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Reggie Bush the Next Gale Sayers - How Good? (1 Viewer)

Joe Bryant

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The buzz you keep hearing on Bush is that he's the next Gale Sayers. Hall of Famer and all. Any old timers or historians out there? How good was he really?

What was the general feeling when he went into the Hall?

J

edit: Would the Texans draft Bush at #1 Saturday if they knew he'd post the same career numbers Sayers did?

 
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Sayers was one of the most joyful RBs I have ever had the privledge to watch, when he was healthy. He just glided on the field, and changed directions with seemingly absolutely no loss of speed. You watch your D guys have a great angle on him, and he'd just change direction effortlessly and blow by the guy, leaving him trying to untrack himself while Sayers just kept increasing the gap between the two of them.

And this comes from someone raised as a Packer fan. Chicago has had the two most incredible RBs to watch play the game - Sayers & Payton. Some say Sanders was in that bunch, but Sanders gave up too much yardgae too often to try to create room for himself. It seems like Sayers & Payton were always moving forward while creating for themselves - they never seemed to give up a yard they had already gained.

:shakinghead:

 
Sayers had at times a flailing running style. He would windmill an arm and double swivel his hips to distract tacklers, but his feet always speed towards holes, many unseen by mere mortals. He was at another plane. He had more elusiveness than Barry Sanders, more burst than Marshall Faulk.

Watching him I felt more excitemnet at the possibility of him going all the way on any play than I ever had for any other back be it Brown, Dickerson, O.J., Sanders, or Sweetness.

 
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The buzz you keep hearing on Bush is that he's the next Gale Sayers. Hall of Famer and all. Any old timers or historians out there? How good was he really?

What was the general feeling when he went into the Hall?

J
Reggie's very, very good. Great even.I for one, however, will have to see far more from him, especially between the tackles, before I lump him in with Sayers, or as some here have, Sanders.

I didn't see Sayers play live, but have seen lots of tape and heard so much anecdotally about how unstoppable he was...and wasn't he bigger and more of a bruiser while still being able to run around or by guys just as easily if he wanted?

There are whole other threads on why comparing what Reggie did in college to what Sanders did in college is just silly, so I won't get started on that.

I'm not saying Bush can't be either one of these guys, but he's not there yet.

 
Sayers had moves Sanders could never do, and vice versa. I'd say it's a toss-up there. Clearly Payton was the best overall, but as far as pure running ability/elusiveness, it's a coin flip between Sayers and Sanders IMO.

Bush = N/A. Talk to me in a few years.

 
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The buzz you keep hearing on Bush is that he's the next Gale Sayers. Hall of Famer and all. Any old timers or historians out there? How good was he really?

What was the general feeling when he went into the Hall?

J
Reggie's very, very good. Great even.I for one, however, will have to see far more from him, especially between the tackles, before I lump him in with Sayers, or as some here have, Sanders.

I didn't see Sayers play live, but have seen lots of tape and heard so much anecdotally about how unstoppable he was...and wasn't he bigger and more of a bruiser while still being able to run around or by guys just as easily if he wanted?

There are whole other threads on why comparing what Reggie did in college to what Sanders did in college is just silly, so I won't get started on that.

I'm not saying Bush can't be either one of these guys, but he's not there yet.
Sayers was relatively lithe.
 
I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than 4,956 rushing yards for his career.Unfair?

J

 
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Reggie's very, very good. Great even.
Quite frankly, you don't know what Bush will be like in the pros yet. There have some extremely prolific RBs who have not been able to succeed in the pros. The name I keep using as an example is Archie Griffin. He did something in college that no other RB ever did, yet he was a lousy pro.Bush isn't great yet. He may be. But not yet. Let's see him play in the bigs before we we elect him to the HoF, shall we?
 
I saw Bill Cosby in Vegas years ago (late 70s). He did a hilarious skit about his football days. This won't be nearly as funny without his deliver and antics on stage, but here's what he said, paraphrased:

I tried to tackle Sayers on a punt return. I had him dead in my sights. Oooh, I was going to hit him a good one. He was coming right at me. I was going to put a lick on this hotshot. The strangest thing happened. Just as I went to crash into him.... HE SPLIT IN TWO! Half of him went to one side of me the other half went the other way. That's not fair, is it?
 
I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than that.Unfair?

