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Kaenon

Buffalo - The RB Factory

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When you look back through the history, the Buffalo Bills have had some great RB's.

In the NFL top rushers list, the Bills have:

 

Top 25 (8%)

Thurman Thomas and OJ Simpson

 

Top 50 (10%)

LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Willis McGahee

 

Top 100 (8%)

Antowain Smith, Travis Henry and Fred Jackson

 

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The Bills build for winter success, but ultimately, we need our Quarterback! 

 

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We need a Big Ben type or at least Bradford (and wrap him in bubble wrap).   We don't need a Brees/Rodgers/Brady, but a good running game with decent passing and this team could be SB contender (build a Jax model).  

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Joe Cribbs and Cookie Gilchrist. 

 

Cowboys may be the only team that have had such a great stable of running backs - Dorsett and Smith at the top of their list.  And the Bears.  Payton and Sayers.  

 

Gilchrist didn't play in the NFL long enough, but he probably was in the top 25 all-time.  Fact is, Gilchrist may have been top 15 all-time, and Simpson and Thomas are probably top 10.   And McCoy is top 25.  

 

There probably are NO NFL teams whose FIFTH best running back could compare to Cribbs.  Or whose SIXTH best running back compares to Lynch.   (Or flip Lynch and Cribbs if you want.)

 

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Bills have certainly had some great luck with certain positions over the years. In addition to RB, I would also include DB and LB in the mix as well since there are a lot of former Bills around the league having success at those positions both in present and past.

 

Unfortunately though we still can't seem to solve the most important position on the entire team which is still the main reason we haven't sniffed the playoffs for 17 (soon to be 18) years running.

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I would be happy if they had more great QB’s, especially in what is considered the modern era.  McCoy, McGahee, Lynch, Jackson (and others like Spiller) were all here primarily to help cover for the fact that we had subpar performance out of the QB spot.  The league, to a faculty in my opinion, is QB driven.

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3 hours ago, Kaenon said:

When you look back through the history, the Buffalo Bills have had some great RB's.

In the NFL top rushers list, the Bills have:

 

Top 25 (8%)

Thurman Thomas and OJ Simpson

 

Top 50 (10%)

LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Willis McGahee

 

Top 100 (8%)

Antowain Smith, Travis Henry and Fred Jackson

 

------

 

The Bills build for winter success, but ultimately, we need our Quarterback! 

 

 

I've made this point a few times in other threads.  We've been blessed with good running backs while being cursed at the QB position.

 

Beside the backs in the Top 100, we've had a number of other guys who were talented at toting the rock.

 

Cookie ~ I beleive Larry Felser once said that Cookie was the best RB he ever saw.

 

Joe Cribbs ~ an exciting, dynamic dual-purpose back.

 

Jim Braxton ~  once ran for 800+ yards in a 14 game season as OJ's FB and sidekick. 


CJ Spiller ~ had that one magical year when he ran for 1200+ yards at 6 yards a pop

 

Roland Hooks ~ my favorite backup whose heroics helped us beat the Pats one year

 

Greg Bell ~ ran for over 1,000  yards as a rookie

 

Terry Miller ~ ran for over 1,000 yards as a rookie

 

 

 

 

Edited by hondo in seattle

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I'd imagine that virtually every team has had a long list of running backs with a similar portfolio.  The Bills can boast about OJ and Thurman....and the rest were good to great for a brief period in a Bills uniform.

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1 minute ago, SoCal Deek said:

I'd imagine that virtually every team has had a long list of running backs with a similar portfolio.  The Bills can boast about OJ and Thurman....and the rest were good to great for a brief period in a Bills uniform.

 

3 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Joe Cribbs and Cookie Gilchrist. 

 

Cowboys may be the only team that have had such a great stable of running backs - Dorsett and Smith at the top of their list.  And the Bears.  Payton and Sayers.  

 

Gilchrist didn't play in the NFL long enough, but he probably was in the top 25 all-time.  Fact is, Gilchrist may have been top 15 all-time, and Simpson and Thomas are probably top 10.   And McCoy is top 25.  

 

There probably are NO NFL teams whose FIFTH best running back could compare to Cribbs.  Or whose SIXTH best running back compares to Lynch.   (Or flip Lynch and Cribbs if you want.)

