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After 9 seasons, is Ray Lewis... (1 Viewer)

Is Ray Ray the best MLB ever?

  • YES

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NO

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
A lot of you know that **** Butkus is my favorite player of all-time. However, I have to give credit where it's due. IMO, Lewis is the finest MLB ever to lace up a pair of cleats. :football: :football: :football:

 

jwvdcw

Footballguy
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I specifically took pains to write MLB, because LT was the best "LB" ever.
 

Mr. Black

Footballguy
A lot of you know that **** Butkus is my favorite player of all-time. However, I have to give credit where it's due. IMO, Lewis is the finest MLB ever to lace up a pair of cleats.

:football: :football: :football:
I voted yes, I know you could make a argument for other guys also but he is defintley the best I have ever seen. I'm only 28 so I'm just voting based on the guys I have seen play. I could make a strong case for Singletary but just watching Ray a lot more, watching him dominate the game the way is he does makes me lean towards Ray as the best MLB.
 

schooner44

Footballguy
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I specifically took pains to write MLB, because LT was the best "LB" ever.
I must admit, I voted before noticing that the poll was for MLB. I, right away, thought about LT being the best LB ever. Even at MLB, Butkus is the best ever. And as far as leadership and ability to raise his teammates playing level, I would have to say Mike Singletary is a bit above Lewis.I will say this, not since the days of Bruce Smith in his prime, have I seen a defensive player able to change the face of a game like Lewis can.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
A lot of you know that **** Butkus is my favorite player of all-time. However, I have to give credit where it's due. IMO, Lewis is the finest MLB ever to lace up a pair of cleats.

:football: :football: :football:
I voted yes, I know you could make a argument for other guys also but he is defintley the best I have ever seen. I'm only 28 so I'm just voting based on the guys I have seen play. I could make a strong case for Singletary but just watching Ray a lot more, watching him dominate the game the way is he does makes me lean towards Ray as the best MLB.
They say Ray Nitschke was pretty dominating, though he somehow only made 1 Pro Bowl. :confused: And Butkus was pure animal, of course. Then there was some Lambert guy in Pittsburgh that was pretty good, also. ;)
 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I specifically took pains to write MLB, because LT was the best "LB" ever.
I must admit, I voted before noticing that the poll was for MLB. I, right away, thought about LT being the best LB ever. Even at MLB, Butkus is the best ever. And as far as leadership and ability to raise his teammates playing level, I would have to say Mike Singletary is a bit above Lewis.I will say this, not since the days of Bruce Smith in his prime, have I seen a defensive player able to change the face of a game like Lewis can.
Obviously, Lewis is a major focus of offensive coordinators when they are putting a game plan in place. But I've heard coaches like Joe Gibbs talk about LT, and how his presence completely dictated the game plan of his offense. The guy literally changed the way the game was played, and the way offenses were forced to account for him. Calling LT "disruptive" is a huge understatement.
 

Chase Stuart

Footballguy
I think it's a bit early to put him ahead of Lambert, Butkus or Nitschke. So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.Edited to add: I forgot Mike Singletary, who surely must be in the discussion. He was also one of the most dominant LBs in college history, and was better than Lewis.

 
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Rovers

Footballguy
Lewis also isn't a pure MLB. He has played in the 3-4 as well. That makes it hard to say. He is without a boubt, in the top 5 LB's of all time, but to try to narrow it down to just one position..... Few linebackers could dictate a game. He is one of those few.

 

slayer666

Footballguy
So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.
It shows you how high the bar is set for Ray Lewis. He had the third most tackles (146) in the entire NFL last year and it qualifies as a "down" year. I don't know if he is the best ever, however, he is likely the only defensive player in the NFL that I would pay double the price of admission to watch play. :boxing:

 
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LHUCKS

Footballguy
I always find it difficult to answer the question in these threads because I'm only 30 years old and never saw the old timers play, which makes it difficult to make an educated decision. Thus I'll just say that Lewis is the best of my generation, and if anybody was more dominant than he is...wow.

