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LT GOAT Argument

BestFeature : 9/9/2017 2:40 pm
Sorry but I couldn't think of a better title for this thread.

First let me say, I'm 31 years old and only started following football in 2001. So I unfortunately missed all of the years LT played. So I don't challenge his greatness even a little bit. I just always wondered if using the argument that he's the GOAT because he changed the way defenses played him was a little bit unfair. I think that biases players that are from an earlier era. Hypothetically speaking if another LT came or, an even better LT came this year, it's possible that since schemes are more sophisticated in 2017 there won't be a change in defense or the change in defense would be relatively insignificant when compared to the change in defense that happened when LT played. My analogy would be a young company and a mature company, as a company matures the market gets saturated and there's less room for market share and sales growth. Same with NFL defenses, I think defenses are more mature, so I don't think we'll see any player come in and change the way defenses play like LT did. So using that argument will no one be able to unseat LT because no one came in and revolutionized the way defenses played him like LT did? Isn't it unfairly biasing towards LT that just so happened to be born a few decades earlier than players playing today?
It entirely plausible that someone could come along  
WideRight : 9/9/2017 2:52 pm : link
and change the game the way LT did. The "more sophisticaed" argument has no context. Lots of people in theory could have done what LT did, but no one did.

When someone comes along and changes the game the way LT did, then that person maybe GOAT. Until then, LT is.
Schemes have matured because LT forced them to change  
PatersonPlank : 9/9/2017 2:53 pm : link
Not because it was some sort of generational move. When another defensive player comes into the league who makes offenses fundamentally change their make-up and gameplans, then we can talk. I also don't buy this type of argument because its one where retired players are never as good as current players, which is a load of crap.
There will never, ever, be another LT,  
Big Blue '56 : 9/9/2017 2:55 pm : link
just as there will never, ever, be another Babe Ruth..Regardless of the amount of superstars that inhabit all sports now, then and in the future, LT and Babe will always stand alone.

Period
Patterson  
joeinpa : 9/9/2017 3:01 pm : link
Retired players are never as good as present players, load if crap.

Amen.

I get so frustrated with the media who is very built o this.

Ex. Bill Russell who led his Celtics to 11 championships in 13 years becaus he did what it took to win, made those around him better and was all about team. Does not get the same respect as Jorda who won 6 titles.
So yeah Joe Gibbs  
BigBlueDownTheShore : 9/9/2017 3:02 pm : link
Created the double TE formation to slow LT down. Please name another modern Defensive player that they literally created a new formation for?
RE: Schemes have matured because LT forced them to change  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 3:06 pm : link
In comment 13589427 PatersonPlank said:
Quote:
Not because it was some sort of generational move. When another defensive player comes into the league who makes offenses fundamentally change their make-up and gameplans, then we can talk. I also don't buy this type of argument because its one where retired players are never as good as current players, which is a load of crap.


I was definitely not making that argument either. My point was though that it's possible no one will ever be as good, but it's possible someone WILL be as good but it won't be noticed because he won't have the same opportunity to change the game.
RE: So yeah Joe Gibbs  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 3:10 pm : link
In comment 13589433 BigBlueDownTheShore said:
Quote:
Created the double TE formation to slow LT down. Please name another modern Defensive player that they literally created a new formation for?


The point is that NFL defenses are more sophisticated now and there won't be as much opportunity for a guy to come in and have new formations created for him because there are already so many of them. That could be because the NFL was relatively unsophisticated and the double TE formation was a revolutionary change at the time. But I hate to make that argument because it then takes away from LT's greatness. But it could also be because the NFL is so sophisticated now that there just aren't that many scheme changes left to be made.
Time outs  
ctc in ftmyers : 9/9/2017 3:13 pm : link
were called by the offence when LT was out for a play because the QB couldn't find him on the field.

Be a long time before a player like that comes along.
LT was a wrecking machine plain and simple  
Larry in Pencilvania : 9/9/2017 3:13 pm : link
He elevated the game of every player around him. Be destroyed quarterbacks. You couldn't run from him do teams tried running at him. He played a game with one arm and tried the Saints.

When I was young and would watch him play I was always amazed how much better he was than everyone. I also couldn't believe how luck the giants were to have the best player in the league.

