PDA

View Full Version : Top 10 LB Corps of all time.....


milkman
07-04-2007, 07:04 PM
On NFL Network right now.

Curious to see where Lanier, Bell and Lynch fall in their ranking.

2000 Ravens are #10.

Direckshun
07-04-2007, 07:07 PM
Wow... 2000 Ravens are #10?

Either a tough list or these guys are the usual Bears/Steelers homers that kick in when you talk historic defensive football.

milkman
07-04-2007, 07:16 PM
9 was the pre-Elway SB Donkeys and 8 was the early 80s Raiders.

Smed1065
07-04-2007, 07:29 PM
The best defense never mentioned is the Falcons. 1997.

milkman
07-04-2007, 07:42 PM
#7 was the mid 90s Steelers.
#6 was the 85 Bears.
#5 was the Lombardi Packers.

And the Hank Stram Chiefs were #4.

milkman
07-04-2007, 07:51 PM
#3 was Parcells Giants.
#2 was the 70s Steelers.

milkman
07-04-2007, 08:00 PM
Mora's Saints are #1.


Huh?

Smed1065
07-04-2007, 08:08 PM
I think I messed up the year but they hold the record for fewest points allowed in a NFL season. It was only 14 games but the PPG was less than 10. IIRC.

(I am searching to cover my buttttttttttt)

milkman
07-04-2007, 08:16 PM
I think I messed up the year but they hold the record for fewest points allowed in a NFL season. It was only 14 games but the PPG was less than 10. IIRC.

(I am searching to cover my buttttttttttt)

They were a great corps but not the #1 group.

I would put them in the top 5.

Phobia
07-04-2007, 08:28 PM
Was a pretty good list up until #1. I don't know who deserves #1 for certain but I'm thinking it's not the Saints.

milkman
07-04-2007, 08:31 PM
Was a pretty good list up until #1. I don't know who deserves #1 for certain but I'm thinking it's not the Saints.

I'm thinking those 70 Steelers.

All 3 are deserving members of the HoF.

cdcox
07-04-2007, 08:33 PM
Consider all those Saints LB that are HOFers.

Messier
07-04-2007, 08:37 PM
The Saints LB corp of the 80's had four all pros on it. I always thought it was the best ever.

JBucc
07-04-2007, 08:44 PM
As someone who was young and not following football then and have never thought of looking up the Saint's history, could some of you old guys tell me who these great Saint LBers were?

Brock
07-04-2007, 08:48 PM
As someone who was young and not following football then and have never thought of looking up the Saint's history, could some of you old guys tell me who these great Saint LBers were?

Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.

milkman
07-04-2007, 08:52 PM
As someone who was young and not following football then and have never thought of looking up the Saint's history, could some of you old guys tell me who these great Saint LBers were?

Sam Mills, Ricky Jackson, Pat Swilling and Vaughan Johnson.

They were an outstanding group.
I would rate at #4.

blueballs
07-04-2007, 08:59 PM
they'll let anybody
create a thread

Phobia
07-04-2007, 09:01 PM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.

Yeah, good group, no doubt. I was pulling for them to win one.

Brock
07-04-2007, 09:06 PM
Picking the 2000 Ravens is just pure laziness on the part of the writers.

Chief Faithful
07-04-2007, 09:12 PM
Lanier and Bell are in the Hall of Fame and Lynch was outstanding. How can they not be in the top 10?

Phobia
07-04-2007, 09:14 PM
Lanier and Bell are in the Hall of Fame and Lynch was outstanding. How can they not be in the top 10?

Uh. Four is in the top 10. Heh.

Dr. Van Halen
07-04-2007, 09:31 PM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.


They were amazing, and I'm pleased that they are getting the credit they deserve. I lived in New Orleans during the last part of their reign. Teams could do nothing against them at their peak. Swilling was brilliant, Mills was a genius, Jackson and Johnson were incredible. Any of these four guys would have anchored any other team's D.

They worked as a unit -- especially Swilling, Mills, and Jackson. N. Smith and D. Thomas reminded me of them quite a bit, they had that kind of cohesiveness and strategy. They knew the whole game rode on their shoulders and played like it.

Unfortunately they played for the Saints, who had all kinds of problems.

jlscorpio
07-04-2007, 10:31 PM
I always thought Swilling was a lot like DT, maybe not quite as quick first step.

