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**Official** Top Ten RBs of All Time series (2 Viewers)

Who should make the next poll as a candidate?


  • Total voters
    148

GregR_2

Footballguy
Voting closed. Vote for RB #8 here.

RB #1: Jim Brown 48.5% of the vote.

RB #2: Walter Payton 41.7% of the vote.

RB #3: Barry Sanders 70.6% of the vote.

RB #4: OJ Simpson 27.4% of the vote.

RB #5(tie): Marshall Faulk 25.2% of the vote.

RB #5(tie): Emmitt Smith 25.2% of the vote.

RB #7: Eric Dickerson 41.0% of the vote.

Time to settle who are the top 10 running backs of all time. The first poll is to vote for the #1 RB of all time. The second poll is to pick the player who didn't make the list of candidates this time but who should be included in the list for the next slot.

I've googled about 20 all time top ten lists and chose 14 of the players listed most often, and included Adrian Peterson as the active back I thought most likely to get votes somewhere in the top ten.

Career Stats

Player………… G RuAtt RuYd RuTD RuYd/A RuYd/G Rec RecYd RecTD Yd/Rec Rec/G ReYd/G YdScm YdScm/G RuReTD Fmb
Code:
Jerome Bettis	192	3479	13662	91	3.9	71.2	200	1449	3	7.2	1	7.5	15111	78.7	94	41Jim Brown	118	2359	12312	106	5.2	104.3	262	2499	20	9.5	2.2	21.2	14811	125.5	126	57Earl Campbell	115	2187	9407	74	4.3	81.8	121	806	0	6.7	1.1	7	10213	88.8	74	43Terrell Davis	78	1655	7607	60	4.6	97.5	169	1280	5	7.6	2.2	16.4	8887	113.9	65	20Eric Dickerson	146	2996	13259	90	4.4	90.8	281	2137	6	7.6	1.9	14.6	15396	105.5	96	78Tony Dorsett	173	2936	12739	77	4.3	73.6	398	3554	13	8.9	2.3	20.5	16293	94.2	90	90Marshall Faulk	176	2836	12279	100	4.3	69.8	767	6875	36	9	4.4	39.1	19154	108.8	136	36Curtis Martin	168	3518	14101	90	4	83.9	484	3329	10	6.9	2.9	19.8	17430	103.8	100	29Walter Payton	190	3838	16726	110	4.4	88	492	4538	15	9.2	2.6	23.9	21264	111.9	125	86Adrian Peterson	61	1198	5782	52	4.8	94.8	119	1170	2	9.8	2	19.2	6952	114.0	54	21Barry Sanders	153	3062	15269	99	5	99.8	352	2921	10	8.3	2.3	19.1	18190	118.9	109	41Gale Sayers	68	991	4956	39	5	72.9	112	1307	9	11.7	1.6	19.2	6263	92.1	48	34OJ Simpson	135	2404	11236	61	4.7	83.2	203	2142	14	10.6	1.5	15.9	13378	99.1	75	62Emmitt Smith	226	4409	18355	164	4.2	81.2	515	3224	11	6.3	2.3	14.3	21579	95.5	175	61L. Tomlinson	156	3099	13404	144	4.3	85.9	582	4323	15	7.4	3.7	27.7	17727	113.6	159	30
Awards and Career RankingsProBwl: Total Pro Bowl appearances

All Pro: Total 1st team All Pro only.

MVP: Total Associated Press MVP only.

OffYr: Total AP Offensive Player of the Year awards

Rest of categories are where they rank on the all time career list.

*: Player predates the creation of the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.

-: Player does not rank in Pro Football Reference's career list in that category.