LT is the GOAT
One argument to counter my point however is  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 3:14 pm : link
that LT changed the game that anyone that's as good as LT now is in large part as good as LT now because linebackers and other pass rushers have been copying from HIS game. So he provided the blueprint for future generations of pass rushers. I can see that argument. Although, I do wonder if there is a guy that's so above his peers like LT was, if he CAN still revolutionize the game as much now.
Holy crap  
Larry in Pencilvania : 9/9/2017 3:14 pm : link
My phone sux
RE: Holy crap  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 3:15 pm : link
In comment 13589446 Larry in Pencilvania said:
Quote:
My phone sux


I was going to ask if you typed that on your phone, haha.
I disagree with your opening premise  
PatersonPlank : 9/9/2017 3:25 pm : link
NFL defenses are not more sophisticated now than in he 80-90's. Where did you hear that? The Bears had one of the most innovated defenses ever when they ran the 6 man front. Teams ran 4-3's and 3-4's, just like today. In fact I see no difference.
If you put LT in his prime  
Southern Man : 9/9/2017 3:36 pm : link
in today's NFL, he would still be the most dominant and electric defensive player and, I would argue, that offenses still wouldn't have an answer to him, no matter how sophisticated they have become. He was a Killer Whale, and would be today.
LT invented the strip sack  
mack809f : 9/9/2017 3:41 pm : link
and had a 100 yard int return for a TD. He did it all.
When you dedicate 3 people  
larryflower37 : 9/9/2017 3:44 pm : link
to block someone. You can be considered the goat.
At his peak, teams would put a tackle, TE, and RB assigned to block him.
also, LT could drop into coverage and cover an RB at 6'4" 245 pounds.
Von Miller, Justin Houston, and Vic Beasley don't command that presents on the field.

There is a reason he is in the top 5 of greatest players to play the game on everyone's list.
Agree, to a point with the OP  
csh2z : 9/9/2017 4:21 pm : link
The game and the athletic abilities of the players have evolved significantly since the LT era.

Nowadays, there are so many players of elite physical skills coming out of college every year, it's amazing.

The superstars of football now, are only marginally better than most of the athletes they are being compared to.

That's why it is so difficult to determine who is hands down the best at any one position, any particular year. It seems to be someone different every year, no one player is as dominant in comparison to others that play the position as when LT was playing.

LT was just an unbelievable athlete on a level all by himself, at the time.
I think it is hard for people who didn't watch those games  
81_Great_Dane : 9/9/2017 4:27 pm : link
to grasp what LT was on the field.

You can watch highlights, and they're incredible, but you can put together a great highlight reel for almost any good NFL player. So that doesn't really get it across.

You can listen to us old-timers on BBI, but we start to sound like the guy saying "I had to walk 5 miles each way to and from school, in a blizzard, up-hill both ways." Hearing our awe at the guy doesn't get it across, either.

And, it's not like no one could score on the Giants while LT was on the field. He was the best player on a great defense, but it was still football. It's a team game. There's a limit to what one guy can do. So you look at JPP and LC and talk about them wanting to be the next LT as if that makes sense. It doesn't.

What is hard to grasp is that LT was so disruptive, play in and play out, that he, a single player, changed the way offense was played in the NFL, more or less permanently

You can say, well, he was first, so it's not fair to deprecate the guys that came after. (And yes, LT showed everyone what could be done, and they copied him.) But it's not like he was the first great defender in the history of the league. Sam Huff to Ray Nitschke to Dick Butkus, Deacon Jones's Fearsome Foursome to Alan Page's Purple Gang to the Steel Curtain to the Flex to the No-name Defense, to anyone and anything you want to name -- Formations and positions and plays that had been adequate for all of them just weren't enough. LT would blow them up. Coaches had to create new schemes just to contain him. Not just better game plans, but essentially a new position (H-back) and new formations.

LT was that much better than all those Hall of Famers.

