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katnip
09-28-2009, 12:50 PM
Who would your list consist of and who's the best ever up to today to you?

I got to give props to the "Minister," Reggie White. Like, I'd always put him above the real L.T., because you knew what Reggie White was all about. A beast D-Lineman who spent his first 2 pro seasons not in the NFL.

Here's a few names I really respect after watching/reading about them, off the top of my head.

Reggie White
Deacon Jones
Dick Butkus
Deion Sanders
Lawrence Taylor
Ronnie Lott
Joe Greene

^ Is that plausible

Halsey
09-28-2009, 01:09 PM
I don't care what anyone says, Ray Lewis is as good as any defensive player I've ever seen. Maybe as good as anyone ever. He's still a top LB a decade and a half into his career.

no bare feet
09-28-2009, 01:11 PM
Rod Woodson.

Splat
09-28-2009, 01:12 PM
Another LB.

http://i35.tinypic.com/1zf2xxg.jpg

RaiderNation
09-28-2009, 01:15 PM
Nnamdi Asomugha the last 2-3 seasons....

bigbluedefense
09-28-2009, 01:16 PM
LT is in a class of his own.

My personal top 10 defensive player list of all time, taking all positions into account:

1. Lawrence Taylor
2. Dick Butkus
3. Deacon Jones
4. Reggie White
5. Jack Lambert
6. Deion Sanders
7. Mike Singletary
8. Ronnie Lott
9. Joe Greene
10. Allan Page

Its hard making a top 10 including all positions, but I tried my best. Im sure many of you will disagree and include some names I left out, but when we're talking top 10 including all positions, its not just about being good, its about being a game changer, a trend setter. So guys like Ray Lewis (as the most popular name) get left out bc they weren't the best at their position, and didn't redefine position either.

For me personally, the hardest names to leave off this list were Jack Ham, Sam Huff, Gary Nobis, Ray Nietske, Ed Jones, Nightrain Lane, etc.

katnip
09-28-2009, 01:18 PM
Its hard making a top 10 including all positions

Yes yes. Very hard to do.

gsorace
09-28-2009, 01:48 PM
Lawrence Taylor changed the way the game was played forever.

He's far and away the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

Babylon
09-28-2009, 01:53 PM
LT is in a class of his own.

My personal top 10 defensive player list of all time, taking all positions into account:

1. Lawrence Taylor
2. Dick Butkus
3. Deacon Jones
4. Reggie White
5. Jack Lambert
6. Deion Sanders
7. Mike Singletary
8. Ronnie Lott
9. Joe Greene
10. Allan Page

Its hard making a top 10 including all positions, but I tried my best. Im sure many of you will disagree and include some names I left out, but when we're talking top 10 including all positions, its not just about being good, its about being a game changer, a trend setter. So guys like Ray Lewis (as the most popular name) get left out bc they weren't the best at their position, and didn't redefine position either.

For me personally, the hardest names to leave off this list were Jack Ham, Sam Huff, Gary Nobis, Ray Nietske, Ed Jones, Nightrain Lane, etc.

Showing your age with some of these names (that's a good thing). To me it would be LT and Deion Sanders because they forced offenses to literally play with less than a full field. Texas Tommy Nobis by the way.

Don Vito
09-28-2009, 01:53 PM
It should be a crime to leave Derrick Thomas off of a list like this.

terribletowel39
09-28-2009, 01:57 PM
1. Lawrence Taylor
2. Dick Butkus
3. Deacon Jones
4. Reggie White
5. Jack Lambert
6. Deion Sanders
7. Mike Singletary
8. Ronnie Lott
9. Joe Greene
10. Allan Page

I like the list and agree for the most part.

1. LT
2. Deacon
3. White
4. Lambert
5. Butkus
6. Sanders or Woodson, they both changed the way. the position was played. I know Sanders gets most of the pub.
7. Lott
8. Ham
9. Page
10. Huff

I think Ham and Huff were better than Singletary. And both Lambert and Ham were more important than Joe Greene. Also think Page was more important to the DT position than Greene. I would almost go as far to say Sapp was too. Sapp and Green basically played the same position in cover 2 variations. And Sapp was just as dominant if not more.

no bare feet
09-28-2009, 02:02 PM
For playing a majority of his career at 3-4 DE, Bruce Smith is deserving of being top 3-4. LT is one of course. The next group is Rod Woodson, Bruce, Reggie, Deacon, Butkus and Lott.

Saints 4 Lyfe
09-28-2009, 02:08 PM
IMO Deacon Jones is the best most feared imo. He had more sacks than he's given credit because he played a few years without them keeping track of them.

TitleTown088
09-28-2009, 02:11 PM
"LT is in a class above his own". " LT far and away".


LT was a great great player no doubt, but there are surely some other great players in the same class as him. He wasn't that much better than the other greats.

It's like saying Joe Montana is in a class of his own... He is in the company of the other greats. He may be the best of the best, but he's not in his own echelon, and there in the hall of fame along with him because they were in the same "class" as him. Saying otherwise is subjective.

YAYareaRB
09-28-2009, 02:35 PM
Didn't LT change how people blocked?

no bare feet
09-28-2009, 02:36 PM
Didn't LT change how people blocked?

Yes he did. Instead of letting a 3-4 rush backer have a free shot on the QB they actually started to block him!

CC.SD
09-28-2009, 02:42 PM
"LT is in a class above his own". " LT far and away".


LT was a great great player no doubt, but there are surely some other great players in the same class as him. He wasn't that much better than the other greats.

It's like saying Joe Montana is in a class of his own... He is in the company of the other greats. He may be the best of the best, but he's not in his own echelon, and there in the hall of fame along with him because they were in the same "class" as him. Saying otherwise is subjective.

Yes he is, and so is Joe.

Junior! Junior Junior Junior, too many people just remember the broken down version that has been lurking around the NFL the last few years.