Player………… AllPro ProBwl MVP OffYr RuYd RuYd/G RuTD YdScm RuReTD
Code:
Jerome Bettis	2	6	0	0	5	33	10	18	22Jim Brown	8	9	3	*	9	1	5	21	10Earl Campbell	3	5	1	3	30	14	23	78	74Terrell Davis	3	3	1	2	46	4	40	119	99Eric Dickerson	5	6	0	2	7	6	12	14	21Tony Dorsett	1	4	0	0	8	27	20	10	28Marshall Faulk	3	7	1	3	10	36	7	4	7Curtis Martin	1	5	0	0	4	11	12	8	19Walter Payton	5	9	1	1	2	7	4	3	11Adrian Peterson	2	4	0	0	83	5	54	8	168Barry Sanders	6	10	1	2	3	2	9	5	15Gale Sayers	5	4	0	*	118	30	107	-	-OJ Simpson	5	6	1	1	18	12	38	31	60Emmitt Smith	4	8	1	0	1	15	1	2	2L. Tomlinson	3	5	1	1	6	9	2	6	3
----------------------------------------I also grabbed some RBs who didn't make the list this time, but maybe should be included for voting of later slots. The second poll is decide which one of these RBs gets promoted to the main list next time. If there is someone you think actually belongs in the top ten list who isn't in either list, please post them.

Code:
Player…………	G 	RuAtt 	RuYd 	RuTD 	RuYd/A 	RuYd/G 	Rec 	RecYd	RecTD 	Yd/Rec	Rec/G 	ReYd/G 	YdScm 	YdScm/G	TotalTD	Fmb
Code:
Shaun Alexander	123	2187	9453	100	4.3	76.9	215	1520	12	7.1	1.7	12.4	10973	89.2	112	31Marcus Allen	222	3022	12243	123	4.1	55.1	587	5411	21	9.2	2.6	24.4	17654	79.5	144	65Larry Csonka	146	1891	8081	64	4.3	55.3	106	820	4	7.7	0.7	5.6	8901	61.0	68	21Franco Harris	173	2949	12120	91	4.1	70.1	307	2287	9	7.4	1.8	13.2	14407	83.3	100	90Priest Holmes	113	1780	8172	86	4.6	72.3	339	2962	8	8.7	3	26.2	11134	98.5	94	16Edgerrin James	148	3028	12246	80	4	82.7	433	3364	11	7.8	2.9	22.7	15610	105.5	91	44Chris Johnson	47	925	4598	34	5	97.8	137	1008	4	7.4	2.9	21.4	5606	119.3	38	7John Riggins	175	2916	11352	104	3.9	64.9	250	2090	12	8.4	1.4	11.9	13442	76.8	116	58Thurman Thomas	182	2877	12074	65	4.2	66.3	472	4458	23	9.4	2.6	24.5	16532	90.8	88	50
Code:
Player…………	AllPro	ProBwl	MVP	OffYr	RuYd	RuYd/G	RuTD	YdScm	RuReTD
Code:
Shaun Alexander	1	3	1	1	29	20	7	62	13Marcus Allen	2	6	1	1	12	92	3	7	6Larry Csonka	2	5	0	0	39	91	35	118	86Franco Harris	1	9	0	0	13	35	10	23	19Priest Holmes	3	3	0	1	38	31	14	60	22Edgerrin James	1	4	0	0	11	13	18	13	25Chris Johnson	1	3	0	1	139	3	146	-	-John Riggins	1	1	0	0	16	53	6	29	12Thurman Thomas	2	5	1	1	14	47	33	9	31
 
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adrenaline

Footballguy
Jim Brown

I think with other players already on the poll with a short prime/career (Sayers, Campbell, Davis) that Holmes should be on the next one.

I would also replace Peterson with James, Peterson & Johnson will probably have their times in the future.

 

PatsFanCT

Footballguy
Marcus Allen should be the only one with votes on that second list. He was a victim of angry old Al and never had the chance to reach his full potential. What a shame.

 

GregR_2

Footballguy
I went with Jim Brown. He wins in pretty much the most meaningful categories to me like yards per attempt and scrimmage yards per game. He was pretty much without peer in his generation, and only Barry Sanders is anywhere close to him when it comes to how he was looked at by his peers and the people who follow the game. 8 times 1st team All Pro is amazing even accounting for there being fewer teams. I just wish I had a chance to see him play.