Off the field, he was a piece of crap, but on the field, he was historic.
Lt in today's NFL  
Bleedin Blue : 9/9/2017 4:32 pm : link
Is still the GOAT!! Period! End of discussion! There is no other! He was an athlete on another level, and he was a student of the game, it was brains and brawn. Now yes I think his brain is a bit scrambled now, but there is no other!
For me, it's...  
GA5 : 9/9/2017 4:34 pm : link
Jim Brown-Offense
LT- Defense
End of story.
RE: Agree, to a point with the OP  
larryflower37 : 9/9/2017 4:35 pm : link
In comment 13589486 csh2z said:
Quote:
The game and the athletic abilities of the players have evolved significantly since the LT era.

Nowadays, there are so many players of elite physical skills coming out of college every year, it's amazing.

The superstars of football now, are only marginally better than most of the athletes they are being compared to.

That's why it is so difficult to determine who is hands down the best at any one position, any particular year. It seems to be someone different every year, no one player is as dominant in comparison to others that play the position as when LT was playing.

LT was just an unbelievable athlete on a level all by himself, at the time.


I agree completely but what made LT the superstar he was is his all out effort.
He was relentless and played at a different level. No one is playing the game today with a separated shoulder and also have 3 sacks.
The game Von Miller had in the Super Bowl was LT 5 or 6 times a year in his prime.
Think JPP against Dallas a couple of years ago(when he blocked the kick) but 5 or 6 times a year.
He had a way of just taking over the game.
RE: There will never, ever, be another LT,  
Stan in LA : 9/9/2017 4:39 pm : link
In comment 13589429 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
just as there will never, ever, be another Babe Ruth..Regardless of the amount of superstars that inhabit all sports now, then and in the future, LT and Babe will always stand alone.

Period


I tend to agree except for the guy named Jim Brown.
BTW, I just realized I said "NFL defenses" like 10 times  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 4:52 pm : link
in this thread. I meant NFL offenses. I kept thinking defenses because LT played defense and because offenses had to technically defend against him. I meant NFL offenses and blocking schemes are more sophisticated now, so it'll be harder to have such a transformational impact.
I wish this board allowed you to edit comments, ugh  
BestFeature : 9/9/2017 4:53 pm : link
.
In addition to LT being an incredible athlete  
Steve in South Jersey : 9/9/2017 5:00 pm : link
and skilled player he had a tremendous will to win. He raised the level of the players around him. He had a great pain threshold and played through pain. See 1988 vs Saints https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IME24FDeTeQ

Opposing teams were terrified of him and had to account for him on every play. One of my favorite quotes from a player came from JAWS. He came to the line of scrimmage and looked for LT. He looked left. He looked right. No LT? Where is LT?!? He panicked and called timeout. LT was on the sideline getting an equipment adjustment.
LT was the GOAT because he was the entire package  
Jimmy Googs : 9/9/2017 5:08 pm : link
He had a combination of strength and speed at the Linebacker position that the league had never seen. Add in great football instincts and relentlessness behavior on every play.

His overall makeup was off-the-charts, and that is why Offenses changed what they did to react to him.

Once in a lifetime player...
RE: There will never, ever, be another LT,  
Sec 103 : 9/9/2017 5:14 pm : link
In comment 13589429 Big Blue '56 said:
Quote:
just as there will never, ever, be another Babe Ruth..Regardless of the amount of superstars that inhabit all sports now, then and in the future, LT and Babe will always stand alone.

Period

This!!!!
Here's the thing about LT....  
kinard : 9/9/2017 7:05 pm : link
His rookie year he was so outstanding and during that first offseason we all figured he would be really good, but maybe not that amazing again.... but he maintained that same level (and actually got better) over the next 14 years.

t was really just an unbelievable thing to witness...
Bill P. and Bill B. did not want to change the defense to suit LT's  
wgenesis123 : 9/9/2017 7:14 pm : link
talent. They were forced too, he was just that good. Same goes for the coaches trying to stop LT. If someone that good comes along your hypothetical argument will get blown out of the water by the players talent. Now I know that may be hard for you to believe, but you had to witness LT to believe how good he was.
Best football player  
Phil in LA : 9/9/2017 7:18 pm : link
I've ever seen.
For me...  
Vinny from Danbury : 9/9/2017 7:20 pm : link
it's just a matter of watching LT play with essentially one arm, and he's still the best player on the field. GOAT