J
Completely different era. Shorter seasons. Dark ages medical care. Defenses stacked against the run with defenders allowed to head smack O-lineman and to throw/pull them out of the way to get to the ball carrier.Still 5.0 yards per carry. Nearly 12 yards per reception. Bush would do well to come close to those numbers. That, and Sayers was electric as a return man, way more so than Deion.

 
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Sayers was one of the most joyful RBs I have ever had the privledge to watch, when he was healthy. He just glided on the field, and changed directions with seemingly absolutely no loss of speed. You watch your D guys have a great angle on him, and he'd just change direction effortlessly and blow by the guy, leaving him trying to untrack himself while Sayers just kept increasing the gap between the two of them.

And this comes from someone raised as a Packer fan. Chicago has had the two most incredible RBs to watch play the game - Sayers & Payton. Some say Sanders was in that bunch, but Sanders gave up too much yardgae too often to try to create room for himself. It seems like Sayers & Payton were always moving forward while creating for themselves - they never seemed to give up a yard they had already gained.

:shakinghead:
Agree with you that there's something very beautiful about a back who gets every possible available yard and always finishes his runs going forward as opposed to the back who's always trying to hit the home run and often loses big yards in the process. (Texas has one of each of those right now. The one who gets all his yards, wears you down, then smacks you with his 10.18 100 meter speed is Jamaal Charles, who I think you'll all be hearing a lot more about in the future...but that's another post. The other, who can be very frustrating as a rb, is Ramonce Taylor. Too much Eric Metcalf jukie-jukie for my liking.)

 
The buzz you keep hearing on Bush is that he's the next Gale Sayers. Hall of Famer and all. Any old timers or historians out there? How good was he really?

What was the general feeling when he went into the Hall?

J
Reggie's very, very good. Great even.I for one, however, will have to see far more from him, especially between the tackles, before I lump him in with Sayers, or as some here have, Sanders.

I didn't see Sayers play live, but have seen lots of tape and heard so much anecdotally about how unstoppable he was...and wasn't he bigger and more of a bruiser while still being able to run around or by guys just as easily if he wanted?

There are whole other threads on why comparing what Reggie did in college to what Sanders did in college is just silly, so I won't get started on that.

I'm not saying Bush can't be either one of these guys, but he's not there yet.
Sayers was relatively lithe.
Yeah...I'm seeing that now.My bad.

 
I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than 4,956 rushing yards for his career.Unfair?

J
This is exactly the argument I bring up against Bush. I'm worried about his ability to carry a large load.CHI spelled Sayers with Bull & Piccolo, reducing Sayers' work load significantly - his body jusy couldn't absorb the punishment. When Sayers finally got the lions' share of the work in '69, his career ended quickly afterwards. He couldn't take that pounding. Sayers was at his best when he was limited in his touches. Kind of like what Shanahan does with Bell - because Bell becomes less effective with additional work by a significant amount.

I'm seeing the same thing coming from Bush, which also makes me question whether he's worthy of a 1.01 pick in the NFL draft (and the commesurate salary).

 
I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than that.Unfair?

J
Completely different era. Shorter seasons. Dark ages medical care. Defenses stacked against the run with defenders allowed to head smack O-lineman and to throw/pull them out of the way to get to the ball carrier.Still 5.0 yards per carry. Nearly 12 yards per reception. Bush would do well to come close to those numbers. That, and Sayers was electric as a return man, way more so than Deion.
I dunno, DW.How does his career compare to a guy like Terrell Davis? (who many feel just didn't play long enough to be considered one of the greats)

Code:
+--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1995 den |  14 |   237   1117    4.7    7 |    49    367   7.5    1 || 1996 den |  16 |   345   1538    4.5   13 |    36    310   8.6    2 || 1997 den |  15 |   369   1750    4.7   15 |    42    287   6.8    0 || 1998 den |  16 |   392   2008    5.1   21 |    25    217   8.7    2 || 1999 den |   4 |    67    211    3.1    2 |     3     26   8.7    0 || 2000 den |   5 |    78    282    3.6    2 |     2      4   2.0    0 || 2001 den |  11 |   167    701    4.2    0 |    12     69   5.8    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  81 |  1655   7607    4.6   60 |   169   1280   7.6    5 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
J
 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J

 
Reggie's very, very good. Great even.
Quite frankly, you don't know what Bush will be like in the pros yet. There have some extremely prolific RBs who have not been able to succeed in the pros. The name I keep using as an example is Archie Griffin. He did something in college that no other RB ever did, yet he was a lousy pro.Bush isn't great yet. He may be. But not yet. Let's see him play in the bigs before we we elect him to the HoF, shall we?
I agree completely. I'm on your side. I thought that was fairly clear. When I said he was very good or great, I was referring to his college days. I then went on to expound on what I think he didn't show in college. I actually was being kind of nice, you know, giving him the benefit of the doubt, since, just as you say, we haven't seen him play in the bigs yet, but my intellect and my gut say that he won't do nearly as well in the league as he did at SC.