 
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Chase Stuart

Footballguy
So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.
It shows you how high the bar is set for Ray Lewis. He had the third most tackles (146) in the entire NFL last year and it qualifies as a "down" year. I don't know if he is the best ever, however, he is likely the only defensive player in the NFL that I would pay double the price of admission to watch play. :boxing:
Yeah, I'm a huge Lewis fan. I actually was a big fan of his before all the Super Bowl/Prison media coverage turned him into a household name. His awesome 1999 season led my team to the championship:)Although the lack of success the Ravens and the Ravens defense had had in big games of late has hurt his legacy I think. That and crying on the sidelines after the Steelers whipped them again;)

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.
It shows you how high the bar is set for Ray Lewis. He had the third most tackles (146) in the entire NFL last year and it qualifies as a "down" year. I don't know if he is the best ever, however, he is likely the only defensive player in the NFL that I would pay double the price of admission to watch play. :boxing:
Yeah, I'm a huge Lewis fan. I actually was a big fan of his before all the Super Bowl/Prison media coverage turned him into a household name. His awesome 1999 season led my team to the championship:)Although the lack of success the Ravens and the Ravens defense had had in big games of late has hurt his legacy I think. That and crying on the sidelines after the Steelers whipped them again;)
I'm curious. If that stat about him having the 3rd-most tackles in the NFL last season is accurate, why do you contend that it was a "down year" for him?
 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
Butkus was better than Ray Ray
I remember seeing an NFL Films clip where Bears DE Ed O'Bradovich, a teammate of Dickie B's, was talking about the pursuit ability of Butkus. He said that in a 40 yard dash, you would have to time the guy with a sundial. But when a RB had the ball in his hands, and Butkus got his scent, there was nobody faster sideline to sideline.
 

Chase Stuart

Footballguy
So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.
It shows you how high the bar is set for Ray Lewis. He had the third most tackles (146) in the entire NFL last year and it qualifies as a "down" year. I don't know if he is the best ever, however, he is likely the only defensive player in the NFL that I would pay double the price of admission to watch play. :boxing:
Yeah, I'm a huge Lewis fan. I actually was a big fan of his before all the Super Bowl/Prison media coverage turned him into a household name. His awesome 1999 season led my team to the championship:)Although the lack of success the Ravens and the Ravens defense had had in big games of late has hurt his legacy I think. That and crying on the sidelines after the Steelers whipped them again;)
I'm curious. If that stat about him having the 3rd-most tackles in the NFL last season is accurate, why do you contend that it was a "down year" for him?
I guess it's a combination of three things:1) I wasn't aware that Lewis was third in tackles

2) His teammate made more plays and won defensive MVP

3) The Ravens missed the playoffs/defense wasn't dominant. While not really Lewis' fault, allowing 27 points to the Bengals (and most in the fourth quarter at home) really took away the mystique surrounding that Ravens defense.

Regardless, tackles are not a great indicator of ability. We all know different schemes and teams produce different tackle numbers.

 

Aaron Rudnicki

Keep Walking™
Staff member
Butkus was better than Ray Ray
I remember seeing an NFL Films clip where Bears DE Ed O'Bradovich, a teammate of Dickie B's, was talking about the pursuit ability of Butkus. He said that in a 40 yard dash, you would have to time the guy with a sundial. But when a RB had the ball in his hands, and Butkus got his scent, there was nobody faster sideline to sideline.
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

Butkus was one mean Bear

By Larry Schwartz

It is possible that **** Butkus was the meanest, nastiest, fiercest linebacker to ever put on a helmet. More than a quarter of a century after his retirement, there remains the Butkus image: the middle linebacker wrapping up a running back and viciously slamming him to the ground like an unwanted toy.

After being a two-time All-American at Illinois, where he played center as well as linebacker, Butkus terrorized NFL offenses as the hub of the Chicago Bears' defense. The man who lived for contact was all-NFL seven times and played in the Pro Bowl eight times in a career cut short to nine years by knee injuries. In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.

He had the speed and quickness to make tackles from sideline to sideline and to cover tight ends and running backs on pass plays. He had instinct, strength, leadership and -- perhaps most important -- anger.

