Top 10 Green Bay Packers

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers' started by sport historian, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Tonight (Saturday) at 10pm ET, the NFL Network has a new Top 10 program, the Top 10 all-time Green Bay Packers. The Packers have 21 hall of famers to choose from. The program will be repeated several times the next few days.
     
  2. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    The list was:

    1. Don Hutson
    2. Brett Favre
    3. Bart Starr
    4. Reggie White
    5. Ray Nitschke
    6. Paul Hornung
    7. Herb Adderly
    8. James Lofton
    9. Jerry Kramer
    10. Jim Taylor

    Jerry Kramer, who isn't in the HOF was picked over two Lombardi-era OL, Gregg and Ringo, who are. Hornung is surprisingly high as Taylor had much better rushing numbers, said some panelists.
     
  3. JReb1

    JReb1 Mentor

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    Rodgers should be close to making this list already. By the end of his career I wouldn't be surprised if he passes Favre up.
     
  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems like a pretty good list, though I agree with Sport Historian that Jim Taylor should be ranked higher than Hornung. Taylor was one of the best running backs ever.
     
  5. dwid

    dwid Master

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    Ive always been weary of their top 10 lists ever since they put the dome patrol at number 1 for linebacking corps. The Dome Patrol was good at rushing the passer, pretty good at the run but not good in coverage. I grew up watching the Saints and them blowing leads. Yes the Saints offense wasn't that great, but it was a ball control offense that allowed the defense to get plenty of rest. They ran and ran and then it opened up the pass, to Eric Martin who was nothing more than a "possession receiver", great route running and knew where the the first down marker was but could not stretch the field. Despite the notion that he had hands of glue, he dropped plenty of passes.They didn't have much else to work with. He was the prototypical go across the middle get the snot knocked out of him receiver.

    Jim Taylor was second to Jim Brown in that era for runningbacks, Brown is considered one of the best of all times, no matter what the list. The only reason why he was number 2 to Brown most years is because they fed Brown the ball more, it didn't = more wins/championships though, and I felt Taylor did better in the post season. Brown led the league in carries pretty much every year he led the league in rushing, with about 280+ carries most years, breaking the 300 carry mark once which was rare back then. Jim Taylor had more 270+ carries one time, which is the year he beat Brown out in yards. Taylor averaged more than 5 ypc 3 years in his career and I think if he had gotten more carries would've broken the 5 ypc mark a few more times. Paul Hornug did everything well but watching old footage I just didn't see an elite talent like Taylor.
     
  6. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    It's no disgrace to be second to Brown. Overall, Brown's average per carry was higher than Taylor's.
     
  7. dwid

    dwid Master

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    No its not a disgrace to be 2nd to Jim Brown, but the whole point is, if he is 2nd to Jim Brown then there is no way he should be that far down the list. I'm don't know if they would have had the same success some of those years without Taylor.

    If you take out the 3 years he played past his prime (after 29, Brown didn't play after 29) then his ypc would be like 4.8 or 4.9 to Brown's 5.2, not that much different and you can't just base everything off of stats, different team different circumstances different play calls.

    There were plenty of people at the time who considered them 1a and 1b, not to mention Taylor had 5 straight 1k seasons, something Brown never had, and his team won more championships. IMO he isn't 2nd to Brown. Whose to say what his ypc would be if he switched places with Brown? Watching old footage, Brown got to run all of the plays (not ALL of the plays literally but all of the different types of running plays), Lombardi had more of the inside the tackle runs for Taylor and more outside stuff for Hornug. Had he been featured more he could have broken off more big runs which could be the difference between 4.8 and 5.2.

    Not to mention I think Brown was allowed to freelance a little bit more. There was a play where Taylor got chewed out because he made a cut to the inside (I am pretty sure it was a sweep) but basically he didn't go where the play was directed since it he probably would have been stuffed, it was a huge gain but he didn't run the play as drawn up on the chalk board. I don't have access to all of the old footage, well its not at my house so not instant access so I don't know how many times something like that happened, or how many plays Taylor ran a play exactly like it was drawn up only to get stuffed or get hit at the line and fight for a few yards. Lombardi was a great coach, one of the greatest but from what I can gather, he seemed to think that what he drew up on the chalk board, if executed properly then it would work exactly the way he had it drawn up, and thats not always the case in football.

    To be fair I will call them 1a and 1b. Its just sickening that the fact when people mention the greatest backs of all time Brown's name is included, and Jim Taylor is forgotten by many. When you mention Taylor somehow the league was full of slow White guys, somehow the defenders were different than the ones Brown was running against.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  8. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    How many times did you see Brown and Taylor play on live TV? I saw them both on TV dozens of times during the 1960's. Highlight films only show a player at his best. I've seen both of them having sub-par games as well as great games.

