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Old 03-29-2007, 10:25 AM    (permalink
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Default The Jack Lambert Appreciation Thread

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CMNetYOTQrA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_La...an_football%29

Yes, Im bored, but Lambert deserves his own thread.

He's easily a top 2 MIKE in NFL history in my opinion. Its between him and Butkus. Most say Butkus, but Im not so sure. Part of me says Lambert was better, but its awfully close either way.

For the youngins, since we've been talking about the history of the game the past 2 days, I figured you would like to see one of the best defensive players in NFL history do what he does.

Let's marvel in his physical intensity.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:31 AM    (permalink
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Ray Nitscke
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:34 AM    (permalink
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Ray Nitscke
I love Ray too, but he wasn't better than Lambert or Butkus. Him, Nobis, and Huff are in the same tier.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:43 AM    (permalink
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i'm interested to see whether or not 51 disagrees with you (about butkus).

also, lambert had poor tackling technique. he rarely got low enough and appeared to be lucky that the running backs tended to be either smaller or less powerful than he was (yes, i'm being obnoxious and trying to incite an argument).
Well, I think its very close. Its almost a tie in my eyes. If you put a gun to my head, I go with Butkus, but its very close in my eyes.

Yeah, while he was not technically sound (his foot patting wasn't a good thing either), he made up for it in intensity and power. He was also a better coverage LB than Butkus. He was probably the first MIKE to play 30 yards downfield too, revolutionizing the position. As with any smaller LB, he would be physically flawed against big runners, but he surprisingly did well against them. I can't really explain how, because physically his poor technique shouldve hindered him more, all I can say I guess is that he was one bad mofo.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:00 AM    (permalink
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absolutely. it is interesting to see the amount of force he generated from really awkward (as far as football goes) body positions.

i'd be interested in split screening a few of these guys (butkus, lambert, singletary [who i feel is half a step down, though i can't honestly say i've seen more than a handful of guys play from before 1980]) in similar situations.
I just have old tapes of games my uncle has recorded since waaaay back. He's a junky, he even has some stuff on Huff. Id love to see someone on youtube put up something of that sort.

Before Google bought youtube, it was alot more friendly in terms of seeing NFL highlights etc. I saw so many nice clips on there thats removed now. Someone even had all of the 84 49ers playoff games (The 84 49ers have a historically very underrated defense).

You'll be surprised at how the game evolved in terms of Xs and Os. In some ways, its changed alot, and in some ways, its barely changed at all.

I'll cite this year's AFC championship game bw the Pats and Colts. My cousin is a diehard Colts fan, and he recorded the game on his new TV with DVDR or whatever. So, everytime I go to his house, he shows the game like he's still celebrating it like it just happened.

After watching the game a couple of times, I noticed that the scheme Bellichick used was reminding me of something. I was like "damn, Ive seen this before". By the way, I loved the scheme he was running, injuries just turned it to crap in the 2nd half. Anyway, being the mad scientist that I am, I went back and looked at some old tape in my Uncle's stash to try to see if I can match it up with anything prior.

The 1990 NFC Championship game (Giants) vs the 49ers. It was literally, the EXACT same scheme. He even called the same exact plays, based on the personnell that Indy came out with. It was identical. Literally identical. That was 17 years ago. Shows that maybe the game hasn't changed as much as we think it has.

I kind of sidetracked with that, but I just wanted to share that.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:12 AM    (permalink
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This man not only was a killer on the field he looked like he was a killer.....God bless jack lambert!

Just a few quotes from him and about him...interesting stuff.

http://www.mcmillenandwife.com/lambert_quotes.html
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:20 AM    (permalink
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He had the look of an old school hockey enforcer......
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On another note, Nicklas Backstrom is amazingly good.
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Meanwhile, in hockey the other night, the Washington Capitals' Eric Belanger gets hit with a stick, loses EIGHT teeth, has an instant root canal in the locker room, comes back out and PLAYS and never says boo.

So new rule, NBA: Unless you have a root canal at halftime, SHUT UP AND PLAY!
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:23 AM    (permalink
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I just loved how he finished with power.

You always hear me say that. I believe tacklers, and running backs have to be able to "finish with power". At the point of attack, Lambert would just lunge all his power into his tackle, and finish it off. You could see him getting his power all the way from his feet, and using all his body momentum to thrust power into his tackles. He never got you with just his upper body, he always got those legs working into his tackles. I love that. I guess that could be the reason why he was able to tackle high and get away with it.

