I'm from Michigan and my friends and i keep arguing about these 2 rb's. I say LT is the best running back because he can do it all but my friends think barry is the best because he was great with a poor offensive line (and they live in michigan). What do you think? Please give reasons for your choice.
As a Husker fan and a Bears fan I had the pleasure of watching Barry play both college and pro ball, and I can guarantee you that for pure skill as a RB there's no way LT2 can carry Sanders' jock. I have owned LT2 in my main league since his rookie year and I love the guy, and I actively rooted against Sanders in college and pro ball, so I'd have to say that if I'm biased it's towards Tomlinson. But the fact of the matter is that LT2 is GOOD, but Barry Sanders was GREAT.
If I'm starting an all-time NFL team Sanders is my #1 pick. Honestly.
I voted Barry but LT2 could end up as the best I dunno. Its all a matter of opinion. They both played at a different time so its hard to measure. And though Barry retired not that long ago the game has change a great deal, its so much faster now and defensive lines are so much bigger and faster as are linebackers. I think that one of the reasons Barry seemed so super human is his skills were just ahead of his time. Replace LT2 with Barry on the Chargers of today and maybe he is mortal, Put LT2 on that Lions team back in the day and maybe hes just as much of a freak as Barry was, who knows.
I feel somewhat nostalgic voting for Sanders. It seems we as a culture like to think more fondly of those that did something when we were growing up instead of embracing the new kid that reminds us of the older guy. Personally, I love LT. The guy is doing things at a torrid pace and making it look easy. I think it's the "making it look easy" part that gives Sanders the edge. Barry always seemed to make great plays out of absolutely nothing. There would be three defenders in his grill and the guy would make something amazing happen. Not to mention, Sanders had very little support around him on either side of the ball and still put up incredible numbers.
Do I think LT is a Hall of Famer? Yes.
Do I think he'll surpass Sanders' numbers if he stays healthy? Yes.
Do I think Sanders would put up LT's numbers if he played for the Chargers today? No question.
People also forget that Sanders's TD numbers were relatively low because Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross sometimes used goal-line backs like Derrick Moore and Tommy Vardell to vulture TD's from Sanders. Not to mention, Sanders never had the opportunities to score because his team was either getting blown out or they rarely sniffed the red-zone.
I think one thing that makes up for Sanders' shoddy line is the fact that players are so much more athletic now. A current fast DL probably had LB or even DB speed back in the day. Most of those DL probably would've gotten cut from today's squads.
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At this point still have to give it to Barry - LT will definitely be one of the best when his career is over - where he'll rank remains to be seen (and I don't just mean stats).
When I think of Barry, I like to quote another source:
"His ability to stop, restart, and change direction, all within a five-yard radius, is better than anybody I ever saw. His hips were amazing. It looked like he almost could turn them completely around his back. And he had great balance, great leg strength and great speed. He was fast. Some people underestimate his speed, saying he was more quick then fast." "I can't think of any runner who compares to him. People often bring up Gale Sayers, but I've watched Sayers and he didn't do any of the things that you see Barry do. Sayers had speed and agility, no question, but he never did the things that Barry did every time you watched him. I've never seen anybody who had the abilities Barry possessed." "One of those abilities, and one you don't hear a lot of people talk about, was his ability to avoid the big hit. Guys couldn't get a good hit on him, which was important, because that kept him healthy and in the game. Some people criticized him, saying he was flashy but that too many times he'd lose two or three yards because of his running style. But he never had an All-Pro offensive line in front of him, opening up holes. He lost yards sometimes because he was too busy trying to make 5 guys miss!"
Oh yeh, the author of the above was someone who knew a little about the running game himself - Emmitt Smith!
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