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Tigrrfan

50 of the best of Barry!

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Two things that struct me from that video:

1. Sanders wasn't always the fastest guy out there.  Don't get me wrong, he was certainly fast, but he did get taken down from behind a couple of times there.  Speed certainly helps a RB, but you don't always have to be the fastest to be the best.

2. Holy cow the NFL has changed in just a handful of years.  Some of those blocks and tackles...  I saw more than one "horse collar" that brought down Sanders.  Ugh.

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6 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

To be fair, it was 20 - 25 years ago.  That is quite a bit.

Yeah, you're right... I guess I was thinking more about when he retired... and even then it nearly two decade.  I keep forgetting how old I really am. :)

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8 hours ago, RedRamage said:

Two things that struct me from that video:

1. Sanders wasn't always the fastest guy out there.  Don't get me wrong, he was certainly fast, but he did get taken down from behind a couple of times there.  Speed certainly helps a RB, but you don't always have to be the fastest to be the best.

2. Holy cow the NFL has changed in just a handful of years.  Some of those blocks and tackles...  I saw more than one "horse collar" that brought down Sanders.  Ugh.

I remember being in high school at the time of his 2k season, the narrative to us high school kids was that he would indeed get tackled from behind because he didn't have straight line speed.

Then he had that game against tb where he broke off two 80 yard tds suddenly kids in school started talking about how he suddenly had that breakaway speed now.  Looking back it's kinda funny how we thought somebody at his age could suddenly develop breakaway speed out of nowhere. 

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He was very fast. It looked like he was playing in fast motion and all the other players were in slow motion. And the elusiveness,  my goodness. Making All-Pro players look silly. The man was a once in a generation talent. I'm glad I witnessed it and I still miss it.

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On 10/18/2018 at 8:28 AM, RedRamage said:

Two things that struct me from that video:

1. Sanders wasn't always the fastest guy out there.  Don't get me wrong, he was certainly fast, but he did get taken down from behind a couple of times there.  Speed certainly helps a RB, but you don't always have to be the fastest to be the best.

2. Holy cow the NFL has changed in just a handful of years.  Some of those blocks and tackles...  I saw more than one "horse collar" that brought down Sanders.  Ugh.

Barry Sanders had at least one season -- I seem to recall that it was more than one -- in which he had more runs of 50 yards or more than everyone else in the league combined.  So he was plenty fast.

But he also had very powerful legs, with big thighs, and in a lengthy sprint, legs like that tend to tighten up somewhat, and are not conducive to maintaining long strides and full speed for the better part of a hundred yards.    So it's not too surprising when a lean defensive back is able to catch up to a bulkier running back.

Barry is my pick for the greatest running back of all time.  As those highlights show, he did a lot of incredible things, and he piled up huge yardage despite running behind some pretty unimpressive offensive lines.  I think that if he had run behind, say, the Cowboys' blockers of the early 90s, he might have rushed for 3000 yards in a season.

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Barry was never going to run for 3000 yards in a season.

He never carried the ball 350 times in a season.  That would translate to a 8.6 or better yard/carry average.  He was great, but that was never going to happen.

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The Lions OL was underrated. I keep hearing this about having a better line. I watched a lot of his runs and a lot of times he's untouched until he gets to the second level. People see these highlights of the OL getting blown up and Sanders making something of nothing and claim the Lions didn't have blockers. Every OL gets blown up from time to time. Even the Cowboys. 

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Glover and Brown were very, very good linemen.

To the extent Barry was limited, I personally believed he was more limited by defenses not respecting the passing threat as much as other teams.

I read an article in Sport (?I think?) in the mid to late 90's, and the writer polled d coordinators in the league about which offensive player they schemed the most against.  To the writer's surprise, the answer almost unanimously was Barry.  It was something like 25 said Barry, a couple said Favre (one being the Lions D coordinator), a couple said Young.

Not only that, a universal theme was defenses spent time in the week before they played the Lions focused solely on stopping Barry and running specific drills aimed at stopping Barry.  One example given was having multiple running backs carrying a ball simultaneously, so players on the weak side couldn't overpursue the first runner and it forced guys to make more one on one tackles.  Another was having D players try to catch a running chicken in a small area.

My point being is that Barry was facing defenses that were focused on stopping him in a way that no other player in the league at the time had to deal with, and part of that was owing to the fact teams did not fear the passing game.

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One of the few huge rewards of being a Lions' fan (and being a season ticket holder during Barry's entire career) is being able to say I saw the guy play and basically saw every offensive play he made at home during his career.

Of course, I also saw him run for something like -2 yards in a playoff game at Green Bay. :)

I haven't seen the video yet, but how many running backs can you routinely create a list of the 50 best plays for and probably still have about another 20 to 50 on the cutting room floor that probably were pretty incredible as well.

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Those 90's Lions teams had a lot of talent but never had the QB to put it together. Obviously had Sanders running the ball, but you had Moore and Periman on the outside, a solid OL despite popular belief, a decent front seven with Porcher, Ellis, Spielman, and Bennie Blades in the secondary. To win 9 or so games every year with below average QB's shows how good those teams could have been.

Speaking of 90's Lions, Kenny Golladay reminds me a lot of Herman Moore. 

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Just watched it. No. 2 is by far my favorite Barry Sanders run of all time.

My favorite reaction of all time is Rodney Peete on the No. 5 run. Barry breaks a tackle, changes field and still has 25 yards to go with a ton of defenders between him and the goal line. Peete is in the backfield while Barry is just trying to get back to the 25 with his hands up signalling touchdown.

I think we all did that a few times during his career.

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15 minutes ago, Motown Bombers said:

Those 90's Lions teams had a lot of talent but never had the QB to put it together. Obviously had Sanders running the ball, but you had Moore and Periman on the outside, a solid OL despite popular belief, a decent front seven with Porcher, Ellis, Spielman, and Bennie Blades in the secondary. To win 9 or so games every year with below average QB's shows how good those teams could have been.

Speaking of 90's Lions, Kenny Golladay reminds me a lot of Herman Moore. 

Scott Mitchell had his issues, but he never had any troubles with throwing jump balls to Herman Moore no matter how covered Moore was. Moore would just get up there and get that ball. Whenever he was isolated near the goal line, we'd just pray they would audible to Moore and just throw the ball in the air around Moore. He'd get it. When Charlie Batch took over, he didn't have that throw and Moore's role on the change shifted dramatically. Herman Moore was pretty awesome as well.

 

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On 11/1/2018 at 12:42 PM, six-hopper said:

Barry Sanders had at least one season -- I seem to recall that it was more than one -- in which he had more runs of 50 yards or more than everyone else in the league combined.  So he was plenty fast.

But he also had very powerful legs, with big thighs, and in a lengthy sprint, legs like that tend to tighten up somewhat, and are not conducive to maintaining long strides and full speed for the better part of a hundred yards.    So it's not too surprising when a lean defensive back is able to catch up to a bulkier running back.

Barry is my pick for the greatest running back of all time.  As those highlights show, he did a lot of incredible things, and he piled up huge yardage despite running behind some pretty unimpressive offensive lines.  I think that if he had run behind, say, the Cowboys' blockers of the early 90s, he might have rushed for 3000 yards in a season.

Yes, Barry could/would have had the all time rushing yards record if he would have stuck around. Emmitt Smith had to go to another team to get that record 

Not just Dallas, but can you imagine his rushing yards if he played for a good/great team? He may have had multiple rings. And he could have made several teams stronger contenders.

Just another player to go on "The Lions Wasted Talent" list.

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