    They were never 1a and 1b, but 1 and 2 is a fair estimate. Taylor did not make the long TD runs Brown did, or the long TDs on passing plays Brown sometimes had. Brown could go deep for a pass or take a swing pass 50 plus yards.

    Taylor did block better, but Lombardi complained in a magazine article (which I have) that "Taylor doesn't think he's paid to block."

    No, Brown did not run outside all the time while Taylor ran inside. I clearly picture in my minds eye Brown running up the middle for 5-6 yards play after play.

    Have you never heard of the Packer sweep? Or seen Taylor and Hornung run it in a live game? Taylor got a lot of yards running outside ("In the alley").

    Brown was able to freelance more under Blanton Collier during his last 3 seasons of 1963-65. Under Paul Brown from 1957-62, much less so.

    It IS true that Taylor should be rated higher among the great runners than he is. Taylor generally did better than Brown when the Packers and Browns met, in particular a 1961 regular season game and the 1965 NFL Championship game. Years ago, I discussed these games on the Forum.
     
  9. dwid

    dwid Master

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    No I didn't see it live but I have seen footage. You aren't the only person to have watched games from that era. The guy that I watched the footage with is very passionate about Taylor but has footage from that era and saw both play as well (not sure where he collected from but I would love to get my hands on some of the footage).

    I'll freely admit that I have watched more of Taylor than Brown ( the ones that stick out in my mind are the Browns vs Detroit post season game as well as Packers/Browns).

    Im not denying that Brown didn't run up the middle, its just that he got to run to the outside more, he got to run more in general, more carries etc.

    Yes I'm familiar with the Packer sweep, but from my understanding it was designed for Hornung. If you watched highlights thats all you would think Taylor ran because that is where most of his big plays came from, but he had tons of up the gut carries, most of his carries were between the tackles.

    My complaint is that he didn't get to run the sweep enough. The whole run to daylight/Packer sweep was originally meant for Hornung despite popular belief, at least from my understanding.

    Yes both got to run the play but Taylor was the grind it out back and blocked better than Hornung. And I did remember correctly, the play was a sweep, he wasn't supposed to cut inside and got chewed out...for making a play. I can only imagine what would have happened if he had ran east/west and reversed field like some of Brown's big runs.

    Brown's record for 30+ yard td runs was 5, he wasn't as big as a homerun threat as your making him out to be, seen footage where he was caught from behind when it shouldve been a td.

    So no, didn't see it live but have seen both play, not just highlight footage but games as well(although the older highlights show more than todays, the footage I remember wouldn't be an ENTIRE game, but I remember the detroit/lions game being over 20 minutes as well as the Packers footage, well somewhere in between 20 and 30 minutes, maybe over 30 minutes I dont remember, it wasn't just highlights of the best plays for one particular player, saw footage with both getting stuffed, I remember the footage had a good deal of plays packed in cutting right to the chase so I consider that pretty close to watching an actual game).

    What I remember is a bunch of plays with Taylor going up the gut, then Hornung going to the outside, maybe an occasional play to the outside for Taylor. For Brown, outside to the right, outside to the left, maybe a few runs up the middle, running a few routes like a receiver etc. I don't think it was just because it was shortened footage, because many of the outside plays, I remember them sometimes being 3 or 4 yard gains, so wouldn't just consider it a highlight. I honestly think 1a and 1b.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  10. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Yes, you never saw either Brown or Taylor live on TV. Presumably, the game highlights you refer to are the 1957 and 1965 NFL championship games. The latter was not one of Brown's best. Late in the third quarter, he missed a catchable pass that would have cut the Packer lead to 20-19. Green Bay won 23-12.

    No, Brown's "record for 30+ TD runs" was not 5, it was 27. Taylor had 8. Try checking profootball reference.com.

    You might want to watch the America's Game episode on the 1966 Packers. The NFL Network runs it on September 27.
     
  11. dwid

    dwid Master

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    The 5 I was referring to was in a season, which I got wrong, it was 6. No I didn't watch it live but I have talked to various people who did, some who watched football religiously, some who just followed Taylor. My argument is that most of his carries came up the gut, and everyone besides you will agree with that.

    Before talking to anyone about it and seeing any footage, I thought all they ran was the sweep because thats what is so famous when you talk about the Packers from that day, but they didn't run it as often as you think and it was mostly designed for Hornung.

