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NFL Network's Top Ten Receiving Corps

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  • #61
    For a start "this guy" is me, show some effin respect.

    Next Control stated that Rice/Taylor were the best duo in the 1980's, as I pointed out he only had one meaningful season in that decade.
    OK, I'll give you that--it is a misnomer to refer to Rice/Taylor as the "80's" 49ers receivers since they didn't become a dominant tandem until 1989 (since Taylor didn't become the starting split end until the 14th game of 1988). I think a lot of people are just careless when it comes to history...remembering only that Taylor had the winning TD catch in Super Bowl XXIII. Also, they were drafted in the mid-80's--Rice in 85, Taylor in 86...so that adds to the "80's" feel for them. But, 1989 was such a crucial season in 49ers history (one of the best teams ever, if not THE best)...hands down the best 49ers passing game of all-time that year...possibly the best ever in that regard as well (their 9.49 yards per pass attempt is still the all-time NFL record, and that was on the DOWNSWING from the first 14 games, in which they had averaged 9.83...and they had the all-time team passer rating record until Peyton Manning broke it in 2004)...so that one year kind of overshadows everything else, even though most of their games spent together as starters took place in the 1990's.

    Anyway, main reason I went off on you is I'm just really irritated by people who are so obsessed over statistics that they basically just blow off everything else. Taylor was a phenomenal receiver. You watch the guy play and it's so overwhelmingly obvious that you don't even need to look at the statistics. He had the most powerful lower body I've ever seen for a skill position player...after almost every catch, you'd see defenders in agony trying to take him down, receiving a ridiculous amount of punishment...and if he didn't break the first tackle, he almost invariably dragged them and made his presence felt. You could compare him to a running back when he had the ball in his hands and it wouldn't be hyperbole. He had incredible hands--he was one of those guys who didn't even really have to try to catch the ball...he could just run right through the ball...or he could stick one hand out casually and snag it. He had a tremendous receiving radius...could win jump balls like a power forward. He didn't have true breakaway speed but it didn't even matter because he was such a brilliant open-field runner that nobody was ever going to get him. The only weaknesses in his game were that he was injury-prone and that he sometimes heard footsteps when he was going over the middle and didn't extend for the high ball in heavy traffic (happened a couple of times against Dallas in the 90's).

    I have no interest in licking the nuts of either Owens or Rice. They as a duo in the four full seasons they played together put up even stats meaning they contributed equally to the duo. Owens took advantage of having a still very good receiver next to him at the very least and produced to deny otherwise is ridiculous. This is the crux of the argument and the Top Ten list, the group as a whole.
    Eh, not really. They had one year where that was the case--1998. Owens started 8 game as a rookie in 1996...not sure I'd really count that one as them being a duo. Rice went down for almost the entire season with the torn ACL in 1997...played only one half against Denver in week 16 before being shelved again. So what we really have as their body of work is:

    1998:

    Rice--82-1157-9
    Owens--67-1097-14 (plus one rushing TD)

    1999:

    Rice--67-830-5
    Owens--60-754-4

    2000:

    Owens--97-1453-12
    Rice--75-805-7

    I guess they "contributed equally" in terms of statistics in 1999...but neither one put up numbers that will blow you away (obviously, there were extenuating circumstances with the QB situation, but we're just going off statistics here).

    Control called Rice/Taylor the Greatest duo of all time hands down. Do you believe that?
    "Hands down," no. I mean, Moss/Carter were insane for a couple years...I'm sure there were some others before my time that dominated their eras. I wonder why Houston's Hennigan/Groman tandem wasn't brought up...I guess because they were AFL?

    It's certainly up for debate...but I do agree they were the best duo ever in running after the catch (as far as I know). I can't imagine any duo could've been better in that aspect.