I was split on who to vote for including in the next poll. It really doesn't matter yet, no one in the second group of players should be getting votes for top 5 in my opinion, so they'll have plenty of time to get in the list if anyone wants them as top ten. I was leaning towards Allen, but my only issue with him is that his output per game is lacking compared to some of the other players. I ended up voting for Edge, who ranks just outside the top ten in a lot of categories and who I thought was a tremendous runner who was probably hurt some by playing on a team that passes as much as Indy did.

 
Marcus Allen should be the only one with votes on that second list. He was a victim of angry old Al and never had the chance to reach his full potential. What a shame.
This would be true if Thurman " where is my helmet" Thomas wasn't on the list.
 
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Truman

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.

 

ZWK

Footballguy
I went with Jim Brown. He wins in pretty much the most meaningful categories to me like yards per attempt and scrimmage yards per game. He was pretty much without peer in his generation, and only Barry Sanders is anywhere close to him when it comes to how he was looked at by his peers and the people who follow the game. 8 times 1st team All Pro is amazing even accounting for there being fewer teams. I just wish I had a chance to see him play.
Jim Taylor. That's who I'd like to see added as a candidate to the next poll.
 
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Go Blue

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
 

GregR_2

Footballguy
I went with Jim Brown. He wins in pretty much the most meaningful categories to me like yards per attempt and scrimmage yards per game. He was pretty much without peer in his generation, and only Barry Sanders is anywhere close to him when it comes to how he was looked at by his peers and the people who follow the game. 8 times 1st team All Pro is amazing even accounting for there being fewer teams. I just wish I had a chance to see him play.
Jim Taylor. That's who I'd like to see added as a candidate to the next poll.
Next time I'll put him in the list of candidates for adding.
 

ZWK

Footballguy
Here is PFR's (purely statistical) ranking of the greatest RB careers of all time (note: it does not adjust for quality of teammates or opponents). Here's their ranking of which top RBs had the best offensive line (and which had the worst). The numbers say that Jim Brown, Larry Csonka, and Jim Taylor all ran behind great offensive lines, while Payton and Tomlinson had terrible offensive lines.

 

jwb

Footballguy
If I had one game to win, and could have any running back in his prime, I'd take Earl Campbell.

 

Truman

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
 

Go Blue

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
Thank you. I think this could help the discussion. Although as you pointed out, Brown as well as many RB's at the top of the list played when there were only 12 teams in the NFL. Obviously that is GREATLY going to increase your chances of playing with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
 
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
Thank you. I think this could help the discussion. Although as you pointed out, Brown as well as many RB's at the top of the list played when there were only 12 teams in the NFL. Obviously that is GREATLY going to increase your chances of playing with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
and i'll take a shot at guessing against pro bowl d-linemen.
 

DesmondBishop

Footballguy
I selected Sweetness, never saw Brown play, I am sure he was amazing, as was Walter, but Walter never felt the need to tell everyone how great he was which Brown has never stopped doing. Walter was great at everything and was always a team player and if you ever watched him play he gave 110% on every run and most of the time he was delivering the blows instead of taking them. Sanders to me is really 1a/b but since we can only select 1.

 

JuSt CuZ

Footballguy
Jim Brown

I think with other players already on the poll with a short prime/career (Sayers, Campbell, Davis) that Holmes should be on the next one.

I would also replace Peterson with James, Peterson & Johnson will probably have their times in the future.
I disagree, although Holmes was my first ever fantasy pick and he turned out to be something nice in his middle years before an injury, he did not start of well or end well. He was hardly great for his whole career, as some of these others were.http://www.nfl.com/player/priestholmes/2501222/profile

 

JuSt CuZ

Footballguy
Jim Brown is great, he was awesome and he is my #2.

But when everything is even you look at certain things to break the tie. Barry played when there were many more teams in the league and as everyone understand a worse O-Line, for 10 years never ran for under 1000 yards and ran 100 yards in bunch of games in a row, plus made the probowl every year of his career.

On a side note, Emmitt played 15 years and made 8 probowls, not that the probowl determines whos better. But the greatest of alltime aint making only half the probowls he is able too, lol, thats laughable at the highest degree.

