 PM
Jim Brown is, without question, the greatest running back in the history of the game. He broke every single record he could have and in only ten years. I can't do it justice but hopefully this Sporting News article can.

He came, he saw, he conquered. And then, like a thief in the night, he disappeared from professional football with every rushing record known to man. Many have been re-established, but the legend of Jim Brown remains as powerful as the body-scattering runs that lifted him to prominence as the Cleveland Browns ultimate offensive weapon from 1957 to 65. He was, simply, the greatest pure runner in the history of the NFL.

Brown was a physical masterpiece, a gift from the football gods. His 18-inch neck, wide shoulders and 45-inch chest tapered down to a 32-inch waist and massive thighs that carried him around the field with the grace and power of a jaguar. Brown ran with head high, nostrils flaring, legs pumping and powerful arms swatting away tacklers like flies. He was an amazing combination of power and speed who could juke past slower defenders or run over linebackers and defensive backs.

A multisport star at Syracuse, he stormed through the NFL as a 1957 rookie, running for 942 yards and posting the first of eight rushing championships he would claim over a nine-year career. His yearly rushing totals would become the standard for future runners to aspire: 1,527, 1,329, 1,257, 1,408, 1,863, 1,446 and 1,544. The beauty of Brown was that everybody knew he was going to get the ball, and the opposing team still couldnt stop him.

The nine-time Pro Bowl choice was equally intimidating off the field, where his menacing glares, in-your-face attitude and outspoken views often were interpreted as resentful and rebellious. He played the game without emotion, the same way he delivered the shocking 1965 news that he would retire, at age 29, while filming a movie in London. He left at the top of his game, the proud owner of one championship ring (1964) and 20 NFL records that included rushing yards (12,312), yards per carry (5.2) and rushing touchdowns (106).

I've heard people not even put him in their top five all-time which is ****ing insane. I could see the arguement for Sanders or Payton being better but there's no way that you can make a logical arguement that Emmitt Smith and Eric Dickerson are superior runners.

Stash
11-07-2007, 04:40 PM
Barry is my personal favorite and the article you posted makes a great case for him, but I would still give Jim Brown the nod when it comes to the GOAT. He was really ahead of his time because like the article said as a 230+ lb RB he was about as big as the lineman back in those days. He also had incredible speed, so he was basically the ultimate RB.

no love
11-07-2007, 04:47 PM
How could anyone have LdT above Walter Payton is amazing to me. Payton did everything that LT does but better and for longer. So he's worse?

Except for score more TD's. I think Walter and LT are both similar players, both very balanced players who are natural runners and pass catchers. But LT has played only about half the time that Payton did, and has nearly as many TD's (more if you include his passing TD's). He also should pass Payton in receptions and reception yards within 2 years.

The reason I put LT above Payton, is because, LT does do everything that
Payton did statistically. But he did it all in half of the time. Is LT as good of a runner or pass catcher, maybe, maybe not. But it doesn't matter, because whether or not he is not as talented, he just manages to get it done.

Also, remember in the playoffs last year, he did everything humanly possible and his team lost. But he was amazing against one of the greatest post-season teams of all time. Walter Payton never had a post-season game like that.

someone447
11-07-2007, 04:54 PM
1) Sanders
2) Brown
3) Payton

Yes, Sanders may have lost yards when he shouldn't have. But he more then made up for that by breaking so many long runs.

Brown may have set all the records in 10 years, but Sanders only played 10 years and finished with better stats than Jim Brown.

Ewing
11-07-2007, 05:54 PM
Brown may have set all the records in 10 years, but Sanders only played 10 years and finished with better stats than Jim Brown.

Jim Brown Career Rushing Totals: 2359 Attempts, 12,312 Yards, 5.2 YPC, 106 TD's

Barry Sanders Career Rushing Totals: 3062 Attempts, 15,269 Yards, 5.0 YPC, 90 TD's

It took Barry 700 more carries to get 3,000 more yards than Brown yet he still has 26 less touchdowns. He also played in 153 games compared to Brown's 118. I think we're done here.

Namy
11-07-2007, 06:54 PM
Jim Brown Career Rushing Totals: 2359 Attempts, 12,312 Yards, 5.2 YPC, 106 TD's

Barry Sanders Career Rushing Totals: 3062 Attempts, 15,269 Yards, 5.0 YPC, 90 TD's

It took Barry 700 more carries to get 3,000 more yards than Brown yet he still has 26 less touchdowns. He also played in 153 games compared to Brown's 118. I think we're done here.

And Brown was a man among boys. The competition back then was not eevn close to the past 20-30 years. If Barry Sanders played in Jim Brown's era, he could've probably gotten 2500+ yards every season.

Ewing
11-08-2007, 12:46 AM
And Brown was a man among boys. The competition back then was not eevn close to the past 20-30 years. If Barry Sanders played in Jim Brown's era, he could've probably gotten 2500+ yards every season.