 
Reggie's very, very good. Great even.
Quite frankly, you don't know what Bush will be like in the pros yet. There have some extremely prolific RBs who have not been able to succeed in the pros. The name I keep using as an example is Archie Griffin. He did something in college that no other RB ever did, yet he was a lousy pro.Bush isn't great yet. He may be. But not yet. Let's see him play in the bigs before we we elect him to the HoF, shall we?
I agree completely. I'm on your side. I thought that was fairly clear. When I said he was very good or great, I was referring to his college days. I then went on to expound on what I think he didn't show in college. I actually was being kind of nice, you know, giving him the benefit of the doubt, since, just as you say, we haven't seen him play in the bigs yet, but my intellect and my gut say that he won't do nearly as well in the league as he did at SC.
I agree with you, but many here don't. I meant to have my post as a point of emphasis for yours. My apologies for the misconception, I didn't make that very clear.
 
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Reggie's very, very good. Great even.
Quite frankly, you don't know what Bush will be like in the pros yet. There have some extremely prolific RBs who have not been able to succeed in the pros. The name I keep using as an example is Archie Griffin. He did something in college that no other RB ever did, yet he was a lousy pro.Bush isn't great yet. He may be. But not yet. Let's see him play in the bigs before we we elect him to the HoF, shall we?
I agree completely. I'm on your side. I thought that was fairly clear. When I said he was very good or great, I was referring to his college days. I then went on to expound on what I think he didn't show in college. I actually was being kind of nice, you know, giving him the benefit of the doubt, since, just as you say, we haven't seen him play in the bigs yet, but my intellect and my gut say that he won't do nearly as well in the league as he did at SC.
I agree with you, but many here don't. I meant to have my post as a point of emphasis for yours. My apologies for the misconception, I didn't make that very clear.
Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure we're in the minority.Just last night I was driving to Sonic for chicken sammich and some radio goofball was saying that Bush to the Texans at 1.01 was a no-brainer 'cause he'd instantly be their best every-down back, best punt returner, best kick returner, and could be split out wide and would then be their best wr. :eek:

I don't know if he was just trying to be over the top or what. If so, he succeeded. But I do know there are people who actually believe that drivel. Bush wasn't even the best returner on his team in college.

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
5.0 YPC, 11.7 YPR, and 30.6 YPKR? Sure.
 
Sayers average yards per for both runs and receptions were substantially better in an era were defenses had greater advantages.

I'm not a big fan of comparing lifetime stats from different eras of football as the game has evolved so substantially. If I am tempted to do so I look for statistics that tend to normalize the advantages of the modern era in having more games per season, more favorable rules for offenses, and better medical care enabling longer careers. For backs I would suggest average yards is a pretty good indicator, and I'd suggest that .5 yards per carry is about where tiering occurs for backs on carries, and 1.5 yards per reception is another good tiering criteria.

I understand your question. Sayers seems to be the lone exception to a Hall of Famer having to have longevity achievements. You are rightfully wondering if he was so substantially better than others that he should get a 'pass' on that requirement. After all, several players, Terell Davis, Priest Holmes, Sterling Sharpe, seem to have cases as good for the HOF if the longevity requirement were loosened.

I'd just say this is always going to be a subjective test. The best answer I can give is that I am a Packer homer. I was raised on God, Country, and Vince Lombardi and not necessarily in that order. I hated the Bears as part of my birthright, yet I recognize that Sayers unquestionably belongs in the HOF and that Sweetness was the best back ever. When haters grudgingly acknowledge greatness that has to be worth something. (Note for instance that I firmly believe Nitschke was far superior to Butkus for a take on my perspective and objectivity)

 
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I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than that.Unfair?