YAYareaRB
09-28-2009, 02:48 PM
Yes he did. Instead of letting a 3-4 rush backer have a free shot on the QB they actually started to block him!

http://cornellsun.com/node/19046

“The offenses started throwing the ball more, and then he came along and made them readjust all their schemes to be able to account for the great defensive player,” Knowles said.

For the first time in years, offenses had to adjust to Taylor and attacking defenses, not the other way around, and this created modern football.

Taylor spawned the need for a new breed of offensive lineman, and consequently, they ballooned in size and speed, especially on the quarterback’s blind side. (Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, recently published a book about this evolution.) Blocking schemes changed to stop Taylor from blitzing unhindered. Before him, backs had picked up linebackers on all plays. But Taylor — who amassed 132.5 sacks in his career, the second-highest total ever at his retirement — could run through or around them to the ball carrier. New formations were created, such as Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs’ twin tight end or single back sets, in order to get a bigger player to block Taylor.

vikes_28
09-28-2009, 02:50 PM
Jason Taylor
Ronnie Lott
Junior Seau
Joey Browner
Deion Sanders

senormysterioso
09-28-2009, 02:56 PM
A few that deserve mention,
-DT Warren Sapp, he was a force. Pass rusher, run stopper. He changed how teams played every week
-DE Bruce Smith, great combination of size and speed/athletic ability.

I don't know if people will accept this one or not, but I'm gonna throw it out there; Sean Taylor. The last two years of his career/life he was becoming one of the most disruptive forces I've seen on a football team. He covered so much ground and did everything you ask a safety to do and did it well. Wish we could have seen him really reach his full potential.

bigbluedefense
09-28-2009, 02:56 PM
Its hard comparing pass rushers from different eras, but nobody impacted an offensive gameplan or the way offenses played in general than LT.

Deacon was dominant. Reggie was dominant. But they didn't change anything. Teams blocked them the same way they did the greats before them.

That said, Titletown is right. He's not necessarily in a league of his own, but in my eyes theres no question he was the greatest defender ever.

Whats overlooked is how Dick Butkus was LT before LT (not as dominant but the closest to LT). Butkus was close to as dominant, but he lacked the pass rushing element that LT had.

Oddly enough, and maybe bf51 can back me on this bc im sure he knows about Butkus, I personally feel that Butkus couldve changed the game before LT did. Butkus would blitz up the middle and was unstoppable. Papa Bear just didn't do it often enough.

I think if Butkus rushed the passer as much as LT did, he couldve had 130 or so sacks as well from the MIKE position. Maybe change blocking assignments the way LT did.

senormysterioso
09-28-2009, 03:00 PM
Its hard comparing pass rushers from different eras, but nobody impacted an offensive gameplan or the way offenses played in general than LT.

Deacon was dominant. Reggie was dominant. But they didn't change anything. Teams blocked them the same way they did the greats before them.

That said, Titletown is right. He's not necessarily in a league of his own, but in my eyes theres no question he was the greatest defender ever.

Whats overlooked is how Dick Butkus was LT before LT (not as dominant but the closest to LT). Butkus was close to as dominant, but he lacked the pass rushing element that LT had.

Oddly enough, and maybe bf51 can back me on this bc im sure he knows about Butkus, I personally feel that Butkus couldve changed the game before LT did. Butkus would blitz up the middle and was unstoppable. Papa Bear just didn't do it often enough.

I think if Butkus rushed the passer as much as LT did, he couldve had 130 or so sacks as well from the MIKE position. Maybe change blocking assignments the way LT did.

Butkus could very well have had close to 100+ sacks, sacks weren't tracked as a stat until 1982.

Babylon
09-28-2009, 03:01 PM
A few that deserve mention,
-DT Warren Sapp, he was a force. Pass rusher, run stopper. He changed how teams played every week
-DE Bruce Smith, great combination of size and speed/athletic ability.

I don't know if people will accept this one or not, but I'm gonna throw it out there; Sean Taylor. The last two years of his career/life he was becoming one of the most disruptive forces I've seen on a football team. He covered so much ground and did everything you ask a safety to do and did it well. Wish we could have seen him really reach his full potential.

So many great players you could add:

Mike Curtis
Cornelius Bennett
Roger Wehrli
Mel Blount
Bob Lilly (imagine nobody mentioning Bob Lilly)

bigbluedefense
09-28-2009, 03:04 PM
Butkus could very well have had close to 100+ sacks, sacks weren't tracked as a stat until 1982.

i know that. but even so, i don't think he had 100 sacks. he didn't blitz often enough.

Butkus played in an era where he was as big as the linemen in front of him, and he was a standup MIKE. Teams didn't know how to block that.

Some will say that Deacon deserves to be higher on the list than Butkus, but I think Butkus gets a slight nod over him.

Deacon had help on that dline. The Fearsome Foursome was dominant. Butkus really didn't have anybody like that to play next to.

One knock on Butkus was his coverage. The guy wasn't Ray Lewis in coverage, but the guy was good in coverage. He played his zone, he played it well, and if you came in his area he'd crack you in your ribs.

His real downfall, and perhaps critique, was his health. The guy couldn't stay healthy. He blames Chicago for that, but who knows.

terribletowel39
09-28-2009, 03:11 PM
Its hard comparing pass rushers from different eras, but nobody impacted an offensive gameplan or the way offenses played in general than LT.

Deacon was dominant. Reggie was dominant. But they didn't change anything. Teams blocked them the same way they did the greats before them.

That said, Titletown is right. He's not necessarily in a league of his own, but in my eyes theres no question he was the greatest defender ever.

Whats overlooked is how Dick Butkus was LT before LT (not as dominant but the closest to LT). Butkus was close to as dominant, but he lacked the pass rushing element that LT had.

Oddly enough, and maybe bf51 can back me on this bc im sure he knows about Butkus, I personally feel that Butkus couldve changed the game before LT did. Butkus would blitz up the middle and was unstoppable. Papa Bear just didn't do it often enough.

