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Is James Cook a Top-Five All Time Bills Running Back?


Shaw66

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On 6/11/2024 at 8:06 AM, Pine Barrens Mafia said:

Not yet.

 

OJ

Thurman

Marshawn

McGahee

Fred

 

Travis Henry

McCoy

 

Travis Henry does not get enough respect for how good he was in the 2 or 3 seasons he was in his prime.

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5 hours ago, BringMetheHeadofLeonLett said:

Dude, he's been off to a great start, but I'm sorry, I want actual difference-makers to be talked about.  
 

How do I have to be stuck arguing AGAINST a player I really like. 
 

But he hasn't done ***** yet.  
 

Tell me I'm wrong. 

Ok you are wrong.  This thread is about the best Bills running backs and where Cook fits in that pantheon.  I said he doesn’t yet because he’s only been in Buffalo 2 years.

 

As to is he a difference maker  already , he is!  No one finishes in the top 3 in yards from scrimmage and didn’t make his team better. He single-handedly demolished Dallas last season.  He did wear down late in the year and that is why they drafted Davis.  Davis will help limit the punishment Cook and Josh take each week. 

Edited by GASabresIUFan
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No, he is not! He is at best an average RB. He does not have any “wow” factor to him nor does he have good instincts or field vision. He has terrible hands of stone as he drops catchable passes.

Edited by Cubanmist 1
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8 hours ago, BringMetheHeadofLeonLett said:

Cribbs was the reason we had those magical, early 80's years.  It only lasted 2 seasons, and parts of a couple more on the sides, but holy fook!  He was the definition of electric.  For all too brief a time, he was legitimately the best running back in the league, north or south, by the 3-5 years surrounding his reign of gorgeous.   
 

Dorsett, Campbell and Dickerson, maybe Allen and a season or 2 of Bo were in his league during that time, but I'd still take Cribbs.  ... or a season or 2 of Bo haha
 

Let me know when Cook is that important.  

Thanks for this. I only saw a few of his games, and my recollection is that he was special in the way you describe. I remember just wondering how he could be that quick and that elusive. I thought it was a lot of fun to watch him, but as I said I didn't see him enough to form the opinion I have of someone such as Simpson or Thomas.  

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On 6/11/2024 at 7:05 AM, Shaw66 said:

I’ve always maintained that the Bills have the best stable of running backs in the history of the league.  No other team can match a top five of Gilchrist, Simpson, Cribbs, Thomas, and McCoy.  Fred Jackson is my number six, and he’d be number three for many other teams.

Some Competition --

 

Browns -- Jim Brown. Marion Motley, Leroy Kelly, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf

Steelers -- Franco Harris, John Henry Johnson, Jerome Betts, "Bullet Bill" Dudley, Leveon Bell

Cowgirls -- Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Hershell Walker, Calvin Hill, Zeke Elliott

Oilers/Titans -- Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Derrick Henry, Chris Johnson, Billy Cannon

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1 hour ago, boyst said:

Travis Henry

McCoy

 

Travis Henry does not get enough respect for how good he was in the 2 or 3 seasons he was in his prime.

He does from me.....not sure about his 45 kids though

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Cook definitely is not, and to be honest, I think Ray Davis is going to take his job at some point because I’m doubtful he gets a second contract here.  It’s just the nature of the position now where unless you’re a true bell cow RB it’s really hard to pay them a 2nd contract.  And Cook is not that lead bell cow guy, he’s good but doesn’t excel at anything particular and drops too many passes for a guy whose best trait coming out was as a receiving weapon.  

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6 minutes ago, Alphadawg7 said:

Cook definitely is not, and to be honest, I think Ray Davis is going to take his job at some point because I’m doubtful he gets a second contract here.  It’s just the nature of the position now where unless you’re a true bell cow RB it’s really hard to pay them a 2nd contract.  And Cook is not that lead bell cow guy, he’s good but doesn’t excel at anything particular and drops too many passes for a guy whose best trait coming out was as a receiving weapon.  

Cook has really improved and if he continues in getting better at pass pro, a little better catch percentage, and has already improved ball security- he will be a top level RB.  I think it will happen.

 

Problem is Cook's stats are already top level and with another year at the same level Cook's market value will be more than what I believe the Bills will want to pay.  I don't even think locking him up early will work, his stats are already too good.

 

I think it's kind of unfortunate because I think Cook was on track to be in the discussion of the top 5 if the Bills could keep him.  Brady seems to be able to unlock Cook's abilities, getting him into space and utilizing his speed.  

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1 hour ago, Joe Mama said:

Some Competition --

 

Browns -- Jim Brown. Marion Motley, Leroy Kelly, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf

Steelers -- Franco Harris, John Henry Johnson, Jerome Betts, "Bullet Bill" Dudley, Leveon Bell

Cowgirls -- Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Hershell Walker, Calvin Hill, Zeke Elliott

Oilers/Titans -- Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Derrick Henry, Chris Johnson, Billy Cannon

Oilers Titans is a great list.  

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3 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Oilers Titans is a great list.  

not just to you but to others... you know who has had some good running backs? Arizona.

 

Yes, they bought them but still they brought in some top talent.

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3 hours ago, Watkins101 said:

To be fair, aside from Thurman Thomas, none of them had a Qb in the same ballpark to play with as Josh Allen. They’d face a lot more stacked boxes than Cook.