If Jim Brown didn't get 2,500+ a year against those defenses then neither would Barry Sanders. I'm not taking anything away from Barry but you're acting like he's an athletic god compared to Brown.

yourfavestoner
11-08-2007, 01:08 AM
Jim Brown is, without question, the greatest running back in the history of the game. He broke every single record he could have and in only ten years. I can't do it justice but hopefully this Sporting News article can.



I've heard people not even put him in their top five all-time which is ****ing insane. I could see the arguement for Sanders or Payton being better but there's no way that you can make a logical arguement that Emmitt Smith and Eric Dickerson are superior runners.

THANK YOU. There is Jim Brown, and then there is everybody else. Although, if Earl Campbell didn't have such a bruising style that obliterated his body earlier than most runningbacks, then I think he'd be in this conversation much more often. It's a shame they both had short(er) careers.

Finsfan79
11-08-2007, 09:11 AM
great summary. i agree with most of it.

my main issue with Barry was his poor vision. he made great highlight reels, but he would too often hit the wrong hole and lose 2 instead of gain 6. he tried to break it too often, and while it made for great highlights, like you said it didn't make for great consistency.

and it mainly stems from his lack of vision. However, Ive always felt that RBs without elite vision need fullbacks. Sanders wanted a FB his whole career, and when he finally got one, had one of the best seasons ever. Detroit in all their glory however, took the FB away from him. Yeah...im still baffled behind their logic.

I have him #3 on my personal list.

1. Jim Brown
2. Walter Payton
3. Barry Sanders
4. OJ Simpson
5. Earl Campbell (personal preferrence)

Good list I concur with it

Jim Brown and Jerry Rice are the two greatest players ever period

bearsfan_51
11-08-2007, 09:13 AM
Walter Payton gave me a hug when I was 5. Thus he is the greatest runningback of all time.

I'm still waiting for my hug Jim Brown....

Crickett
11-08-2007, 10:11 AM
After much consideration, i have to come to the conclusion. There is no GOAT RB. There is no GOAT QB. On offense, the only real GOAT on offense is Jerry Rice at WR.

jkpigskin
11-08-2007, 11:47 AM
ll cool j = GOAT

eh, not really, but barry is probably my favorite RB cause he plays football like how i do (except i dont play tackle =D) i always say that jim brown was the best and if he had played a long career... who knows wat the record would be...

someone447
11-08-2007, 12:03 PM
ll cool j = GOAT

eh, not really, but barry is probably my favorite RB cause he plays football like how i do (except i dont play tackle =D) i always say that jim brown was the best and if he had played a long career... who knows wat the record would be...

Barry Sanders career was the same length as Jim Browns...

no love
11-08-2007, 01:16 PM
After much consideration, i have to come to the conclusion. There is no GOAT RB. There is no GOAT QB. On offense, the only real GOAT on offense is Jerry Rice at WR.

I like it. Rice was the epitome of what the NFL should be. He was a true professional that was never going to be outworked, outprepared, or outconditioned by an opponent. He never rested on his accomplishments and never settled for mediocrity. Just thinking about him gets me excited.

Everything you could ever want in a WR, great game speed, perfect route running, ability to break tackles, great hands and body control, easy for the qb to read, competitiveness and legendary work ethic.

Great article on JR for those who are interested in reading more about the GOAT
http://www.49erswebzone.com/content/news/view.php?id=11650

Xiomera
11-08-2007, 01:24 PM
I think it may be safe to say that Barry Sanders was the most exciting Running Back to watch in history. His elusiveness and propensity to make a spectacular play at an given moment are generally unmatched.

He is undoubtedly in the consensus top 5 of all-time, but it's hard to come up with an objective way or evaluating these different guys' careers. Statistical analysis doesn't quite do the trick.

bigbluedefense
11-08-2007, 01:48 PM
Don't look at the numbers. The numbers don't tell the whole story. When you evaluate players, you have to look at how they dominated their era.

No offensive player in NFL history has dominated his era the way Jim Brown did. He is in my eyes, not only the greatest RB of all time (by far and away) but the greatest offensive player in NFL history as well. No one dominated the game like he did offensively. He was a man playing against boys. And we all forget how they played 14 games back then.

Not to mention how much more brutal the game was back then. You say that other Rbs would do better in that era? Ha! Let's see other RB's shake off leg sweeps, or face masks, or clotheslines. Let's see other Rb's survive that era of football without a scratch on their body.

Jim Brown was so dominant in his era, it would be like a guy rushing for 2600 yards in our league today. Maybe even more.

Ewing
11-08-2007, 03:39 PM
Don't look at the numbers. The numbers don't tell the whole story. When you evaluate players, you have to look at how they dominated their era.

