Lawrence Taylor: The Greatest Football Player Ever?

March 13, 2010

The NFL has started to do something very interesting, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the NFL Draft. They have started a versus section on, where fans can vote on one player versus another. You could have Joe Montana facing off against Phil Simms or Ray Lewis squared up against Mike Singletary. I know this is a question that has been asked for years and something that has been dissected and examined by all fans. But for all of our efforts, we still don’t know the answer.

How is it possible to figure out who was the greatest NFL player of all time? It’s impossible to me. I am a Giants fan, so of course I am going to say LB Lawrence Taylor. A Bears fan will most likely say RB Walter Payton. A 49ers fan might say WR Jerry Rice. It seems like for all of the effort put into this question, the best we can all do collectively, is choose a top 5 or top 10 list. Taylor, Payton and Rice are all on that list by the way. Some have to break it down by offense and defensive players. Some just roll their eyes when asked for their choice. I’m not sure what scientific formula could produce the answer but I am going to stick with Lawrence Taylor as the greatest football player of all time.

We all know he changed the game forever with his unique style of attacking. We all know that he has had off field issues that make some doubters dismiss his superiority on the field. If we start small, say at the linebacker position, can you give me the name of a better linebacker in NFL history then LT? OK I didn’t think so. On to the next question, can you tell me the name of any defensive player who is better then LT? Again, you would be hard pressed but here is where it gets tricky. When we begin to look at the NFL as a whole and include offensive players into the mix, the picture becomes cloudy. Payton and Rice to be specific are just as talented and athletic as LT was. The difference is what they made their bodies do with that athleticism. A running back, a wide receiver and a linebacker. I’m sure some of you have your own choices to throw into the mix and please feel free to do so. But out of the three players I mentioned, I’m picking LT because defense wins championships. I would love to hear what you think. Is LT the greatest football player of all time?

RD –