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Old 02-24-2013, 09:49 PM    (permalink
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I stopped reading after the title. I agree with everyone else here, you have to be snorting bath salts to not want Barry Sanders on your team.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:31 PM    (permalink
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Barry Sanders isn't the reason you will or won't win a Super Bowl. The RB is not that important in football.

What matters is A.) Your QB B.) Your Pass Rush C.) Your offensive line and D.) your secondary, in that order.

The RB is an interchangeable, fungible piece that has only a tangential effect on the outcome of the game and season.

So really, I could care less who I have as my RB as long as my QB is a top-10 guy, my pass rush is top-notch, my offensive line is strong, and my secondary holds up in pass coverage. If you have that, you can win Super Bowls with any RB, basically.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:37 PM    (permalink
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:11 PM    (permalink
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Barry Sanders isn't the reason you will or won't win a Super Bowl. The RB is not that important in football.

What matters is A.) Your QB B.) Your Pass Rush C.) Your offensive line and D.) your secondary, in that order.

The RB is an interchangeable, fungible piece that has only a tangential effect on the outcome of the game and season.

So really, I could care less who I have as my RB as long as my QB is a top-10 guy, my pass rush is top-notch, my offensive line is strong, and my secondary holds up in pass coverage. If you have that, you can win Super Bowls with any RB, basically.
I would only add that if you already have a good team and upper tier talent on offense, a good/great RB can be the difference between being very good and great - a SB champ.

I don't think the Cowboys win 3 SBs with a lesser RB. Troy Aikman doesn't have eye popping stats for a reason, because Jimmy Johnson made Emmitt the focal point of the offense.

RBs in general are replaceable parts. Great ones aren't.
Yeah the QB is still the most important player on offense regardless.

I tend to believe if Barry Sanders had played on those Steve Young led SF teams in the '90s, he would have won more than one SB.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:11 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by AcheTen View Post
Barry Sanders isn't the reason you will or won't win a Super Bowl. The RB is not that important in football.

What matters is A.) Your QB B.) Your Pass Rush C.) Your offensive line and D.) your secondary, in that order.

The RB is an interchangeable, fungible piece that has only a tangential effect on the outcome of the game and season.

So really, I could care less who I have as my RB as long as my QB is a top-10 guy, my pass rush is top-notch, my offensive line is strong, and my secondary holds up in pass coverage. If you have that, you can win Super Bowls with any RB, basically.
If you have a Barry Sanders, it very much so matters because his success was independent of his surroundings.

The two RBs in the NFL right now that will make a big difference regardless of their surroundings are Adrian Peterson and Jammal Charles.

Guys like that matter. They make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.

Once you get into the playoffs and late in the season, the running game is still a huge factor. Team play a bit tighter when there's more on the line and if you have a great RB, you have a huge advantage.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:19 PM    (permalink
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I would only add that if you already have a good team and upper tier talent on offense, a good/great RB can be the difference between being very good and great - a SB champ.

I don't think the Cowboys win 3 SBs with a lesser RB. Troy Aikman doesn't have eye popping stats for a reason, because Jimmy Johnson made Emmitt the focal point of the offense.

RBs in general are replaceable parts. Great ones aren't.
Yeah the QB is still the most important player on offense regardless.

I tend to believe if Barry Sanders had played on those Steve Young led SF teams in the '90s, he would have won more than one SB.
Very well stated.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:20 PM    (permalink
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:39 AM    (permalink
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OMG someone just tried to say the 90s Cowboys didn't have an amazing and dominant OL. WTF? That group is possibly the best ever. Jesus Christ man. You have one of these threads once a month. You seem to spend a lot of energy coming up with **** like this.
What group?

It's funny how people don't even notice that the line at the beginning of Emmitt's elite days was completely different from the line at the end. The only consistency from start to finish was Tuinei at left tackle.

Again, it was a size over substance thing. Nate Newton was a fat, talentless blob. The Vikings had an equivalent to him named David Dixon, but he wasn't part of the America's Team hype and didn't have John Madden circling the sweat on his ass crack, so he didn't get voted into any Pro Bowls.

"Phone booth" player, and not a particularly good one, either.

Kevin Gogan was similar, which is probably why he was in and out of the lineup and bounced all over the league.