    You mentioned Owens/Rice did what they did in a passing era but then go onto contradict yourself by saying Mitchell, Biletnikoff and Monk did not do very much in what by implication were far less expansive passing eras. Yet you should really look closer at the eras the guys you used as comparison and see that their numbers fit right in with both their ages and the times they played in. You do realise Bobby Mitchell was Top Ten in yards and Top Five in Receptions in four years straight playing alongside Charley Taylor from 64-67. He retired in 1968.
    Actually, that was my point--just looking at cumulative statistics doesn't really tell us much...especially when you're looking at a #2 receiver's numbers and expecting them to be those of a #1.

    As for Bobby Mitchell being top 10 in yards those years--he was in a 14 team NFL (pre-merger) in 1964 and 1965, then 15 teams in 1966 and 16 in 1967. That's about analogous to taking just the NFC rankings from the 1980's/1990's (14 teams in the conference)...which would obviously place Taylor in similar regards for his reasonably full/healthy seasons. In fact, in receiving yards, in 1989 he was 11th in the NFC, 7th in 1991, and 9th in 1993. In receiving TDs, he was 4th in 1989 and 5th in 1991.

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    • #62
      NINER FaNS HAVE HERPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • #63
        Houston Oiler Passing Attack???

        While I am understand that the Houston Oilers of the late eighties and early, early nineties never won anything of consequence (and are probably best known for their historical choke against Buffalo in the playoffs) and I am by no means nor have I ever been a Houston Oiler fan, I do think those teams receiving corps were some of the best in league history.

        I was always a big fan of watching that offense sling it around whenever I got the oppurtunity and I guarantee that if you simply look at numbers they should be up there with any of these listed. They also did it without any big changes to the lineup for nearly six years.

        Anyway, just thought I'd give those guys a mention seeing as they haven't gotten any consideration as of yet.

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        • #64
          can we just ban JordanTauber and Control? im just sick of seeing all those bullcrap arguements

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Renji View Post
            can we just ban JordanTauber and Control? im just sick of seeing all those bullcrap arguements
            Ah, they give me more to rant about.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Renji View Post
              can we just ban JordanTauber and Control? im just sick of seeing all those bullcrap arguements
              They don't really have manners in my opinion, but their logic does make sense in a good amount of their arguments.
              Last edited by Ness; 05-25-2008, 02:30 PM.

              "Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"
              -San Francisco 49ers: Five Time Super Bowl Champions-
              Originally posted by Borat
              Oh, my bad. Didn't realize SWDC was the pinnacle of class and grace.

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              • #67
                But they keep repeating and repeating and repeating and attacking and repeating

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Renji View Post
                  But they keep repeating and repeating and repeating and attacking and repeating
                  You mean they keep presenting evidence for the opposing claims that are put forth. There's nothing wrong with that. If you mean "attacking" as in being a "know-it-all" about it, then sure, that is annoying however it can't warrant a ban.

                  "Every light must fade, every heart return to darkness!"
                  -San Francisco 49ers: Five Time Super Bowl Champions-
                  Originally posted by Borat
                  Oh, my bad. Didn't realize SWDC was the pinnacle of class and grace.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by TheGreatEscape View Post
                    That oline sure was dominant, especially in the superbowl, I can't believe how terrible Brady was given as much time as he was. Those giants CB sure a re dominant.
                    That was basically the only game all season that Brady didn't have about 5-6 seconds for every single throw. And he collapsed because of it.

                    Decent list, Vikings could be a little higher, though.


                    When being a fanboi goes too far.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Ness View Post
                      You mean they keep presenting evidence for the opposing claims that are put forth. There's nothing wrong with that. If you mean "attacking" as in being a "know-it-all" about it, then sure, that is annoying however it can't warrant a ban.
                      Why are they hating on my Rams though???? We finished in last place with a beautiful 3-13 record, why can't they hate on the boring as hell Seahawks or the we haven't won a playoff game since Regan was President Cardinals. I guess its a sign of respect that those two hate us, but why do they have to hate?:( :(

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                      • #71
                        I vote for the Freddie Mitchell/Todd Pinkston/James Thrash/Billy McMullen quartet.

