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Old 12-09-2009, 04:07 PM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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Originally Posted by umphrey View Post
Randy Moss is the reason everyone wants a 6'4"+ receiver who runs a 4.3.

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No, pro teams have always been looking for big WR's with speed.
Peyton Manning brought pre-snap audibles to an entire new level.

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Well, you do know that well into the 60's QB's called their own plays. They, not OC's decided the play to call and they changed the play at the line of scrimmage if they wanted to. Peyton is just a throw back to those eras.
Tom Brady made "intangibles" about 6 times more important.

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While scouting has got a lot more sophisticated in the last 60 years, intangibles have long been recognized as being important.
Devin Hester, although not doing as well now, made kick returner a much more important position. It went from kicker value to more like a 23rd starter.

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Hardly! Great kick returners have always existed.
Steve Hutchinson showed teams what good guard play could do for a team.

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Hardly! There were many OG's who showed what a solid guard can do.
Ed Reed brought ball hawking, free lancing safety to an entire new level (for better and worse).

Dwight Freeney created a new prototype for speed rushing defensive ends.

Antonio Gates made a lot of teams look to the basketball courts for undiscovered gems or upgrade prospects based on a basketball past at the TE position.

More of a one time exception.

These are all current gen players because I've only been watching football for so long. Also there may have been others to do these things first. If so I'd be curious to know.
nice try for a newcomer to the game.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:08 PM    (permalink
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Wow i can't believed no one mention the best pass rusher of all time Deacon Jones
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:26 PM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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Thought I'd mention a few things.

Don Shula invented the zone defense with the Colts.

Al Davis invented the bump and run way back in the American Football League.

The Los Angeles Rams were the 1st team in the 50's to actually scout college players and in one season back in the 50's they got something like 17 starters from one draft. As you can guess, other team soon followed the Rams methods. Before the Rams, teams used All American lists to decide who to draft. They never actually scouted the players.

According to Dungy, Chuck Noll invented the Cover 2 Defense back with the great Steeler teams of the 70's.

Paul Brown introduced the substitution of players when he rotated one of his OG's on every play in order to send in plays to his QB.

If anybody changed some rules for the better, it was Tatum, a safety for the Raiders in the 70's I believe. He was absolutely the worst head hunter I ever saw play the game and was very lucky to not have killed a player during his career.

The 2 great CB's for the Raiders back in the 70's( not exactly remembering the decade) got a rule changed when they covered their hands with stick um enabling them to intercept a lot more thrown balls.

Deacon Jones got the rules changed for playing on the DL. As a DE he used the head slap to get the OT off guard before beating him and sacking the QB.

I could go on but that is all that come to mind right now. If I think of any more I'll post them later.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:30 PM    (permalink
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Its amazing that so much wrong can fit into one post. Over/Under 5 years he has been watching football?
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:34 PM    (permalink
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My favorite was 'Steve Hutchinson showed teams what good guard play could do.'

Fellow, guards have been affecting games since before vertical passing was in the rulebook.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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This guy


The fact that Bob Hayes was only mentioned a couple times makes me sad.

We're talking about the player who was the the main driving force behind the biggest schematic expansion of defensive coverages in NFL history.

And, really, this has become two threads. There's rare guys who had a clear effect on how the game developed (Hayes, Deacon Jones, Mike Ditka, etc.) and then there's guys who help shift the expectations for their position or establish a new standard of excellence (Ronnie Lott, Shannon Sharpe, Anthony Munoz, etc.).

There's a pretty big difference there.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:37 PM    (permalink
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wait, you mean how jeremy shockey, todd heap, frank wycheck, freddie jones, wesley walls, ben coates, and, say, eric green were all used as primary receiving targets at various points between 1997 and 2002 (i got lazy)?

or do you mean how guys like derek brown, johnny mitchell, irv smith, kyle brady, and rickey dudley (1992-1996) were all drafted in the first round with the hope that they could catch effectively (funny that they were all crap)?

i call bs.