I think if Butkus rushed the passer as much as LT did, he couldve had 130 or so sacks as well from the MIKE position. Maybe change blocking assignments the way LT did.
While Butkus was something special and he was first. I still think Lambert was more prolific. It was basically Butkus, Lambert, LT, and then a break until Ray Ray. Butkus until 73', Lambert from 74'-84', and LT from 81'-93'.

Sacks were officialy kept up with until 82'. Lambert retired in 84' after missing most of the season because of injury and had 23.5 sacks. So he could have in the range of 110-130 sacks as well.

bigbluedefense
09-28-2009, 03:15 PM
While Butkus was something special and he was first. I still think Lambert was more prolific. It was basically Butkus, Lambert, LT, and then a break until Ray Ray. Butkus in the until 73', Lambert from 74'-84', and LT from 81'-93'.

Sacks were officialy kept up with until 82'. Lambert retired in 84' after missing most of the season cause of injury and had 23.5 sacks. So he could have in the range of 110-130 sacks as well.

Im torn on my greatest MIKE of all time list. I have Butkus as the consensus #1, but ive fluctuated between Lambert and Singletary as #2.

Ray Lewis is probably #4 on my list.

As for MIKEs in general, I think Sam Huff was the first of the "modern" MIKEs. Tom Landry invented the 4-3 defense with the Giants and built it around Sam Huff.

So Huff is the first true 4-3 MIKE to play the game, and is an obvious HOFer, but I think Butkus was the most dominant of the bunch.

If we go by eras, it was probably

Huff 50s
Nietscke 60s
Butkus 70s
Lambert 70s/early 80s
Singletary 80s
Jr Seau 90s
Ray Lewis 2000s

terribletowel39
09-28-2009, 03:22 PM
Yea, its almost too impossible to rank them. I put Lambert ahead because of my Steeler bias. But it's not like it can't be argued. It's not that far out there.

Thing that impresses me the most, is Lambert played at around 210 lbs probably. His rookie year he weighed in almost under 200 lbs. I'm almost positive Butkus played at around 230+ atleast. Which was around the size of most linemen.

TitleTown088
09-28-2009, 04:13 PM
Yes he is, and so is Joe.

Junior! Junior Junior Junior, too many people just remember the broken down version that has been lurking around the NFL the last few years.

No he's not and neither is Joe.

See that was subjective and easy.

Junior? and how just old are you wise one?

Shiver
09-28-2009, 04:18 PM
I think the hagiography of these old players from the 70s and 80s, most of whom none of us have ever seen play, is a little ridiculous. I can tell you that twenty years from now Ray Lewis will be "the best LB of all time." Because there will be a few people pumping him up based on nostalgia and the young people will simply accept it.

TitleTown088
09-28-2009, 04:29 PM
I think the hagiography of these old players from the 70s and 80s, most of whom none of us have ever seen play, is a little ridiculous. I can tell you that twenty years from now Ray Lewis will be "the best LB of all time." Because there will be a few people pumping him up based on nostalgia and the young people will simply accept it.


While I agree, I don't think it is proper to list the study of Ray Lewis as hagiography. ha

YAYareaRB
09-28-2009, 04:31 PM
He waits......

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm317/CrazyKingD/willis_patrick.jpg

katnip
09-28-2009, 04:35 PM
He waits......

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm317/CrazyKingD/willis_patrick.jpg

Ah yes. My favorite young LB

Babylon
09-28-2009, 05:29 PM
I think the hagiography of these old players from the 70s and 80s, most of whom none of us have ever seen play, is a little ridiculous. I can tell you that twenty years from now Ray Lewis will be "the best LB of all time." Because there will be a few people pumping him up based on nostalgia and the young people will simply accept it.

I wouldnt assume that if i were you.

katnip
09-28-2009, 05:33 PM
Yea, its almost too impossible to rank them. I put Lambert ahead because of my Steeler bias. But it's not like it can't be argued. It's not that far out there.

Thing that impresses me the most, is Lambert played at around 210 lbs probably. His rookie year he weighed in almost under 200 lbs. I'm almost positive Butkus played at around 230+ atleast. Which was around the size of most linemen.

I remember watching how Butkus was as big as most OL.. Guess it was true

CC.SD
09-28-2009, 05:41 PM
No he's not and neither is Joe.

See that was subjective and easy.

Junior? and how just old are you wise one?

Judging by your tone I would say older than you. :D I grew up overdosing on Junior fever.

LT and Montana in a class by themselves might be subjective, but I wouldn't consider it an unpopular opinion.

Babylon
09-28-2009, 05:46 PM
Yea, its almost too impossible to rank them. I put Lambert ahead because of my Steeler bias. But it's not like it can't be argued. It's not that far out there.

Thing that impresses me the most, is Lambert played at around 210 lbs probably. His rookie year he weighed in almost under 200 lbs. I'm almost positive Butkus played at around 230+ atleast. Which was around the size of most linemen.

Butkus played at around 6-3 and 250 lbs. Which was about the size of most interior O-linemen, which ironically he was (Center+ MLB) when he played at Illinois.

FinChase
09-28-2009, 06:06 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned the Manster, Randy White.

I don't think anyone has mentioned Jack Youngblood, either. I hated him because he gave us fits in the 70s, but he was a hell of a player.

Babylon
09-28-2009, 06:14 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned the Manster, Randy White.

I don't think anyone has mentioned Jack Youngblood, either. I hated him because he gave us fits in the 70s, but he was a hell of a player.

How could we forget Randy White? Once they moved him to the DL he was All World.

I loved Youngblood playing with the broken leg, they'd be out a year if that happened nowadays.

Shiver
09-28-2009, 06:34 PM
While I agree, I don't think it is proper to list the study of Ray Lewis as hagiography. ha


Touche..