"When I went out on the field to warm up, I would manufacture things to make me mad," Butkus said. "If someone on the other team was laughing, I'd pretend he was laughing at me or the Bears. I'd find something to get mad about. It always worked for me."

Teammates and opponents alike marveled at Butkus' ferocity. He intimidated players like nobody else. "If I had a choice, I'd sooner go one-on-one with a grizzly bear," former Green Bay Packers running back MacArthur Lane said. "I prayed that I could get up every time Butkus hit me."

The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder also had, as they say, a nose for the ball. He set a team record by recovering six fumbles as a rookie. When he retired after the 1973 season, he owned the NFL record for opponents' fumbles recovered with 25.

In 1963, his junior year, he made 145 tackles and caused 10 fumbles in leading Illinois to the Big Ten championship, a No. 3 ranking and a 17-7 victory over Washington in the Rose Bowl.

"If every college football team had a linebacker like **** Butkus, all fullbacks would soon be three feet tall and sing soprano," wrote Dan Jenkins in Sports Illustrated. "**** Butkus is a special kind of brute whose particular talent is mashing runners into curious shapes. ... Butkus not only hits, he crushes and squeezes opponents with thick arms that also are extremely long. At any starting point on his build, he is big, well-proportioned, and getting bigger."

Elliott said, "Football is everything to him. When we have a workout canceled because of bad weather or something, he gets angry, almost despondent. He lives for contact." Butkus, as mean as ever as a senior, repeated as an All-American in 1964.

He was an instant hit (in the pros). Bill George, who had played 13 years for the Bears and was the incumbent middle linebacker on his way to the Hall of Fame, didn't have any doubts when he saw Butkus perform for the first time. "The second I saw him on the field (at training camp) I knew my playing days were over," George said. "Nobody ever looked that good before or since."

In a sparkling debut, Butkus made 11 unassisted tackles against the 49ers. After allowing San Francisco 52 points, the defense improved dramatically. In going 9-5, a reversal of the previous season's 5-9, they yielded 275 points, a 104-point improvement over 1964. Not only did Butkus lead the Bears in tackles, he also led them in fumbles recovered and pass interceptions.

For eight straight years Butkus led the Monsters of the Midway in tackles, averaging 120 tackles and 58 assists a season. In 1967, he recorded a career-high 18 sacks.

Three years later, he suffered an injury to his right knee and underwent surgery for reconstruction of loose ligaments. The surgery was only partially successful, and he played in pain for the next two seasons. Despite the discomfort, Butkus made 117 tackles and 68 assists, recovered three fumbles and intercepted four passes. He also made the favorite play of his career: a catch for a conversion point off a botched snap on an extra point that turned out to be the difference in a 16-15 Chicago victory over Washington. And this was the season that Butkus did not make all-NFL for the first time.

For Butkus, it all fell apart in 1973. For the first time, he took himself out of a game because the pain was unbearable. A few weeks later, he limped off the field for the last time. He retired with 1,020 tackles, 489 assists and 22 interceptions. His 25 recoveries of fumbles by opponents are now third on the all-time list, but Jim Marshall needed 20 years for his 29 recoveries and Rickey Jackson needed 15 seasons for his 28. If records were kept of fumbles forced, the big Bear undoubtedly would be one of the all-time leaders.
LINKthe numbers he put up blow Ray Lewis's numbers away and the seasons were shorter then. He was a monster at 6'3", 245 for that day and time. Ray Lewis belongs in the conversation of the top 5, but he's not even close to Butkus yet, IMO. 18 sacks from a MLB? I'd be willing to argue this guy was every bit as dominant in his time as LT was in his.

 
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msommer

Footballguy
I won't agree with Ray being touted as the best ever MLB at this time.He is a loudmouth.He is a convicted felon.He is clearly on the downside of his (very good) career in terms of domination - so if this is it, he doesn't cut it.Singletary, Butkus, a few others are ahead and Ray won't reach them IMHO

 

jwvdcw

Footballguy
He is a loudmouth.He is a convicted felon.
I fail to see why either of these things are pertinent to the discussion whatsoever. Furthermore, Lewis is one of the best leaders in the history of the NFL. If that makes him a loudmouth to you, then so be it. As for his mistake of lying to cops, he has served his sentence and has on his own volunteered to speak at countless rookie camps to speak to young rookies about avoiding the wrong crowd(the mistake he made). He is also one of the more charitable guys in the NFL, as he is always involved in local charities....what else would you like him to do to atone for his mistake?
 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
He is a loudmouth.