No one on that list produced like a top-tier receiver except for Shockey who is very much in the vein athletically as Tony Gonzalez. They put up productive seasons back in the day, but compared to today's game they would be mediocre at best. Heath Miller would be the second best TE in the game back in the 90s, in fact his numbers now equal those TEs you mentioned and he has three games to play, but he isn't even top-5 at his position now, maybe not even top-10. We might have eight TE with 800 yards receiver and three with 1,000 yards receiving. The position has been redefined. Of that list only Coates has more than 1 season over 800 yards, something that players like Witten and Gates do annually.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:54 PM    (permalink
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This guy


The fact that Bob Hayes was only mentioned a couple times makes me sad.

We're talking about the player who was the the main driving force behind the biggest schematic expansion of defensive coverages in NFL history.

And, really, this has become two threads. There's rare guys who had a clear effect on how the game developed (Hayes, Deacon Jones, Mike Ditka, etc.) and then there's guys who help shift the expectations for their position or establish a new standard of excellence (Ronnie Lott, Shannon Sharpe, Anthony Munoz, etc.).

There's a pretty big difference there.
Well, I think Bob Hayes was also seen as the guy who partnered up with Haynes to use stick um to help intercept passes. It kind of brought him down a peg or 2 having to use a sticky substance on his hands to intercept passes.
Ditto for Deacon Jones who invented the head slap to better rush the passser, a move no longer legal in the NFL.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:01 PM    (permalink
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Well, I think Bob Hayes was also seen as the guy who partnered up with Haynes to use stick um to help intercept passes. It kind of brought him down a peg or 2 having to use a sticky substance on his hands to intercept passes.
Ditto for Deacon Jones who invented the head slap to better rush the passser, a move no longer legal in the NFL.
Lester Hayes (stickem guy) and Mike Haynes Raider corners.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:25 PM    (permalink
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Well, I think Bob Hayes was also seen as the guy who partnered up with Haynes to use stick um to help intercept passes. It kind of brought him down a peg or 2 having to use a sticky substance on his hands to intercept passes.
Ditto for Deacon Jones who invented the head slap to better rush the passser, a move no longer legal in the NFL.
by that logic Roy Williams should be mentioned
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:35 PM    (permalink
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i just wanted to repeat this. your favorite player from last year has not changed the game. period.

like, ronnie brown? really? i'm sure it has to do with the wildcat, but it's not like he's the only running back who's shown he can run it. it's not DMC's fault that the raiders are garbage.

i don't even buy moss. he's big and fast and spectacularly talented. how, exactly, did he change the game? there've been other deep threats in history, and there've been plenty of guys who wouldn't catch over the middle.

while we're on it, we're talking about changing THE game, not changing A game. there's a vast wilderness of difference between the two.
Do we have to swear under oath that they changed the game, and we're limited to 3-5 guys? Let's just discuss.

Even if Ronnie Brown wasn't the only one who could do it, he did do it and they went from 1-15 to 11-5. I'm not nominating him for one of the top 10 seasons ever, just a game-changer.

Randy Moss changed the league, he did not invent anything but combined them to have numbers only (surely) bested by Rice until OAK, maybe by Alworth and others especially with PI. But discussing the virtues of 6' to 6'2 WRs who weren't the fastest man in cleats is a whole separate issue. We can go back to Hutson.

4.3 is conservative, in pads. And he can't just bat it down or faux tackle like Deion, Fabian Washington, etc. Chris Johnson is the only recent player that fast with consistent, important touches/targets.

Also, the need for the Sean Taylor safeties with 4.3 speed was stepped up for sure. They didn't need that for Irvin or Bruce.

Also, how many of these hypothetical throws over the middle were lost... he had about 80 catches every year, including 11 1998 starts and Cris Carter also catching about 90 and Reed, et al joining in. One year he did have 106, then 111. Basically healthy until the Oakland dark years.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:43 PM    (permalink
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You mean there was a time when people didn't want a tall, freakishly fast receiver? Interesting.
Who could catch, and not get injured, and be useful inside the 20.

I mean speed came up when Fitzgerald was available, 4.48 from what I see. Not a slow guy and can't be covered by an LB.