Honestly you cannot compare players now to the dominant players of past decades. The game was different, and our perspectives are skewed to the great players back then. We all know that Champ Bailey wasn't really a "shutdown" corner, although he was very good. Yet in ten to twenty years his performance will be exaggerated: "teams never even through to his side!"

Woody56
09-28-2009, 09:56 PM
Touche..

Honestly you cannot compare players now to the dominant players of past decades. The game was different, and our perspectives are skewed to the great players back then. We all know that Champ Bailey wasn't really a "shutdown" corner, although he was very good. Yet in ten to twenty years his performance will be exaggerated: "teams never even through to his side!"

+1

I think it's silly that teens or guys in their twenties will say Butkus was the best LB ever or Joe Greene was the best DT ever. Judge the guys from your era, not guys you've never seen play.

Denver Bronco56
09-29-2009, 12:22 AM
Nnamdi Asomugha the last 2-3 seasons....

DEF. NOT!

has he been good? of coarse

but Champs 05-07 years were WAY better than Nnamdi's Champ was 2nd in DMVP voting that year....


Nnamdi has never been close to winning d player of the year

aNYtitan
09-29-2009, 12:23 AM
When I hear this question I think of Lawrence Taylor.

Denver Bronco56
09-29-2009, 12:24 AM
When I hear this question I think of Lawrence Taylor.

Yea LT, and Ray Lewis come to mind for me

Denver Bronco56
09-29-2009, 12:33 AM
Champ from 05-07(3 years)

230 tackles, 44 passes defended, 21 Ints, 3 TD's


Nnamdi 05-08(4 years)

184 tackles, 41 passes defended, 10 ints, 1 TD's





And in those years champ played under coyer and bates, and the broncos CB played the most man to man match ups in the NFL...i think it was like 72% man coverage....and bailey was the least targeted in those 3 years

Staubach12
09-29-2009, 12:44 AM
1. Deion Sanders

FUNBUNCHER
09-29-2009, 01:26 AM
Lawrence Taylor changed the way the game was played forever.

He's far and away the greatest defensive player in NFL history.

There are others who changed the way the game is played at their position too.

Darrell Green and Deion were one of the first CBs who didn't play LCB or RCB, instead they lined up on an opponent's best WR.

Plenty of great DTs who changed the way OCs designed interior blocking schemes.

But whenever you see a big butt OT lined up in a two point stance selling out on a pass play, you can thank LT. No tackle in a three point stance could ever block him on passing downs. People talk about LT's sack numbers, but what they fail to mention is during the first 5-6 years of his career, whenever he rushed the QB, he always ended up in the backfield, sack or not. His pressure numbers on pass downs must be close to .850.


This list could be 50 deep easily. Where's Bruce Smith??

And Jack Tatum was a true psychotic at the safety position, the man who inspired the play of Ronnie Lott.

Start at 1960, and for each decade pick your top 10. That should give you roughly 30 to 40 of the best to ever play on the defensive side of the ball.

wogitalia
09-29-2009, 01:46 AM
Cool thread.

As someone who has only been following the sport for 5 years it is kind of fun to learn about the past, obviously I have made an effort to watch what I can, but in Australia that means internet only for getting games from the past so it is limited at best.

I wonder if in 20 years time the bias placed on past players will be as strong given that it is now very easy to obtain copies of every game online, will that clear and accessible footage lead to those players being downgraded as the game naturally gets bigger, faster and stronger?

I have followed basketball for basically 20 years now(17-18 to be precise) and I haven't noticed the same "love" for the 90's guys as I do for the 80s players. Guys like Stockton, Payton and Mark Price amongst others have basically been thrown under the bus since their retirement, it becomes particularly evident when you hear people talk about Steve Nash, who isn't half the player any of those 3 were but if you asked 10 average fan now he would be more highly regarded. Guys like Barkley, Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing and Malone amongst others don't seem to get the love that lesser players are now and from the 80s did, they are almost a forgotten generation of players and that is just the stars, never mind the lesser players.

As for my take... the most "dominating" players that I have seen in my 5 years would be the following guys, trying to break it down a bit by position but mostly just going with the guys who have stood out...

DE - Jared Allen - Has been consistently dominant the last few years, both on a poor line and a great line.
DT - Kevin Williams - Has been the best DT in a 4-3 that I have seen in my time watching. Shaun Rogers and Tommie Harris have both had comparable seasons or individual games but Williams just stands out.
LB - Ray Lewis - Even at the end of his career, still dominant, still a star.
LB - Patrick Willis - Is every bit the defensive player that AD is offensive player. Willis is a genuine superstar in my book and a freak to boot.
OLB - Shawne Merriman - Was just so dominant a couple of years ago, genuinely created fear in offenses, I never get that same "vibe" off of Ware though he is every bit as good statistically.

CB - Bailey/Nmandi - On that same shutdown level.
CB - Antoine Winfield - Honourable mention for the way he plays the run, is not close to elite as a coverage man, but his run skills are as dominant as I have seen in a corner.

S - Sean Taylor - Was scary for the year a bit before he was killed. Such a pity as he was fun as hell to watch.
S - Polamalu/Reed - How do you separate these two? Reed is a game changer against the pass on another level, Polamalu more of an all around game changer but on the same level of impact.

I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, but those are the guys who stand out to me and came to mind when seeing the thread title.

yourfavestoner
09-29-2009, 03:11 AM
How could we forget Randy White? Once they moved him to the DL he was All World.

I loved Youngblood playing with the broken leg, they'd be out a year if that happened nowadays.

I love me some Youngblood, but playing through his injury wasn't some superhuman feat. He had a broken fibula, which is the non-weight bearing bone in the leg. I remember Khalif Barnes playing through a similar injury for Jacksonville early in his career.

YAYareaRB
09-29-2009, 03:18 AM
Lawrence Taylor was just dominant. I think he's the reason for the short intermediate passing game.

