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Lawrence Taylor (1 Viewer)

jgrangers2

Footballguy
I need to know what people other than Giant fans think on this subject. I've been arguing with my roommate (a Jets fan) about how good Lawrence Taylor truly was. I've been making the argument that Lawrence Taylor was the best linebacker ever because he had a skill package that no one else in the NFL has ever had, including today. My friend has made the argument that there are better linebackers in the game today and that LT is only considered so highly because he changed the game.

I just need to know what general NFL people think. What people that can be unbiased think of LT's place in history.

 
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Hunterbeer

Footballguy
I need to know what people other than Giant fans think on this subject. I've been arguing with my roommate (a Jets fan) about how good Lawrence Taylor truly was. I've been making the argument that Lawrence Taylor was the best linebacker ever because he had a skill package that no one else in the NFL has ever had, including today. My friend has made the argument that there are better linebackers in the game today and that LT is only considered so highly because he changed the game.

I just need to know what general NFL people think. What people that can be unbiased think of LT's place in history.
He was simply the greatest defensive player I ever saw. I love the Steel Curtain, the old Raiders, the '85-'86 Bears as teams, but Taylor was a force of nature. Reggie White is the only one who came close in my book. Teams had to gameplan for LT more than any other player. (Maybe the only exception to that is Deion, who is the ONLY shutdown corner in the last 20 years.)I am 37, so I have seen a great number of very good players, but Taylor was the best, most disruptive defensive player I ever saw.

 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
He was simply the greatest defensive player I ever saw. I love the Steel Curtain, the old Raiders, the '85-'86 Bears as teams, but Taylor was a force of nature. Reggie White is the only one who came close in my book. Teams had to gameplan for LT more than any other player. (Maybe the only exception to that is Deion, who is the ONLY shutdown corner in the last 20 years.)

I am 37, so I have seen a great number of very good players, but Taylor was the best, most disruptive defensive player I ever saw.
Thanks for the opinion. That's pretty much what I've been trying to point out to my friend. He forced to teams to change the way they played. No other player in the game today scares people like he did.
 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
tell him to read your sig
I read it to him, but he refuses to believe it. He thinks that because todays guys are bigger and stronger, that they are better. He named me Joey Porter and Ray Lewis as comparisons and I just laughed in his face. None of these guys had the speed that LT had, or the quickness.
 

Bri

Footballguy
buy some VCR tapes of the g-men and let him see. I love to watch Bavaro and every time they played the Iggles Randall was fun to see. Even knowing the outcome, it shouldn't be that boring.

BTW What do you think of Derrick Johnson of KC? Curious, not comparing him to LT just curious

 

Assani Fisher

Footballguy
you're right, but Ray Lewis in his prime was just as dominant but in a different way(LT was a better pass rusher, RL was better in pass coverage).

 

Native

Footballguy
Hard to really compare, but Id throw out a faster, more agile Shawn Merrimane. LT could line up as a down linemen or stand up LB. He had incredible weak-side pursuit and closing speed that is unmatched in todays game.

 

Bri

Footballguy
you're right, but Ray Lewis in his prime was just as dominant but in a different way(LT was a better pass rusher, RL was better in pass coverage).
I disagree, don't think it's close but "dominance" is all opinion so...
 

Bri

Footballguy
Hard to really compare, but Id throw out a faster, more agile Shawn Merrimane. LT could line up as a down linemen or stand up LB. He had incredible weak-side pursuit and closing speed that is unmatched in todays game.
I'm not following. Shawn is comparable? Or is LT's speed unmatched?
 

Native

Footballguy
Hard to really compare, but Id throw out a faster, more agile Shawn Merrimane. LT could line up as a down linemen or stand up LB. He had incredible weak-side pursuit and closing speed that is unmatched in todays game.
I'm not following. Shawn is comparable? Or is LT's speed unmatched?
Ill dumb it down for you. 1) Hard to make an accurate comparison because LT was so special

2) If I HAD to throw out a comparison, I would use Shawne Maerriman

3) They have similarities in their games

4) Still, LT is the best

 

Csonka4life

Footballguy
LT was an original he did what outside linebackers never did. The prototypical outside backer before him was Jack Ham. Now most outside backers play like LT. What made him special was his ability to play the run and the pass unlike Derrick Thomas........