J
Completely different era. Shorter seasons. Dark ages medical care. Defenses stacked against the run with defenders allowed to head smack O-lineman and to throw/pull them out of the way to get to the ball carrier.Still 5.0 yards per carry. Nearly 12 yards per reception. Bush would do well to come close to those numbers. That, and Sayers was electric as a return man, way more so than Deion.
I dunno, DW.How does his career compare to a guy like Terrell Davis? (who many feel just didn't play long enough to be considered one of the greats)

Code:
          +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1995 den |  14 |   237   1117    4.7    7 |    49    367   7.5    1 || 1996 den |  16 |   345   1538    4.5   13 |    36    310   8.6    2 || 1997 den |  15 |   369   1750    4.7   15 |    42    287   6.8    0 || 1998 den |  16 |   392   2008    5.1   21 |    25    217   8.7    2 || 1999 den |   4 |    67    211    3.1    2 |     3     26   8.7    0 || 2000 den |   5 |    78    282    3.6    2 |     2      4   2.0    0 || 2001 den |  11 |   167    701    4.2    0 |    12     69   5.8    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  81 |  1655   7607    4.6   60 |   169   1280   7.6    5 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+
J
This is one of the things that bothers me when people talk about Hall of Fame candidates. The overreliance of statistics in evaluating greatness just irks me. I have done a lot of research on Gale Sayers (my favorite player of all time) and seen a lot of tape. You cannot look at Gale Sayers play football and not think he was one of the GREATEST RB's of all time. Terrell Davis behind that Denver offensive line was great but I dont think I looked at HIM as being great. Same thing with Priest Holmes behind that KC offensive line.
 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Sayers lifetime totals would be disappointing for any back taken in the top five picks any year. They would definately not draft him if they were guaranteed he would have a career truncated by injury. The intersting thing is that statistically maybe they should still draft him if that was the guarantee. There have been lots of first round busts, and plenty who were not but whose careers were even more truncated. Five good years certainlywould have looked good to the Todd Marinivich, Ryan Leaf, David Klingler, Ki-Jana Carter, Tony Mandarich drafters.

 
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I found this on the Bears website concerning Sayer's Hall of Fame selection:

Even though he was named the top halfback in the NFL's first 50 years in 1969, there was concern for a time that Sayers' comparatively short playing span might prevent his eventual election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But the Hall's Selection Committee never wavered in its resolve at the 1977 meeting, the first one in which Gale was eligible for consideration. The Committee's vote was unanimous and its summation simple: "There never was another to compare with him. What else is there to say!"
Since Sayers played until 1971, I find it fascinating that he made the 50-year anniversary team with less than 5 seasons of play. That clearly demonstrates the impact he must have had on the football experts of his time. He's also on the 75-year team btw.
 
I'd just say this is always going to be a subjective test. The best answer I can give is that I am a Packer homer. I was raised on God, Country, and Vince Lombardi and not necessarily in that order. I hated the Bears as part of my birthright, yet I recognize that Sayers unquestionably belongs in the HOF and that Sweetness was the best back ever. When haters grudgingly acknowledge greatness that has to be worth something. (Note for instance that I firmly believe Nitschke was far superior to Butkus for a take on my perspective and objectivity)
You, sir, are a very perceptive man. These are thoughts in line with my own on all accounts.But what the hell does "lossened" mean?

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
I think you're taking the Sayer's references out of context Joe. People say Bush has Sayers-like ability, not that they think he'll be dominant for 3-4 years and then retire early due to injury.
 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Sayers lifetime totals would be disappointing for any back taken in the top five picks any year.
But that's the rub DW.Are you saying that any back taken in the top 5 wouldn't be thrilled to know they were going to have a Hall of Fame career and be a top player of all time?

J

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
I think you're taking the Sayer's references out of context Joe. People say Bush has Sayers-like ability, not that they think he'll be dominant for 3-4 years and then retire early due to injury.
Oh I'm good with that Tg.I know they mean ability.

I'm just saying that with all the talk of Bush being the next Sayers, I think in reality, people are going to bummed if he doesn't do at least as much as Sayers on the field.