Deberg_1990
07-04-2007, 10:50 PM
They were amazing, and I'm pleased that they are getting the credit they deserve. I lived in New Orleans during the last part of their reign. Teams could do nothing against them at their peak. Swilling was brilliant, Mills was a genius, Jackson and Johnson were incredible. Any of these four guys would have anchored any other team's D.

They worked as a unit -- especially Swilling, Mills, and Jackson. N. Smith and D. Thomas reminded me of them quite a bit, they had that kind of cohesiveness and strategy. They knew the whole game rode on their shoulders and played like it.

Unfortunately they played for the Saints, who had all kinds of problems.

Who could forget their underrated QB from that era. Bobby (Ragin Cagun) Herbert.

He then went on to have a few decent seasons in the Falcons run and shoot.

Logical
07-04-2007, 10:56 PM
Uh. Four is in the top 10. Heh.
Four is not bad at all. I feel fortunate to have watched Bell, Lanier and Lynch in their primes.

Deberg_1990
07-04-2007, 10:58 PM
Four is not bad at all. I feel fortunate to have watched Bell, Lanier and Lynch in their primes.

Yea, i wish i was old enough to have seen them play....

milkman
07-04-2007, 11:13 PM
Yea, i wish i was old enough to have seen them play....

They were fun to watch.

Deberg_1990
07-04-2007, 11:15 PM
They were fun to watch.

I do remember the pleasure of watching Cherry, Burrus, Ross and Lewis play in the 80's when i was a kid....


(About the only reasons to watch the Chiefs in those days)

big nasty kcnut
07-05-2007, 01:48 AM
My top 3 is 1985 bears is no1
2 is the 70s steelers
3 Hank Stram kansas city chiefs.

htismaqe
07-05-2007, 05:58 AM
Who could forget their underrated QB from that era. Bobby (Ragin Cagun) Herbert.

He then went on to have a few decent seasons in the Falcons run and shoot.

Forget Hebert.

They had the twin Billy Joe's. Tolliver and Hobert.

HemiEd
07-05-2007, 05:59 AM
They were fun to watch.

Thanks for the heads up on this milkman, it was good to watch them again.

Al Bundy
07-05-2007, 07:19 AM
Those Saints Linebackers were badass. I loved watching that defense play.

BigMeatballDave
07-05-2007, 11:04 AM
Lanier and Bell are in the Hall of Fame and Lynch was outstanding. How can they not be in the top 10?
ROFL

OctoberFart
07-05-2007, 11:21 AM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.
Pretty goood group there.

BigMeatballDave
07-05-2007, 11:23 AM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.No championships. Should not be #1.

FAX
07-05-2007, 11:34 AM
Damn ESPN to Hell!!!

They should have been in the top 5, at least.

FAX

Dartgod
07-05-2007, 11:48 AM
Damn ESPN to Hell!!!

They should have been in the top 5, at least.

FAX
Who should have been in the top 5?

ROYC75
07-05-2007, 12:27 PM
This thread is going downhill .......

Simplex3
07-05-2007, 12:40 PM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.
The Mouse was Zach Thomas before Zach Thomas was Zach Thomas.

redsurfer11
07-05-2007, 12:51 PM
I always thought the Early 70's Colts had a great group of linebackers Feel they should have made the top 10.

Rooster
07-05-2007, 01:42 PM
The entire 'NFL's Top 10' segments that the NFL Network has been airing lately has been very good.

chappy
07-05-2007, 02:20 PM
I wonder why the 2004 Chiefs weren't mentioned.
They were Scary

Fruit Ninja
07-05-2007, 02:26 PM
Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson.They were so bad ass them 4. I totally agree with them being the best of all time.

cdcox
07-05-2007, 03:03 PM
I don't agree with NO at all. I don't remember them being signficantly better than the Steelers group that peaked around the same time:

Levon Kirkland
Chad Brown
Kevin Greene
Greg Lloyd
Hardy Nickerson

The Chiefs and '70s Steelers both had TWO players who were HOFers and listed in TSN's 100 greatest players of all time. The Giants had LT, the best LB ever to play (4th best player of all time on the TSN list) and Harry Carson another HOFer.

I'll take two great players over four very good ones everytime. Lynch for KC and Reasons and Banks for the Giants were no slouches either.