Erik Williams was impressive before the car accident. When he came back, he was a shell of his former self. Reggie White was throwing him around like a rag doll in the 1995 NFC Championship game.

Larry Allen was a monster.

Stepnoski was an undersized, scrappy center.

Donaldson wasn't the same player he was when he was one of the premier centers in the game in his Indy days. He was in the twilight of his career with Dallas.


Those Cowboys o-lines really weren't anything all that special. Larry Allen was special. But then you may as well rave about every other line that had an all-time great. The Ravens in the late 90s and throughout the 00s (Ogden). The Saints in the 90s (Roaf). The Jaguars in the 90s (Boselli). The Bengals in the 80s (Munoz). The Vikings in the late 80s/early 90s had 2 (McDaniel, Zimmerman), PLUS they had Kirk Lowdermilk at center, who was one of the premier centers in the league at the time. Or the Patriots in the 70s/80s (John Hannah)...etc.

And, as I said earlier in this thread, the effectiveness of a unit in run blocking has much more to do with the scheme than the personnel. Some of those Denver lines after the late 90s were pretty much entirely made up of journeymen who would struggle to even make another roster, yet they consistently opened gaping holes. The Cowboys didn't have that going for them, either. There were no tricks and there was no creativity in how they ran the ball. It was straight ahead, smashmouth. Emmitt Smith was a powerhouse with unbelievable durability and toughness. If you put Barry Sanders in those Cowboys teams, they'd be forced to change everything they did in order to accommodate him. If you put Emmitt Smith on those Lions teams, he'd continue to pound away. He wouldn't have any rings, but he'd pound away and rack up excellent career numbers.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:22 AM    (permalink
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:38 AM    (permalink
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So now Emmitt Smitth would have been the more successful RB if he played for the Lions and Barry Sanders would be the square-peg-in-a-round-hole if he had played for the Cowboys??

What's the point of this??

Emmitt played behind arguably the best Oline of the 1990s. You watch how many times Emmitt had to avoid defenders in the backfied, then notice how many runs he had where he ran untouched through an opponents' front 7. Yes it was still his vision that found the room to run, but he was aided by an Oline that frequently gave him daylight.

Nate Newton was fat, but he was a fat athlete at guard. He had great feet, could get out on blocks and destroy Dlineman one on one. Nate Newton was a physical freak to watch play because his body didn't match the things he could do athletically on a football field.

I'll also say you don't know what makes an Oline great. It's not just individual talent. It's how well those lineman play together as a cohesive unit.
All the Cowboys Olineman were technically sound, and many were physically dominating players who more often than not won their one on one matchups.

Barry Sanders behind that Cowboys oline would have had more than one 2K season.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:49 AM    (permalink
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...I can tell I'm going to LOVE it when I get to the [BLEEP]ing 90's in my thread.

I will offer this though; If you had a team with Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Brent Jones among others, which in other words means a West Coast offense, then you can live-and-die with the supposed 'sporadic' production Barry offered in the running game. The reason is the Running Back is typically a frequent receiver in those offenses, mostly in screen passes, but that's basically putting Barry out in the open field more often than not, which in turn makes him especially versatile and dangerous.

Granted, you wouldn't see him challenge 2000 yards rushing, but you'd easily see 2000 yards rushing/receiving combined.
I don't know, I would think if Sanders really had that kind of ability to hurt teams as a receiver, he would have been used more in that role at some point in Detroit. What's really surprising is to see someone with his brilliant open field running ability only averaging 7.5, 7.8, 5.7, 6.4, 8.3, 6.1, 9.2, and 7.8 yards per reception from 1991-1998. The averages from his first two years (11.8, 13.3) are what you'd expect to see every year, but he tried too hard to break everything and wound up costing himself yards that were there for the taking.

And the 49ers weren't a big screen team. The majority of passes thrown to the backs were outlet/checkdown throws to the flat, which the quarterbacks were programmed to take when the defense dictated such. They weren't the result of the backs being the primary reads.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:02 AM    (permalink
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So now Emmitt Smitth would have been the more successful RB if he played for the Lions and Barry Sanders would be the square-peg-in-a-round-hole if he had played for the Cowboys??

What's the point of this??