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                        • #72
                          You know I was going to respond to your other posts but then saw this one.

                          The NFL Network Top Ten Receiving Corps was the title, it is a reference to the greatest passing games of all time. You can't just change the parameters to suit your narrow view. Wide receivers are not the only players to catch the ball you do realise that dont you.

                          Originally posted by JordanTaber View Post
                          This list is a joke. The Air Coryell receivers at #1?

                          Did anyone else notice that John Jefferson fell off the face of the earth after he left San Diego? That's because he wasn't that good--he was a product of a system, as were the rest of their wideouts. And last I checked, Kellen Winslow was a TE...so I don't count him.
                          So you show you completely missed the point. This isnt a pole of the Top Ten Wide Receivers. The NFL you see today can trace its passing roots to the Don Coryell offenses of the 70's and 80's. This whole thread and list is about the systems. How many systems in that era had a TE that had 3 1000 yard seasons.

                          Originally posted by JordanTaber View Post
                          A lot of these lists include two great receivers who just happened to have their careers overlap on the same team, but one of them was well past his prime (70's Raiders, 60's Redskins).
                          Once again you prove your lack of understanding about the passing game. The Raiders and Redskins were getting passing production all over the field. The Raiders had Dave Casper, the Redskins Jerry Smith, premier TE's of their day.

                          Control and yourself have argued that John Taylor couldn't possibly produce more because of the company he kept. Yet here you denegrate the production of Bobby Mitchell and Fred Biletnikoff because they got older and moved into a role behind a younger receiver. You cant have it both ways to suit whatever argument is put in front of you.

                          Bobby Mitchell 1964-1967 averages over those 4 years
                          60 receptions 886 yards 8 TD's.
                          In Todays NFL for most teams if your second wideout is averaging that every year, you would be happy. But wait this was the mid 60's and a player who was 29 in 1964.

                          You picked apart just about every team except I note the 80's Niners who make that list. Well according to your narrow standards we have to rule out Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Russ Francis and I think maybe even Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon because they are not John Taylor after all.

                          I understand why people are attacking you now.

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                          • #73
                            The NFL Network Top Ten Receiving Corps was the title, it is a reference to the greatest passing games of all time. You can't just change the parameters to suit your narrow view. Wide receivers are not the only players to catch the ball you do realise that dont you.
                            So you include the backs in the term "receiving corps?" I notice most of the teams on this LIST didn't have great pass catching backs/tight ends so I doubt NFL Network was thinking of it as "best passing games."

                            So you show you completely missed the point. This isnt a pole of the Top Ten Wide Receivers. The NFL you see today can trace its passing roots to the Don Coryell offenses of the 70's and 80's. This whole thread and list is about the systems. How many systems in that era had a TE that had 3 1000 yard seasons.
                            This isn't about the systems. What the hell are you reading? Or do you just not know what a "system" is?


                            Once again you prove your lack of understanding about the passing game. The Raiders and Redskins were getting passing production all over the field. The Raiders had Dave Casper, the Redskins Jerry Smith, premier TE's of their day.
                            So?

                            Control and yourself have argued that John Taylor couldn't possibly produce more because of the company he kept. Yet here you denegrate the production of Bobby Mitchell and Fred Biletnikoff because they got older and moved into a role behind a younger receiver. You cant have it both ways to suit whatever argument is put in front of you.
                            I'm NOT denigrating the production of those receivers. I'm pointing out how you can't expect number 2 receivers to have elite #1 receiver-type numbers. You really need to read more carefully.

                            Bobby Mitchell 1964-1967 averages over those 4 years
                            60 receptions 886 yards 8 TD's.
                            In Todays NFL for most teams if your second wideout is averaging that every year, you would be happy. But wait this was the mid 60's and a player who was 29 in 1964.
                            These days, it wouldn't mean all that much because of the passing era we're in.