 

Bri

Footballguy
Hard to really compare, but Id throw out a faster, more agile Shawn Merrimane. LT could line up as a down linemen or stand up LB. He had incredible weak-side pursuit and closing speed that is unmatched in todays game.
I'm not following. Shawn is comparable? Or is LT's speed unmatched?
Ill dumb it down for you. 1) Hard to make an accurate comparison because LT was so special

2) If I HAD to throw out a comparison, I would use Shawne Maerriman

3) They have similarities in their games

4) Still, LT is the best
thanks for clarifying, it's late
 

Native

Footballguy
Hard to really compare, but Id throw out a faster, more agile Shawn Merrimane. LT could line up as a down linemen or stand up LB. He had incredible weak-side pursuit and closing speed that is unmatched in todays game.
I'm not following. Shawn is comparable? Or is LT's speed unmatched?
Ill dumb it down for you. 1) Hard to make an accurate comparison because LT was so special

2) If I HAD to throw out a comparison, I would use Shawne Maerriman

3) They have similarities in their games

4) Still, LT is the best
thanks for clarifying, it's late
:thumbup:
 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
buy some VCR tapes of the g-men and let him see. I love to watch Bavaro and every time they played the Iggles Randall was fun to see. Even knowing the outcome, it shouldn't be that boring.

BTW What do you think of Derrick Johnson of KC? Curious, not comparing him to LT just curious
I don't know. I haven't seen enough to give you a really good assessment. I know he can fly, but that's about it. He was ridiculous at Texas, especially in his junior year, guaranteed top 5 pick if he came out in 2004. From that, I can tell you that he has the ability to be a true force, a real impact linebacker for years to come.
 

slayer666

Footballguy
Shawne Merriman
It's premature to mention him in the same high regard as LT, however, Shawne Merriman was the first name that popped into my head. As a rookie, he averaged a sack per game down the stretch and at 6'4" & 275 pounds he's a freaking animal. If Merriman keeps working hard he has the skills, size and speed to be a very special player. One who is extremely capable of creating much havoc for opposing quarterbacks. :banned:

 
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ExaltedOne

Footballguy
I think right now the most similar player is Joey Porter, both had big mouths and have very similar playstyles.

LT just had more style.

 

WhoDat

Footballguy
It is Taylor and anyone else you can name is a distant second. Your friend is wrong.

The only other defenders I remember creating that type of problem for an offense would be R. White, Mean Joe and D. Sanders. White and Mean Joe required a constant double team, which left the rest of your line exposed. Sanders essentially cut your play calling options in half and he was going to be retuning punts.

Taylor, though, was even more problematic to plan for, given the fact he did not play with a hand down nor was he isolated to one part of the field. He was able to move around based on what he saw. Gibbs had some interesting things to say about Taylor. Basically, Gibbs reconstructed his offense twice a year. It was each time he faced the Giants. On the football field probably the best defensive player of all time. Off the football field, well, that is another story.

Merriman has some freakish talent. Might be a little premature to place the next LT label on him but, if he continues to mature with the game, Merriman is going to do some nasty things between the lines. His size and speed combination just makes you shake your head.

 

Workhorse

Footballguy
I think right now the most similar player is Joey Porter, both had big mouths and have very similar playstyles.

LT just had more style.
Joey Porter wishes he was even 1/2 the player that LT was. There has never been another player like him. You're talking about an outside linebackers who would routinely beat LT/LG double-teams to make plays. He was very good in pass coverage and would run down the line to make tackles on running backs on the other side of the field.

I don't know if we'll ever see a player like LT again.

 

Workhorse

Footballguy
I'll never forget LT's rookie year in '81.

The guy was a machine.

133 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and interception. As an outside linebacker.

Talk about immediate impact.

 

ThisGuy

Ignored by Nipsey
I watched every game LT played. The amazing thing about him was, if the Giants needed a big play, everyone in the house knew it was going to come from LT. The offense looked helpless to stop him. Throw a double team, he'd beat it. Put a TE on the end to help, it didn't matter.

You couldn't run away from him because he closed faster than anyone to ever play. He looked like a freakin missle!

Bill Parcells hasn't won a Super Bowl because Belicheck is no longer on his staff, it's because LT retired.

 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
I'll never forget LT's rookie year in '81.

The guy was a machine.

133 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and interception. As an outside linebacker.

Talk about immediate impact.
And that was when the sack wasn't even a real stat yet. He'd have over 140 on his career if he did. But, I feel like it's unfair to give him that number because then you'd have to take into consideration Deacon Jones' freakish numbers.
 

cjack

Footballguy
It's tough for someone today to match LT's "skill" and "energy" because drug testing is more prevalent in today's game.