He is a convicted felon.
I fail to see why either of these things are pertinent to the discussion whatsoever. Furthermore, Lewis is one of the best leaders in the history of the NFL. If that makes him a loudmouth to you, then so be it. As for his mistake of lying to cops, he has served his sentence and has on his own volunteered to speak at countless rookie camps to speak to young rookies about avoiding the wrong crowd(the mistake he made). He is also one of the more charitable guys in the NFL, as he is always involved in local charities....what else would you like him to do to atone for his mistake?
Not to mention that he really ISN'T a "loudmouth"...Off the field, he is very soft spoken. On the field, I don't care how much a guy showboats and yells if that's what it takes to fire up himself and his teammates.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
 

Marc Levin

Hangs out with Oscar Zeta Acosta
I could make a strong case for Singletary
:thumbup: That's where my vote lies. If Lewis continues to dominate the middle sideline to sideline for as couple more years like he does, he will be spoken of in the same breath.Best of all time is a loaded term. Best over his own career? Absolutely.
 

Marc Levin

Hangs out with Oscar Zeta Acosta
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
no shizee.That panel from 1970 is useless when discussing ANY players since then, and I would hesitate to start ANY NFL team today with ANY of the players pre-1970. *Maybe* Jim Brown, but that 's about it - and forget ALL the D players from that golden age. Today's NFL players would run right by them. Butkus included.

I love the way some of those 1950s/1960 players played the game, but pretty much since the merger, even if they could be resurected in their prime, they'd be too slow - they are relics of the game.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
forget ALL the D players from that golden age. Today's NFL players would run right by them. Butkus included. I love the way some of those 1950s/1960 players played the game, but pretty much since the merger, even if they could be resurected in their prime, they'd be too slow - they are relics of the game.
Wow. That's a BOLD statement. I'm gonna have to give it some serious thought.
 

jwvdcw

Footballguy
Ok, lets try to objectify things a little bit....

As has already been said, defensive numbers like tackles don't really tell the whole story because scheme matters so what. A perfect example here is Deion Sanders...he never had a ton of tackles and always had moderate INT totals simply becuase nobody would ever throw to his man. Clearly that isn't his fault. Therefore, lets forget about numbers.

Also, its foolish to simply look at a player's entire team's defense because clearly the 10 other guys on the field have a lot to do with that.

Moreover, things such as leadership(Ray's biggest strength imo) can't be quantified.

Therefore, I think that the best way for us to measure a players impact is to look at a team with him and a team without him. Now, I'm not saying that this results in clear cut results because obviously there are other factors at play, but I think that this is the best thing that we have to go by. Let us take a look at the numbers:

Ray Lewis has only missed significant time in one year: 2002. That year he only played in 5 games and was never fully healthy. Take a look at the Ravens' defensive numbers surrounding that year. The first number is their overal defensive rank(going by yardage) and the second number is the number of points allowed.

1999: 2, 277

2000: 1, 165

2001: 4, 265

2002: 22, 354

2003: 4, 281

2004: 6, 268

Clearly we can conclude here that Ray makes a ton of difference, and I'd be willing to bet that no other player has made as significant of a difference.

 

ravnzfan

Footballguy
So yes, it is too early to say Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever, especially after a down year.
It shows you how high the bar is set for Ray Lewis. He had the third most tackles (146) in the entire NFL last year and it qualifies as a "down" year. I don't know if he is the best ever, however, he is likely the only defensive player in the NFL that I would pay double the price of admission to watch play. :boxing:
Yeah, I'm a huge Lewis fan. I actually was a big fan of his before all the Super Bowl/Prison media coverage turned him into a household name. His awesome 1999 season led my team to the championship:)Although the lack of success the Ravens and the Ravens defense had had in big games of late has hurt his legacy I think. That and crying on the sidelines after the Steelers whipped them again;)
I'm curious. If that stat about him having the 3rd-most tackles in the NFL last season is accurate, why do you contend that it was a "down year" for him?
I guess it's a combination of three things:1) I wasn't aware that Lewis was third in tackles

2) His teammate made more plays and won defensive MVP

3) The Ravens missed the playoffs/defense wasn't dominant. While not really Lewis' fault, allowing 27 points to the Bengals (and most in the fourth quarter at home) really took away the mystique surrounding that Ravens defense.

