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Bill Parcells: If I were starting a brand new franchise, I'd build around . . . Lawrence Taylor?


Mursilis

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Apparently, Bill Parcells was asked recently what all-time player he'd choose if he were starting up a brand new NFL team, and he picked Lawrence Taylor.  I'm old enough to have watched Taylor play, including watching the Theismann broken leg game live, and I'm not questioning Taylor's credentials as one of the top LBs of all time (or maybe THE top LB - he's certainly in the debate).  But still, building a franchise around a LB?  I really question that call. 

 

First, I'm questioning why you'd pick any defender.  I think the NFL rules are slanted to favor the offense, and I've seen a lot of teams with great defenses and mediocre offenses still finish at .500 or below.  A great defense only goes so far.  When Taylor played, the Giants had several defensive greats (Harry Carson, Jim Burt, etc.) but a weak offense, and I remember their records generally being mediocre until they got an offense to match that defense.  If you can only have one or the other, I'd go with an elite offense over an elite defense. 

 

Second, if I'm going offense, I'd have to go with either a QB, or maybe a RB.  QB, to me, is clearly the most important position on the field, and a great one elevates the entire team, more so than any other position.  I just can't think of a time when a team with an elite (and healthy) QB was still consistently awful.  I can't decide which QB I'd pick to start a franchise, but I'm 99% certain it'd be a QB. 

 

Lots of great football minds on this board - what do you think of Parcells' statement?  What position would you build around, and who would that player be? 

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It's not outrageous. 

 

LT is one of the greatest players of all time.  In the discussion for best LB ever doesn't go far enough, IMO.  I'd say he's in the discussion for best defensive player ever.  I mean, hell, he wasn't just someone we had to account for on every play.  We had to literally change the entire offense because of him. 

 

Parcells was a defensive-minded coach, and throughout his coaching career, when he wasn't a head coach or d-coordinator, he was a linebackers coach.  So it makes sense he would pick a linebacker.  Particularly one he coached.  Particularly when one he coached was such a freaking force.

 

I don't know who I'd pick.  But I can't sit here and say that LT is a bad choice. 

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Parcells was a defensive guy, and he had the good fortune to coach the most disruptive defensive player in the history of the NFL.  So in that light the choice makes sense.

 

But Taylor must be way slower now, so I'm not sure he's a good choice for starting up a new franchise.  I'd go with a younger guy.

 

 

 

 

He'd be the team's go-to guy for cocaine and hookers, though.

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Apparently, Bill Parcells was asked recently what all-time player he'd choose if he were starting up a brand new NFL team, and he picked Lawrence Taylor.  I'm old enough to have watched Taylor play, including watching the Theismann broken leg game live, and I'm not questioning Taylor's credentials as one of the top LBs of all time (or maybe THE top LB - he's certainly in the debate).  But still, building a franchise around a LB?  I really question that call. 

It worked pretty well for the Ravens.  And it actually worked pretty well for the 1980's Giants.

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Well, Parcells did win two superbowls by building his team around Taylor so it's not all that outrageous an answer.

 

I never said it was outrageous - LT was unquestionably one of the greatest players in the history of the league.  It's not like Parcells said a punter should be the cornerstone of a franchise.  Parcells certainly knows football, and I'm not calling him an idiot for picking LT to be a franchise cornerstone.  Picking LT is definitely a reasonable call, even if it's not one I would make.  I just think, in today's game, an elite QB is going to get you more wins than an elite LB, all other things being equal.  I'm curious on what player, and more importantly, what position you'd build around if you were starting a franchise from scratch today. 

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LT was Parcell's favorite guy, so of course that's who he'd pick...even if maybe there might be somebody else he'd genuinely consider or even prefer. Holmgren or Mooch would go on record saying Favre, even though there are many far better all-time QBs (including Aaron Rodgers). Post-retirement, what everybody misses most is their "football family," so you gotta expect them to give their former teammates/players props. Warren Sapp once said his favorite QB was...Brad Johnson.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I really started to get into Football LT was at the tail end of his career. Even then, whenever he played the Redskins, we could contain him the entire game, and low and behold, in the most pivotal moment of the game, he would make the clutch sack, tackle, force fumble etc. It was extremely nerve racking as a fan to see this happen over and over again. He definitely was a difference maker, even after his physical skills had diminished. 

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Saw his entire career. Of all the teams in the NFC, they were the team I hated going against the most. I would have rather faced the Bears or the Niners twice a year. Hated the 86 season when we lost to them three times!

 

I wasn't even born yet, but a lot of Skins fans always say that the '86 Giants were the only team standing in the way of the Redskins and another Super Bowl.

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Saw his entire career. Of all the teams in the NFC, they were the team I hated going against the most. I would have rather faced the Bears or the Niners twice a year. Hated the 86 season when we lost to them three times!

I wasn't even born yet, but a lot of Skins fans always say that the '86 Giants were the only team standing in the way of the Redskins and another Super Bowl.

REALLY tough team to gameplan against. Absolute bruising team on both sides of the ball. Some like to say Chicago or Philly had brutal defenses, but the Giants had a sustained success longer then the other two. It really was a smash mouth game when we faced each other. Hated Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Mark Bavaro, Jim Burt and a bunch of others.

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Saw his entire career. Of all the teams in the NFC, they were the team I hated going against the most. I would have rather faced the Bears or the Niners twice a year. Hated the 86 season when we lost to them three times!

I wasn't even born yet, but a lot of Skins fans always say that the '86 Giants were the only team standing in the way of the Redskins and another Super Bowl.

REALLY tough team to gameplan against. Absolute bruising team on both sides of the ball. Some like to say Chicago or Philly had brutal defenses, but the Giants had a sustained success longer then the other two. It really was a smash mouth game when we faced each other. Hated Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Mark Bavaro, Jim Burt and a bunch of others.

Yeah, from what I understand, that '86 Giants team is one of the greatest teams in the history of the NFC East, which is saying something when you consider all but one of the teams in the division was created before the beginning of World War II. 

 

I imagine one of the few draw backs of being a Redskins fan in the 80s is knowing you have to play the Giants twice a year. 

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When we played the Giants back then I never worried about their QBS,I always worried about Taylor, he caused havoc in our backfield more times then not. Great pick if you are defense oriented like Parsells

Their defense and their running game. Their running game was hard to stop. Like you said, never worried about Simms. Morris was a pain in the ass because he was so damn little. Oh and Harry Carson looked like a boob with the event staff jacket on during their first SB victory trying to drench Parcells. Plus, he was VERY overrated in my opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The whole 'H' back thing that Gibbs came up with was to come up with a way to stop LT.

 

Links: http://www.sportingcharts.com/dictionary/nfl/h-back.aspx                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-back

 

there are other links also; look around if interested. Yeah, a defensive guy who can make offenses restructure their entire way of thinking is a pretty good cornerstone. 

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