 

Koya

Footballguy
Not only is LT the greatest Defensive player, he is in many people opinions the best FOOTBALL PLAYER, period (personally, I have Johnny U in that slot).

Something you can remind your friend: LT did not only revolutionize defense. He revolutionized OFFENSE.

Joe Gibbs had to face LT twice a year and possibly a playoff game. He could not be stopped, he could not be contained - this Gibbs knew.

So what did they do? The took a shorter QB drop, and began using quick hitch timing patterns. The idea - you have a VERY limited amount of time before LT either gets into coverage or nails the QB (ask Theisman). You cant really stop him. But, if you take a three step drop and throw the ball before he can get there, you have something.

Three WRs, short drops - the Gibbs passing game was born.

It was born in large part because of LT.

He changed defense. He changed offense.

Best defensive player EVER.

What is done today to be the "next" LT is to take a D. Thomas type player who can rush the passer ALMOST as good as LT. Then you get some LBs who can pursue the runner ALMOST as good as LT. Then you get some LBs who can cover TEs and backs ALMOST as good as LT.

So, it takes 3+ players to be ALMOST as good as one LT. No one single player has even come close. LT is like Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan in one. He was the best at everything. A truly unstoppable force.

 

Koya

Footballguy
I'll never forget LT's rookie year in '81.

The guy was a machine.

133 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and interception.  As an outside linebacker.

Talk about immediate impact.
And that was when the sack wasn't even a real stat yet. He'd have over 140 on his career if he did. But, I feel like it's unfair to give him that number because then you'd have to take into consideration Deacon Jones' freakish numbers.
Something else to remember about sacks and LT - not only would he have 140+, but he was used in coverage very often. He was not at all just a pass rusher. D Thomas and a ton who have come since, plus all those great DBs were rushing the passer almost every play. That is why LT was SO special. You tried to gameplan against this one guy, but he could be rushing, in coverage, in pursuit, acting as a free safety LB roaming where he wanted to.

 

Koya

Footballguy
he wasn't that good.

signed,

still bitter Redskins fan
:goodposting: Want to know how unreal LT was, ask the poor offensive players that had to play against him. Although I will say this - it didnt hurt that LT had a true HoF in Carson (completely underated, in large part because LT was SO good) and all decade Carl Banks along side him... although Banks' success had more to do with LT than Carson's did.

 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
he wasn't that good.

signed,

still bitter Redskins fan
:goodposting: Want to know how unreal LT was, ask the poor offensive players that had to play against him. Although I will say this - it didnt hurt that LT had a true HoF in Carson (completely underated, in large part because LT was SO good) and all decade Carl Banks along side him... although Banks' success had more to do with LT than Carson's did.
Yeah, I thought about the fact that he had two other great linebackers along side him. That is one of the reasons why he didn't have as many tackles as some of the players today, IMO. He had to share them with two other greats, including another hall of famer.
 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
Something else to remember about sacks and LT - not only would he have 140+, but he was used in coverage very often. He was not at all just a pass rusher. D Thomas and a ton who have come since, plus all those great DBs were rushing the passer almost every play.

That is why LT was SO special. You tried to gameplan against this one guy, but he could be rushing, in coverage, in pursuit, acting as a free safety LB roaming where he wanted to.
I can only imagine how many more sacks he could've had if he just rushed the QB on every play. He probably would've easily cleared 200, averaging more than 15 per season.
 

dgreen

Footballguy
Something else to remember about sacks and LT - not only would he have 140+, but he was used in coverage very often. He was not at all just a pass rusher. D Thomas and a ton who have come since, plus all those great DBs were rushing the passer almost every play.

That is why LT was SO special. You tried to gameplan against this one guy, but he could be rushing, in coverage, in pursuit, acting as a free safety LB roaming where he wanted to.
I can only imagine how many more sacks he could've had if he just rushed the QB on every play. He probably would've easily cleared 200, averaging more than 15 per season.
Maybe. Maybe not. One of things about LT was you never knew where he was going to lineup and what he was going to do. If he rushed every play, an offense could prepare for him much better. He certainly would have had more sacks had he played a pure rush position, but I just remember his unpredictability being one of the difficult things about him.
 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
Maybe. Maybe not. One of things about LT was you never knew where he was going to lineup and what he was going to do. If he rushed every play, an offense could prepare for him much better. He certainly would have had more sacks had he played a pure rush position, but I just remember his unpredictability being one of the difficult things about him.
Fair point. I actually had just thought of that after I posted.
 