    Its not as easy to gain big plays running between the tackles. Jim Brown was pretty much the first featured back and had more variety in the plays he ran, its hard to say otherwise, he got more carries and didn't have a guy like Hornung that he had to split time with. Hornung while not elite imo, was well above average in running the ball and the plays were designed for him to be more of a receiver/outside runner even though Taylor could do both well. From a Sports Illustrated Magazine after the Championship game, the defensive coach "We knew from watching pictures of the game in Cleveland last year that Brown hurts you most on sweeps when he cuts in and takes an alley just inside your cornerback"

    If you want to read pro football reference go look up they opponents eached faced. It basically states that the division he was in was weaker than the division Taylor was in. Brown averaged 4.04 yards per carry against the West, and 5.47 ypc against the East from 1960-1965. The West schedule was pretty balanced for Cleveland during that time, as they played each team at least once over that span and nobody more than twice. Brown had only three 100 yard rushing games out of eleven, and three games with 150+ total yards against the West out of eleven.

    vs. NFL East teams
    Jim Brown: 109.6 (70 games)
    Jim Taylor: 102.0 (12 games)

    vs. NFL West teams
    Jim Brown: 74.2 (11 games)
    Jim Taylor: 81.7 (68 games)

    Why is it that in the 2 postseason games I saw he didn't look like an elite talent? tougher defense? When it was all on the line? After looking slightly above average against Detroit the next year against the Giants he averaged 1.14 yards per carry.

    I have to go but I will read more on it when I get back. From glancing at it, it appears they are closer to 1a and 1b than 1 and 2. It looks like they are separated by around 7 yards per game. Yes it isn't a huge sample size as the article mentions but its something to think about, as well as the fact that Brown was a closer to a featured back compared to Taylor who had to split his carries a little more.

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=3306

    "How bad was the NFL East versus the NFL West during Jim Brown's career? Well, it ranged from being near equal in a couple of seasons, to being downright lopsided in a few others. Jim Brown entered the NFL in 1957 and played his whole career with the Cleveland Browns and in the NFL Eastern Division. During that time, the NFL West Champion won seven out of nine NFL Championship games. Cleveland was a pretty good team for that entire nine year run. Cleveland went 7-10 (with an average margin of -4.4 points) against the NFL Western Division during Brown's career, compared to 71-24-5 against the other teams in the NFL Eastern Division. "
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  12. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    How many 30 yard plus TD's did Taylor get in a season? What else do you get wrong? If you want to argue with someone, why don't you contradict the poster at the pro football reference blog who doesn't think a white RB can gain a thousand yards in a season anymore?
     
  13. dwid

    dwid Master

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    I'm just stating what I believe and that stats don't tell the entire story. Its ridiculous to have Jim Brown elevated to some mythical status at number 1 that can't be touched, that the idea of someone being his equal is just out of the equation. It doesn't matter that they played a different schedule, that Brown had more outside running plays etc. (and no I'm not saying Brown only ran to the outside, just that he had more plays rushing to the outside than Taylor) How many 30 yard rushing tds in a season? I don't know I can't find where it says that on pro football reference. It only gives the season long and for the game logs it doesn't tell the longest rush of the game. I guess he must not have had any long rushes because long rushes only count if they score, doesn't matter if he has a big play to the redzone, and punches it in after. Taylor probably had plenty of 20+ yard rushing plays, from what I can see once he hit his prime his season longs were 32, 53, 51, 40 and 84. Like I have stated, if he had ran more to the outside, plays that were usually used with Hornung, he would've had more long rushes. Yes Jim Brown probably had better speed after 40 yards, but Im willing to bet it was similar in the 10 to 30 yard range. That doesn't make one better than the other. Taylor got it done when it mattered the most, multiple times. Not to mention Brown fumbled more than Taylor, 57 to Taylor's 34.

    Jim Brown represents everything wrong with the mentality of fans today. In their mind, Jim Brown was one of the first blacks to get the ball 200 + times in a season and to them he looked like a mixture of Walter Payton, Earl Campbell and Barry Sanders compared to a league filled with "slow white guys". They seem to think he was bigger (which he was at 230 pounds) and faster than anybody else in the league. This is despite the fact that he only had one year with the longest rush in the league. His teammate Bobby Mitchell averaged a higher ypc 3 of the 4 years he was with the Browns and had plenty of long plays as well when he was in the same backfield. Jim Taylor's longest rush is 84, Brown's is 80. Mitchell's is 90, again, on the same team as Jim Brown. I don't believe Hornung ever had a higher ypc than Taylor once Taylor hit his prime.

    Meanwhile, when talking about Jim Taylor, to the casual fan he is just a side note when mentioning the Packers. He was 215 which was still big for the time period, but almost every clip mentioning his size will talk about how he was "ahead of the game and had a strict weight lifting program." Vince Lombardi is made out to be the greatest coach in history of football and apparently the team was full of superstars that couldn't be matched by any other team in the league, which could be the only logical explanation for their dominance for a majority White team in an era where blacks were being integrated into the league. I would imagine something similar will be said about Bill Bellicheck and his mostly White Patriots.

