PDA

View Full Version : Football Which position group today would most dominate the 1940s?


Rain Man
01-11-2009, 07:49 PM
We hear a lot how the players of the game today are more evolved than the players of yesteryear. So that begs the question: if you could transport NFL players of today back to the 1940s, which of the following position groups would MOST change the game?

Poll forthcoming.


Two rules:

1. Assume that they must follow the coaching strategies of the 1940s. (I pondered putting coaches as an option, but decided to keep the poll uncomplicated.)

2. Assume that they would not be two-way players, but would play their normal positions.

Deberg_1990
01-11-2009, 07:51 PM
Just about all of them would.

kstater
01-11-2009, 07:53 PM
Which coaching philosphy would be used? 40's or current?

Amnorix
01-11-2009, 07:54 PM
Well, if you brought the QBs back in time, then they'd have this whacky big football they could barely handle. And they'd get whacked upside the head all the damn time.

WRs would get pulverized and turtle up. But still, that's alot of big, fast, strong athletes against guys who were alot slower back then, I'd imagine. (cough trying to avoid obvious racial stereotyping, but it ain't easy).

I'm thinking DL or OL, by a mile. They are MUCH bigger/stronger/faster than they were back then. Heck, John Hannah was a dominating offensive guard, and his playing weight -- in the late 70s and early 80s, was all of 265 pounds.

I can't imagine what it was in the 40s, but I'd imagine that the current guys would have their way with the guys on the other side of the ball. I'll stick with that answer.

Amnorix
01-11-2009, 07:55 PM
Which coaching philosphy would be used? 40's or current?

Good question. I was thinking it was a group of guys from today that stepped back into time, so 40s rules, coaching, strategy, etc.

Just plug in one group of modern players on the field.

kstater
01-11-2009, 07:56 PM
Good question. I was thinking it was a group of guys from today that stepped back into time, so 40s rules, coaching, strategy, etc.

Just plug in one group of modern players on the field.

Then QB's and WR would be mostly irrelevant. I'd say RB.

Deberg_1990
01-11-2009, 07:57 PM
I'm thinking DL or OL, by a mile. They are MUCH bigger/stronger/faster than they were back then. Heck, John Hannah was a dominating offensive guard, and his playing weight -- in the late 70s and early 80s, was all of 265 pounds.




Yea, probably this.

Heck, i remember when the Fridge was considered gargantuan back in 85.

I see those old films now and think he looks slender by todays standards.

Rain Man
01-11-2009, 08:00 PM
Which coaching philosphy would be used? 40's or current?

I was clarifying even as you were typing. See the original post.

RippedmyFlesh
01-11-2009, 08:01 PM
Its tough to compare because baseball not football was top sport back then.
That lasted until prob the 60's.
As a kid growing up a long time ago I can tell you the best athletes in the old days played baseball if they could.
That being said I think it's lineman in general.
Back in the day 6'5 300 lb athletic players were rare.
In today's NFL it's almost a requirement for a lineman.

ClevelandBronco
01-11-2009, 08:04 PM
Today's DEs and DTs would have have killed even Jim Brown's career.

Ebolapox
01-11-2009, 08:07 PM
either the d-line or o-line. a close third would be RB/FBs methinks.

ClevelandBronco
01-11-2009, 08:09 PM
Of course Jim Brown didn't play in the 1940s.

Marion Motley.

Calcountry
01-11-2009, 08:15 PM
We hear a lot how the players of the game today are more evolved than the players of yesteryear. So that begs the question: if you could transport NFL players of today back to the 1940s, which of the following position groups would MOST change the game?

Poll forthcoming.


Two rules:

1. Assume that they must follow the coaching strategies of the 1940s. (I pondered putting coaches as an option, but decided to keep the poll uncomplicated.)

2. Assume that they would not be two-way players, but would play their normal positions.Since you failed to say, they would have to "block" the same way as they had to in the 40's , I would definitely have to vote for the lineman.

Rain Man
01-11-2009, 08:16 PM
Here's my thinking:

QBs - Likely more arm strength, and when they call their own plays you'd imagine that they'd inject a lot more passes into the mix. A big difference with QBs today, though, is the sophisticated timing-based systems that they work with, which probably wouldn't work well in the bump and run era. My initial thought is that they'd make a huge difference, but I'm not sure. They'd either turn the 40s onto its ear, or they wouldn't make much difference at all because the coaches would throttle them back. I think with the defenses of the day, the only difference-maker would be arm strength, which probably isn't that much of a difference.

RBs - Certainly bigger, stronger, and faster, but I'm not sure they'd be dominant against the smaller defenses of the 1940s. Those guys would likely change directions faster than today's behemoths.