Most tall guys were like Dwight Clark and deep threats like Flipper Anderson caught about 40 passes. Keyshawn went #1 overall to the Jets but without any.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:35 PM    (permalink
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This is a good thread. There are really three category of players that I can see are being discussed. Players that effectively were the first used in a particular way, players that changed the value or importance of a certain position, and then players that were more dominant at a position than anyone before them. I suppose you can make an argument that each category does count as at least in someway redefining the game (though the amount of redefining diminishes from first to third).
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:54 PM    (permalink
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Well, I think Bob Hayes was also seen as the guy who partnered up with Haynes to use stick um to help intercept passes. It kind of brought him down a peg or 2 having to use a sticky substance on his hands to intercept passes.
Ditto for Deacon Jones who invented the head slap to better rush the passser, a move no longer legal in the NFL.
Babylon said, you're thinking of Lester Hayes with the stick'um.

As for Jones, I think the head slap only helps his case. He had a move that was so effective it was banned by the league. One could argue that Jones did more to change the way the trench battle was played in the NFL than anyone else.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:58 PM    (permalink
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That move is a reason why I don't like Deacon Jones it was such a cheap move especially when you account for the fact that O-lineman were extremely hindered back then with the amount they could actually use their hands. Thats just my opinion, though he obviously did change the NFL because of that move.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:01 PM    (permalink
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Everyone was free to use that move, Jones was just the one who was (allegedly) racking up 20 sack seasons by doing so. Same deal with Dick Lane's tendency to beat up receivers.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:02 PM    (permalink
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Everyone was free to use that move, Jones was just the one who was (allegedly) racking up 20 sack seasons by doing so. Same deal with Dick Lane's tendency to beat up receivers.
Eh you're right, just not a big fan of the move, but I guess that's why they didn't even count sacks for a period of time.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:56 PM    (permalink
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Everyone was free to use that move, Jones was just the one who was (allegedly) racking up 20 sack seasons by doing so. Same deal with Dick Lane's tendency to beat up receivers.
Who is to say that the NFL won't ban some of today's practices? Cut blocking for example; then would we devalue the accomplishments of the era's RB class?
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:18 PM    (permalink
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If you look at the NFL prior to 2004 what you will find is Tight Ends were not used as receivers: there were a few way back in the day, Kellen Winslow Sr., Sharpe, but it is only recently that the position has become pass first. I would credit the emergence of Tony Gonzalez as the primary reason the position has changed the way it has. Now every TE needs to have some history in basketball, NFL scouts are now in the gyms looking for the next Antonio Gates, even though they find a few busts like Jai Lewis. (points for whoever remembers him)


On a side note, can announcers please stop talking about what Tony Gonzalez did on the B-Ball court more than a decade ago? Is it still a relevant piece of information? Is there anyone who doesn't know that Tony and Antonio placed basketball once upon a time?
I know, I know! He was an undrafted free agent signed by the Giants in 2006. Tried playing tackle, then went back to basketball.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:55 PM    (permalink
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Who is to say that the NFL won't ban some of today's practices? Cut blocking for example; then would we devalue the accomplishments of the era's RB class?
I wasn't trying to implicate that I think less of Deacon Jones or Dike Lane. We don't devalue them, we just place them in the correct context against the the next era's accomplishments. Same as we would do if the NFL makes a major shift again.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:42 AM    (permalink
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Randy Moss changed the league, he did not invent anything but combined them to have numbers only (surely) bested by Rice until OAK, maybe by Alworth and others especially with PI. But discussing the virtues of 6' to 6'2 WRs who weren't the fastest man in cleats is a whole separate issue. We can go back to Hutson.
Again, it's not like he revolutionized the game. Football players are just getting more athletic.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:47 AM    (permalink
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I think the biggest change we have seen over the last 5-10 years is the safety position.

What probably started with Lott, has flowed into Dawkins and now the current generation. The safety position has gone from being a making up the numbers position to the core of the best defenses. With OL having become so proficient at stopping pass rushers, rule changes that limited what cornerbacks may do and perhaps even the evolution of RBs and TEs as receivers has made safety far more important and I think that teams like Philadelphia, New England, Pittsburgh and Baltimore have shown what an elite safety will allow you to do defensively, they could certainly be argued as the 4 best defensive teams over the last decade and all of them have had elite safeties that could blitz, cover and run support and that allowed their defensive coordinators to build attacking defenses around their ability.