J

 
I'd just say this is always going to be a subjective test.  The best answer I can give is that I am a Packer homer.  I was raised on God, Country, and Vince Lombardi and not necessarily in that order.  I hated the Bears as part of my birthright, yet I recognize that Sayers unquestionably belongs in the HOF and that Sweetness was the best back ever.  When haters grudgingly acknowledge greatness that has to be worth something.  (Note for instance that I firmly believe Nitschke was far superior to Butkus for a take on my perspective and objectivity)
You, sir, are a very perceptive man. These are thoughts in line with my own on all accounts.But what the hell does "lossened" mean?
It means I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue.
 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Sayers lifetime totals would be disappointing for any back taken in the top five picks any year.
But that's the rub DW.Are you saying that any back taken in the top 5 wouldn't be thrilled to know they were going to have a Hall of Fame career and be a top player of all time?

J
No, I'm saying any back taken in the top five would wish to have far better career accumulated stats. As for career impact, I think any should be happy with the hall of fame. The difference in stats from different eras is startling. It is, however, only of interest to stats guys, not guys that appreciate football.There are other glaring examples of the stats of HOF players from bygone eras not matching up with today, but they have little relevance since they played in their own time and under their own rules and conditions. Would Thorpe's stats, or Nagurski's get them in the HOF today? How about Bart Starr's. He only won 5 championships, but his stats don't match up with modern day players.

Ultimately it's a fun red herring to toy around with, but nothing more.

Sayers stats judged by todays standards do not reflect his impact. Apples and oranges.

 
I guess here's what's driving my question.

Sayer's career looks like this:

                +--------------------------+-------------------------+                 |          Rushing         |        Receiving        |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year  TM |   G |   Att  Yards    Y/A   TD |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1965 chi |  14 |   166    867    5.2   14 |    29    507  17.5    6 || 1966 chi |  14 |   229   1231    5.4    8 |    34    447  13.1    2 || 1967 chi |  13 |   186    880    4.7    7 |    16    126   7.9    1 || 1968 chi |   9 |   138    856    6.2    2 |    15    117   7.8    0 || 1969 chi |  14 |   236   1032    4.4    8 |    17    116   6.8    0 || 1970 chi |   2 |    23     52    2.3    0 |     1     -6  -6.0    0 || 1971 chi |   2 |    13     38    2.9    0 |     0      0   0.0    0 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+|  TOTAL   |  68 |   991   4956    5.0   39 |   112   1307  11.7    9 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+I look at that and say I hope Reggie Bush does a lot more than 4,956 rushing yards for his career.Unfair?

J
Joe, I would agree. My first pick of the draft better give me more production than that. Interesting the first two years he averaged around 15 yards a reception. To be honest, I don't think Sayers should have made the HOF. He just didn't play long enough, even though he was great when he played. If he is in why not Bo Jackson? I would have a hard time thinking anyone was more talented than Bo Jackson when he ran the ball. There has never been a greater combo of power and speed and his YPC was an amazing 5.4 Bo's career was better but shorter than Sayers. Bo had only 515 total carries in his career, but I have to say that before FF, he is the only player I have ever tuned in just to watch play the game of football.I am not someone who values longevity over quality and I am not downplaying Sayers, but if you don't think you would be satisfied with a guy's career then he shouldn't be in the HOF. Sayers career was basically 3 years of being a workhorse (if he had 330 carries at 5 a pop for 3 years he would have 4,950 yards) but his totals were spread over 4 1/2 years and that is just too short for me. I guess if a guy did post 3 years of 2000 yards and then got injured I would have to think about it, but I just don't see it. Bo doesn't belong either.

 
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Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Sayers lifetime totals would be disappointing for any back taken in the top five picks any year.
But that's the rub DW.Are you saying that any back taken in the top 5 wouldn't be thrilled to know they were going to have a Hall of Fame career and be a top player of all time?

J
No, I'm saying any back taken in the top five would wish to have far better career accumulated stats. As for career impact, I think any should be happy with the hall of fame. The difference in stats from different eras is startling. It is, however, only of interest to stats guys, not guys that appreciate football.There are other glaring examples of the stats of HOF players from bygone eras not matching up with today, but they have little relevance since they played in their own time and under their own rules and conditions. Would Thorpe's stats, or Nagurski's get them in the HOF today? How about Bart Starr's. He only won 5 championships, but his stats don't match up with modern day players.

Ultimately it's a fun red herring to toy around with, but nothing more.

Sayers stats judged by todays standards do not reflect his impact. Apples and oranges.
Hi DW,I'll just have to disagree with you there. I'm pretty sure I appreciate football. And the difference in stats is extremely interesting to me.