I could talk about linebackers all day. Being a Giants fan, I love me some linebacker.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:26 AM    (permalink
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bbd: interesting for sure... and completely off topic ;)

regardless, i tend to think this is more or less the same across a large number of schemes, that the only differences are the the little nuances added to either compensate for greater athleticism or for specific player types that hadn't existed in the past (a julius peppers or reggie white, and going further back).
Yeah, I agree. Probably the slight changes we see is due to player personnell and including new nuances for freaks like the ones you mentioned.

Sometimes we (Im guilty of this myself many times) put too much emphasis on scheme and not enough on player execution.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:36 AM    (permalink
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There should just be a Steel Curtain appreciation thread. I love Lambert, and he's one of my favorite players of all time.

Think about this though: on that Steel Curtain defense, you have four players who are arguably top two of all time at their respective positions (Lambert, Ham, Greene, and Blount).

And as much as I like Lambert, I like Ham even more. The beard does me in every time. I love it. He looks like he should have been up in the mountains logging trees and drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:47 AM    (permalink
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There should just be a Steel Curtain appreciation thread. I love Lambert, and he's one of my favorite players of all time.

Think about this though: on that Steel Curtain defense, you have four players who are arguably top two of all time at their respective positions (Lambert, Ham, Greene, and Blount).

And as much as I like Lambert, I like Ham even more. The beard does me in every time. I love it. He looks like he should have been up in the mountains logging trees and drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle.
Ham is without question, the best 4-3 OLB to ever play the game I believe. He was amazing.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:54 AM    (permalink
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Ham is without question, the best 4-3 OLB to ever play the game I believe. He was amazing.
I completely agree. Yet, Ham always gets overshadowed, for various reasons. The guy was Derrick Brooks before Derrick Brooks even thought about being Derrick Brooks. He's probably the best coverage linebacker of all-time.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:25 PM    (permalink
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Damn he was a mean SOB back in the day.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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Ham is without question, the best 4-3 OLB to ever play the game I believe. He was amazing.
Hollywood Henderson. :D
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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I have mixed feelings about a lot of the upper-tier linebackers. On the one hand, Butkus was basically a one man defense his whole career while Lambert had Green, Ham, etc.

On the other hand, Lambert won 4 Superbowls while Butkus never made the playoffs.

I also agree that Ham was much better than Lambert. Lambert to me is similar to Swann and Bradshaw (or Troy Aikman) in that he is overhyped due to being on high profile teams and being charismatic while guys like Ham or Mike Webster probably don't get the credit they deserve.

That being said, I don't think either is the best MLB of all time.

My vote goes to this guy:



He's Samurai Mike, he's stop 'em cold. Part of the defense, big and bold.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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Hollywood Henderson. :D
In all honesty, he had the potential. But he threw it away.

Ya know, for the Cowboys being a storied franchise, theyre not particularly strong historically at the LB position. I found that a little odd. Especially with Landry as HC for so many years. He built his 4-3 flex around the linebacker position.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:00 PM    (permalink
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I have mixed feelings about a lot of the upper-tier linebackers. On the one hand, Butkus was basically a one man defense his whole career while Lambert had Green, Ham, etc.

On the other hand, Lambert won 4 Superbowls while Butkus never made the playoffs.

I also agree that Ham was much better than Lambert. Lambert to me is similar to Swann and Bradshaw (or Troy Aikman) in that he is overhyped due to being on high profile teams and being charismatic.

That being said, I don't think either is the best MLB of all time.

My vote goes to this guy:



He's Samurai Mike, he's stop 'em cold. Part of the defense, big and bold.
This guy is my favorite MIKE, but I don't think he was the best ever. He's arguably the smartest ever, but I don't know if he's the best. Top 5 no doubt. Maybe top 3.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:01 PM    (permalink
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One important thing that Urlacher pointed out in a sit down interview with Butkus that a lot of people don't appreciate is that they can't tackle like that anymore. They would get arrested.

So while BBD likes to get his rocks off to flashy hits, and for someone that knows a lot about the linebacker position tends to simplify it a bit too much, it's changed too much to use highlights films to get your point across.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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Another thing worth noting is that Butkus revolutionized the MLB position (with Bill George before him) because George Halas realized that you could adjust a scheme and get a huge guy (Butkus was bigger than some lineman of his era) that would just scare the piss out of everyone across from him.

You could take that to add to Butkus' legacy or take away from it based on your perspective.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:06 PM    (permalink
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One important thing that Urlacher pointed out in a sit down interview with Butkus that a lot of people don't appreciate is that they can't tackle like that anymore. They would get arrested.