Regardless, tackles are not a great indicator of ability. We all know different schemes and teams produce different tackle numbers.
OK...now I have to get involved here1)3rd in tackles last season, his 3rd in a 3/4, which is not the best system for him to play in..as a MLB there has been none better, and I am old enough to have seen Butkus

2) poll the teammate that was defensive MVP, and he'll tell you it was the Lewis 'after hrs sessions' that schooled him---Ray had several defensive players at his house every night in season, feeding them dinner and watching film

his success is a result of relentless preperation

3) the defensive wasn't the #1 D last yr, you are correct....top 5 or 6

up 20-3 w/ 90 sec to go in the 3rd quarter, a special teams gaff set the Bengals up inside the 20, and Palmer converted---the lack of a pass rush had everything to do w/the lapse in that 4th quarter, and nothing to do w/the play of Lewis

finally, tackles (ie, a measure of the ability of a MLB to "make plays") IS important

if your MLB is not leading the team, you need another MLB...if your MLB is at or near the top of the league, he is surely one of the best

Lewis is going into his 10th season....while I haven't researched it yet (and I will), I firmly believe the 'entire body of work', once the career is over, will be the mark with which great MLB's will be measured

 

msommer

Footballguy
He is a loudmouth.

He is a convicted felon.
what else would you like him to do to atone for his mistake?
Obviously I would have liked for him to have the character NOT to lie to the police in the first place. IMHO this is a serious character flaw, holding your friends above the law (we're not talking shoplifting but murder here).As to how this is relevant: it makes it hard for me to see him as a positive role model, something the best of any position should be.

Frankly Ray Ray (and moving rapidly down in prominence) Jamal Lewis, Pittman, Little should all have been forced to leave the NFL. Similar to smoking the weed or taking steroids, if you are a felon - you are out, I would recommend a zero tolerance policy for felonies.

Even looking at his performance only I still do not see him as being better than Butkus or Singletary - sorry for raining on your paradebut this is my opinion, and I intend to stick with it.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
forget ALL the D players from that golden age. Today's NFL players would run right by them. Butkus included. I love the way some of those 1950s/1960 players played the game, but pretty much since the merger, even if they could be resurected in their prime, they'd be too slow - they are relics of the game.
Wow. That's a BOLD statement. I'm gonna have to give it some serious thought.
Here is just a quick list of defenders who played in the 50's or 60's (or both)... and I don't think that any of them would have a whole lot of difficulty playing the game today.**** "NIGHT TRAIN" LANE

DOUG ATKINS

BOB LILLY

MEL RENFRO

LEM BARNEY

GINO MARCHETTI

BOBBY BELL

WILLIE LANIER

BUCK BUCHANAN

CARL ELLER

ALAN PAGE

WILLIE DAVIS

MERLIN OLSEN

BUBBA SMITH

DEACON JONES

WILLIE BROWN

And that is without more than a few minutes of research.

 
M

MelvinTScupper

Guest
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I'd say that being in an attempted murder trial trumps doing coke for NOT being a leader. So I still think LT is greatest ever.
 

Aaron Rudnicki

Keep Walking™
Staff member
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
#1 I don't have the ability to rewrite articles that were posted on ESPN.com.#2 I don't have the resources to do a similar poll now.

#3 It clearly shows how dominant he was during his time.

The only way to compare players across eras is by looking at how much they dominated their respective level of competition. I think Butkus has Ray beat in that area by a wide margin.

 
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Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
#1 I don't have the ability to rewrite articles that were posted on ESPN.com.#2 I don't have the resources to do a similar poll now.