J

 
For instance, here's a guy in Jim Brown that played 2 more years and tallied a shade over 7,000 more rushing yards.

+--------------------------+-------------------------+ | Rushing | Receiving |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| Year TM | G | Att Yards Y/A TD | Rec Yards Y/R TD |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| 1957 cle | 12 | 202 942 4.7 9 | 16 55 3.4 1 || 1958 cle | 12 | 257 1527 5.9 17 | 16 138 8.6 1 || 1959 cle | 12 | 290 1329 4.6 14 | 24 190 7.9 0 || 1960 cle | 12 | 215 1257 5.8 9 | 19 204 10.7 2 || 1961 cle | 14 | 305 1408 4.6 8 | 46 459 10.0 2 || 1962 cle | 14 | 230 996 4.3 13 | 47 517 11.0 5 || 1963 cle | 14 | 291 1863 6.4 12 | 24 268 11.2 3 || 1964 cle | 14 | 280 1446 5.2 7 | 36 340 9.4 2 || 1965 cle | 14 | 289 1544 5.3 17 | 34 328 9.6 4 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+| TOTAL | 118 | 2359 12312 5.2 106 | 262 2499 9.5 20 |+----------+-----+--------------------------+-------------------------+In perspective, that's an unreal comparison. J

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Interesting spin on a hot topic of late. If by career you dont look to match numbers (since you need to extrapolate for a longer season, more plays in a game and all the other stuff) but look to match 'career's, then he yess they would draft him.

Wouldnt you take half a decade from a running back that is probably the best, most dominating, most unstoppable of all time - running, receiving, kick returns.

How about:

5 Consecutive All-NFL

Rookie of the Year (22 TDs that year)

3 Time Pro Bowl Player of the Game

All Time NFL Halfback (named such in 1969)

75th Anniversary All-NFL Team

Or this:

For half a decade, your team would have the GREATEST runner and possibly greatest offensive threat in the history of the game.

What seperated Sayers was not only his fluidity, his change of direction, his gliding speed - it was his VISION. Imagine Barry Sanders + Eric Dickerson. The speed of Dickerson, some of the underated power of Dickerson, the glide of Dickerson. Now, add the elusiveness of Sanders (though not as start and stop), the moves... now add vision that I have never seen paralleled. If only there were more film, because what little I have seen is just unreal.

There is one play which others can probably attest to:

Sayers was breaking away, and there were a couple defenders sorta in front of him... well, he slows slightly to juke those guys - but that enables a defender to catch up to him, totally from behind.

Well, suddenly, Sayers makes a move ON THE GUY BEHIND HIM - and goes in for the score. The guy puts moves on defenders that are behind him... he was THAT good. Best pure runner, ever.

So, what do you think the Texans would do if they could have the best pure runner ever and an All-NFL RB for 5 of the next 7 years, guaranteed?

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
Sayers lifetime totals would be disappointing for any back taken in the top five picks any year.
But that's the rub DW.Are you saying that any back taken in the top 5 wouldn't be thrilled to know they were going to have a Hall of Fame career and be a top player of all time?

J
No, I'm saying any back taken in the top five would wish to have far better career accumulated stats. As for career impact, I think any should be happy with the hall of fame. The difference in stats from different eras is startling. It is, however, only of interest to stats guys, not guys that appreciate football.There are other glaring examples of the stats of HOF players from bygone eras not matching up with today, but they have little relevance since they played in their own time and under their own rules and conditions. Would Thorpe's stats, or Nagurski's get them in the HOF today? How about Bart Starr's. He only won 5 championships, but his stats don't match up with modern day players.

Ultimately it's a fun red herring to toy around with, but nothing more.

Sayers stats judged by todays standards do not reflect his impact. Apples and oranges.
Hi DW,I'll just have to disagree with you there. I'm pretty sure I appreciate football. And the difference in stats is extremely interesting to me.

J
Perhaps I expressed my self poorly, or perhaps you are being purposefully truculent. Statistics are era dependant, greatness is not. Implying in any way that todays stats reflect any comparative skill or a players value from past years is a useless exercise. The statistical disparity tells us something about the game itself, and about sports medicine, but it tells us little to nothing about the men.I can only assume this basic point eludes you not, and that you are in fact pissing in the shark pool.

 
The statistical disparity tells us something about the game itself, and about sports medicine, but it tells us little to nothing about the men.

