Friday, November 16, 2007


In examining the history of NFL defensive star linemen and linebackers, I have developed a general rule:

If the merely seasonall fan recognizes a player as really good, that player is already in decline. See, e.g., KGB, Dwight Freeney, Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Mike Curtis. Doesn't mean they're not still good players, but still are in decline.

There are exceptions. Mean Joe Green, Merlin Olsen, Warren Sapp come to mind. But, there's not many.

Theory doesn't work for Defensive Backs.


At 7:26 AM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Cowboy Bob said...

Add Bob Lilly and Randy White.

Too Tall Jones became a much better player after he took the year off to box. Never lived up to the hype of being the overall #1 pick in the 1974 draft, but he had a nice career.

Jethro Pugh was an outstanding DT for years, but he had two things going against him:

1)Played next to Bob Lilly.
2)Got blocked to end the Ice Bowl.

At 8:35 AM, November 16, 2007, Blogger TOOKIE said...

But look at the pats with the OLD and UGLY line backer corps . Everyone of them was the BEST in their prime , how they can still play is just an x factor .

D backs tend to have pretty long careers in the NFL . line men are the meat grinders , I think they avg 3 years playing.

An NFL lineback gets in , I think an avg of 15 CAR wrecks a game . That is the force of the collision while doing one's "job" .....

I am far happier watching them do that .........


At 9:45 AM, November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Singletary

At 11:05 AM, November 16, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Bob Lilly was a Merlin Jones type freak. He's a clear exception. Randy White was great but he is an example of what I'm talking about. By the time media/public discovered him, he was in decline and more of interior pass rusher than a one-man running game blanket.

T squared was KGB, became a pass rush specialist, total skills in decline by the time people saw him as anything but an unusually tall lineman.


At 11:06 AM, November 16, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

TwoQui be right.

The fantastic UNITS never have the one guy who stands above everybody. Denver and NE are good examples.


At 11:09 AM, November 16, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I'd argue Singletary (great player) was in decline when America accepted his greatness. He was quirky and interestings but lost range quickly after '86.


I think Alan Page, great as he was, was an example of my decline principle as well.


At 11:19 AM, November 16, 2007, Blogger TOOKIE said...

Howie Long .....

Romanoski ......

One quit when it was wise and can speak very well on air.

One kept playing and now wears depends and drools.

The NFL is a place where one should save their money and when the time or pain hits leave and retire.

Esp on Def at line & LB place for a long life after football.

At 2:02 PM, November 16, 2007, Blogger THE ORACLE... said...

Alan Page was a distinguished Minnesota Justice. He played football also?

At 2:04 PM, November 16, 2007, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Page played for Notre Dame, back when they had football.


At 2:13 PM, November 16, 2007, Blogger RH said...

Wait a second. Notre Dame had football?


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