Smooth Criminal
09-29-2009, 06:56 AM
I just loved hearing announcers claim Ray Lewis as "the best defender ever." Thats the biggest load of **** I've ever heard.

RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES
09-29-2009, 08:56 AM
I just loved hearing announcers claim Ray Lewis as "the best defender ever." Thats the biggest load of **** I've ever heard.

Why? Do you truly believe that someone couldn't make a valid argument for that? I understand completely why you think he isn't the best but don't act like he doesn't deserve a mention. Ray Lewis>you

awfullyquiet
09-29-2009, 09:07 AM
you know, way back in the 1950s, a few dudes invented this magical device called a "video recorder" that allows one to "tape" events and then "replay" them. one can even show these "replays" to people who weren't there originally. :rolleyes:

but i'll assume that you knew all of that and just didn't want to put any actual thought into your post.

And its any different today?

I mean, people watched football in the exact same way now as they did 30 years ago. On the TV. With Beer.

senormysterioso
09-29-2009, 09:28 AM
I sort of understand what he was saying...it's hard to get the full picture with just stats and highlight reels. When you watch a game live you get the subtleties of the player, his motor from play to play, how he does the little things. Also you get how he compares with all the other players from the era. We can only guess how Dick Butkus or Joe Greene would stack up against O-lineman from today. Even though it's the same game, it's hard to compare players from era to era.

RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES
09-29-2009, 09:32 AM
I believe that players of old could not handle hits from these guys today. I know I am going to get **** for this but humans period are more evolved and athletes today are ridiculously strong. I am not saying players now could play back then I am just saying they are healthier and better trained.

awfullyquiet
09-29-2009, 09:47 AM
right, but i'm not sure what that has to do with anything. i responded to a guy who said "no one in their teens or twenties has ever seen any of these guys play", which is patently untrue (hell, dick butkus has a highlight reel on youtube).

we watch the people the exact same way. and if you pay attention, have been watching the same people in highlight reels for the past 30 years.

Most people haven't watched most downs of half the people they praise, just highlight reels. And we have fantastic highlight reels everyone worthwhile from the glorious NFL Films archives, which they so graciously put on tv during the offseason.

BUT.

The difference is, you have 100 people on NFL who can't be wrong, telling you who the best player is, and then there's congruency, and no questioning who's the greatest, even though, there should ALWAYS be question.

That said. Dick Butkus was/is a scary ************.

Saints-Tigers
09-29-2009, 09:50 AM
I believe that players of old could not handle hits from these guys today. I know I am going to get **** for this but humans period are more evolved and athletes today are ridiculously strong. I am not saying players now could play back then I am just saying they are healthier and better trained.

LOL, yea, the harsh environment over the last 50 years has made our society about survival of the fittest, and we were needed to spawn super athletes.

senormysterioso
09-29-2009, 09:55 AM
I think evolved is the wrong word, refined is a better word i think. The workout techniques and science behind self improvement today is vastly superior to what it was 40-50 years ago...even 20 years ago. I would bet there were NFL players in the 50's and 60's that never touched a weight in their lives.

awfullyquiet
09-29-2009, 10:35 AM
none of this has anything to do with why i object to his statement. i wouldn't disagree that some people are spoonfed their opinions by whichever moron ESPN/NFLN currently has talking on screen (i mean, if jaws says Player X was the best ever, well, he must be right... right?). but it's utterly asinine to suggest that no one has ever seen players from the 70's and 80's play. in fact, it borders on the most ridiculously illogical, stupid thing i've ever heard on this board. it's a demonstrable untruth.

sure, and i'll usually pick some random player just to start that argument. unfortunately, something else annoyed me first.

It's a concurrent opinion.

And yes, it is completely asinine to think that no one has ever seen players from the 80's and 70's.

bigbluedefense
09-29-2009, 10:43 AM
I can only speak for myself, but I have VHS tapes of old games from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Granted, I haven't watched every game obviously, but I have a decent amount of tape on these guys.

Everyone wants to point out how much the game has changed, I like to point out how much of the game has stayed the same. A lot of fans these days don't understand that. The game isn't nearly as different as they think, and the complexity isn't that much different either.

In fact, you can make an argument that it was more complex then. Especially when linemen were allowed to move around and shift. Formations on offense would get tricky.

Plus factor in the fact that there was no audio equipment back then, and it makes you appreciate what these guys did even more. We credit Peyton for running the no huddle.

Well, Johnny U called the plays his entire career, so whats the difference?

Landry's motion offense was just as complicated as today's offenses. The wildcat has been around since damn near the 40s.

Bellichick's "schemes" have been used since the 80s Giants. His schemes haven't changed that much at all.

I think the main difference between yesteryear and today's game is

1. Run and pass formations have changed a little bit
2. The NFL is going away from complete players and is steering towards situational players.

Its become more of a matchup league. And because of that, I don't think today's players, or future players will ever receive as much credit as the complete players of back then. We're gearing more and more towards mixing and matching parts instead of having the same 11 play every snap. That takes away from the current players.

Another thing to mention:

People want to say blocking schemes have gotten more complex. This is true. However, it was arguably harder to rush the passer then than it is now. Because back then, it was a boxing match on grass. You could hold, trip, grap, slap, anything.

So while you saw a 1 on 1 matchup compared to a double, chip etc, you were basically held on every play and sometimes cheapshotted. Id say that it was actually harder rushing the passer than then it is now.

So I know a lot of you want to take credit away from the guys from yesteryear, but I personally think their brand of football was much tougher than today's game. Especially those 2 way players. Those guys were the toughest SOBs to ever play this game.

LizardState
09-29-2009, 10:49 AM
Lawrence Taylor changed the way the game was played forever.

You mean QB assassination? that' what the Buddy Ryan schemes were all about.

Willie Lanier & Ray Nitschke also the most feared lights-out MLBs back in the day. And Bob Lilly on the d-line, 1st draft pick of the Cowboys franchise, he defined a whole new technique.