                            You picked apart just about every team except I note the 80's Niners who make that list. Well according to your narrow standards we have to rule out Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Russ Francis and I think maybe even Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon because they are not John Taylor after all.
                            Rule them out from what? This paragraph doesn't have any discernible meaning.

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                            • #74
                              Didn't see this post and I wanted to address it.

                              Originally posted by flave1969 View Post
                              Can I preface this post by saying I think Taylor was a decent player and also the early 90's 49ers belong in this argument especially when you add in Ricky Watters, However.

                              All good teams spread production, that is what wins championships. Look at my prior post on the Redskins trio Monk, Sanders and Clark. That is three receivers who in seven seasons all exceeded in seven seasons, Taylors production in 9 seasons. The Redskins also threw an awful lot to their RB's as well.
                              What do you mean by "in 7 seasons they all exceeded Taylor's production in 9?" Taylor wasn't a starter for 9 seasons. He only started 9+ games in 7 of his seasons. As I noted prior, he also missed quite a few games/parts of games in a few of those years. I even forgot to mention that he missed the 2nd half of the 1989 MNF game against the NY Giants, so his production that year was in 14 1/2 games. If you just take out the 7 best seasons of Monk/Clark/Sanders's careers, sure, they have better numbers. But then at least select the 7 best out of Taylor's.

                              Taylor for his last 7 seasons (1989-1995, 97 games played)--5,122 yards, 39 TDs
                              Ricky Sanders (1987-1993, 107 games played)--5578 yards, 34 TDs
                              Art Monk (1983-1989, 100 games played)--7027 yards, 37 TDs
                              Gary Clark (1985-1991, 106 games played)--7830 yards, 53 TDs

                              So now the per game averages:

                              Taylor: 52.8 yards, .402 TDs
                              Sanders: 52.1 yards, .318 TDs
                              Monk: 70.27 yards, .37 TDs
                              Clark: 73.87 yards, .500 TDs

                              A couple other notes:

                              1. The Redskins threw the ball more than the 49ers (though it wasn't a dramatic difference)
                              2. The Redskins didn't throw many passes to their backs. The 49ers had 100+ catches by running backs every season. This was a dramatic difference.

                              The 49ers had a different type of distribution than the Redskins, in other words...and it involved FAR more passes being thrown to members of the supporting cast. The Redskins focused their passing game on their receiving corps, the 49ers spread it around, involving their backs and the tight end in the passing game. The passes were going to Craig or Watters or Loville, Rathman or Logan or Floyd, Brent Jones, and Jerry Rice, and those exceeded those going to the 2 other Redskin wideouts (whichever aren't the receiver we're comparing to Taylor), their backs, and their tight ends

                              So now we look at the pass distribution statistics--I’m going to analyze it by showing the number of pass completions to a player OTHER than the one in question out of the number of pass attempts the team threw (as a ratio) for each season during their prime years. In other words, how large a percentage of the team’s pass attempts did the supporting cast take up (completion-wise…we don’t have targeted pass figures, so we have to do without and just assume that number of catches is also a pretty good indicator of how many times that player was targeted overall, at least proportionately). To make this more fair, Taylor’s 1992 season (in which he only played 9 games) will be thrown out.

                              Let’s start with Taylor:

                              1989: 60 catches, 279 completions to other players. 483 pass attempts. 279/483=57.8%
                              1990: 49 catches, 311 completions to other players. 583 pass attempts. 311/583=53.3%
                              1991: 64 catches, 261 completions to other players. 522 pass attempts. 261/522=50.0%
                              1993: 56 catches, 298 completions to other players. 524 pass attempts. 298/524=56.9%
                              1994: 41 catches, 318 completions to other players. 511 pass attempts. 318/511=62.2%

                              Now the Redskin receivers:

                              Gary Clark

                              1985: 72 catches, 202 completions to other players. 512 pass attempts. 202/512=39.5%
                              1986: 74 catches, 202 completions to other players. 542 pass attempts. 202/542=37.3%
                              1987: 56 catches, 191 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 191/478=40.0%
                              1988: 59 catches, 268 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 268/592=45.3%
                              1989: 79 catches, 258 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 258/581=44.4%
                              1990: 75 catches, 226 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 226/536=42.2%
                              1991: 70 catches, 191 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 191/447=42.7%

                              Art Monk

                              1983: 47 catches, 231 completions to other players. 463 pass attempts. 231/463=49.9%
                              1984: 106 catches, 186 completions to other players. 485 pass attempts. 186/485=38.4%
                              1985: 91 catches, 189 completions to other players. 512 pass attempts. 189/512=36.9%
                              1986: 73 catches, 203 completions to other players. 542 pass attempts. 203/542=37.5%
                              1987: 38 catches, 209 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 209/478=43.7%
                              1988: 72 catches, 255 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 255/592=43.1%
                              1989: 86 catches, 251 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 251/581=43.2%
                              1990: 68 catches, 233 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 233/536=43.5%
                              1991: 71 catches, 190 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 190/447=42.5%

                              Ricky Sanders

                              1987: 37 catches, 210 completions to other players. 478 pass attempts. 210/478=43.9%
                              1988: 73 catches, 254 completions to other players. 592 pass attempts. 254/592=42.9%
                              1989: 80 catches, 257 completions to other players. 581 pass attempts. 257/581=44.2%
                              1990: 56 catches, 245 completions to other players. 536 pass attempts. 245/536=45.7%
                              1991: 45 catches, 216 completions to other players. 447 pass attempts. 216/447=48.3%
                              1992: 51 catches, 221 completions to other players. 485 pass attempts. 221/485=45.6%
                              1993: 58 catches, 229 completions to other players. 533 pass attempts. 229/533=43.0%

                              I’d say it’s pretty clear cut here.

                              NOW: Receiver’s catch percentage out of available attempts (to give somewhat of an indication as to whether or not they take advantage of their opportunities):

                              John Taylor:

                              1989: 60 catches out of 204 remaining pass attempts: 29.4%.
                              1990: 49 catches out of 272 remaining pass attempts: 18.0%.
                              1991: 64 catches out of 261 remaining pass attempts: 24.5%.
                              1993: 56 catches out of 226 remaining pass attempts. 24.8%.
                              1994: 41 catches out of 193 remaining pass attempts. 21.2%.

                              Gary Clark:

                              1985: 72 catches out of 310 remaining pass attempts. 23.2%
                              1986: 74 catches out of 340 remaining pass attempts. 21.8%.
                              1987: 56 catches out of 287 remaining pass attempts. 19.5%.
                              1988: 59 catches out of 324 remaining pass attempts. 18.2%.
                              1989: 79 catches out of 323 remaining pass attempts. 24.5%.
                              1990: 75 catches out of 306 remaining pass attempts. 24.5%.
                              1991: 70 catches out of 256 remaining pass attempts. 27.3%.

                              Art Monk:

                              1983: 47 catches out of 232 remaining pass attempts. 20.3%.
                              1984: 106 catches out of 299 remaining pass attempts. 35.5%.
                              1985: 91 catches out of 323 remaining pass attempts. 28.2%.
                              1986: 73 catches out of 339 remaining pass attempts. 21.5%.
                              1987: 38 catches out of 269 remaining pass attempts. 14.1%.
                              1988: 72 catches out of 337 remaining pass attempts. 21.4%.
                              1989: 86 catches out of 330 remaining pass attempts. 26.1%.
                              1990: 68 catches out of 303 remaining pass attempts. 22.4%.
                              1991: 71 catches out of 257 remaining pass attempts. 27.6%.

                              Ricky Sanders:

                              1987: 37 catches out of 268 remaining pass attempts. 13.8%.
                              1988: 73 catches out of 338 remaining pass attempts. 21.6%.
                              1989: 80 catches out of 324 remaining pass attempts. 24.7%.
                              1990: 56 catches out of 291 remaining pass attempts. 19.2%.
                              1991: 45 catches out of 231 remaining pass attempts. 19.5%.
                              1992: 51 catches out of 264 remaining pass attempts. 19.3%.
                              1993: 58 catches out of 304 remaining pass attempts. 19.1%.