I can only assume this basic point eludes you not, and that you are in fact pissing in the shark pool.
Not really. I just disagree with you.J

 
Hi DW,

I'll just have to disagree with you there. I'm pretty sure I appreciate football. And the difference in stats is extremely interesting to me.

J
:lmao: :spanking:
Intentionally grasping individual sentences out of context to misunderstand the overall point is hardly a spanking. Rather it is Big Scoresque.
 
Sayers average yards per for both runs and receptions were substantially better in an era were defenses had greater advantages.

I'm not a big fan of comparing lifetime stats from different eras of football as the game has evolved so substantially. If I am tempted to do so I look for statistics that tend to normalize the advantages of the modern era in having more games per season, more favorable rules for offenses, and better medical care enabling longer careers. For backs I would suggest average yards is a pretty good indicator, and I'd suggest that .5 yards per carry is about where tiering occurs for backs on carries, and 1.5 yards per reception is another good tiering criteria.

I understand your question. Sayers seems to be the lone exception to a Hall of Famer having to have longevity achievements. You are rightfully wondering if he was so substantially better than others that he should get a 'pass' on that requirement. After all, several players, Terell Davis, Priest Holmes, Sterling Sharpe, seem to have cases as good for the HOF if the longevity requirement were loosened.

I'd just say this is always going to be a subjective test. The best answer I can give is that I am a Packer homer. I was raised on God, Country, and Vince Lombardi and not necessarily in that order. I hated the Bears as part of my birthright, yet I recognize that Sayers unquestionably belongs in the HOF and that Sweetness was the best back ever. When haters grudgingly acknowledge greatness that has to be worth something. (Note for instance that I firmly believe Nitschke was far superior to Butkus for a take on my perspective and objectivity)
Interesting perspective from a Packer fan. In baseball SABR guys adjust stats for the era that a player played in and I am sure we could do the same for football. The one big problem with football statistics is that it is such a team game. For example, TD doesn't get a lot of his credit because many people felt that while he was a very good RB, he was aided tremendously by great OL blocking. In baseball it is a game made up of individual performances that accumulate towards a team loss or win.

Somewhat off the subject and I don't want to

:hijacked:

but my dad was someone who never tried to tell "us" how good the old time players were. He recognized the different level of talent now compared to his days. But, he said the one guy who could play now and stood out far above all the other players of his era was Jim Brown. He said watching Brown was like watching a pro RB play with college kids.

 
The statistical disparity tells us something about the game itself, and about sports medicine, but it tells us little to nothing about the men.

I can only assume this basic point eludes you not, and that you are in fact pissing in the shark pool.
Not really. I just disagree with you.J
Very well. I guess then the HOF should be recalibrated every decade or so to oust those pickers from the past who do not measure up.
 
This is one of the things that bothers me when people talk about Hall of Fame candidates. The overreliance of statistics in evaluating greatness just irks me. I have done a lot of research on Gale Sayers (my favorite player of all time) and seen a lot of tape. You cannot look at Gale Sayers play football and not think he was one of the GREATEST RB's of all time. Terrell Davis behind that Denver offensive line was great but I dont think I looked at HIM as being great. Same thing with Priest Holmes behind that KC offensive line.
OK, he was great when he played, but that was not for long. Where do you draw the line? Bo looked better than anyone I have ever seen, but he just didn't play long enough.
 
I'd just say this is always going to be a subjective test.  The best answer I can give is that I am a Packer homer.  I was raised on God, Country, and Vince Lombardi and not necessarily in that order.  I hated the Bears as part of my birthright, yet I recognize that Sayers unquestionably belongs in the HOF and that Sweetness was the best back ever.  When haters grudgingly acknowledge greatness that has to be worth something.  (Note for instance that I firmly believe Nitschke was far superior to Butkus for a take on my perspective and objectivity)
You, sir, are a very perceptive man. These are thoughts in line with my own on all accounts.But what the hell does "lossened" mean?
It means I picked the wrong day to give up sniffing glue.
:lmao:
 
This is one of the things that bothers me when people talk about Hall of Fame candidates.  The overreliance of statistics in evaluating greatness just irks me.  I have done a lot of research on Gale Sayers (my favorite player of all time) and seen a lot of tape.  You cannot look at Gale Sayers play football and not think he was one of the GREATEST RB's of all time.  Terrell Davis behind that Denver offensive line was great but I dont think I looked at HIM as being great.  Same thing with Priest Holmes behind that KC offensive line.
OK, he was great when he played, but that was not for long. Where do you draw the line? Bo looked better than anyone I have ever seen, but he just didn't play long enough.
How many 1000 yard seasons did Bo have?Athletic as he may have been, he should not even be included in anything near a HoF or great career debate.