What do you mean, the hits today are worse? The old League was far more injurious... the injury rate in the NFL in the late 60s - 70s was 100% by the end of December, not a question of if you'd be injured but when & how badly.

And they allowed the head slap back then. Deacon Jones was a master at it. He said it was the best way to dominate an OT who was bigger & quicker than you -- he talked about smacking the OT as hard you could in the 1st defensive series b/c his ears rang all game long, forget about hearing the snap count.

bigbluedefense
09-29-2009, 10:51 AM
You mean QB assassination? that' what the Buddy Ryan schemes were all about.

Willie Lanier & Ray Nitschke also the most feared lights-out MLBs back in the day. And Bob Lilly on the d-line, 1st draft pick of the Cowboys franchise, he defined a whole new technique.

What do you mean, the hits today are worse? The old League was far more injurious... the injury rate in the NFL in the late 60s - 70s was 100% by the end of December, not a question of if you'd be injured but when & how badly.

And they allowed the head slap back then. Deacon Jones was a master at it. He said it was the best way to dominate an OT who was bigger & quicker than you -- he talked about smacking the OT as hard you could in the 1st defensive series b/c his ears rang all game long, forget about hearing the snap count.

Actually, Buddy gets too much credit for his scheme.

His scheme was a variation of the Gritz Blitz of the 70s Falcons. The true innovator there was Jerry Glanville, not Buddy Ryan.

Buddy gets the attention bc he won a SB.

Babylon
09-29-2009, 11:22 AM
I believe that players of old could not handle hits from these guys today. I know I am going to get **** for this but humans period are more evolved and athletes today are ridiculously strong. I am not saying players now could play back then I am just saying they are healthier and better trained.

Wouldnt you for the sake of comparison give those same athletes the benefit of better weight training, technique, diet etc. From a talent standpoint you arent going to match the 70s Steelers, 80s Bears and not even sure anyone would beat the 60s Packers either. I think there are probably more good players today just from the standpoint the population and the sport has expanded so much but the top level of players to me doesnt seem any better.

roscoesdad27
09-30-2009, 11:09 AM
the way i see it is that the average player is getting better and better whilst the superstars are and always will transcend generations.

lilly or butkus playing whilst doing weight training year round from their junior year of highschool thruout their career is just plain scary....i'm not sure if butkus has the speed or fluidity to play the 4-3 mike role in the modern era but there is no doubt in mind that a 26 year old, gym room rat dick butkus would be the best 3-4 "ted" linebacker in the league right now....and if lilly isnt quite big enough to play d.t. he would be a fierce and annual pro bowl 3-4 d.e......the greats simply transcend.

with that said anybody that thinks ray lewis isnt one of the most dominate defensive players ever are plain ******** for lack of a better word....ray is the complete package and easily the most dominate defensive player of the modern era, he like butkus transcends generations and would be completely dominate 50 years ago or 50 years from now.....you think a ripped and ultra conditioned butkus is scary?...how bout if ray ray could use the clothesline, helemet to helmet and other things the old guys got away with...ray is a throwback fellas....a throwback with a nasty attitude that also has the speed and agility to be great in coverage even in this modern era of 4 w.r. sets.

ray is the best mlb to ever play the game and arguably the most dominate defensive player ever...the total package.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeexDrlNx5E

TitleTown088
09-30-2009, 11:40 AM
I believe that players of old could not handle hits from these guys today. I know I am going to get **** for this but humans period are more evolved and athletes today are ridiculously strong. I am not saying players now could play back then I am just saying they are healthier and better trained.
While I agree that the athletes of today are superior athletes those old cats could absolutely handle the hits. Those guys were tough SOBs.

You think this guy couldn't take a hit?

http://goyoupackersgo.com/smrayn.jpg

RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES
09-30-2009, 11:46 AM
While I agree that the athletes of today are superior athletes those old cats could absolutely handle the hits. Those guys were tough SOBs.

You think this guy couldn't take a hit?

http://goyoupackersgo.com/smrayn.jpg

I am not saying they can't take hits but I don't think they could take hit after hit after hit from some of these big guys these days. I mean there are safties our there that hit harder than LB's(Sean Taylor just to mention one that hit really hard). I just think people are so strong and athletic now days that people back then would be injured fast.

21ST
09-30-2009, 02:31 PM
Touche..

Honestly you cannot compare players now to the dominant players of past decades. The game was different, and our perspectives are skewed to the great players back then. We all know that Champ Bailey wasn't really a "shutdown" corner, although he was very good. Yet in ten to twenty years his performance will be exaggerated: "teams never even through to his side!"

Actually there was a point in time when he was a shut down corner and teams never even threw to his side.

Babylon
09-30-2009, 02:39 PM
Curious what everybodies definition of old time football would be. For me personally i dont think 50s or early 60s pre African American football would compete, no. If you're talking mid 60s, Packers with HOF corners like Adderly and Wood, Dallas Cowboys with several HOF players yes i think they would be great.

FUNBUNCHER
10-02-2009, 11:03 AM
Actually there was a point in time when he was a shut down corner and teams never even threw to his side.

When was that? He surely was respected when he played for Washington, but I wouldn't say the dude was feared. And there was never a time in Washington where NFC EAst teams didn't throw to his side of the field.

Teams could still complete passes in front of him, and I remember more than a few times seeing Champ get beat over the top. A better description for Champ would be a lockdown corner, a guy capable of taking his WR out of the game, but who still on occasion gives up plays downfield. Champ is a more complete corner because of his elite ability to tackle in run support.

IMO, Deion is the closest thing to a true 'shutdown' corner I've ever seen in the NFL; a guy who could punish you with a pick 6 for even attempting to throw to a WR he was covering.

senormysterioso
10-02-2009, 11:05 AM
When was that? He surely was respected when he played for Washington, but I wouldn't say the dude was feared. And there was never a time in Washington where NFC EAst teams didn't throw to his side of the field.

