jason j asked in SportsFootball (American) · 1 decade ago

Why isn't Barry Sanders considered the best RB in NFL history?

No disrespect to the other NFL legends but when you take into the consideration of the Lions O line, bad blocking, the size of the Barry and the fact that he was able to stay healthy for all those seasons.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ummm, maybe because he wasn't!!

    No disrespect here either, but Jim Brown was the greatest of all time......particularly when you consider his stats are from a career much shorter than some more recent backs (Sanders,Emmitt, et al..) because he choose to leave the game while still relatively young.

    He also played in a different era, when most players had to work during the off season to support their families (million dollar contracts were undreamed of), making it that much harder to stay in top condition. In addition the line he had was not composed of 300 pound behemoths, guys weren't as pumped up then, and his equipment, nutritional resources, and general field conditions were not of the caliber todays athlete enjoys.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The fact that he retired early hurt him as well as playing for a weak team like the Lions, but I think that only him and Jim Brown are the best running backs ever. Even though Emmitt was a good running back I think that if Sanders would of had the offensive line that he had there is no telling how many yards he would of ended up with. I also think that if he doesn't get injured L.T. could become the greatest ever.

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  • Jane
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Neither player was great by himself. Jerry Rice had Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith had the passing threat of Troy Aikman working for him. Both players were still good on other teams. Rice played well with Rich Cannon and Smith still gained yards with Arizona but had their careers been mostly on those teams their numbers and success wouldn't be near what it ended up being. An arguement can be made that each is the best ever at their respective positions but I don't believe either can claim the greatest player of all time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Who says he isn't? To some he is, maybe you. To me, I like Walter Peyton over the long haul and lack of talent around him. Barry didn't have much talent around him either. Pure BEAST would be Earl Campbell. Talk about POWER, that guy had it, plus the speed. But longevity wasn't because of the style. Walter was power and finesse with longevity. Barry was strictly elusiveness and a quiter for walking away from the game, which may affect people view of him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    He simply left the game before he could run up his stats (see Emmitt Smith), that's why. His health is good, he made enough money to retire on, he can play golf whenever he wants (not very well! but then golf is like sex ... you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it!) and he doesn't have to put up with the likes of Bobby Ross (who I believe was the straw that broke this camel's back).

    Not as famous as he could have been but I never got the impression that was what was most important to him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    EXACTLY. I think he simply left too early. I can't remember all the details surrounding how or why he left, but I wish he would've been traded or something. He still had another 10 or 15 seasons left in him, I think. Powerful and agile at the same time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    there are a few reasons

    1.he retired 2 early

    2.he has the most lost yards by a sinle player

    i conider him as one of the best along with walter payton,emmit smith,jim brown. but i think the greatest runningback will end up being ladainian tomlinson in a few years.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. retired too early

    2. he was on the DETROIT LIONS.

    3. no player on the Detroit lions will ever be the best in anything in NFL history

    Source(s): FACT
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  • 1 decade ago

    He was a great RB but not the best

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  • mJc
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Most likely because he quit the game early.

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