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Rank the following in order of ...

Plum Diamonds Lab Grown Diamond Rings

itcdbuck

Junior
Importance for a RB to be successful.

40 time
great vision
great balance
tackle breaking ability
great O-line

I don't know exactly how I'd rate them ... but the one thing that I think is probably least important , is often times the one most heavily relied on .. but I think that is because it is the only one that can be quantified !
 

bukIpower

Head Coach
great O-line
great vision
tackle breaking ability
great balance
40 time

Without an O-line a runner is dead in the water. Without Vision you just run into people like Ross did usually. Ranking Tackle breaking ability and great balance are alittle tough but I put great balance below tackle breaking ability because it usually comes after breaking a tackle anyways. The 40 time is very over rated IMO, you can be fast but if you can't find a whole our read your offensive line you're as good as the next back behind you.
 
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osugrad21

Capo Regime
Staff member
Vision
Balance
Heart
Great O-line
tackle breaking ability/elusiveness
40 time

The O-line is interesting. When you say "great o-line" I immediately think of Emmitt Smith who benefitted from running behind some of the best OLs in NFL history. However, there are a number of backs who were successful running behind simply adequate OLs.

Also, I believe you left out a major component in heart...although it is an intangible that cannot be measured, greatness is often defined by heart.

Good topic for discussion...
 
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Buckeyeskickbuttocks

Z --> Z^2 + c
Staff member
Vision
Balance
Great O-line
tackle breaking ability/elusiveness
40 timeI put the 40 last because of the concept of "football speed." I'll use Eddie George as an example. He never was considered fast, for 40 purposes. I don't recall any of his 40 times specifically, but I'm guessing 4.5 ish... Not slow, really, but surely not head of the class. How many times did Eddie get caught from behind? Very few.

As an aside, hard to believe Mo C ran slower than some big men.... Some dude who's name I forget but goes about 275 ran a better 40 than did MoC.
 
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sandgk

Watson, Crick & A Twist
I agree with your general argument itcdbuck that a 40-time is pointed to without context.

One other factor I'd look at which I think is different from an studly O-line is the blocking scheme itself. Talk about being hard to parse aprt from the strength of the O-line itself, but there is a difference.

Just give you a couple of examples, with very different personnel.

Take the Broncos, they seem to be able to plug in any back and get 1,000+ yds out of that player. A lot of this must be attributed to the coordination exercised by the O-line. Much comes from the (controversial) nature of their blocking scheme as it promotes the use of chop blocking. Their O-line personnel are not cited as the biggest or strongest though they are clearly very effective.

For a heavyweight contrast, consider when Riggins was running behind the disciplined blocking of the Washington Redskin "Hogs" line. Huge line for its day, also very effective and well suited to a bruising back like JR.

I guess my point is that having the personnel on paper is one thing, getting them to execute in a coordinated scheme is where 1 to 3 yard gains turn into 4, 5 and more yards per carry.

Then I'd look at the extension of the run.

Again its tempting to fall back on the 40-yd dash time as the main metric. This tempting conclusion gives short thrift to the down-field blocking by the wide receivers. Classic case in point is the contribution made by Heinz Ward for the Steelers. Where a 40-yd dash time has highest value is surely in A -- getting to hole, or around end quickly, and B --uncontested open field running away from a secondary tackler with an angle on the play.

So with all that my "sort" on your list (plus additions) is

Great O-line
Blocking Scheme Execution (By Line and by Downfield Receivers)
Heart
Vision
Balance
40 time
tackle breaking ability/elusiveness
 
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MililaniBuckeye

The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St
Staff member
Tech Admin
No way that you can best rank any of those attributes. A back could be great in one, or even two of those areas, and if he's lacking in the others he won't be for squat. I'll take a back who's good in all those areas over a back who's great in any two areas and mediocre in the rest.
 
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heisman

World Renowned scUM Hater
Staff member
Tech Admin
With an NFL explanation:

1. Feet (Emmitt)
2. Quickness (Barry)
3. Patience (Priest)
3. Blocking scheme (Vermeil's and Shanahan's)
4. Balance (Barry)
5. Vision (Priest)
6. Strength (Jamaal)
7. Speed (Portis)
 
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scUM Buster

kick some ass
1. O-line. Put the greatest running back ever behind a shitty o-line, and he is going to have a tough time finding success.
2. Vision. Have to be able to see things develop.
3. Tackle Breaking ability. The great ones find a way to shed that first tackler more times than not.
4. 40 time. It helps to have some speed as holes and lanes don't stay open forever.
5. Balance. There's probably a better word out there than balance. Maybe agility?
 
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1). Vision. That's what separates a kids like Noel Devine from Chris Rainey. Devine has that sixth sense where open space is, Rainey rains a little uncontrolled and undisciplined.

2). Balance. Having balance help you shed tackles and stay in bounds.

3). OL. An average OL won't stop a great RB. However, a good OL could definitely elevate an average RB. cough * hart * cough

4). 40 times. It's ridiculous how evaluators today label a kid FB just b/c he runs a 4.6. Do they really think that MoC and Jason Gwaltney are going to play FB? (well, they may be right with MoC). It has been demonstrated that backs without exceptional speed can break the big ones too.
 
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