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IME24FDeTeQ - ( New Window )
There is NO argument!  
TheMick7 : 9/9/2017 7:33 pm : link
.
LT was the most dominant  
Matt in SGS : 9/9/2017 7:34 pm : link
defensive player to ever play in the NFL. Period. John Madden, who many only know now as the guy who has a game that comes out for Xbox every year, was long before that a Super Bowl winning coach with the Raiders and part of the best announcing team with Pat Summerall. Madden for many years said he never thought a defensive player could win a game in the NFL by himself, until he saw LT play. That's how great LT was. He literally won games by himself as a linebacker. A man who could run over offensive lineman and also play the gunner on punt coverage. There is a reason why every top defensive player in the 1980s wanted to wear #56, they wanted to be LT and they waited for the "next LT" and he still hasn't come into the NFL.
Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor  
arniefez : 9/9/2017 7:36 pm : link
and everyone else. On the football field they were in their own league. A HOF player like Strahan was JAG compared to LT. Off the field is a different story.
And who could ever forget  
Larry in Pencilvania : 9/9/2017 8:00 pm : link
LTs thanksgiving pick six
Definately, one of a kind  
csh2z : 9/9/2017 8:24 pm : link
It was a great time to be a Giants fan, he was a man among boys, no doubt.

Beginning tomorrow, I think this year and maybe a few more will also be a great time to be a Giants fan. Really psyched about this season.
RE: Best football player  
Rjanyg : 9/9/2017 8:28 pm : link
In comment 13589598 Phil in LA said:
Quote:
I've ever seen.


This 100%.
10 straight pro bowls, defensive rookie of the year, league MVP, defensive player of the year, 2 Super Bowls, lead the league in sacks, and played the game with an insane amount of intensity.

The number 56 is legendary because of LT.

Joe Gibbs  
djstat : 9/9/2017 8:36 pm : link
"Created the One back offense to deal with Lawrence ztaylor." -- Bill Parcells, 1993
LT was a heat seeking missle, your jaw would  
gtt350 : 9/9/2017 8:37 pm : link
drop just watching him and you were overjoyed he was on your team
LT is the greatest football player I have ever seen  
GiantJake : 9/9/2017 8:39 pm : link
I saw every game he ever played and was lucky enough to see a majority of his home games in person at Giants Stadium. He was an absolute wrecking ball.
RE: Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor  
81_Great_Dane : 9/9/2017 9:00 pm : link
In comment 13589607 arniefez said:
Quote:
A HOF player like Strahan was JAG compared to LT.
This is the thing that's hard to understand if you didn't see him. He was that good.

There were complaints at the time that LT "wasn't a real linebacker," because the "real" linebackers like Ham and Lambert on the Steelers dropped back into coverage a lot. Taylor could do that, and did it very well.

But more to the point, somebody wrote, if you thought Taylor wasn't a "linebacker" then you might as well rename the position Taylor played "wide defender," just as the "end" position had been renamed the "wide receiver." There was no point judging him by an outdated definition of his position. He was remaking the game.
put another way if you had the #1 pick in the draft of  
gtt350 : 9/9/2017 9:10 pm : link
all time players in their prime to start a team most would choose LT . imho
RE: put another way if you had the #1 pick in the draft of  
81_Great_Dane : 9/9/2017 9:39 pm : link
In comment 13589655 gtt350 said:
Quote:
all time players in their prime to start a team most would choose LT . imho
Probably.
Jerry Rice or LT? Rice had a longer career and played at a superb level almost until the end. But you still go with LT. LT could do more to help your team win.
Jim Brown or LT? Well, you'd have to think about it, but if you're playing 21st century pass-oriented football, LT. Same with, Walter Payton or any other great RB.
Montana, Unitas, Elway, Marino, Brady, Peyton Manning or LT? All great, franchise-changing players. Still, LT.
Unless You Weigh Longevity As The Dominant Factor  
Trainmaster : 9/9/2017 9:53 pm : link
no way in hell is Jerry Rice the GOAT over LT or Jim Brown for that matter.

Isn't it interesting that no QB made the top 3.
Hit Send Too Quick  
Trainmaster : 9/9/2017 9:55 pm : link
LT is the GOAT IMHO. A strong case can be made for Jim Brown. Not sure about the players from the 1920s through 1940s; I know little about them.