They screwed the pooch calling NO #1.

milkman
07-05-2007, 06:58 PM
I always thought the Early 70's Colts had a great group of linebackers Feel they should have made the top 10.

I thought that the Broncos corps that included Tom Jackson and Randy Gradishar was overrated at #9, and could easily be replaced by that group, or the Cowboys of the early 70s.

RustShack
07-05-2007, 09:05 PM
Better add the 2007 Chiefs to that list :)

Rain Man
07-06-2007, 07:38 PM
My top LB units, with the open admission that I'm screwing over the guys who played before I started watching in 1970. I start with the NFL Network's Top Ten and shuffle them before moving on to the legitimate rankings.


#1 - Saints' Johnson, Jackson, Swilling, and Mills - I really like this pick. These guys were incredible, and they typically had no-names in front of them. Dominant group. I'm not sure I'd put them at #1, but they should be in the top four. I'd put them at #3

#2 - Steelers' Ham, Russell, and Lambert - No brainer. Top four, possibly could be #1, but the show made the valid point that they had a dominant line in front of them. Probably #1.

#3 - Giants' Taylor, Reasons, Banks, and Carson - Certainly up there, and certainly a top four pick, but truthfully I think the combo of Taylor, Carson, Brian Kelley, and Brad Van Pelt was better. Maybe the Giants' backers should be on the list twice with these two groups, but Reasons would drop the first group out of the top ten. Taylor, Carson, Kelley, and Van Pelt should be #4

#4 - Chiefs' Lanier, Bell, and Lynch - Probably should be #2.

Overall, they got the top four right. I'd just shuffle the order a little.

#5 - Packers' Nitschke, Robinson, and Caffey - Bah. They're a contender, but they're not Top Ten.

#6 - Bears' Singletary, Marshall, and Wilson. This group ruled. Should be #5. These guys were Monsters. Monsters of the Midway.

#7 - Steelers' Lloyd, Greene, Kirkland, and Brown. Scary, scary, scary. Should be #6.

#8 - Raiders' Martin, Hendricks, and Millen. They're close, even though Millen is a stupid SOB. Being cheaters and bad sportsmen would drop them down on my list, out of the top ten. They're not as good as some of the others.

#9 - Broncos' Swenson, Gradishar, Jackson, and Rizzo (?????). Are you freaking kidding me? Are you kidding me? Gradishar was very, very good, and Swenson was pretty good. Jackson was barely, barely average and gets overrated just because he's on TV now, and does anybody know this Rizzo clown? What a freaking joke. They weren't even as good as the Fletcher/Dennison/Mecklenburg/Ryan group that followed them. That group was more deserving. This group may be top 50, but certainly not Top Ten.

#10 - Ravens' Lewis, Boulware, and Sharper. Whatever. They're fine. Not top ten.

The rest of my top ten:

Patriots' Tippett, Nelson, Blackmon, and McGrew - I'd go with these guys at #7, even though it was mostly Tippett. But there was a lot of Tippett.

Vikings' Sieman, Blair, and Hilgenburg - Should be #8. Nice, balanced group.

Browns' Banks, Matthews, Eddie Johnson, and Mike Johnson - Yeah, you've never heard of half of them, but they're #9 in my book.

Cowboys' Edwards, Jordan, and Howley. They barely edge out the Colts below for #10.


My other contenders:

Colts' May, Hendricks, and Curtis - Could easily be #10.
Dolphins' Swift, Buoniconti, and Kolen
Patriots' Bruschi, Johnson, McGinest, and Vrabel
Steelers' Gildon, Kirkland, Holmes, and Lloyd - Dear lord, the Steelers have a history of linebackers.
Steelers' Ham, Lambert, Cole, and Merriwether - See above.
Chiefs' Thomas, Simien, and Davis
Chiefs' Edwards, Thomas, Simmons, and Davis - I think they'd be top ten, except Thomas was technically an end during these couple of years, I think.
Chargers' O'Neal, Seau, B.R. Smith, and Plummer - I think O'Neal was an end in LB's clothing.
Broncos' Fletcher, Dennison, Mecklenburg, and Ryan
Eagles' Bergey, Bunting, and Zabel
Bears' Butkus, Buffone, and any other guy since there was never a regular third starter
Lions' Lucci, Naumoff, and Walker - Underrated.
Falcons' Nobis, Brezina, and Hansen
Panthers' Greene, Lathon, Mills, and Bailey - I have no idea who Bailey was, but these guys rocked.
Buccaneers' Brooks, Nickerson, and Marts
Cardinals' Noga, Junior, Nunn, and Baker
Rams' Robertson, Reynolds, and (Jim) Youngblood
Colts' Young, Banks, Herrod, and Bickett
Seahawks' Simmons, Kirkland, and Brown