#3 It clearly shows how dominant he was during his time.

The only way to compare players across eras is by looking at how much they dominated their respective level of competition. I think Butkus has Ray beat in that area by a wide margin, IMO.
Then why do I routinely get heckled when I tell people that Babe Ruth was far better than Barry Bonds? Ruth out-homered most other TEAMS in the league when he was playing... not just other players.
 

Aaron Rudnicki

Keep Walking™
Staff member
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
#1 I don't have the ability to rewrite articles that were posted on ESPN.com.#2 I don't have the resources to do a similar poll now.

#3 It clearly shows how dominant he was during his time.

The only way to compare players across eras is by looking at how much they dominated their respective level of competition. I think Butkus has Ray beat in that area by a wide margin, IMO.
Then why do I routinely get heckled when I tell people that Babe Ruth was far better than Barry Bonds? Ruth out-homered most other TEAMS in the league when he was playing... not just other players.
b/c some people feel that modern players are so clearly superior in size, speed, athletic ability (see: Levin's comments earlier in this thread), that the comparison is pointless.I happen to disagree.

 

-OZ-

Footballguy
Butkus was my 1st round pick in the all-time NFL draft we did in the FFA recently.

I thought this article did a great job of explaining his dominance.

In 1970, a panel of NFL coaches voted Butkus the player they would start with if they were building a new team from scratch.
That's an unfair quote to include in your argument. Nothing that happened post-1970 is taken into account. I'd be curious to see a similar poll of current coaches.
#1 I don't have the ability to rewrite articles that were posted on ESPN.com.#2 I don't have the resources to do a similar poll now.

#3 It clearly shows how dominant he was during his time.

The only way to compare players across eras is by looking at how much they dominated their respective level of competition. I think Butkus has Ray beat in that area by a wide margin, IMO.
Then why do I routinely get heckled when I tell people that Babe Ruth was far better than Barry Bonds? Ruth out-homered most other TEAMS in the league when he was playing... not just other players.
Because you're talking to fools?Babe, Mays, Teddy Ballgame and Ty Cobb - nobody today comes close.

They weren't on ROIDS.

As for Ray, I really can't say if he's the BEST MLB ever, but I can say he's the best I've seen.

 

Marc Levin

Hangs out with Oscar Zeta Acosta
forget ALL the D players from that golden age.  Today's NFL players would run right by them.  Butkus included.  I love the way some of those 1950s/1960 players played the game, but pretty much since the merger, even if they could be resurected in their prime, they'd be too slow - they are relics of the game.
Wow. That's a BOLD statement. I'm gonna have to give it some serious thought.
Here is just a quick list of defenders who played in the 50's or 60's (or both)... and I don't think that any of them would have a whole lot of difficulty playing the game today.**** "NIGHT TRAIN" LANE

DOUG ATKINS

BOB LILLY

MEL RENFRO

LEM BARNEY

GINO MARCHETTI

BOBBY BELL

WILLIE LANIER

BUCK BUCHANAN

CARL ELLER

ALAN PAGE

WILLIE DAVIS

MERLIN OLSEN

BUBBA SMITH

DEACON JONES

WILLIE BROWN

And that is without more than a few minutes of research.
The fact that every DL/DE you listed would, today, be a DE/LB tweener tells me you need to do more research.PLus, speed is not quantifiable across 3 decades.

IMO, every single one of those guys would struggle mightily to make a backup/role player spot in today's NFL - or even the NFL of the 1980s - ESPECIALY the CB/S guys.

 

Marc Levin

Hangs out with Oscar Zeta Acosta
note - I do not disrespect those guys - they were the best of their generation - but they would be toasted by the average NFL skill player in the modern NFL.