Teams could still complete passes in front of him, and I remember more than a few times seeing Champ get beat over the top. A better description for Champ would be a lockdown corner, a guy capable of taking his WR out of the game, but who still on occasion gives up plays downfield. Champ is a more complete corner because of his elite ability to tackle in run support.

IMO, Deion is the closest thing to a true 'shutdown' corner I've ever seen in the NFL; a guy who could punish you with a pick 6 for even attempting to throw to a WR he was covering.

Charles Woodson!!! He's going to have 25 picks this year :D (caution...homer )

wonderbredd24
10-02-2009, 11:12 AM
Lawrence Taylor was just dominant. I think he's the reason for the short intermediate passing game.

THE reason? No. He's certainly a reason.

The beginnings of the West Coast Offense were before his time, when Bill Walsh was in Cincinnati.

wonderbredd24
10-02-2009, 11:14 AM
Actually, Buddy gets too much credit for his scheme.

His scheme was a variation of the Gritz Blitz of the 70s Falcons. The true innovator there was Jerry Glanville, not Buddy Ryan.

Buddy gets the attention bc he won a SB.

Jerry Glanville was awesome. The Gritz Blitz was basically adapted from a High School Defense, but for a team that did not have an overwhelming amount of talent, they shut people down.

Too bad their offense was so horrible they still couldn't do anything

wonderbredd24
10-02-2009, 11:16 AM
I believe that players of old could not handle hits from these guys today. I know I am going to get **** for this but humans period are more evolved and athletes today are ridiculously strong. I am not saying players now could play back then I am just saying they are healthier and better trained.

Jim Brown would be a dominating force in today's NFL even if he didn't take advantage of all of the training players have access to today, but imagine if he did.

The guy looked like he could take a couple carries in his 60s for God's sake.

Only now in his 70s does he finally look mortal

RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES
10-02-2009, 11:21 AM
Jim Brown would be a dominating force in today's NFL even if he didn't take advantage of all of the training players have access to today, but imagine if he did.

The guy looked like he could take a couple carries in his 60s for God's sake.

Only now in his 70s does he finally look mortal

I don't think that a guy who trained the way they did in the 50's and 60's could play with the players of today because of the training that players go through today. I just don't believe they would last. I mean sure they could makes some plays but they would get injured quick.

wonderbredd24
10-02-2009, 11:27 AM
I don't think that a guy who trained the way they did in the 50's and 60's could play with the players of today because of the training that players go through today. I just don't believe they would last. I mean sure they could makes some plays but they would get injured quick.

In the days of hatchet men and other unspeakable things done to African American athletes on the field of play, Jim Brown never missed a game.

People forget just how brutal the game was at that time. The average player was not as big as or as strong as players today, but there were players on the team specifically out there to hurt the other team.

That was until the career ending injury to Gale Sayers, which forced the league to institute dramatically tougher rules.

Brent
10-02-2009, 01:54 PM
There is a reason you can't head tackle any more, this guy:

http://www.redsoxandnascar.com/autographs/Autographs/Football/Lane.jpg

wonderbredd24
10-02-2009, 01:58 PM
14 INTs one year and then everyone stopped throwing near him.

He was a monster

awfullyquiet
10-02-2009, 02:25 PM
14 INTs one year and then everyone stopped throwing near him.

He was a monster

he wasn't just a monster.
he was a force of god. faster. stronger. quicker. smarter. and could hog tie you faster than you could yourself.

FUNBUNCHER
10-02-2009, 03:47 PM
I don't think that a guy who trained the way they did in the 50's and 60's could play with the players of today because of the training that players go through today. I just don't believe they would last. I mean sure they could makes some plays but they would get injured quick.

You need to watch some clips of Jim Brown from the 50s and 60s, and see the type of hits he took every time carried the ball. All the late hits, the dirty shots to the neck and the deliberate attempt to injure the man. Also consider those guys hardly wore any pads, and post-game therapy consisted of soaking in a tub of epsom salt. Jim Brown was one of the most physically tough, durable men to ever play the RB position, along with Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith.

Jim Brown would have been a star in any era, modern training or not. Any RB who's 6'2, 230, ox strong and runs in the 4.4 range is an alltime blue chipper in my book.

GhostDeini
10-02-2009, 04:46 PM
Sorry but I can never recognize Deion Sanders as a dominating player w/o being able to tackle. That's just me. Now L.T., Butkus, Lott, Reggie White, & Ray Lewis are the most DOMINATING defensive players ever. I don't want to hear about Ham & Lambert those guys were 210 pounds and possibly on steriods. Throw Singletary in there. Sure he held down his position but was never the playmaker from sideline to sideline or run stuffer that Ray Lewis was.

YAYareaRB
10-02-2009, 04:51 PM
I don't want to hear about Ham & Lambert those guys were 210 pounds and possibly on steriods.

Lambert was 6'4" 220-225 and tough as nails.

FUNBUNCHER
10-02-2009, 04:53 PM
Lambert's skinny ass wasn't on anything but fresh air, LOL.

Ghost Deini, how can you list the most dominating defensive players ever and not have one from the 60s or 70s?? KC had a MLB every bit the equal of Ray Lewis, name of Willie Lanier, you should check out the file on him.

Some of you IMO need to get studied up on the history of the NFL before making lists that suggest the NFL didn't start playing games until 1980.

YAYareaRB
10-02-2009, 04:56 PM
Lambert's skinny ass wasn't on anything but fresh air, LOL.

Ghost Deini, how can you list the most dominated defensive players ever and not have one from the 60s or 70s?? KC had a MLB every bit the equal of Ray Lewis, name of Willie Lanier, you should check out the file on him.

Some of you IMO need to get studied up on the history of the NFL before making lists that suggest the NFL didn't start playing games until 1980.

You can't fault guys just for not knowing. Although all the players listed have every right to be up there with players of the past.