Rain Man
07-06-2007, 07:40 PM
I thought that the Broncos corps that included Tom Jackson and Randy Gradishar was overrated at #9, and could easily be replaced by that group, or the Cowboys of the early 70s.

Completely correct. The inclusion of that group on the list almost invalidates it. As I mention below, I found the group that followed these bozos to be more scary. Mecklenburg was a nemesis and I hated him, but I hated him because he was good. He was the best linebacker the Broncos ever had.

Messier
07-06-2007, 09:29 PM
I don't agree with NO at all. I don't remember them being signficantly better than the Steelers group that peaked around the same time:

Levon Kirkland
Chad Brown
Kevin Greene
Greg Lloyd
Hardy Nickerson

The Chiefs and '70s Steelers both had TWO players who were HOFers and listed in TSN's 100 greatest players of all time. The Giants had LT, the best LB ever to play (4th best player of all time on the TSN list) and Harry Carson another HOFer.

I'll take two great players over four very good ones everytime. Lynch for KC and Reasons and Banks for the Giants were no slouches either.

They screwed the pooch calling NO #1.

You've got LB's that weren't there at the same time. Brown and Nickerson never played together. And those players were really hitting their peak mid 90's. The Saints LB were in the 80's. All four Saint LB's, who started together for about six years, went to no less than four pro bowls and all with the Saints. The Steeler LB's went to alot of pro bowls, but some of them were with other teams.

cdcox
07-06-2007, 10:08 PM
You've got LB's that weren't there at the same time. Brown and Nickerson never played together. And those players were really hitting their peak mid 90's. The Saints LB were in the 80's. All four Saint LB's, who started together for about six years, went to no less than four pro bowls and all with the Saints. The Steeler LB's went to alot of pro bowls, but some of them were with other teams.

I was going for the era rather than a particular year or a particular set of LB. The Saints group was strong from 1986 -1992. Steelers were getting started about '92. My point was that the Saints group was good, but even near the same time there was a group that was comparable. I don't think you can claim a group with zero HOFers is better than one with two HOFers. The Saints weren't even the dominant defence in their conference during that period: the Giants were. Just ask the 49ers which defense they feared most.

Smed1065
07-06-2007, 10:13 PM
Consider all those Saints LB that are HOFers.

All 4. In fact..........

Allowed the fewest points in NFL history?

milkman
07-06-2007, 10:18 PM
All 4. In fact..........

Allowed the fewest points in NFL history?

None of them.....

cdcox
07-06-2007, 10:21 PM
Allowed the fewest points in NFL history?

Earlier in this thread you were claiming it was the Falcons. Neither one. 2000 Ravens.

Messier
07-06-2007, 10:21 PM
I was going for the era rather than a particular year or a particular set of LB. The Saints group was strong from 1986 -1992. Steelers were getting started about '92. My point was that the Saints group was good, but even near the same time there was a group that was comparable. I don't think you can claim a group with zero HOFers is better than one with two HOFers. The Saints weren't even the dominant defense in their conference during that period: the Giants were. Just ask the 49ers which defense they feared most.

Well, they aren't asking for the best defense they are asking for the best linebacking unit. The Chiefs didn't have nearly the best defense in the 80's but the secondary, (Lewis, Ross, Cherry, and Burruss) is one of the best ever. I think top to bottom the Saints was the best. All four were some of the best of their era, the Giants had two HOfers, and then some okay LB's after that.

Smed1065
07-06-2007, 10:48 PM
14 game season it is the Saints. I did mess up the team because of coaches. IIRC it was less than 10 points a game....

cdcox
07-06-2007, 11:07 PM
Well, they aren't asking for the best defense they are asking for the best linebacking unit. The Chiefs didn't have nearly the best defense in the 80's but the secondary, (Lewis, Ross, Cherry, and Burruss) is one of the best ever. I think top to bottom the Saints was the best. All four were some of the best of their era, the Giants had two HOfers, and then some okay LB's after that.