No offensive player in NFL history has dominated his era the way Jim Brown did. He is in my eyes, not only the greatest RB of all time (by far and away) but the greatest offensive player in NFL history as well. No one dominated the game like he did offensively. He was a man playing against boys. And we all forget how they played 14 games back then.

Not to mention how much more brutal the game was back then. You say that other Rbs would do better in that era? Ha! Let's see other RB's shake off leg sweeps, or face masks, or clotheslines. Let's see other Rb's survive that era of football without a scratch on their body.

Jim Brown was so dominant in his era, it would be like a guy rushing for 2600 yards in our league today. Maybe even more.

I agree with every you just wrote but here's something even more interesting, Brown's seasons were 12 games long for the first part of his career. I think that adds even more to his legend.

Stash
11-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Heres an interesting stat to further show Browns dominance:

Barry Sanders - 4 Rushing Titles in 10 seasons
Emmitt Smith - 4 Rushing Titles in 15 seasons
OJ Simpson - 4 Rushing Titles in 11 seasons
Tomlinson - 1 Rushing Title in 7 seasons (so far)
Walter Payton - ? Rushing Titles in 13 seasons*

Jim Brown - 8 Rushing Titles in 9 seasons


*Couldn't find Paytons # of rushing titles, even the HOF website didn't mention it. It only mentioned his NFC rushing titles(5) which would lead me to believe he never led the entire league in rushing. If any Payton fans out there know if thats wrong speak up.

asmitty45
11-08-2007, 08:42 PM
Barry Sanders is a God, as a lions fan he will always be the best in my heart.

Xenos
11-09-2007, 01:18 AM
Heres an interesting stat to further show Browns dominance:

Barry Sanders - 4 Rushing Titles in 10 seasons
Emmitt Smith - 4 Rushing Titles in 15 seasons
OJ Simpson - 4 Rushing Titles in 11 seasons
Tomlinson - 1 Rushing Title in 7 seasons (so far)
Walter Payton - ? Rushing Titles in 13 seasons*

Jim Brown - 8 Rushing Titles in 9 seasons


*Couldn't find Paytons # of rushing titles, even the HOF website didn't mention it. It only mentioned his NFC rushing titles(5) which would lead me to believe he never led the entire league in rushing. If any Payton fans out there know if thats wrong speak up.
About Jim Brown's 8 rushing titles. I keep hearing the coutner argument that there was really no one else to challenge him during his era like Sanders, Smith, and Payton did during their respective times. Is this true?

Ewing
11-09-2007, 03:30 AM
About Jim Brown's 8 rushing titles. I keep hearing the coutner argument that there was really no one else to challenge him during his era like Sanders, Smith, and Payton did during their respective times. Is this true?

There were challengers but it was like he was in the regular olympics and they were in the special olympics. It wasn't even close. He was that dominating.

21ST
11-11-2007, 08:03 AM
Barry Sanders is the best running back of all time no questions asked

Ewing
11-11-2007, 08:47 AM
Barry Sanders is the best running back of all time no questions asked

You make such a compelling arguement.

scottyboy
11-11-2007, 08:49 AM
Barry Sanders is the 3rd best running back of all time no questions asked

fixed that. the fact you forgot Leonard and Walter Payton is scary.
(oh and before anyone asks, Ray Rice isnt in the NFL yet)

21ST
11-11-2007, 09:03 AM
You make such a compelling arguement.

there is no argument

Vince Lombardi
11-11-2007, 08:49 PM
He was the best athlete to play running back, but in the traditional sense I don't think he was the best running back.

Correction, Bo Jackson was the best athlete to play running back.

Monie
11-12-2007, 01:33 PM
Jim Brown dominated because he was an athlete when most guys weren't.. Put Sanders or Payton in Jim Brown's era and i think they both look very good.

Put Jim Brown in today's NFL and i don't think he distinguishes himslelf beyond pro-bowl back.

Ewing
11-12-2007, 01:35 PM
there is no argument

How old are you? 13? Look up the things Jim Brown did in his career. There's a very strong arguement that he's the greatest of all-time.

Shiver
11-12-2007, 01:39 PM
The only possible argument against Jim Brown is defenses lacked the size and speed that they have now. He was bigger and faster than everyone he faced. None of the other Running Backs mentioned have had that same advantage, especially in the modern era.

Stash
11-12-2007, 04:07 PM
You can take any player today and say "If he was playing back then, he would dominate" because athletes today are bigger, stronger, faster. I don't think you can penalize someone for the era they played in.

Monie
11-12-2007, 06:37 PM
You can take any player today and say "If he was playing back then, he would dominate" because athletes today are bigger, stronger, faster. I don't think you can penalize someone for the era they played in.

Not really penalising him - he did indeed dominate, and he is an all time great - but you need to recognise the level of competition. Put Jim Brown up against guys like Reggie White and Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor (who Sanders had to face), and does he dominate?