So what? My point is... You can call Singletary average... no one should be calling cook average.. Cook is way better... Using the word average for him is so bad..

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I think the most likely scenario for Cook is he plays out the next two years of his contract and isnt resigned.  Right now, he is on track to finish up his career here a lot like his predecessor Devin Singletary.  He likely makes it into the Bills top ten all-time rushing leaders, but I dont think he is near as talented as guys like McGahee, McCoy, or Travis Henry.      Cook is a decent back but he doesn't possess enough elite traits to be worth a second contract.   

 

 

Edited by thenorthremembers
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Thurman

oj

Cribbs

Fred

 

cookie

mccoy

henry

lynch

mcgahee

 

cook has played 2 years-  no chance he’s top 5-  he might not even be top 10 at this point and probably won’t even be top 5 after his 4 years are up.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Einstein's Dog said:

Cook has really improved and if he continues in getting better at pass pro, a little better catch percentage, and has already improved ball security- he will be a top level RB.  I think it will happen.

 

Problem is Cook's stats are already top level and with another year at the same level Cook's market value will be more than what I believe the Bills will want to pay.  I don't even think locking him up early will work, his stats are already too good.

 

I think it's kind of unfortunate because I think Cook was on track to be in the discussion of the top 5 if the Bills could keep him.  Brady seems to be able to unlock Cook's abilities, getting him into space and utilizing his speed.  

 

Like I said he is a good back, and I like Cook, but the question was is he top 5 right now...and he isn't better than OJ, Thurman, McCoy, Lynch, Freddie, Henry, at least not yet.  And honestly, it will be hard to unseat those guys, all of them could do it all where Cook is more a finesse RB than a bell cow type player.

 

He is going to put up stats in a high octane offense, and that will drive his price tag up as a FA.  But if he went to a team who didn't have Josh Allen, had a mediocre OL, will he still put those stats up?  Probably not, he just isn't that stud RB even if he does compile enough stats here to appear so.  He gets most of his yards running through huge gaps, he isn't facing 8 man boxes designed to stop him or the run game.  They have to worry about Allens arm and his legs too.  

 

So...when his contract is up, and his stats or getting him $8M a year or more level attention in FA, do I think the Bills will pay that?  I don't personally think so especially since I think someone like Davis has more potential to be more of a bell cow RB than Cook as he may be an even better receiver than Cook, explodes through the line with great acceleration and runs with tenacity too.  Now Davis still needs to show that can translate to the NFL, so no guarantees...but if Davis does live up to his potential, are you going to still pay Cook a sizable contract or let him walk and roll with Davis on a rookie deal 2 more years and then find someone in FA or draft to compliment him?  I think if I had to guess today, if Cook continues to compile stats that come FA time its more likely he gets a better deal in FA than we should pay.

 

And its less a knock on Cook, and more the reality of the RB position today as large investments into RB contracts have more often than not proven to be a hindrance than a wise investment.    

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On 6/11/2024 at 8:05 AM, Shaw66 said:

Is there a Bills running back from the past whom, if you could bring him back in his prime, you would start in place of James Cook?

 

I’ve always maintained that the Bills have the best stable of running backs in the history of the league.  No other team can match a top five of Gilchrist, Simpson, Cribbs, Thomas, and McCoy.  Fred Jackson is my number six, and he’d be number three for many other teams.

 

Let’s skip the obvious choices.  Gilchrist was a completely different style of running back, but he ran like and was as good as Derrick Henry.  I don’t care if Cookie can’t run pass patterns, he’d play ahead of Cook.  Simpson is a top-five all-time running back, and Thomas is at least a top-ten guy.  I know, some of you would put them in the other order, but forget that for now.  It goes without saying that either one would start ahead of Cook.

 

I didn’t see a lot of Cribbs, but from what I recall of him, Cook would back him up.

 

I think I’d take McCoy over Cook.  Different styles, but Shady was special. 

 

Finally, Fred Jackson.  I loved Freddie, but I think he’s the only great Bills back who would be a backup to Cook. 

 

What do you think?  Does Cook make the top five?

 

Not yet, but if he continues producing the way he has he easily could be...he isn't even really featured in the offense at all except in spots here and there and he finished 6th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage and 4th in rushing.  The only 2 RBs in Yards from scrimmage ahead of him were McCaffery who led the NFL and Breece Hall from the Jets who was only 18 yards ahead of him in 4th place but had 18 more touches(rushes + receptions).  The other 3 were WR's who all had more than 100 catches in Lamb, Hill and Nacua. Nacua finished 8 yards ahead of him in 5th. If he simply would have caught that easy TD against Philly, he would have been 4th.

 

Edited by Big Turk
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4 hours ago, Alphadawg7 said:

Cook definitely is not, and to be honest, I think Ray Davis is going to take his job at some point because I’m doubtful he gets a second contract here.  It’s just the nature of the position now where unless you’re a true bell cow RB it’s really hard to pay them a 2nd contract.  And Cook is not that lead bell cow guy, he’s good but doesn’t excel at anything particular and drops too many passes for a guy whose best trait coming out was as a receiving weapon.  

Said at the end of the season he needed to buy a jugs machine, it is indescribably frustrating to see him drop an easy pass when he's got a bunch of open field right in front of him, hurts the soul. And it is exactly how a guy like Ray Davis would steal reps from him.

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