There is something that all those teams have 2 HOFers in their LB corp have in common...

they all won a SB. Elite players make a huge difference. You have to have some of the best players of all time to be the best unit of all time. It would be like Buffalo arguing those '90s teams were the best of all time. Without the ring, it's just not credible. Without HOFers you just can't make the arguement that you're the best ever no matter how good you are from top to bottom.

That NO group just didn't have any elite players. To see who is elite you have to look at either HOF or consensus All-Pro. Consensus All-Pro is much more selective than making the Pro-Bowl. From 1986 to 1992 the years the NO group was together, you have a six year period. There were four consensus All-pros selected each of those years. So that is 24 slots. 24 chances to be the best in the league during their reign of "greatness". NO took 4 of those slots. Not bad. But during the same period, the Giants took 5 and Lawrence Taylor wasn't even playing in some of those years. If you are not leading the league in consensus All-Pros at your position during the time of your greatness, it makes a really tough claim to be the best unit of all time.

Consensus All-Pros

1986: Taylor, Marshall, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1987: Tippett, Banks, Young, Singletary

1988: Bennett, Taylor, Singletary, Conlan

1989: Harris, Taylor, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1990: Thomas, Haley, Offerdahl, Johnson

1991: Swilling, Thomas, Mills, Smith

1992: Marshall, Jackson, Seau, Mills

Source: The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia (First Edition)

Messier
07-06-2007, 11:28 PM
There is something that all those teams have 2 HOFers in their LB corp have in common...

they all won a SB. Elite players make a huge difference. You have to have some of the best players of all time to be the best unit of all time. It would be like Buffalo arguing those '90s teams were the best of all time. Without the ring, it's just not credible. Without HOFers you just can't make the arguement that you're the best ever no matter how good you are from top to bottom.

That NO group just didn't have any elite players. To see who is elite you have to look at either HOF or consensus All-Pro. Consensus All-Pro is much more selective than making the Pro-Bowl. From 1986 to 1992 the years the NO group was together, you have a six year period. There were four consensus All-pros selected each of those years. So that is 24 slots. 24 chances to be the best in the league during their reign of "greatness". NO took 4 of those slots. Not bad. But during the same period, the Giants took 5 and Lawrence Taylor wasn't even playing in some of those years. If you are not leading the league in consensus All-Pros at your position during the time of your greatness, it makes a really tough claim to be the best unit of all time.

Consensus All-Pros

1986: Taylor, Marshall, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1987: Tippett, Banks, Young, Singletary

1988: Bennett, Taylor, Singletary, Conlan

1989: Harris, Taylor, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1990: Thomas, Haley, Offerdahl, Johnson

1991: Swilling, Thomas, Mills, Smith

1992: Marshall, Jackson, Seau, Mills

Source: The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia (First Edition)

You can make that argument, Taylor was arguable the best LB of all time. But the case I'm making, and super bowl appearances, and all pro's aside, Swilling, Mills, Johnson, and Jackson was a better UNIT than Taylor, Carson, Johnson, and Banks. Taylor and Carson were better than any Saint other than Mills, in my opinion, but all the Saint LB's were at their peak at the same time, and the drop off in talent was very small. Like I said, with the Giants you had two great Lb's and two good LB's. With the Saints you had Four very very good LB's all playing at the top of their game at the same time.

Rain Man
07-07-2007, 10:16 AM
The Saints weren't even the dominant defense in their conference during that period: the Giants were. Just ask the 49ers which defense they feared most.

Granted, I'm sure that he would say the same thing about the Giants if interviewed for them, but Roger Craig and that buffoon Randy Cross were interviewed about the Saints, and it was kind of funny. Craig said that he played the Saints when Vaughn Johnson first joined the team, and that he got nailed by Johnson on the first play or two of the game. They then showed the clip, and Johnson just destroyed Craig on a tackle. Craig then went back to the huddle and told the offensive line, "I have no idea who that guy is, but you guys better not let him hit me any more. That really hurt." The buffoon then confirmed the story.

Craig then said that he hated playing the Saints more than any other defense they played against.