Emmitt played behind arguably the best Oline of the 1990s. You watch how many times Emmitt had to avoid defenders in the backfied, then notice how many runs he had where he ran untouched through an opponents' front 7. Yes it was still his vision that found the room to run, but he was aided by an Oline that frequently gave him daylight.

Nate Newton was fat, but he was a fat athlete at guard. He had great feet, could get out on blocks and destroy Dlineman one on one. Nate Newton was a physical freak to watch play because his body didn't match the things he could do athletically on a football field.

I'll also say you don't know what makes an Oline great. It's not just individual talent. It's how well those lineman play together as a cohesive unit.
All the Cowboys Olineman were technically sound, and many were physically dominating players who more often than not won their one on one matchups.

Barry Sanders behind that Cowboys oline would have had more than one 2K season.
What you are saying is in no way an accurate depiction of what really happened. I'd suggest actually watching some Cowboys games from back then.

Nate Newton, an athlete? That would be like calling Wes Welker explosive.

He was the very definition of a "blob." He initially signed with the Redskins coming out and didn't even make their roster.

And I hate to do this, but...

Newton, undrafted free agent. Mark Tuinei, undrafted free agent and converted defensive lineman. John Gesek, 10th round pick. Kevin Gogan, 8th round pick. Mark Stepnoski and Erik Williams, 3rd round picks.

Sorry, but that's simply not how you build an all-time great offensive line.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:08 AM    (permalink
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I don't know, I would think if Sanders really had that kind of ability to hurt teams as a receiver, he would have been used more in that role at some point in Detroit. What's really surprising is to see someone with his brilliant open field running ability only averaging 7.5, 7.8, 5.7, 6.4, 8.3, 6.1, 9.2, and 7.8 yards per reception from 1991-1998. The averages from his first two years (11.8, 13.3) are what you'd expect to see every year, but he tried too hard to break everything and wound up costing himself yards that were there for the taking.

And the 49ers weren't a big screen team. The majority of passes thrown to the backs were outlet/checkdown throws to the flat, which the quarterbacks were programmed to take when the defense dictated such. They weren't the result of the backs being the primary reads.
Thanks for the info about the 49ers. Even so that still would be a boon to Sanders' usefulness in the passing game, but onto your concerns.

The yards per reception looks pedestrian, but the truth is you'd be hard-pressed to find any genuine running back with a better average, at least in the 90's (I don't even think LDT managed to average anything significantly better). It actually makes sense since RBs ran less deep routes when compared to the receivers, especially during that time.

As for receptions, it's worth noting the following;

1. Detroit ran a 3-WR set for almost all of Sanders' career. In '97 and '98 they apparently used a good deal of standard sets with Tommy Vardell picking up the majority of the starts that could normally go to the 3rd receiver.

2. While the O-Line quality is hotly debated, nobody debates the quality of QB's in Detroit's stable. The best they have to offer is a part-season performance from Erik Kramer in '93, a half-season performance from David Krieg in '94, and the time the immortal Scott Mitchell caught on fire in '95. Everything else has been mediocre at best.

3. Sanders' best receiving stretch from '93-'95(you would probably argue for the first two years) co-incided not just with the rare moments of competent Quarterbacking but also with the timely arrival of the Brett Perriman/Herman Moore duo at WR, soon joined by Johnny Morton. This served to actually diminish the balls thrown to Barry since that was the best juggernaut receiving corps until the rise of Megatron and the load of carcasses strapped to his back. Had merely one of those receivers not played it's possible Barry might've achieved a reception total on par with what you'd expect from a backfield pass catcher. The rest of the years you could probably chalk to defenders respecting his danger as a receiver, QBs not quite getting him the ball even as a safety valve, a possible major emphasis on a vertical attack to draw attention off Barry, etc.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:20 AM    (permalink
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What you are saying is in no way an accurate depiction of what really happened. I'd suggest actually watching some Cowboys games from back then.

Nate Newton, an athlete? That would be like calling Wes Welker explosive.

He was the very definition of a "blob." He initially signed with the Redskins coming out and didn't even make their roster.

And I hate to do this, but...

Newton, undrafted free agent. Mark Tuinei, undrafted free agent and converted defensive lineman. John Gesek, 10th round pick. Kevin Gogan, 8th round pick. Mark Stepnoski and Erik Williams, 3rd round picks.