I think that sort of sums up the changes though, they are more those unique talents that allow coaches to change systems. Dawkins and Polamalu allowed Johnson and LeBeau's Zone Blitzing schemes to go to another level(quite literally by involving the secondary). Randy Moss has been a guy who has allowed the Pats to run a spread offense because his abilities have opened up the underneath passes because he has basically required double coverage over the top since joining the Pats. Other parts have been important, but without that, the speed of the defensive players would be able to stop the spread most likely.

I think we are approaching an interesting time. First the West Coast offenses lead us down a path where precision was more important than athletic ability, making technique important, the trend recently though with the 3-4 defenses has been to add more and more speed and as a result technique has fallen a lot in its importance on the field. I think we are seeing with the likes of Dumervil, Harrison, Brees, Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, Mathis, Freeney and Welker, amongst others, that teams are starting to look at more than just measurables and starting to focus more on technique again and that because of the above guys, perceptions are slowly changing about what certain positions have to look like. MJD and CJ and Reggie Bush have lead to a big rush of undersized RBs who offer different skills over the last few years, the next logical step to me is we are going to see smaller and quicker LBs in order to slow these guys and similar guys. Brees is going to lead teams to giving smaller accurate QBs a shot, but it they are still going to be up against it for sure.

The biggest one though is the really undersized DEs that are doing well. Elvis and Harrison are the most prominent but there are several other guys that have done really well, I honestly think that with the preoccupation with huge OTs who can handle the Julius Peppers of the world that they may have got to the point where they are so big that short stout players can get underneath them and win leverage consistently. Both Dumervil and Harrison use Bull Rush moves a lot and get great drive doing it and you have to think that has at least a little to do with winning leverage with little effort, and once that is won, 100lbs extra really matters very little. In many ways, I feel like we have moved past the era of giants and are moving into the speedy little persons era. Swings and roundabouts so to speak.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:37 AM    (permalink
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Anthony Munoz
Kellen Winslow Sr
OJ Simpson


Very few modern players (from the 80s up) changed the game really. Believe it or not, as much as we talk about the game changing over the years, it really hasn't changed that much at all.

The only player from the 80s up that changed the game that I can think of off the top of my head were LT and Randy Moss.

Maaaybe Brian Dawkins. If not Dawkins, then Ronnie Lott before him.
THANK YOU.

As far as re-inventing the TE position, former 1980s Raider Todd Christensen was a dominant receiving TE who just didn't do it long enough to get HOF consideration. Still, he had 3 seasons with over 1000 yards, 2 90 plus catch seasons, a season with over 900 yards receiving and a couple 80 catch years.
Christensen was the first TE I ever knew of who put up WR numbers at the TE position.

Left Tackles are often compared to Pace because it's a modern reference that many can relate to, but he wasn't better than Ogden or a handful of left tackles that came before him.

Ray Lewis, because of his unreal range at ILB earlier in his career, is the best example I can think of a modern player who really doesn't have many historical peers.

If you truly study the game, see the film and talk to folks who saw some of the greats play in their prime, you begin to realize no matter how much the game has changed, it essentially has stayed the same.

And it's kind of ridiculous to argue that if it wasn't for Shannon Sharpe, there never would have been a Tony Gonzalez.
Former Oklahoma AA TE and Eagles alltime great Keith Jackson who entered the league a couple years before Sharpe, was the player Sharpe was often compared to in the 90s, except Jackson was bigger, 250#, and faster, 4.5 speed, than Shannon Sharpe.

BTW, this is the first time I've ever heard Marino described as a mobile QB. Great pocket presence and a wickedly quick release, but dude couldn't outrun his own shadow.

As for using stickum, Iamcanadian, the gloves that modern players use today are so 'tacky' they are able to replicate the effect of stickum back in the day.

The biggest difference in the modern NFL and the past is the de-emphasis on the importance of the running game and supremacy of the passing game.

It's so rare to see 4 or five RBs taken in the 1st round, but there used to be a time when it was common place as top RBs were viewed as elite talents necessary to win championships.

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Old 12-10-2009, 05:44 AM    (permalink
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although its impossible to find 6'3 230 4.5 SS don't think they would redefine the game if a mass quantity of them existed to follow Adrian Wilson
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:34 AM    (permalink
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Same deal with Dick Lane's tendency to beat up receivers.
he is the reason they banned head tackling. if you ever see a film of his head tackling, you'll be impressed with how effective it is, and then say to yourself, "he's going to break someone's neck doing that."
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