 

Raider Nation

Devil's Advocate
forget ALL the D players from that golden age. Today's NFL players would run right by them. Butkus included. I love the way some of those 1950s/1960 players played the game, but pretty much since the merger, even if they could be resurected in their prime, they'd be too slow - they are relics of the game.
Wow. That's a BOLD statement. I'm gonna have to give it some serious thought.
Here is just a quick list of defenders who played in the 50's or 60's (or both)... and I don't think that any of them would have a whole lot of difficulty playing the game today.**** "NIGHT TRAIN" LANE

DOUG ATKINS

BOB LILLY

MEL RENFRO

LEM BARNEY

GINO MARCHETTI

BOBBY BELL

WILLIE LANIER

BUCK BUCHANAN

CARL ELLER

ALAN PAGE

WILLIE DAVIS

MERLIN OLSEN

BUBBA SMITH

DEACON JONES

WILLIE BROWN

And that is without more than a few minutes of research.
The fact that every DL/DE you listed would, today, be a DE/LB tweener tells me you need to do more research.PLus, speed is not quantifiable across 3 decades.

IMO, every single one of those guys would struggle mightily to make a backup/role player spot in today's NFL - or even the NFL of the 1980s - ESPECIALY the CB/S guys.
Doug Atkins, Bubba Smith and Gino Marchetti would not be changing positions. They were each huge men, even by the standards of today.
 

Aaron Rudnicki

Keep Walking™
Staff member
as someone else posted in the all-time FFA draft thread, they didn't just invent speed in the 1990s.fast guys in the 60s/70s would be fast guys now, with the added benefit of today's weight training and nutrition supplements.

 
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jwvdcw

Footballguy
He is a loudmouth.

He is a convicted felon.
what else would you like him to do to atone for his mistake?
Obviously I would have liked for him to have the character NOT to lie to the police in the first place. IMHO this is a serious character flaw, holding your friends above the law (we're not talking shoplifting but murder here).As to how this is relevant: it makes it hard for me to see him as a positive role model, something the best of any position should be.

Frankly Ray Ray (and moving rapidly down in prominence) Jamal Lewis, Pittman, Little should all have been forced to leave the NFL. Similar to smoking the weed or taking steroids, if you are a felon - you are out, I would recommend a zero tolerance policy for felonies.

Even looking at his performance only I still do not see him as being better than Butkus or Singletary - sorry for raining on your paradebut this is my opinion, and I intend to stick with it.
So if your best friends might spend their lives in prison, you'd cooperate and help send them away? Personally, I'd plead the 5th if possible. Anyway, here is what Ray did: On the night of the murder, he had a tough split second decision to make. Should he stick up for his friends and lie or should he rat them out. In the heat of the moment he decided to lie. The very next day, he went back and told cops the truth.

You apparently think that this is grounds for a lifetime NFL suspension? I can't disagree more. I see it as a very tough moral decision(and I'm sure that many people here would protect their best friends as well....loyalty). He made the wrong decision in the heat of the moment and he immediately corrected his mistake once he sat down to actually think about it.

 

jwvdcw

Footballguy
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I'd say that being in an attempted murder trial trumps doing coke for NOT being a leader. So I still think LT is greatest ever.
he was found innocent of all murder charges, so I fail to see your point there. I continue to not see at all how this has to do with being a leader on the football field or in the locker room. And even if it did have something to do with it, then I could argue that he didn't become a leader until later in his career(most young players aren't leaders right away) and that once he became a leader he was far better at it than LT ever was.
 

S.K.A.

Trout Bum
If he can play at a high level for another 3~5 years, I think Ray Lewis is the best MLB ever.Having said that, LT is the best LB ever.I think that there is a tendency to overvalue the "old timers" careers. All we really see now are highlight reels and NFL films grandizing. Hell, they can make a Bengals season in the 90's look positive. I am not denegrating Butkus and the like, but I was plenty old enough to watch all of Singletary's career. I take Ray Lewis over Singletary anyday. In fact, put Ray on the Bears defense in place of Singletary while replacing Ray with Mike on the Ravens D and nobody would dare compare the 2000 Ravens D to the 85-86 Bears D. Not sure if that last sentence made sense, but Ray is having a finer career that Singletary with less defensive talent around him.