It's hard to compare 4-3 units against 3-4 units, but as a 3-4 unit I think the Saints' guys stack up with anybody. If you compare them on a scale of 0 (Lew Bush) to 100 (Lawrence Taylor), I would score it as:

LOLB: Banks 86 Jackson 90
LILB: Carson 83 Mills 83
RILB: Reasons 70 Johnson 87
ROLB: Taylor 100 Swilling 90

Total: Giants 339 Saints 350

Yes, this is my scientific system.

I still think that Van Pelt and Kelley were stronger than Banks and Reasons, though.

Rain Man
07-07-2007, 11:08 AM
There is something that all those teams have 2 HOFers in their LB corp have in common...

they all won a SB. Elite players make a huge difference. You have to have some of the best players of all time to be the best unit of all time. It would be like Buffalo arguing those '90s teams were the best of all time. Without the ring, it's just not credible. Without HOFers you just can't make the arguement that you're the best ever no matter how good you are from top to bottom.

That NO group just didn't have any elite players. To see who is elite you have to look at either HOF or consensus All-Pro. Consensus All-Pro is much more selective than making the Pro-Bowl. From 1986 to 1992 the years the NO group was together, you have a six year period. There were four consensus All-pros selected each of those years. So that is 24 slots. 24 chances to be the best in the league during their reign of "greatness". NO took 4 of those slots. Not bad. But during the same period, the Giants took 5 and Lawrence Taylor wasn't even playing in some of those years. If you are not leading the league in consensus All-Pros at your position during the time of your greatness, it makes a really tough claim to be the best unit of all time.

Consensus All-Pros

1986: Taylor, Marshall, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1987: Tippett, Banks, Young, Singletary

1988: Bennett, Taylor, Singletary, Conlan

1989: Harris, Taylor, Singletary, Mecklenburg

1990: Thomas, Haley, Offerdahl, Johnson

1991: Swilling, Thomas, Mills, Smith

1992: Marshall, Jackson, Seau, Mills

Source: The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia (First Edition)

Nice post, but I draw a different conclusion. I see the Giants having Taylor in 86, 88, 89, and 90, and then Banks in 87. I see the Saints putting up Swilling in 91, Mills in 91 and 91, and Jackson in 93, and is that Vaughn Johnson in 90, or a different Johnson?

Taylor was one of the most beastly players ever, but would I rather face a team with him and 1 other consensus guy, or a team that's put up 3 consensus guys in two years? 3 guys taking 4 spots in 2 years = 24 units of terror.

cdcox
07-08-2007, 07:56 AM
Granted, I'm sure that he would say the same thing about the Giants if interviewed for them, but Roger Craig and that buffoon Randy Cross were interviewed about the Saints, and it was kind of funny. Craig said that he played the Saints when Vaughn Johnson first joined the team, and that he got nailed by Johnson on the first play or two of the game. They then showed the clip, and Johnson just destroyed Craig on a tackle. Craig then went back to the huddle and told the offensive line, "I have no idea who that guy is, but you guys better not let him hit me any more. That really hurt." The buffoon then confirmed the story.

Craig then said that he hated playing the Saints more than any other defense they played against.

It's hard to compare 4-3 units against 3-4 units, but as a 3-4 unit I think the Saints' guys stack up with anybody. If you compare them on a scale of 0 (Lew Bush) to 100 (Lawrence Taylor), I would score it as:

LOLB: Banks 86 Jackson 90
LILB: Carson 83 Mills 83
RILB: Reasons 70 Johnson 87
ROLB: Taylor 100 Swilling 90

Total: Giants 339 Saints 350

Yes, this is my scientific system.

I still think that Van Pelt and Kelley were stronger than Banks and Reasons, though.

I like to do rating scales. But in rating football players, I don't think a bounded scale that goes 1-100 scale works very well. I think you need an unbounded scale, like an IQ scale. Let's say we can assign a number that represents a LBs skill LBIQ and that number has no bound. I an going to assume that LBIQ is then distributed normally across all able-bodied males in the age rage of 21 to 35 (typical NFL playing ages). Now everyone who is in the NFL is clearly in the far left tail of that distribution. But as you consider rarer and rarer individuals the distance of separation between one player and the next best player gets larger and larger.