Sayers had FIVE consecutive All-NFL seasons. Bo?

 
Sayers stats judged by todays standards do not reflect his impact. Apples and oranges.
OK, but how did he compare stat wise with guys from his era? Was he that much above other players who did not get into the HOF?
 
but my dad was someone who never tried to tell "us" how good the old time players were. He recognized the different level of talent now compared to his days. But, he said the one guy who could play now and stood out far above all the other players of his era was Jim Brown. He said watching Brown was like watching a pro RB play with college kids.
My dad says that same thing about only 3 players. Brown, Decon and Unitas. No Sayers......I for one am adamantly convinced that the great talents of years past had a much easier time standing out and creating separation vs. the competition do to the culture of football. Football was a game back then that had very little lure to a lot of great athletes and today it is a staple of our country and American icon game. 99% of the men in this country want to either play in the NFL or NBA as kids now. Back then, not even close. This was also an era in which pursuit angles seemingly did not exhist. Worse yet tackling with your head down seemed to be the staple of technique. Either that or head hunting, which more leads to more missed tackles that anything other than hitting with your head down.... A lot of these guys did look like highschool kids trying to play Pro ball. I’ve seen film from these games and yes, there are some outstanding athletes. Brown, Sayers, Jones, Unitas…. One of the things that stood out to be more than the great athletes unfortunatly is that back then, there were BAD atheltes playing too. This would never happen in modern football! What strikes me most every time I watch them is how far the game has come in what is really just a short period of time.

 
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The statistical disparity tells us something about the game itself, and about sports medicine, but it tells us little to nothing about the men.

I can only assume this basic point eludes you not, and that you are in fact pissing in the shark pool.
Not really. I just disagree with you.J
Very well. I guess then the HOF should be recalibrated every decade or so to oust those pickers from the past who do not measure up.
Actually I would look at the era the person plays and see how they stack up to the others of that era. Were they dominant for a sustained period of time against the people they played against? I don't think 5000 yards is long enough sustenance.
 
Sayers stats judged by todays standards do not reflect his impact.  Apples and oranges.
OK, but how did he compare stat wise with guys from his era? Was he that much above other players who did not get into the HOF?
Fair Question.Marion Motley had 1696 rushing yards and 463 recieving yards in the NFL. This is somewhat misleading as he played previously in the AAFC. His lifetime rushing total was 4720 yards

Hugh McElhenny had 5281 yards rushing and 3247 Recieving

Doak Walker of the coveted Doak walker Award fame had 1520 Rushing and 2534 Recieving.

Charlie Tippi had 3506 rushing, 1321 recieving and 2547 passing.

Olie Matson had 5173 and 3286 respectively

Frank Gifford had 3609 and 5434 (the original Marshall Faulk where recieving was deadly)

John Henry Johnson had 6803 and 1478.

All these backs had longer careers than Sayers, were HOF worthy in their era (the modern era according to the HOF- No Thorpes or Nagurski's these guys but modern players) and were equaled or passed by Sayers in his somewhat truncated career. Remember many careers back in the day were truncated by war or injury. Sayers career was short, but not abnormally so.

In effect Sayers accumulated the Gold Standard at the time for HOF numbers and did it in a shorter, but not unusually short time span. A modern day equivilent would be a back that played for 7 or so years putting up 10,000 yards rushing, 2500 receiving, being an impact return man, and being widely acknoledged as the most electrifying guy of his day, if not all time. In short when adjusting for eras the Bo Jackson argument comes up short as does the Terrell Davis one. The more comparable argument is Marshall Faulk.

BTW I have no doubt that had Bo or Terrell or Sterling played longer that their talent would have gotten them in the HOF

 
Or to put a finer point on it:

Would the Texans draft him #1 this Saturday if they were guaranteed he'd put up 7 years worth of stats that matched Sayers?

J
In each of Sayers' first five seasons in the NFL, he was top five in the league in rushing yards (in addition to being an accomplished receiver and return man). I think the Texans would be happy if Bush is top five in the league in each of the next five seasons.
 
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