Sorry, but that's simply not how you build an all-time great offensive line.

Tuinei was already on the team 6 years before Jimmy Johnson ever arrived in Dallas. He was a DT in college, switched to OT in Dallas and was a 2x All Pro.
John Gesek came over from the Raiders, don't know how he was acquired.
Kevin Gogan was a 3x pro bowler for the Cowboys. Stepnoski was a 5x pro bowler. Erik WIlliams was a 2x All Pro.

What does where a player was drafted really have to do with how talented they are?? The draft is still more art than science and scouting departments miss on players. The Dallas Oline is a perfect example of this.

Nate Newton struggled early in his career not because of ability, but because he had a weight problem. He gained 50# one offseason under Landry and reported to camp at 360#. When he got on the field however he was still a dominating guard/tackle.

THe freakish agility, quick feet and power of Nate Newton and Larry Allen allowed the Cowboys to run base zone runs, inside zones and stretch plays with 325-330# guards. No Oline in the NFL could boast a combination of jumbo mobile guards like Allen/Newton.

Combine Newton/Allen with Emmitt Smith and you have the best rushing attack in the NFL.

Are you still trying to argue Emmitt really didn't benefit from playing behind a great Oline in Dallas???
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:48 AM    (permalink
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I would only add that if you already have a good team and upper tier talent on offense, a good/great RB can be the difference between being very good and great - a SB champ.

I don't think the Cowboys win 3 SBs with a lesser RB. Troy Aikman doesn't have eye popping stats for a reason, because Jimmy Johnson made Emmitt the focal point of the offense.

RBs in general are replaceable parts. Great ones aren't.
Yeah the QB is still the most important player on offense regardless.

I tend to believe if Barry Sanders had played on those Steve Young led SF teams in the '90s, he would have won more than one SB.
Maybe 50-60% of the RBs in the NFL in the mid 90s would have had Emmitt's success running behind the best (at the time) offensive line in all of football (which the 90s Cowboys were).

Another 20-30% would have enough success - not as much as Emmitt but close enough to it - and produce enough yardage to put those Cowboys into the playoffs and probably still make them Super Bowl contenders.

Emitt Smith was mostly a product of his offensive line and the 90s Cowboys could have won Super Bowl titles with almost any other RB. We won't be able to test this theory, obviously, but I'm sure of it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:52 AM    (permalink
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If you have a Barry Sanders, it very much so matters because his success was independent of his surroundings.

The two RBs in the NFL right now that will make a big difference regardless of their surroundings are Adrian Peterson and Jammal Charles.
What have Adrian Peterson and Jamal Charles won for their teams?

The only times the Vikings have had real playoff success recently is when Brett Favre was having a career year in 2009.

Jamal Charles has consistently played on bad teams and despite his brilliance as a RB has not elevated his team beyond "mediocre" and worse. Because, you know, RB is not an important position whereas QB, DL, OL, DB, and WR are.

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Guys like that matter. They make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.

Once you get into the playoffs and late in the season, the running game is still a huge factor. Team play a bit tighter when there's more on the line and if you have a great RB, you have a huge advantage.
Adrian Peterson just had maybe the best season for a RB EVER. What did it earn the Vikings? 10-6 (good but not great) and a first round exit in the playoffs to a team with a good QB but a mediocre RB.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:24 AM    (permalink
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Why are people feeding Taber?
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:25 AM    (permalink
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Jordan, please give a list of running backs throughout NFL history that you would rather have than Barry Sanders on your team.
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I heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote The Expendables with The Alex in mind. He had to keep it realistic though and split The Alex's abilities into multiple characters. Stallone thought that critics would pan it for being too far-fetched if he just had one character effing everyone up.
The end. Cut to black. Audience goes ****ing ape****.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:05 AM    (permalink
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Jordan, please give a list of running backs throughout NFL history that you would rather have than Barry Sanders on your team.
He wants a backfield of all Fullbacks. Gotta protect that QB!
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:13 AM    (permalink
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Barry Sanders isn't the reason you will or won't win a Super Bowl. The RB is not that important in football.

What matters is A.) Your QB B.) Your Pass Rush C.) Your offensive line and D.) your secondary, in that order.

The RB is an interchangeable, fungible piece that has only a tangential effect on the outcome of the game and season.