Not to mention a guy with no titles, Barry, has as many MVPs as a dude with a bunch does in Emmitt? Emmitt fans should feel shame in their knowledge in the history of the game for the fight that they tried to put up, when the obvious is the majority dont even put Emmitt in the top 5.

Barry #1 and Brown behind at a very close #2. Emmitt like I said is #8.

 

rzrback77

IBL Representative
I selected Sweetness, never saw Brown play, I am sure he was amazing, as was Walter, but Walter never felt the need to tell everyone how great he was which Brown has never stopped doing. Walter was great at everything and was always a team player and if you ever watched him play he gave 110% on every run and most of the time he was delivering the blows instead of taking them. Sanders to me is really 1a/b but since we can only select 1.
Voted the same for the same reasons. Stats to Brown, but otherwise Walter.
 

Christo

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
Thank you. I think this could help the discussion. Although as you pointed out, Brown as well as many RB's at the top of the list played when there were only 12 teams in the NFL. Obviously that is GREATLY going to increase your chances of playing with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
It also GREATLY increases the chances of playing against Pro Bowl defensive players on a weekly basis.
 

GregR_2

Footballguy
Marcus Allen should be the only one with votes on that second list. He was a victim of angry old Al and never had the chance to reach his full potential. What a shame.
This would be true if Thurman " where is my helmet" Thomas wasn't on the list.
:goodposting: I don't see Bettis or a few others on the first list being ranked higher than Allen or Thomas.
After the vote for #1 is concluded, one of the guys from the alternate list gets promoted. After the #2 gets decided, another guy gets added to take the spot of the guy who was #2, etc.Unless someone is planning to vote for Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen, etc as their top 3, they should be available long before anyone would actually start voting for them.
 

snellman

Footballguy
The top back is so hard to vote for. I went with Sanders with Brown and Payton being very close 1a and 1b. They were in different eras and very different styles but as far as pure running back I think I have to say Sanders. Payton broke Brown's record and had Sanders not retired when he did I think he would have put the record so far out of reach than Smith would have never come close. Smith had a long productive career and was a very good back, but IMO he played longer than he should have in order to get the record.

 

snellman

Footballguy
The top back is so hard to vote for. I went with Sanders with Brown and Payton being very close 1a and 1b. They were in different eras and very different styles but as far as pure running back I think I have to say Sanders. Payton broke Brown's record and had Sanders not retired when he did I think he would have put the record so far out of reach than Smith would have never come close. Smith had a long productive career and was a very good back, but IMO he played longer than he should have in order to get the record.

 

Go Blue

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion. Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
Thank you. I think this could help the discussion. Although as you pointed out, Brown as well as many RB's at the top of the list played when there were only 12 teams in the NFL. Obviously that is GREATLY going to increase your chances of playing with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
It also GREATLY increases the chances of playing against Pro Bowl defensive players on a weekly basis.
Did you read the link? The numbers were based on RB's that played with Pro Bowl O-lineman in front of them. If anything was mentioned about playing against Pro Bowl defensive lineman, I totally missed it. I made my point because of the facts given, not an unknown variable.
 

FUBAR

Footballguy
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
I'd really like you to enlighten the rest of us on how you came to this conclusion.

Cleveland had a dominant offensive line in the early 50's. Brown started playing in 1957. He missed out on playing behind that HoF line. His lines in 63' and 64' were awesome, but I completely disagree with your statement.
http://www.pro-footb...om/blog/?p=3301Brown also played in a 13 team 'league'
Thank you.

I think this could help the discussion. Although as you pointed out, Brown as well as many RB's at the top of the list played when there were only 12 teams in the NFL. Obviously that is GREATLY going to increase your chances of playing with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
Not really. In 1963 there were 14 pro bowl linemen (basically one per team). In 2010, there were 22, with a 2/3 chance of playing behind at least one pro bowl lineman. So a little better but not GREATLY.
 