So while BBD likes to get his rocks off to flashy hits, and for someone that knows a lot about the linebacker position tends to simplify it a bit too much, it's changed too much to use highlights films to get your point across.
Why do you gotta spoil my fun all the time? lol.

Yes, I know. But what else can I show? Some of these guys have never even seen him at all.

And anyway, if I get too complex, people will just skip over my post and say to themselves "im not reading all of that". So sometimes I gotta cut back on what I want to say.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:10 PM    (permalink
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Another thing worth noting is that Butkus revolutionized the MLB position (with Bill George before him) because George Halas realized that you could adjust a scheme and get a huge guy (Butkus was bigger than some lineman of his era) that would just scare the piss out of everyone across from him.

You could take that to add to Butkus' legacy or take away from it based on your perspective.
Ive always felt that the MLB should be a suffocator. He's the guy who stops the run, and knocks guys out up the middle of the field. I don't think anyone did that better than Butkus. He's the prototype.

Of course the position has changed since then, and continues to change, but Im still a fan of the sledgehammer MIKEs. Let the OLBs cover, the MIKE is there to be a run thumper. Thats how I feel about the position.

Thats another reason why I like 3-4 ILBs so much. Theyre built like old school MIKEs. You don't see many sledgehammer types in the 4-3 anymore. Nowadays, 4-3 MIKEs are smaller and quicker.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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why, in your opinion?
Well I think he's the best of the new breed. At the front of the vanguard if you will.

One could make a case for Ray Lewis too, but I think his flame burnt out too fast.

As I stated before, I think people tend to overate the massive hits that Butkus and Lambert laid because they played in an era in which the defense had MUCH more leniancy from the league in terms of rules. If you could tackle a guy by choking him or taking a forearm to his face I promise you guys like Urlacher and Merriman would have flashier highlights films.

Also, Singletary was, as BBD pointed out, probably the smartest linebacker to ever play the position. He ran the 46 like a maestro, and I tend to value intelligence over power at almost every position (except defensive line). Singletary made the people around him better. I don't think you could say that about Lambert or Butkus and with Ray Lewis I think it was more the case that the people around him (namely Adams and Goose) made him better than he was.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:36 PM    (permalink
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Well I think he's the best of the new breed. At the front of the vanguard if you will.

One could make a case for Ray Lewis too, but I think his flame burnt out too fast.

As I stated before, I think people tend to overate the massive hits that Butkus and Lambert laid because they played in an era in which the defense had MUCH more leniancy from the league in terms of rules. If you could tackle a guy by choking him or taking a forearm to his face I promise you guys like Urlacher and Merriman would have flashier highlights films.

Also, Singletary was, as BBD pointed out, probably the smartest linebacker to ever play the position. He ran the 46 like a maestro, and I tend to value intelligence over power at almost every position (except defensive line). Singletary made the people around him better. I don't think you could say that about Lambert or Butkus and with Ray Lewis I think it was more the case that the people around him (namely Adams and Goose) made him better than he was.
To play devil's advocate, you can say that Hampton and Fridge did the same for Singletary.

I view Singletary as a better version of Lewis. Lewis is Singletary Lite if you will.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:39 PM    (permalink
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i wouldn't have actually thought ray lewis belonged in the conversation for top MLB ever. as far as i've ever seen people play, singletary was the guy i loved (and i saw a fair amount of him, as my entire family was from detroit). realistically, i think this comes down to the same thing every other question comes down to here: which era are we talking about? would urlacher really have been as successful against guys like, for instance, earl campbell who run with more power than 99% of any running back playing right now? would lambert/butkus have even been able to catch up to an LT or cover someone like Steven Jackson or Bryant Westbrook out of the backfield? meh, it's a bit of a cop out (actually, bit is understating it), but i'm just not sold you can positively identify anyone as having really been a better MLB across all eras.
You can say that about any position in the game. Would Alan Page hack it at DT at 255 lbs etc.

I think when you talk about topics like this, you have to evaluate it based on dominance in each era. Who dominated their era more? Also factor in how much impact did the said player have on the evolution of the game. I think those 2 factors are the most important when discussing topics like this.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:41 PM    (permalink
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To play devil's advocate, you can say that Hampton and Fridge did the same for Singletary.

I view Singletary as a better version of Lewis. Lewis is Singletary Lite if you will.
Meh..the Fridge. I poop on the Fridge.
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