So really, I could care less who I have as my RB as long as my QB is a top-10 guy, my pass rush is top-notch, my offensive line is strong, and my secondary holds up in pass coverage. If you have that, you can win Super Bowls with any RB, basically.
Three things. First, it is I COULDN'T CARE LESS. Ifyou say I could care less, it means you actually care a little. Why is that so hard for people to understand? It's two extrac letters.

Also, Barry Sanders played in a different NFL than today. Runnnig back did matter a lot more back then than they do now before the rule changes. To say Sanders is interchangable it ridiculous.

And I love the last paragraph. If my team has a great QB, great pass rush, great offensive line, and great secondary, it doesn't matter who the RB is. No ****.
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Brilliant letting one of Scott Pioli's henchmen have his own team to ruin.  One of the premier GM jobs in the NFL and it gets handed to a stupid **** who makes three facepalm moves for every good one.  Awesome.  Just like handing a new Mercedes to a 16 year old girl who's already been in three wrecks. 
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:23 AM    (permalink
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And I love the last paragraph. If my team has a great QB, great pass rush, great offensive line, and great secondary, it doesn't matter who the RB is. No ****.
And those are the teams that play in the Super Bowl - not the teams with the great RBs.

If a team has a chance to spend a first round or second round pick on a stud DL or stud OL or stud WR or stud CB, if they instead spend that 1st or 2nd round pick on a RB they are making a grievous mistake because they should be fortifying the rest of their team and just grabbing their RB as a free agent or late round pick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:36 AM    (permalink
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And those are the teams that play in the Super Bowl - not the teams with the great RBs.
No they aren't.

The Giants, Patriots, Colts, Saints, & Cardinals have all recently made the Super Bowl without good pass defenses. The Giants, Colts, Packers, and Steelers have made the Super Bowl with bad offensive lines. Neither QB in this year's Super Bowl were considered top-ten by many. Jake Delhomme, Matt Hasselbeck, Rex Grossman, and a 2nd-year Ben Roethlisberger have led teams to the Super Bowl recently.

It doesn't take teams with top-ten QBs, great offensive lines, great pass rushes, and great secondaries to win Super Bowls because no team has all that. And we are talking about Barry Sanders, who played in a different type of league. Running backs were way more important back then.
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Brilliant letting one of Scott Pioli's henchmen have his own team to ruin.  One of the premier GM jobs in the NFL and it gets handed to a stupid **** who makes three facepalm moves for every good one.  Awesome.  Just like handing a new Mercedes to a 16 year old girl who's already been in three wrecks. 
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:43 AM    (permalink
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And those are the teams that play in the Super Bowl - not the teams with the great RBs.

If a team has a chance to spend a first round or second round pick on a stud DL or stud OL or stud WR or stud CB, if they instead spend that 1st or 2nd round pick on a RB they are making a grievous mistake because they should be fortifying the rest of their team and just grabbing their RB as a free agent or late round pick.
I missed that last sentence. You can't just grab a RB as a free agent or seventh round pick and expect them to be great.

Ray Rice (3rd), Frank Gore (3rd), Rashard Mendenhall (1st), Joseph Addai (1st), Edgerrin James (1st), Bradon Jacobs (4th), Laurence Maroney (1st), Joseph Addai (1st), Thomas Jones (1st), Shaun Alexander (1st). I see a lot of early round picks at running back there.
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Brilliant letting one of Scott Pioli's henchmen have his own team to ruin.  One of the premier GM jobs in the NFL and it gets handed to a stupid **** who makes three facepalm moves for every good one.  Awesome.  Just like handing a new Mercedes to a 16 year old girl who's already been in three wrecks. 
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:44 AM    (permalink
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BTW I've always heard that Sanders WANTED a fullback, not the other way around.
.
Not according to his autobiography on a Football Life. He wanted a 1 back, single back formation and more specifically his dad did and blasted them a few times for not putting him in one. They had that slow ass FB in front of him and it just wasn't working, as soon as they went to more single back he hit 2k rushing yards.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:18 AM    (permalink
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I don't get why people always need to pigeon hole certain positions as the most important or the least important. Football teams are greater than the sum of their parts. We have seen so many different types of football teams get to or win the SB. There isn't a set formula.
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