FUBAR

Footballguy
Marcus Allen should be the only one with votes on that second list. He was a victim of angry old Al and never had the chance to reach his full potential. What a shame.
This would be true if Thurman " where is my helmet" Thomas wasn't on the list.
:goodposting: I don't see Bettis or a few others on the first list being ranked higher than Allen or Thomas.
After the vote for #1 is concluded, one of the guys from the alternate list gets promoted. After the #2 gets decided, another guy gets added to take the spot of the guy who was #2, etc.Unless someone is planning to vote for Thurman Thomas, Marcus Allen, etc as their top 3, they should be available long before anyone would actually start voting for them.
Sure, I don't see the current list impacting the final results much but I'm just surprised to see how they were listed.
 

adrenaline

Footballguy
Jim Brown

I think with other players already on the poll with a short prime/career (Sayers, Campbell, Davis) that Holmes should be on the next one.

I would also replace Peterson with James, Peterson & Johnson will probably have their times in the future.
I disagree, although Holmes was my first ever fantasy pick and he turned out to be something nice in his middle years before an injury, he did not start of well or end well. He was hardly great for his whole career, as some of these others were.http://www.nfl.com/player/priestholmes/2501222/profile
I think he's at least as deserving as Davis, same career ypc with more yards & a better reciever. Holmes was limited in the beginning of his career by opportunity, Davis was limited at the end of his career by injury.
 

JuSt CuZ

Footballguy
This poll needs at least Monday and Tuesday before you start #2, a lot of people take the weekend off right now.

 

GregR_2

Footballguy
This poll needs at least Monday and Tuesday before you start #2, a lot of people take the weekend off right now.
Yes, I was thinking Tuesday morning at earliest assuming there is a clearcut winner. If it is close maybe give it until Wednesday morning. Right now, it's looking pretty clearcut so far though.
 

ADP

Footballguy
Voted Jim Brown, but Payton and Sanders are both worthy. I really believe an argument can be made for any one of these three guys at number 1. Its all personal preference. I do think the vast majority have these 3 though as their top 3 backs of all time.

 

Go Blue

Footballguy
Jim brown led the league in 8 out of 9 years. It's silly to vote for anyone besides him @ #1.
I'm not sure how many people realize that Jim Brown played in the Eastern division. The Western division was much tougher. Not only better defenses but just better football teams. Not the entire division year in and year out, but usually. He rarely faced defenses from the Western division. While he was seemingly a man amoung boys, I have to assume his stats would have taken a hit if he had played in the Western division. He was basically playing against only 6-7 teams all year. He absolutely led the league in rushing 8 out of 9 years. Who were the other top rushers during his era? Does anyone stand out? I'm not trying to take anything away from Jim Taylor, Joe Perry and the like, but with so few teams in the league, Brown should have been doing what he was. Jim Brown was amazing and I also voted for him as #1, but it's not as clear cut as some make it out to be.
 
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Just Win Baby

Footballguy
Voted Payton and Other (None). Old posts on Payton:

I definitely think as time passes, people forget just how great Payton was. He is my favorite player of all time.He WAS the offense.QBs he played with: Bob Avellini, Bobby Douglass, Gary Huff, Virgil Carter, Vince Evans, Mike Phipps, Jim McMahon, Steve Fuller, Greg Landry, Rusty Lisch, Mike Tomczak, Doug Flutie, Jim Harbaugh. Heck, Payton himself lined up at QB a few times. Basically, Jim McMahon was the best he played with. That's not saying much.Payton played with 1 Pro Bowl QB in 13 seasons: McMahon in 1985. (And why exactly did McMahon make the Pro Bowl? The Bears passing offense was 22nd in yards and 23rd in TDs... McMahon threw for 2392 yards and 15 TDs.)Not only did he never play with a 1000 yard receiver, he never even played with a 900 yard receiver. In fact, only 3 times in his 13 year career did any Bears receiver top 800 yards, and only 3 other times did any Bears receiver top 700 yards. And there were no good receiving TEs, either. It should come as no surprise that no Bears WR (or TE) made the Pro Bowl during Payton's career.To reinforce this, consider Chicago's pass yardage ranks during Payton's career: 23 (of 26), 28 (of 28), 21, 26, 26, 28, 28, 22, 17, 26, 22, 24, 14. They finished in the bottom quarter of the league 10 times in Payton's career.Payton himself led the Bears in receptions 6 times, and had the second highest total 5 other times.In his last few years, his offensive lines were pretty good, but for most of his career it wasn't. Two of Payton's linemen made the Pro Bowl a total of 5 times in his 13 seasons, all in his final 3 seasons: Jim Covert (1985, 1986), and Jay Hilgenberg (1985, 1986, 1987).Despite the lack of support, he retired as the all time NFL leader in rushing yards, yards from scrimmage, all purpose yards, and rushing TDs. He retired #1 in receptions and #2 in receiving yards for a RB in NFL history. He retired with the most 100+ yard rushing games and 1000+ yard rushing seasons in NFL history. And after missing a game in his rookie season, he didn't miss another game in the rest of his career, playing 186 straight games.Aside from all that, Payton was arguably the most well rounded RB in history. He was a great runner, receiver, and blocker. He ran equally well to the outside and up the middle (or over the middle). He was great in short yardage and goalline situations as well as other running situations. He was the Bears' emergency QB, and he passed for 8 TDs in his career. He was the Bears' emergency kicker and punter for part of his career. He didn't return many kickoffs (17), but he averaged 31.7 yards per return, and led the NFL in kickoff return average the one season that he returned more than 2 kickoffs (1975). He was also known as a great leader, and he was such a great person and class act off the field, the NFL's man of the year award is named after him.I think for all these reasons, he is the best RB, and possibly the best football player, in NFL history.
Brown is the only back I would consider comparing to Payton, and I admit I didn't see him play, so that may bias my opinion. That said, consider that Brown joined a dynasty.1950-56 (pre-Brown): 63-20-1 (.759), 6 postseason appearances in 7 years, 6 championship games, 3 championships1957-1965 (with Brown): 79-34-5 (.699), 5 postseason appearances in 9 years, 3 championship games, 1 championshipNow compare that to Payton and the Bears:1968-1974 (pre-Payton): 31-66-1 (.320), no postseason appearances1975-1987 (with Payton): 111-83 (.572), 6 postseason appearances, 1 championshipHow about a supporting cast comparison? Payton's is addressed above. It seems very hard to support the notion that the Browns were not already a very, very good team when Brown joined them, which naturally implies that he was surrounded by a talented group of teammates. Remember, there was no free agency (or draft?) at that time, so it would be very hard for me to see how the talent level of a team that appeared in 6 championship games in the 7 years prior to Brown's rookie season had suddenly dropped to average or worse. This is supported by the number of Pro Bowlers Brown played with:- Browns QBs made the Pro Bowl 4 times in Brown's 9 seasons: Milt Plum (1960, 1961), Frank Ryan (1964, 1965).- Browns WRs made the Pro Bowl 5 times in Brown's 9 seasons: Ray Renfro (1957, 1960), Bobby Mitchell (1960), Paul Warfield (1964), and Gary Collins (1965).- Brown played with the following Pro Bowl offensive linemen: Art Hunter (1959), Mike McCormack (1957, 1960, 1961, 1962), Jim Smith (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962), John Morrow (1961, 1963), #### Schafrath (1963), Gene Hickerson (1965), John Wooten (1965). That's 7 different linemen for a total of 15 times in 9 seasons, and only one season without a Pro Bowler--1964. In 6 of his seasons, Brown had 2 or more Pro Bowlers on the line.To be fair, there were fewer teams when Brown played, so it stands to reason he would have played with more Pro Bowlers. Still, the difference is too big to be accounted for simply by that IMO. Not to mention that he played most of his career for Paul Brown, one of the greatest coaches of all time.The fewer teams also made it easier for Brown to lead the NFL in rushing, to win awards, etc. -- less competition. Brown played when there were only 12-14 teams. In Payton's first season, there were 26 teams; for the rest of his career there were 28. So Payton's 5 1st team and 3 2nd team All Pro selections are arguably as impressive as Brown's 8 1st team selections.Also, BlueOnion posted this in an older thread:

I actually like Jim Brown quite a bit, probably more so now as a person. But Jim Brown had it easy.Not that I am saying he is not the best running back of all-time, but if I was to make an argument he was not, here is what I would start with.1) He played in an era where all the great 'athletes' played on offense. The football players that were not athletic enough to make the offensive team but still showed a lot of heart or toughness were put on the defensive side of the ball. The thought that a defensive line could potentially have better athletes than the offensive line (in any given game) would be very, very unlikely.2) Pursuit angles. Back in Jim Brown's era, coaches did not understand the importance of pursuit angles or containment and did not teach it to the same magnitude of today's game. Defenses were basically, "just go get the ball carrier".
I certainly can't verify whether these are valid points, but I found them interesting.Brown was obviously an all time great player. I just don't see evidence that Brown was better than Payton. Again, I admit that could be because I never saw him play with my own eyes, while I did see Payton play often.
 

DesmondBishop

Footballguy
Just Win Baby' timestamp='1310960533' post='13334859
:goodposting: Excellent post JWB, I 100% agree, Sweetness was great at everything including the person he was off the field. I have no idea what the average age of the posters on this site are, but I would be willing to be not 60+, which means most people are strictly basing the vote on stats (Which Browns are incredible no question) and what others tell them are true. I will always go with what I have seen and know to be fact, not some legendary exaggerated story some of these old guys come up with, and the 8 highlights on JB.
 

beerbarron

Footballguy
Sweetness Payton..

I actually dont think its close... Rare blend of power, speed, balance, agility and determination....

Id take him over any back in history... Sweetness isnt nearly as far ahead of second place in the RB catagory as Rice is ahead of others in the WR catagory.. but Sweetness all day...

What ever happened to Marcus Dupree??

 
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Carolina Hustler

Footballguy
Thurman Thomas was one of the best.. cut short by injuries.. Earl Campbell also one of the best

Voted for Campbell, and Thomas to make the next list

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
'jwb said:
If I had one game to win, and could have any running back in his prime, I'd take Earl Campbell.
One game?And go with one RB for one rushing play to do it?I agree with Campbell, in his prime, he was the best running back ever. He was for a while literally unstoppable.Over his career he broke down though.
 

Clifford

Footballguy
'Truman said:
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
Me too. Payton still kills him in several cats and rankings. Also, Payton won a superbowl. I say that's more impressive than an NFL championship.
 

AmosMoses

Footballguy
...What ever happened to Marcus Dupree??
Football fans needs to watch this:http://30for30.espn.com/film/the-best-that-never-was.htmlYeah, he could have been the best.But it's not just talent that gets you there.
Walker had a greater ypc in the USFL than this dude. :shrug: Could Walker have been the best ever too? Anyone that wasn't the best, could have been the best if situations were different. I don't know why people like to daydream about this stuff.
 

PatsFanCT

Footballguy
'Truman said:
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
Me too. Payton still kills him in several cats and rankings. Also, Payton won a superbowl. I say that's more impressive than an NFL championship.
Championships and Super Bowls do not equate to best RB. But mentioning Payton's Super Bowl isn't the best argument you could make, considering he didn't score and was pulled at the goal line for a non-RB to score.
 

Just Win Baby

Footballguy
'Truman said:
Jim Brown received the most help from his line of any back in the history of football. Voted Payton.
Me too. Payton still kills him in several cats and rankings. Also, Payton won a superbowl. I say that's more impressive than an NFL championship.
Championships and Super Bowls do not equate to best RB. But mentioning Payton's Super Bowl isn't the best argument you could make, considering he didn't score and was pulled at the goal line for a non-RB to score.
Agree it's not the best argument to make in favor of Payton, although Clifford's statement that a Super Bowl title is more impressive than an NFL championship is true.I'd also like to point out that Payton was dominant in that championship season -- he had 2034 yards from scrimmage, 9 rushing TDs, and 2 receiving TDs, and he was also 3/5 for 96 yards and 1 TD passing. He was 1st team All Pro and won the NEA MVP and NFL Bert Bell awards. He was critical to the Bears' success that season.
 

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