Popinski

Footballguy
LT was the best defensive player I have ever seen, and easily the best LB I've seen.

Since LT, Ray Lewis in his prime probably came the closest, but even that gap is still moderate.

 

mozzy84

Footballguy
singletary was just as good in his prime and he wasn't coked out of his mind the whole time he was playing.

 

Koya

Footballguy
LT was the best defensive player I have ever seen, and easily the best LB I've seen.

Since LT, Ray Lewis in his prime probably came the closest, but even that gap is still moderate.
In a way, the difference is this:Ray Lewis could change a gameplan. Ray Lewis could change a game.

LT changed defense. LT changed offense. LT changed the league.

 

BoulderBob

Footballguy
Give Urlacher cocaine and steroids and he'd come close...

Man, I want to see another human wrecking ball on the field. LT and Earl Campbell are still my favorite players because of the punishment they dished out.

 
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Workhorse

Footballguy
Something else to remember about sacks and LT - not only would he have 140+, but he was used in coverage very often.  He was not at all just a pass rusher.  D Thomas and a ton who have come since, plus all those great DBs were rushing the passer almost every play.

That is why LT was SO special.  You tried to gameplan against this one guy, but he could be rushing, in coverage, in pursuit, acting as a free safety LB roaming where he wanted to.
I can only imagine how many more sacks he could've had if he just rushed the QB on every play. He probably would've easily cleared 200, averaging more than 15 per season.
LT also created sacks for other guys. I can't tell you how many times Taylor had beaten his man/men along the right side, forcing the QB to step into the arms of Leonard Marshall.As for the other linebackers, sure he had Carson and Banks (not to mention Pepper Johnson) but if you took LT out of that mix, those guys weren't nearly as productive.

I hated LT growing up because I was a huge Andre Tippett fan and I knew that Andre, while very good, would never be considered anywhere close to Taylor. For good reason.

 

Bri

Footballguy
As for the other linebackers, sure he had Carson and Banks (not to mention Pepper Johnson) but if you took LT out of that mix, those guys weren't nearly as productive.
I think you're mistaken. I think they were effective and because of that many people wanted Mara+Co to get rid of troublemaker LT when he was suspended.
 

Bri

Footballguy
I hated LT growing up because I was a huge Andre Tippett fan and I knew that Andre, while very good, would never be considered anywhere close to Taylor. For good reason.
me toois he in the hall?

 

Koya

Footballguy
singletary was just as good in his prime and he wasn't coked out of his mind the whole time he was playing.
Mike was darn good but not as good as LT IMO
It was not even close. Singletary was great, and was one of the best ever if not the best at his position. LT transcended hit position, and to a large degree, defense itself.

 

jurb26

Footballguy
Here are the palyers that had the most impact on the game and on their opposition everytime they took the field IMO (no particular order here):

LT

Barry

Sayers

Unitas

Brown

Deion

Lott

White

Munoz

Moss

Deacon

I probably forgot a few, but the point is that your friend needs to have himself looked at by a team of docs, one simply cannot provide him with the amount of attention that he deserves.

 

jgrangers2

Footballguy
Here are the palyers that had the most impact on the game and on their opposition everytime they took the field IMO (no particular order here):

LT

Barry

Sayers

Unitas

Brown

Deion

Lott

White

Munoz

Moss

Deacon

I probably forgot a few, but the point is that your friend needs to have himself looked at by a team of docs, one simply cannot provide him with the amount of attention that he deserves.
My friend isn't stupid, I just think that he wants to believe that the players of his generation are the best ever. I'm only 18 and got a very little sample of LT when I was young, but I've seen highlights and videos of some Giant games from the '80s. He did things on the field that I have never seen anyone else do. Guys like Ray Lewis and Urlacher are great and need to be taken into account when oppositions are making their gameplan. But, they have never forced offenses to completely change their style, which LT did. My dad was telling me a story from Joe Theismann. That Theismann was looking around the field for #56 and couldn't find him, so he called timeout. It turned out that LT was sitting on the sidelines for a play. BTW, just for the hell of it, I feel like adding a few more players to your list:Deion Sanders

Jerry Rice

Mean Joe Greene

Walter Payton

 

jurb26

Footballguy
BTW, just for the hell of it, I feel like adding a few more players to your list:

Deion Sanders
Already on there. :thumbup: Oh and I meant to put, any defensive player from the Steel Curtain D on there but thought you guys may all scream homer. :D

 

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