 
M

MelvinTScupper

Guest
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I'd say that being in an attempted murder trial trumps doing coke for NOT being a leader. So I still think LT is greatest ever.
he was found innocent of all murder charges, so I fail to see your point there. I continue to not see at all how this has to do with being a leader on the football field or in the locker room. And even if it did have something to do with it, then I could argue that he didn't become a leader until later in his career(most young players aren't leaders right away) and that once he became a leader he was far better at it than LT ever was.
So was OJ. My point is, leaders LEAD by example off the field as well as on. Yeah, he's one hell of a football player, maybe the best MLB we've ever seen. And he seems to motivate the guys around him. I still think LT was FAR superior in talent, and they're both idiots off the field.
 

msommer

Footballguy
So if your best friends might spend their lives in prison, you'd cooperate and help send them away? Personally, I'd plead the 5th if possible.

Anyway, here is what Ray did: On the night of the murder, he had a tough split second decision to make. Should he stick up for his friends and lie or should he rat them out. In the heat of the moment he decided to lie. The very next day, he went back and told cops the truth.

You apparently think that this is grounds for a lifetime NFL suspension? I can't disagree more. I see it as a very tough moral decision(and I'm sure that many people here would protect their best friends as well....loyalty). He made the wrong decision in the heat of the moment and he immediately corrected his mistake once he sat down to actually think about it.
If my best friend murdered someone, I'd have a hard time with that, right away. The word (and the deed) is murder, not manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary. Murder in cold or hot blood. Taking a gun and ending someone's life, not in defense of your country or the right of law.Guess we'll just have to disagree on whether friendship is bigger than that.

 
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jwvdcw

Footballguy
I might go so far as to say that he is the best defensive player ever...now before any of the LT of Deion or White backers jump on me keep in mind that I'm placing a heavy bonus on leadership and making your teamates better. Compared to a player like LT, Lewis lacks his skills but I think he more than makes up for it with his leadership, which imo he is one of the best in the league at.
I'd say that being in an attempted murder trial trumps doing coke for NOT being a leader. So I still think LT is greatest ever.
he was found innocent of all murder charges, so I fail to see your point there. I continue to not see at all how this has to do with being a leader on the football field or in the locker room. And even if it did have something to do with it, then I could argue that he didn't become a leader until later in his career(most young players aren't leaders right away) and that once he became a leader he was far better at it than LT ever was.
So was OJ. My point is, leaders LEAD by example off the field as well as on. Yeah, he's one hell of a football player, maybe the best MLB we've ever seen. And he seems to motivate the guys around him. I still think LT was FAR superior in talent, and they're both idiots off the field.
Are you really comparing Ray to OJ? OJ was obviously guilty of murder and he has done nothing after the trial to show remorse or to search for the real killers. Ray, went back the next day and turned his friends in. Then after serving his sentence for lying to police, he has made countless attempts to redeem himself through voluntarily speaking to rookies about some of the dangers of being rich and famous. How is he an idiot off the field for that? He made one mistake and has learned from it and turned into a quality human being and a great leader on and off the field. He now spends his off the field time having teamates over his house to watch game tape, doing charity work, and spending time with his family. You're way off base here.
 

jwvdcw

Footballguy
So if your best friends might spend their lives in prison, you'd cooperate and help send them away? Personally, I'd plead the 5th if possible.

Anyway, here is what Ray did: On the night of the murder, he had a tough split second decision to make. Should he stick up for his friends and lie or should he rat them out. In the heat of the moment he decided to lie. The very next day, he went back and told cops the truth.

You apparently think that this is grounds for a lifetime NFL suspension? I can't disagree more. I see it as a very tough moral decision(and I'm sure that many people here would protect their best friends as well....loyalty). He made the wrong decision in the heat of the moment and he immediately corrected his mistake once he sat down to actually think about it.
If my best friend murdered someone, I'd have a hard time with that, right away. The word (and the deed) is murder, not manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary. Murder in cold or hot blood. Taking a gun and ending someone's life, not in defense of your country or the right of law.Guess we'll just have to disagree on whether friendship is bigger than that.
I'm not saying it'd be right to lie...I'm just saying that its not an easy decision and that one could clearly make the wrong move in the heat of the moment.
 

S.K.A.

Trout Bum
Who cares what they did outside of the lines? That is a really slippery slope to start going down. I think that arguing over which athlete was a better "saint" is silly.

 

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