GhostDeini
10-02-2009, 05:14 PM
Butkus & Lewis are the best MLB's ever, period. And I've heard of Willie Lanier. I don't think I have to make a case for Butkus, self explanitory but Lewis carried a franchise to a Super Bowl, was named DPOY twice in two different schemes, and will retire with 30 plus int's and 30 plus sacks. No LB ever did that.

FUNBUNCHER
10-02-2009, 05:33 PM
Lanier, ( 6'1,245) also carried his team to a SB title and finished his career with 27 INTs and was widely considered the hardest hitter in the game. He and Butkus were equals IMO, with Lanier being much more athletic with much greater range. Unfortunately both players competed during a time when tackles weren't officially recorded as stats by the league.

Ray Lewis is very good, great even, but I hate the hype he gets and the GOAT crap I'm sick of hearing.
Great players are of a type, and rarely is a player the greatest ever to play his position. Mike Singletary was also a 2 time DPOTY for Chicago.

Lanier, Butkus,( great, but way too hyped, strictly an in the box MLB), Nitchke, Singletary, Seau, and Lewis are the top MLBs bases on status, reputation, and production.

Rank them however you want, but if I were starting a team today, I'd take a 22 year old Seau in a slight push over all of them.

will99890
10-04-2009, 10:20 PM
I know its very very early, but Patrick Willis ftw. Barring a catastrophic injury, I can't see him having any less than 8 pro bowls and a couple DPOYs, with at least a couple rings for my niners. Plus he's playing behind Aubrayo Franklin and Isaac Sopoaga. With a legit, Casey Hampton esque NT, P-Willie would be even beastlier.

As far as the argument about old time players, I'm only 20 and admittedly have only been seriously following football for about 7 years so I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to ranking players. I have to judge entirely on highlights and second hand accounts. I put a handful of players in the top tier like LT, Reggie White, Butkus, Lott, and Deacon. Ray Lewis is in that next group of elite players of the generation, but not one that transcends generations.

TACKLE
10-04-2009, 10:39 PM
This guy deserves a mention for sure. Was so dominant that they had to change the rules. He was just on a whole different level. He was a 6'3 CB who was so physical but also had the ball skills to get 57 career INT's including 11 in one season.

http://www.profootballhof.com/assets/photo_galleries/630x536/E001EFFF9E4C4DD7A574176437D0E653.jpg

wonderbredd24
10-04-2009, 10:48 PM
I haven't seen anyone mention Deacon Jones or Reggie White yet.

Deacon Jones played before the sack stat was implemented, but if you ask him, he has the record for sacks in a year. He thinks he had about 30 in one year.

Deacon Jones was arguably the greatest pass rusher ever

Reggie White was the definition of dominance when he played. What he did to the New England offensive line in the Superbowl was just ridiculous

Thunder&Lightning
10-04-2009, 10:53 PM
If you ever read the book "The Blindside" you will learn that Lawrence Taylor was the most dominating player to ever play the game of football

katnip
10-05-2009, 11:05 AM
If you ever read the book "The Blindside" you will learn that Lawrence Taylor was the most dominating player to ever play the game of football

Yes, but. My argument is for Reggie White, missed 2 whole NFL seasons, still put up 198 sacks. And you knew he was coming and still put up 198 sacks.

awfullyquiet
10-05-2009, 11:22 AM
If you ever read the book "The Blindside" you will learn that Lawrence Taylor was the most dominating player to ever play the game of football

No.

Fancy words do not sway votes. He was really amazing. Really amazing. Brian Boitano of the football field.

Unfortunately, there's about 7-10 other players i'd put on that side of the 'most dominating player ever' category. Many were special in their own way. I.E. Dick Lane, Dick Butkus, White, Huff, Lambert, Neon, Deacon Jones... They all are in that special category above the HoF imo. To separate which is the best would require metrics and categorization I don't think anyone has, especially when you use the word Dominant. Which implies, not necessarily 'best', but most above the cream.

Those who aren't can be gameplanned against, those that are the most dominant, cannot be. Dick Lane dictated his will, Reggie White dictated his will, LT dictated his will, Butkus dictated his will. Ray Lewis isn't quite in that echelon yet.

tjsunstein
10-05-2009, 11:25 AM
I think it's Reggie White but there are flaws as to why. Because of my age and my favorite team. I'm obviously a bit biased, everyone is, and he played when I started to follow the game.

awfullyquiet
10-05-2009, 12:12 PM
I think it's Reggie White but there are flaws as to why. Because of my age and my favorite team. I'm obviously a bit biased, everyone is, and he played when I started to follow the game.

Hence LT is the greatest defensive player ever.

bigbluedefense
10-05-2009, 12:19 PM
This has nothing to do with this convo of greatest ever, but Ive always debated this in my own mind.

Who was better? Richard Dent or Charles Haley?

Thats a tough one for me personally. Im leaning towards Haley, but its close.

bigbluedefense
10-05-2009, 02:34 PM
wait...hold up.

Brian Boitano?

Did we really just compare LT to Brian Boitano?

Worst.

analogy.

ever.

FUNBUNCHER
10-05-2009, 02:53 PM
I like awfullyquiet's definition of greatest ever dominating defensive players; those individuals who cannot be gameplanned against.

Most of the individuals listed thus far would fall into that category. Personally, as a Skins fan growing up, I have vivid memories of Joe Gibbs giving interviews on the Friday before games with George Michael about how they were scheming to block LT. LT is the reason Gibbs invented the h-back position, part tight end, part FB, to counter LT's pass rush.

I just think with so much history in the league and so many great players, it's hard to zero in on one player as the most dominating ever.

katnip
10-05-2009, 04:37 PM
I think it's Reggie White but there are flaws as to why. Because of my age and my favorite team. I'm obviously a bit biased, everyone is, and he played when I started to follow the game.

Any1 remember his game vs the Pats? Favre's only Super Bowl victory.