Archive for September 12, 2008

Run Reggie Run and maybe catch a few passes too - Photo by J Robbins

Run Reggie Run and maybe catch a few passes too - Photo by J Robbins

Someone posting on my blog this week made the remark that the New Orleans Saints had an impressive outing running the ball in Week 1 after I put in a post that two backs that both got around 5o yards on the ground each was not exactly setting the world alight.

I stick by that, but I did say at the time that Reggie Bush could legitimately catch 150 passes in a season. Bush is creating a position that is almost unique, a dumpoff back that is gameplanned to be dumped off to as a first resort by Drew Brees, not a last resort after seeing a primary and secondary target man marked.

I call him the best wide-back in the NFL !

It got me thinking who is the best catching running back in NFL history (past and present combined) ?

Well here are the top running back/full backs listed by the amount of regular season receptions they have made Up to end of 2007, and the team they had the most impact on and then average catches per year (in brackets)

TOP 5 all time – all retired

Larry Centers – 827 catches – Arizona Cardinals – Full Back – 1990-2003 (64 catches a year)

Marshall Faulk – 767 catches – St Louis Rams – Running back – 1994 – 2005 (70 catches a year)

Keith Byars – 610 catches – Philadelphia Eagles – Fullback – 1986-1998 (51 catches a year)

Marcus Allen – 587 catches – Los Angeles Raiders – Running back 1982-1997 (39 catches a year)

Tiki Barber – 586 catches – New York Giants – Running back  1997-2006 (65 catches a year)

Top 5 – active all playing in 2008 in NFL

Warwick Dunn – 463 catches –  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1997 – now (46 catches a season)

LaDanian Tomlinson – 458 catches – San Diego Chargers  – 2001 – now (76 catches a season)

Edgerrin James – 418 catches – Indianapolis Colts – 1999 – now (52 catches a season)

Michael Pittman – 415 catches – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 1998 – now (46 catches a year)

Ahman Green – 364 catches – Green Bay Packers – 1998 – now (40 catches a season)

Where does Reggie Bush fit in ?

Reggie Bush – 161 catches – New Orleans Saints – 2006 – now (81 catches a season)

Other current contender in the NFL

Brian Westbrook – 347 catches – Philadelphia Eagles – 2002 – now (69 catches a season)

So what do the numbers tell us ? Well if we extrapolate Reggie Bush’s season average over a 10 year period then you have Bush at 810 catches and he becomes the all time greatest catching running back in NFL history.

Both the Chargers LT and the Eagles Brian Westbrook have proved over a longer period that they are true dual talents both running and receiving – Westbrook has two 1,200+ rushing seasons to add to his catches and LT has a mind blowing 7 1,200 yard + ground yard seasons.

Reggie Bush is in my opinion not a #1 running back but he is an All Pro wide-back – maybe I have given Reggie a title that matches his talents ! He is not a 1,500 yard running back but he is a 1,500 yard a season gainer (not even including his punt returns). 

Who do you think the best wide back is in NFL history ?

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The Charger Girls best bring their warmest coat for Wembley (Pic from San Diego Chargers)

The Charger Girls best bring their warmest coat for Wembley (Pic from San Diego Chargers)

Its like Fish without Chips or Sausage without Mash – the NFL without cheerleaders it seems would be an incomplete and unsatisfying world full of large sweaty athletes, and podgy coaches.

About a week ago the San Diego Chargers cheerleaders – the ‘Charger Girls’ released their 2008-2009 Swimsuit Calendar.

All very aesthetically pleasing I’m sure – just see above for an example issued to the world’s media as proof.

It got me thinking, is there a degree of hypocrisy in the crazy world that is the NFL?

When Janet Jackson’s famous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ occurred during a Superbowl halftime show we had public outrage around the globe. Did we really want to see Janet Jackson’s bizarre giant silver nipple jewellery ? Probably not. Did the NFL have red faces and proceed to book men in their 50’s to do subsequent half-time shows ? – yes of course they did.

This huge fuss over a mammary gland with an exposed nipple was treated like a national embarrasment, yet each and every week we are treated to acres of cleavage on NFL sidelines, from the myriad of NFL cheerleaders, thrusting their hips and dancing like showgirls with more silicone on display than a plastic surgeons annual trade fair.

No nipples on show I admit, but its pretty damn close each week, as breasts are shoved high and positioned to give fans a good eyeful at each game without showing any exposed nipple.

Having lived in soggy England all my life I have not had the experience of seeing women thrusting push up bras in my face every day as I visit my local supermarket for a pint of milk.

I reckon the male residents of Florida have a whole different view on the world though, as Sun = flesh exposure by women.

We all know sex sells, and cheerleaders in the NFL do a helluva lot of great charity work, but if you are gonna retail calendars of your team’s members of staff in bikinis then I think that you should accept a flashing nipple without such disgust.

If any Charger Girls are reading my blog (wouldn’t that be hilarious) I have one piece of advice – wrap up warm ladies, London in October is colder, wetter, grayer and more miserable than our prime minister Gordon Brown having a bath and at the same time announcing we are in a recession.

Do YOU think cheerleaders are an important part of the NFL package ? Let me know…..