WRs and TEs - This is a group that intrigues me. Look at Don Hutson in the 30s. Now inject Randy Moss and Fitzgerald and Bowe and heaven forbid, Tony Gonzalez into that mix. These guys would terrorize the CBs of the 1940s, even with bump and run in place. In fact, Tony might thrive even more in that era. I think these guys would change coaches' strategies real quick.

OL - Back then, OL were much more restricted than they are now. Our modern linemen would be bigger and faster than most of the defense, but they're also built to take on 300-lb. linemen. If they were matched up consistently against guys the size of blitzing safeties and linebackers, would they have the speed? But maybe it wouldn't matter, because their teams would never pass. They'd just bull forward play after play. These guys would dominate.

K and P - My initial reaction is to discount these guys, but consider the kickers in an era where scores over 20 were rare. A kicker who could put up a 50-yard field goal would be a powerful weapon. Kickoffs and punts would pin the other guys back, and then the game would be won with field goals. I think Ks and Ps would significantly change the balance of power.

DBs - We'd probably be talking more about run support with these guys. I figure they'd completely shut down the passing games of the 1940s, and would then move up and start shutting down the run. Relatively large impact, because they'd change the game.

LBs - These guys would seriously mess with the 1940s. They'd be instrumental in shutting down the run, and would help against the pass. However, the pass was more of a long-pass kind of deal back then, so while their range would make a difference and they'd kill some receivers, I don't know if they'd disrupt the passing game as much.

DL - The 1940s was a running man's game, and lordy. These guys would blow up the run against 230/240-lb. lineman. The 1940s couldn't run up the middle and would have trouble passing, so their only hope would be to run wide on the modern d-linemen. I think the DL would have to be the biggest difference maker.

In summary, I think I'd go with:

1. Defensive linemen
2. Defensive backs
3. Kickers and punters

KChiefs1
01-11-2009, 08:25 PM
considering that all OL weight 300+lbs & can move when in the 1940's the heaviest was probably 230lbs....I'd say the OL.
Check out this article:

The rosters of the N.F.L.'s All-Decade teams from the 1920's through the 1980's neatly document the increase in the size of the league's best players through the years. When it comes to the league's first 30 years, the most important thing to keep in mind is that football was virtually an endurance sport. Substitutions were limited; many players were on the field for an entire game, playing both offense and defense. It was the era of the tough and durable ''60-minute man,'' when helmets were optional and stamina was as important as strength and speed. Not surprisingly, the linemen of that time were lightweights by today's standards.

On the 1920's and 30's All-Decade squads, they averaged just 227 pounds, while the average for the 40's squad crept up to 229. Among the stars of those years were the 195-pound guard Heartley (Hunk) Andersen, who played in the 1920's for the Chicago Bears, and Mel Hein, a 225-pound Hall of Fame center who played for the Giants from 1931 to 1945. The game was transformed in 1950, when unlimited free substitution was permanently established in the N.F.L. This led to the two-platoon system, which led in turn to a bigger offensive linemen. (They averaged 249 pounds on the 1950's All-Decade team.) The swelling along the line of scrimmage continued steadily, with the average weight of the All-Decade offensive linemen climbing from 258 in the 1960's to 262 in the 70's to 270 in the 80's. A few N.F.L. players hit the 300 mark in the first half of the 80's, most notably William (Refrigerator) Perry, the defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears who enjoyed an additional 15 minutes of fame as an unlikely running back.

But the elephant stampede really began in the early 1990's. The Dallas Cowboys, taking maximum advantage of the liberalized blocking rules, started winning Super Bowls behind the biggest offensive line ever, anchored by Nate Newton, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound, one-man ZIP code. In no time at all, N.F.L. and college coaches were copying the Cowboys. By 1996, the average weight of the starting offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl had reached 299.

KCChiefsMan
01-11-2009, 10:04 PM
I'm thinking WR's and TE's

Claynus
01-11-2009, 10:22 PM
There were white cornerbacks in the 40s.

Just think about that.

RippedmyFlesh
01-11-2009, 10:29 PM
"anchored by Nate Newton, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound"
He seemed so huge when he was playing now I'll bet Missouri has lineman that big let alone nfl teams.

Rain Man
01-11-2009, 10:56 PM
I voted for d-linemen, but there's still a part of me that wonders if the old-timers would've just adjusted their strategy for them and outmaneuvered them, whereas modern cornerbacks and safeties would outperform the old-timers in every characteristic.