I think your rating system partially captured that in that you put LT at 100 and no one else above 90. But I think the distances between other players might be suspect. Carson is a HOFer, while none of the Saints are. HOF is not a perfect measure because it is subjective. But in the era we are considering, only 14 LB have been inducted. That is going to put you really far out on the distribution. With LT you are looking at the best LB of all time. Carson is a HOFer. Both the '70 Steelers and the Chiefs had two players that made the HOF. As another indicator of quality beyond HOF, The Sporting News ranked the top 100 NFL players of all time. LT, Bell, Lanier, Lambert and Ham were all on that list. If you consider the differences in skill between those players and the Saints, I think it is pretty large.

To illustrate the gap among good and elite players, consider Silling (a pass rush specialist) against Thomas. Swilling had 106 sacks over 12 seasons compared to Thomas' 126 sacks over 9 seasons. That is 14 sacks per season compared to 8.8. Thomas was 60% more productive at rushing the QB as Swilling. And Thomas is not yet in the HOF, and would probably never be considered in the top 100 players. The gaps in ability get huge when you start comparing very good to elite.

Athis
07-08-2007, 08:13 AM
object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JiQXLLrCDAA"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JiQXLLrCDAA" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

milkman
07-08-2007, 10:55 AM
I see a couple of people here rating LT as the best LB of all time, and I know that is a view that is shared by a majority of people.

However, having seen them both play, I would contend that Bobby Bell was better.

He (Bell) was every bit as good as a pass rusher, and better as both a run defender and in pass coverage.

Taylor gets the recognition as the result of the fact that he was used as a pass rusher more and because he has the sack numbers.

Bell played before sacks were an official stat, and he rushed the passer less often, but I would not be surprised to learn that even though he probalby only rushed the passer less than half as much as LT, he still managed to sack the QB more than half LT's numbers.

Rain Man
07-08-2007, 03:18 PM
I like to do rating scales. But in rating football players, I don't think a bounded scale that goes 1-100 scale works very well. I think you need an unbounded scale, like an IQ scale. Let's say we can assign a number that represents a LBs skill LBIQ and that number has no bound. I an going to assume that LBIQ is then distributed normally across all able-bodied males in the age rage of 21 to 35 (typical NFL playing ages). Now everyone who is in the NFL is clearly in the far left tail of that distribution. But as you consider rarer and rarer individuals the distance of separation between one player and the next best player gets larger and larger.

I think your rating system partially captured that in that you put LT at 100 and no one else above 90. But I think the distances between other players might be suspect. Carson is a HOFer, while none of the Saints are. HOF is not a perfect measure because it is subjective. But in the era we are considering, only 14 LB have been inducted. That is going to put you really far out on the distribution. With LT you are looking at the best LB of all time. Carson is a HOFer. Both the '70 Steelers and the Chiefs had two players that made the HOF. As another indicator of quality beyond HOF, The Sporting News ranked the top 100 NFL players of all time. LT, Bell, Lanier, Lambert and Ham were all on that list. If you consider the differences in skill between those players and the Saints, I think it is pretty large.

To illustrate the gap among good and elite players, consider Silling (a pass rush specialist) against Thomas. Swilling had 106 sacks over 12 seasons compared to Thomas' 126 sacks over 9 seasons. That is 14 sacks per season compared to 8.8. Thomas was 60% more productive at rushing the QB as Swilling. And Thomas is not yet in the HOF, and would probably never be considered in the top 100 players. The gaps in ability get huge when you start comparing very good to elite.


I agree with your premise, though it's always been a bit counterintuitive to me, to be honest. I would tend to think that the differences between players at the 99th percentile and the 99.5th percentile should be noticeable but miniscule, but apparently that's not the case. It's particularly noticeable to me with kickers. There are really only 25 guys in the world who can kick a ball into the end zone? And then a few of those guys are 10 yards better than the rest? Bizarre. It seems like human engineering limits would nose-dive the curve toward zero at some point instead of remaining asymptotic.

Truthfully, I think probably you're noticing my own bias against Harry Carson in your critique. I liked Harry Carson and thought he was a fine football player, but I honestly never saw him as a hall of famer. I actually don't think he was as good as Mills or Johnson during any given season, though I recognize that he played longer. I guess a bunch of sportswriters disagree with me, though.

Buck
05-13-2010, 08:15 PM
Bump for the n00bs

Rain Man
05-13-2010, 08:17 PM
Repost.