 

 

I'm more inclined to agree with Shaw66 than SoCal Deek.

 

We have one legitimately good QB on our QB list:  Jim Kelly.


We have several legitimately good backs.  The All-Time Bills team will have a lot of depth at RB.  Our #5 best back is better than most teams' #5 best back.  

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Let the debate begin!  I am not in opposition to Shaw.  My point is that simply listing every other running back that has worn the uniform after the top couple of Hall of Famers does not make the list more robust.  Someone can do the research...but I'd guess that just by the shear longevity of OJ and Thurman with the Bills, that by definition has suppressed the stats of many of the others included in the 'factory'!

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Travis Henry had 2-3 great years with the Bills.

 

Travis had like 4200 all purpose yards over his first 3 years here.

 

His 2002 year he had 1700+ yards and 14TDs (the forgotten one)

 

Edited by Real McCoy

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12 minutes ago, SoCal Deek said:

Let the debate begin!  I am not in opposition to Shaw.  My point is that simply listing every other running back that has worn the uniform after the top couple of Hall of Famers does not make the list more robust.  Someone can do the research...but I'd guess that just by the shear longevity of OJ and Thurman with the Bills, that by definition has suppressed the stats of many of the others included in the 'factory'!

 

While I do think the list is robust.


CJ was great for one year.  Greg Bell was a very talented  back.  Cribbs was one of the best backs in the league in his time who could both run and catch.  Cookie didn't have a long, productive career but he was a beast as a FB for three glorious years with the Bills.  Terry Miller had a strong rookie season only to have his career ruined by medical problems...  

 

It seems that every year we have a good-to-great RB in our backfield.  We rarely have a good-to-great QB back there with him.

 

It would be interesting to see how many Pro Bowl teams our backs have been on over the years versus other teams.   And then do the same comparison with QBs.  

Edited by hondo in seattle

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Well....I did my own research and I was wrong!

 

The Bills have seven Running Backs in the top 120 NFL all time in yardage...and most, if not all of those yards were while they were on the Bills (Shady had a bunch with the Eagles.)

 

If strictly by average, the Bills would only have 3 or 4.

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4 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Joe Cribbs and Cookie Gilchrist. 

 

Cowboys may be the only team that have had such a great stable of running backs - Dorsett and Smith at the top of their list.  And the Bears.  Payton and Sayers.  

 

Gilchrist didn't play in the NFL long enough, but he probably was in the top 25 all-time.  Fact is, Gilchrist may have been top 15 all-time, and Simpson and Thomas are probably top 10.   And McCoy is top 25.  

 

There probably are NO NFL teams whose FIFTH best running back could compare to Cribbs.  Or whose SIXTH best running back compares to Lynch.   (Or flip Lynch and Cribbs if you want.)

 

some tremendous backups too. Hooks, Davis, and Riddick immediately come to mind.

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5 hours ago, SaviorPeterman said:

Bills have certainly had some great luck with certain positions over the years. In addition to RB, I would also include DB and LB in the mix as well since there are a lot of former Bills around the league having success at those positions both in present and past.

 

Unfortunately though we still can't seem to solve the most important position on the entire team which is still the main reason we haven't sniffed the playoffs for 17 (soon to be 18) years running.

 

Luckily now we have Saint Nathan, so these days are likely behind us.

 

I've always said, the Bills always have good RBs and DBs.  

Edited by reddogblitz

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On 12/13/2017 at 3:35 PM, SoCal Deek said:

Well....I did my own research and I was wrong!

 

The Bills have seven Running Backs in the top 120 NFL all time in yardage...and most, if not all of those yards were while they were on the Bills (Shady had a bunch with the Eagles.)

 

If strictly by average, the Bills would only have 3 or 4.

Good for you.  I just came back to this thread and saw your first post.  I was going to respond how wrong you were, but you figured it out yourself.

 

Starting at the top, OJ is top 10 and probably top 5, Thurman is top 15 and probably top 10.  Cowboys and Bears are probably the only other teams with two in the top 15.  

 

Gilchrist didn't play enough to prove anything, but he was probably top 25.  Shady may very well be top 25.   

 

On average, each team should have one running back in the top 32.  Bills have four.  

 

But I do like your Dollar Store comment.   

Edited by Shaw66

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