Rain Man
01-11-2009, 11:02 PM
The thing I'm trying to put my finger on, and finally figured out, is that I keep wondering if the 11 guys on the field in 1940 may have actually been better athletes than the modern giants.

I was watching Super Bowl I a while back when they showed it on NFL Network, and it struck me that there were 22 really athletic people on the field. The game moved fast. Today, you look at some of the linemen and while I have no doubt that they're athletic, they're these big ol' guys with enormous rear ends and stomachs, and I can see why they rotate in and out. Buck Buchanan never came out of the game for a breather.

Ebolapox
01-11-2009, 11:09 PM
The thing I'm trying to put my finger on, and finally figured out, is that I keep wondering if the 11 guys on the field in 1940 may have actually been better athletes than the modern giants.

I was watching Super Bowl I a while back when they showed it on NFL Network, and it struck me that there were 22 really athletic people on the field. The game moved fast. Today, you look at some of the linemen and while I have no doubt that they're athletic, they're these big ol' guys with enormous rear ends and stomachs, and I can see why they rotate in and out. Buck Buchanan never came out of the game for a breather.

that's actually a VERY good point... almost makes me wish I could change my vote from d-line to the defensive backfield (corners and safeties)--those guys are always in fantastic shape, and effect both the running AND passing games in a profound way... modern d-linemen would tire (there's a ton of rotation among really good d-lines), so while they'd dominate early in the game, they'd tire and be ineffective early in the game. I'd think o-linemen could carry their own a bit more easily, but after reconsidering, the defensive backfield would carry the day for me.

DeezNutz
01-11-2009, 11:12 PM
The thing I'm trying to put my finger on, and finally figured out, is that I keep wondering if the 11 guys on the field in 1940 may have actually been better athletes than the modern giants.

I was watching Super Bowl I a while back when they showed it on NFL Network, and it struck me that there were 22 really athletic people on the field. The game moved fast. Today, you look at some of the linemen and while I have no doubt that they're athletic, they're these big ol' guys with enormous rear ends and stomachs, and I can see why they rotate in and out. Buck Buchanan never came out of the game for a breather.

I don't think this is the case at all. The game is moving much faster today. The lard asses today move their fat freakishly fast.

If it looks slower, that's b/c everyone else is moving faster; it's deceiving. The rotation system is a by-product of teams having far more depth, thus the need for "fresh bodies" at all times.

Kyle DeLexus
01-11-2009, 11:17 PM
It's the lines no doubt about it. There are guys like the ones that were considered great back then that wouldn't get drafted today.

bowener
01-11-2009, 11:40 PM
Where is "no contest, todays players would destroy and change all"? Sure, the 40's had tough as nails players, but I am pretty sure that Flozell Adams would dominate and maul a DL like a crazed Kodiak bear attacking small children wrapped in bacon.

Think of players like Jim Brown in his day. He was as big and fast as todays RB's in the 60's. Take Brandon Jacobs and run him at a D in the 40's... it would be stupid. He would be bigger than any one on their D. I cant and dont want to imagine players like Demarcus Ware, Jerry Porter, Pat Williams, Mario Williams, Julius Peppers, Ray Lewis, etc, running full speed at a QB without a modern helmet.

unothadeal
01-11-2009, 11:44 PM
I voted RB's because nobody is going to stop Brandon Jacobs, Larry Johnson, or any other back over 225

HMc
01-12-2009, 12:09 AM
Think of players like Jim Brown in his day. He was as big and fast as todays RB's in the 60's. Take Brandon Jacobs and run him at a D in the 40's... it would be stupid. He would be bigger than any one on their D. I cant and dont want to imagine players like Demarcus Ware, Jerry Porter, Pat Williams, Mario Williams, Julius Peppers, Ray Lewis, etc, running full speed at a QB without a modern helmet.

Why? Have you never watched a game of international rugby union? American Football isn't the only sport that involves large men running rather rapidly at each other with somewhat homocidal thoughts, but it's the only one that seems to need (hard plastic, at least) helmets.

DaneMcCloud
01-12-2009, 12:50 AM
Why? Have you never watched a game of international rugby union? American Football isn't the only sport that involves large men running rather rapidly at each other with somewhat homocidal thoughts, but it's the only one that seems to need (hard plastic, at least) helmets.

Out of curiosity (and because I honestly don't know), do your rugby players often times exceed 300 pounds? Do guys that weigh 200 pounds bench press 400 pounds and do they run 4.3 second 40 yard dashes (or 30 miles an hour?).

I'm sure that all of the Australian and New Zealand rugby players are badasses in the form of UFC fighters, but are they incredibly well-conditioned athletes that engage in weight training, speed training and nutrition from age 14 to 24?

