View Full Version : Somebody help me out here (older fans of the NFL mostly)

09-24-2012, 06:43 PM
So my buddy and I got into a big debate Thursday night about Barry Sanders. It started because I was saying I believe that Chris Johnson will have a very bad season this year largely due to his offensive line's inability to run block, and because he is tip-toeing ala Brandon Jacobs waiting for the big hole to open up and looking for the home run. I also think he is scared of contact as well. I said Barry Sanders is probably the only back in the NFL history that would be able to produce with that offensive line.

Which brought us to Barry Sanders' offensive line. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but isn't it pretty much widely known that Barry Sanders never had a great offensive line? I know he had Lomas Brown, All-Pro tackle, but that is about it. My friend is saying that he had a really good offensive line. I do not know what he is basing it off of other than Barry's yardage which I believe was ALL about Barry and not his line.

Today he posted on my Facebook wall a video of Mike Utley (guard for the Lions from 89-91) talking about the Lions O-Line saying how they were the best. Now I'm thinking after watching this, of course a guy who played for the Lions is going to say he thinks that they were the best! Of course he is going to want to take credit for Barry's amazing rushing yard totals.

I was just hoping an older and knowledgeable NFL fan could enlighten me about this OLine, because I was born in 1986 and I do not recall this Lions team for obvious reasons.

Did Barry Sanders ever have a good offensive line in front of him?

09-24-2012, 07:08 PM
Barry's line was average at best, most of the time he created plays with his excellent vision, his agility and break-away speed.

dude was phenomenal.

09-24-2012, 07:09 PM
Barry's line was average at best, most of the time he created plays with his excellent vision, his agility and break-away speed.

dude was phenomenal.

That is what I have been told/seen in highlights. I guess it is kinda one of those arguments that cannot be proved factually I just wanted to ask some other football fans who watched him play in his prime.

09-24-2012, 07:38 PM
The best back up for my dispute was this YouTube video of Barry's highlights when Hugh Douglas talks at 3:04


His response: THAT'S ONE GUY.

09-24-2012, 07:54 PM
Errmm... I know we had Lomas Brown for the 2000 Superbowl run. Barry Sanders was also small, which made it harder for defenders to tackle him. He could also easily bounce off tackles. But to answer your question, I'd have to agree with what has been said so far as well. Average overall. Maybe you could compare the success of the backup running backs playing with the same o-line that Barry did. Not sure.

09-25-2012, 06:51 AM
All that is needed to be said about this is Barry Sanders had Wayne Fonts has his head coach. that right there is enough of an argument about Barry Sanders greatness, the guy was absolute brilliance.

09-07-2014, 02:05 PM
Hey, let's go Blue! Sanders had better than average lines for a good part of his career, very good a couple seasons when the Lions twice had a top 5 ranked offense. Not only did he have the great Lomas Brown, but also he had Kevin Glover at center. That's two perennial Pro Bowl-caliber o-linemen. I'd also include solid guys like Fralic (also a Pro Bowler), Lutz, Tharpe and Eric Sanders. The big myth is that he always had 'atrocious', 'horrible' o-lines. It makes it easier to inflate Sanders as a rb; something he doesn't need. It's disrespectful to his linemen, two of which were among the best of their time, and to the game itself.