                              With the pass attempts that aren’t completions to another player, Taylor’s catches took up about an equal proportion to Clark (the mean and median actually give the edge to Taylor), meaning he made just as much of his opportunities in terms of catching balls (a rough sketch, obviously, since we don’t have statistics pertaining to the number of times the other players were targeted on passes they didn’t catch, for whatever reason). Taylor had a higher yards/catch average for his career than Clark (16.1 to 15.5), so one would expect Taylor to be at least slightly more productive than Clark given equal distribution for the two players.

                              As far as Monk is concerned, Monk has the edge in the mean, Taylor in the median. Either way, again, the figures are pretty close when you look at it this way--and Taylor had a 16.1 career yards/catch average to 13.5 for Monk, meaning if they had similar receptions totals (which it appears they would given equal distribution in an offense), Taylor would exceed him in yards. Taylor also had a higher touchdowns per season average than Monk for the 7 best years comparison I did earlier.

                              Regarding Ricky Sanders, Taylor obviously beats him decisively in terms of this statistic. Again, Taylor had a significantly higher yards/catch average--Sanders averaged 13.4 to Taylor’s 16.1.

                              Taylor had a higher yards/catch average than every member of that trio. So, all things being equal, one would conclude that Taylor’s numbers would exceed those of each receiver in that trio if he were to have a similar proportion rate.

                              We have to ask the question.

                              Is the Rice/Taylor duo only mentioned because of Rice?
                              Let’s take a look at some of the other guys who played across from Rice…the second leading WR (we‘ll start in 1986 since that‘s when he became the unquestioned go-to guy and had truly emerged):

                              1986: Dwight Clark: 61-794-2
                              1987: Mike Wilson: 29-450-5
                              1988: Mike Wilson: 33-405-3
                              1995: J.J. Stokes: 38-517-4

                              It is an interesting one. I agree Taylor was a fine complement to Rice, and I agree that he was a dangerous player especially on returns but he really should have produced more than he did in that company, and a "complete player" would have done more than Taylor.
                              Completely ridiculous assertion to make…especially given what was presented above. What number 2 receiver in that era was going to put up more than 1,000-1100 yards and 9 or 10 touchdowns (which is what Taylor did during reasonably healthy seasons)? Knock Taylor’s durability if you want…that’s certainly in play…but, as an actual receiver, he was nothing short of phenomenal.

                              Also, I’m puzzled as to why you say “especially on returns”…when he really only returned punts well for 2 seasons and had a grand total of 2 punt return touchdowns in his career (both coming in 1988). He wasn’t even the best punt returner on the 49ers during the 1980’s (Dana McLemore holds that title). He was a FAR better receiver than return guy.

                              As far as TO is concerned yes Rice was past his prime, yet was putting up numbers still in excess of those Taylor ever managed, meanwhile Owens in his years with Rice put up 319 receptions, 4758 yards and 43 TD's, equal numbers to Taylor in half the time on a team past its prime..
                              Only one of the three years Owens and Rice played together did Rice put up numbers that exceeded Taylor’s 1989 season…and it was damn close…AND he had a game and a half more to do it. 1157 yards and 9 touchdowns for Rice in 1998 to 1077 yards and 10 touchdowns for Taylor in 1989. Rice caught the most balls on the team in order to get those numbers, too…whereas Taylor was complimenting Jerry Rice in his prime in 1989.
                              Last edited by JordanTaber; 05-25-2008, 11:17 PM.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by JordanTaber View Post
                                Didn't see this post and I wanted to address it.



                                .

                                This is a great post very well researched. I will have to answer piecemeal. One thing I will say for a guy who attacked me for using stats you sure make a good go of it yourself. Lol

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