1) LT
2) Jim Brown



3) ???
RE: LT was the most dominant  
FStubbs : 9/9/2017 10:11 pm : link
In comment 13589606 Matt in SGS said:
Quote:
defensive player to ever play in the NFL. Period. John Madden, who many only know now as the guy who has a game that comes out for Xbox every year, was long before that a Super Bowl winning coach with the Raiders and part of the best announcing team with Pat Summerall. Madden for many years said he never thought a defensive player could win a game in the NFL by himself, until he saw LT play. That's how great LT was. He literally won games by himself as a linebacker. A man who could run over offensive lineman and also play the gunner on punt coverage. There is a reason why every top defensive player in the 1980s wanted to wear #56, they wanted to be LT and they waited for the "next LT" and he still hasn't come into the NFL.


That's a missing part of the LT legend. He played special teams too.

He's the only defensive player I know of (except maybe Troy Polamalu a couple of times) where offenses literally said "how do we stop this guy." Usually it's defenses saying that about an offensive player.
Jerry Rice and Joe Montana were great, but...  
GiantJake : 9/9/2017 10:19 pm : link
people tend to forget that they had the benefit of running Bill Walsh's cutting edge offense. Nobody had seen what would become the West Coast offense and Walsh was rolling out new wrinkles every game. Montana and Rice would probably have a tougher time against today's defenses that have seen tons of West Coast offenses. If LT played today, I'm pretty sure he would be a wrecking ball.
RE: Unless You Weigh Longevity As The Dominant Factor  
FStubbs : 9/9/2017 10:23 pm : link
In comment 13589677 Trainmaster said:
Quote:
no way in hell is Jerry Rice the GOAT over LT or Jim Brown for that matter.

Isn't it interesting that no QB made the top 3.


Jerry Rice's stats are his biggest argument for being #1, but I'd argue the distance between Jerry Rice and legends like Don Hutson (who for his time was just as dominant statistically), Steve Largent, Randy Moss, T.O. and others isn't as great as the distance between Brown and LT and others at their position. Rice didn't transform the game like they did.
RE: Jerry Rice and Joe Montana were great, but...  
FStubbs : 9/9/2017 10:41 pm : link
In comment 13589692 GiantJake said:
Quote:
people tend to forget that they had the benefit of running Bill Walsh's cutting edge offense. Nobody had seen what would become the West Coast offense and Walsh was rolling out new wrinkles every game. Montana and Rice would probably have a tougher time against today's defenses that have seen tons of West Coast offenses. If LT played today, I'm pretty sure he would be a wrecking ball.


To be fair, the West Coast offense was invented in Cincinnati by Paul Brown - football's greatest innovator of all time. Bill Walsh took it with him to SF.
Companies?  
Glover : 9/10/2017 1:14 am : link
Markets? Growth? Go watch some old games. Get the opinions of players and coaches who had to play against him. Wh dont you go ask Joe Theismann.

He presented a new problem with his size, speed, and the position that he played. Jim Brown was a superior athlete to most in his day. Now the athleticism, strength, and all other attributes of NFL players is more equal, and if one is the greatest, it's not by as much as Jim Brown was in his day. He was like a man among boys. Cant penalize a great player for the time he played in. Because NFL athletes are closer in skills and ability than they seemed to be int he 60s and 70s, that means for one to be considered great or the greatest, they really have to stand out among a more competitive group. Tougher for today's player to stand out, but that doesnt take away from what LT, or Jim Brown, or Joe Monana did.
LT: UNLEASHING PLAYERS  
Rafflee : 9/10/2017 9:43 am : link
I'm a Huge LT Fan and a Giants LIFER.... It was COACHING that changed the game---the idea that you could have a 10+1 defensive unit that utilized an extraordinary talent to slant the field.

The Giants and other teams had done some experimentation with Moving players around and exploiting/confusing offenses---- The approach that Parcells and Bellicheck captured recognized that an unmatchable player could use his own instincts and analysis to FIND unplanned (and planned) opportunities within the fold of a defensive scheme.

It was an extraordinary leap to turn the game over to a player---to Free Him to utilize his talent. They built a defensive framework....and they allowed him to provide his own Harmony to whatever they were doing.

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