    Jim Brown was "bigger, faster stronger" while Jim Taylor was a "gritty overacheiver who relied on his successful offensive line and great coaching schemes"

    That message has been drilled into our heads for 4 to 5 decades and has warped people's way of thinking extending all the way to when John Riggins was successful, "great offensive line" even though he made them look better than they actually were. The past isn't always how you remembered it. Only 3 seasons did he have a reception 50 yards or longer, and the one I saw was not a swing pass, it was a route that he ran like a receiver, so the idea of him taking a swing pass 50+ yards wasn't as frequent as you make it sound.

    Why would I argue with some idiot who doesn't think Whites can rush for 1,000 yards?

    Anything I say on the matter must be trash because I got the number off by 1 and "I wasn't there", even though I know quite a few people who were there, some were big LSU fans and know Taylor and followed him as well as the NFL at the time. One wasn't a Taylor fan, was a Tulane fan and watched Taylor demolish them back in the day (when Tulane was relevant). I'll take his word for it since he was my grandfather, and hated LSU and its players with a passion. Besides it doesn't even matter, someone else compiled the data, Brown averaged 4.04 ypc playing the competition Taylor did and averaged 35.4 yards less per game. They were only separated by 7.5-7.6 yards per game.

    1a and 1b when you factor everything in. It doesn't even matter because Steve Van Buren has them both beat according to old timers.

    Yes I'll go watch America's game on NFL Network from 1966 when Taylor was past his prime, they aren't biased at all in what clips they decide to show and what they decide to talk about. Out of the big runs that Taylor has, they decide to show the one where the lineman is running ahead of him, even though he is slowing down to pick up the downfield block it registers in dwf's heads "hes slow, the lineman is running just as fast as him." They'll talk about how great of a coach Lombardi was, "wow he diagrammed a play on a chalk board and gave the details of it, this must be what they run all the time".

    But you're right, I wasn't there, so my posts must be full of errors, it must be impossible to know anyone else that saw games during that period. You are right, Taylor was just a slow, tight hipped overacheiver who got yards just by his determination and offensive line/coaching and could never come close to they mythical Jim Brown who thinks so highly of himself, the first of many egotistical black players in the league.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  14. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    Aside from long, repetitive, and uninformative posts, what is your point?

    Taylor has been getting more credit from researchers in recent years. In The Pro Football Abstract, he's rated ahead of Lenny Moore, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Franco Harris, John Riggins, Larry Csonka, and even Gale Sayers, among others.
     
  15. dwid

    dwid Master

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    My original point is that Taylor is right up there with the "number 1 back" from the late 50's-early 60's - today. I'm sick of Whites always having to be number 2 or less, no matter what the situation.

    My other point is that just because you saw it live doesn't make someone else on this site any less knowledgeable on a subject from a different time period, or their opinions invalid. You aren't the only person who has seen stuff from that period and it is possible for members to have talked to guys who watched football from that era. Unfortunately none of them post on this site so your insight on the past is helpful but it is pretty low to go tell me to argue with some guy on a random website instead of you as if to say "thats what you should stick with, since I was there and you weren't" giving me some weak ass counter argument and failing to acknowledge why Brown had a harder time in the postseason and against the same competition Taylor ran against, telling me to go watch some crap on NFL Network from when Taylor was past his prime and then just responding with more insults.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  16. sport historian

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    Your comments have nothing to do with the original subject of the thread.
     
  17. GWTJ

    GWTJ Mentor

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    This list, like all the others I have seen on tv, means nothing. The following Vince Lombardi quote is good enough for me. Lombardi said, "Forest Gregg is, quite simply, the finest football player I ever coached."

    I will take Lombardi's opinion over just about anyone else's. The people who picked this list obviously did not research very well if they can't find some quotes from Lombardi about his players and use that in their evaluations. Perhaps they are too full of themselves to seek out the coaches opinion. Either way, the list is garbage in my mind.
     
  18. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The NFL Network is running this show again as I type this, and the excuse given for Taylor being only number ten all-time on the Packers is that he was overshadowed by Jim Brown. True, but he was one of the dominant running backs ever in the NFL until the league increased the number of games in the schedule, and before offensive stats became so important to players and fans.

    He's still an all-time great. Taylor was basically Lou Gehrig to Brown's Babe Ruth. Looking at the list again, it is a very impressive for a fabled franchise, but Jim Tayor deserved a higher ranking, no lower than fourth and a good argument can be made for him being first, second or third.
     
  19. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Cool thread. It deserves a bump
     

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