J Diddy
01-12-2009, 01:53 AM
Out of curiosity (and because I honestly don't know), do your rugby players often times exceed 300 pounds? Do guys that weigh 200 pounds bench press 400 pounds and do they run 4.3 second 40 yard dashes (or 30 miles an hour?).

I'm sure that all of the Australian and New Zealand rugby players are badasses in the form of UFC fighters, but are they incredibly well-conditioned athletes that engage in weight training, speed training and nutrition from age 14 to 24?

dude I met a professional rugby player, worked for him. From my somewhat uneducated observation they are heads and tails tougher than most nfl players today.

Kyle DeLexus
01-12-2009, 02:05 AM
dude I met a professional rugby player, worked for him. From my somewhat uneducated observation they are heads and tails tougher than most nfl players today.

I don't know about this. Just because NFL players are making serious cash and teams and the league wanted to protect their investment and started R&D on better safety equipment doesn't mean they aren't tough. I'd say a good 85-90% of the players in the NFL would still play the game with no pads at all at full speed if they had to go with no/minimal pads like rugby. Still the fact is that there would be serious injuries every single game due to players being as strong and fast as what they are.

HMc
01-12-2009, 02:13 AM
Out of curiosity (and because I honestly don't know), do your rugby players often times exceed 300 pounds?



No - 290 is about the limit, really. There's too much endurance required for heavier dudes to cut it.




Do guys that weigh 200 pounds bench press 400 pounds and do they run 4.3 second 40 yard dashes (or 30 miles an hour?).



I have no idea - they don't publicise stats as they're not considered that important. I have seen a youtube video of a new zealander (6-4, 265) box-squatting 480 pounds.

I have little doubt that test rugby players (especially the pacific islanders) would have the gifts and capabilities of NFL players for a given height/weight.



I'm sure that all of the Australian and New Zealand rugby players are badasses in the form of UFC fighters, but are they incredibly well-conditioned athletes that engage in weight training, speed training and nutrition from age 14 to 24?

Yes. Why would you think otherwise? Can you not see the same motivators puhsing kids along that exist in the USA?

In New Zealand in particular, with it's large Maori and PI population, rugby is religion. I mean it's all they're into. There's f8ck all else to do over there that watch, go to, play and talk about rugby.


Here's one of a guy getting pretty hammered. If you think NFL players are routinely getting hit harder than this then I'd love to see the clips.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rKiM2M9WNDI&feature=related

ClevelandBronco
01-12-2009, 02:27 AM
No - 290 is about the limit, really. There's too much endurance required for heavier dudes to cut it.



I have no idea - they don't publicise stats as they're not considered that important. I have seen a youtube video of a new zealander (6-4, 265) box-squatting 480 pounds.

I have little doubt that test rugby players (especially the pacific islanders) would have the gifts and capabilities of NFL players for a given height/weight.



Yes. Why would you think otherwise? Can you not see the same motivators puhsing kids along that exist in the USA?

In New Zealand in particular, with it's large Maori and PI population, rugby is religion. I mean it's all they're into. There's f8ck all else to do over there that watch, go to, play and talk about rugby.


Here's one of a guy getting pretty hammered. If you think NFL players are routinely getting hit harder than this then I'd love to see the clips.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rKiM2M9WNDI&feature=related

Great hit. No doubt. But we used to see that kind of stuff in backyard games.

Rugby players have to be about half insane to play that game.

There's a limit to how hard someone can hit a guy when he's not using equipment to inflict the damage. Sometimes the equipment protects from a crazy hit. Sometimes the equipment is used as a weapon that magnifies a crazy hit.

Frankly, I wish rugby was more popular here in the States.

CrazyPhuD
01-12-2009, 02:45 AM
Why? Have you never watched a game of international rugby union? American Football isn't the only sport that involves large men running rather rapidly at each other with somewhat homocidal thoughts, but it's the only one that seems to need (hard plastic, at least) helmets.

Yes but I would argue rugby is a very different sport who's nature of the game significantly reduces the need for things like helmets. The point of football is to gain yardage, whereas rugby cares less about how much yardage you gain, the goal is to get the ball carrier on the ground. As a result tackling style is very different, with football it's all about putting on the 'hit', with rugby you try more to 'catch' the ballcarrier. If the rugby player gets a few more yards it's not a big deal(unless of course you're at the try line), when the ball carrier goes to the ground he has to release the ball.

Yes you'll see somewhat more concussions but not a huge amount more. Without all the protetive gear you're taught to protect yourself and the nature of that and how the game is played dictates very different collisions than you'll see in football. Plus never underestimate how much continious action will reduce the velocity of collisions.