Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Maybe We Were Wrong and Bo Was Right

By John Turney
Maybe Bo Jackson was RIGHTYesterday we opined that Bo Jackson erred when he expressed a view that one had to have played football to give a valued opinion about Andrew Luck's retirement. Skip Bayless took a step back for non-players commenting on football this morning.

Skip Bayless stepped into it this morning with his rant about Aaron Donald not being worthy of being called the NFL's best player on some meaningless list. And to be fair, maybe no defender is as good or valuable as the best quarterbacks. But that is a topic for another day.
Bayless, a sickening Cowboys homer in our view but as a television baffoon, he serves his purpose—to create buzz and ratings for his employer.

Among his "points"was that "he'd" never need Donald "take over a game" like he saw Charles Haley or Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor do. Leaving aside Bayless picked three edge rushers (though White would move inside in the 46 defense and played some inside in base as well) while Donald is a three-technique, almost always aligning on or just outside the shoulder of a guard it just shows Bayless (and his staff) doe not do his homework.

In Lawrence Taylor's first five seasons he was a five-time All-Pro (though 1985 was iffy), five Pro Bowls and was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and totaled 50½ sacks.

Donald in his first five totaled 59.5 sacks and two Defensive Player of the Year Awards and was a four-time All-Pro and five Pro Bowls.

Charles Haley totaled 56.5 sacks in his first five years was All-Pro once and went to two Pro Bowls.

Reggie White blows all the competition away with his 81 sacks in his first five NFL seasons. He was a four-time All-Pro and won a Defensive Player Award in his first five seasons.

Bayless has always been a sketchy guy in terms of his opinions, some of them so off-the-wall you have to ask if he's playing a role, a guy who says silly things in order to create buzz for himself in order to further his career. But we've listed and read enough of his stuff, starting in the 1970s in the LA Times to think he actually believes some of what he spews. But we don't know what's in his heart.

We do know that if this kind of thing, the stuff he spoke today, is what's on his mind then it is easy to see why he no particularly liked in NFL circles (based on our conversations over the years with fans and writers, not to mention Troy Aikman's public comments about Bayless).

In this case, we think Aikman probably has it right. And maybe Bo was, too. Bayless, more or less, proves his point if Bayless is unable to see the rare player Donald is.


  1. RE; Reggie White
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Reggie White play right DT in 1986 when Buddy Ryan took over in Philly? Then he moved to Left End in '87?

    1. He played DT about half the year year and then moved to LDE last half of season. So, about half and half in base. He played over the center in the 46 and in 1985 and 1986 he played inside in nickel...more in 1985

      In 1987 he just continued with what was going on in 86 but he didn't play inside in nickel because Brown was there...but he'd still play some over the center in the 46

  2. Bayless may have had some credibility 40 years ago, but he's been an idiot on TV for years

  3. John,

    Can you explain why you assert that Lawrence Taylor's 1985 1st Team All-Pro selection was iffy, and who you think was deserving of the honor if not Taylor and why.

    Taylor tied for second for sacks that season among LBs and was a unanimous selection by all four publications, as was Andre Tippett, at the OLB position. The Giants' defensive unit led the NFL in sacks that season with 68 I believe, and were rated 5th overall in Team Defense and gave up the fewest yards per play in the league.

    1. For one thing read John Madden's second book, and he talks about how Taylor didn't play as well as he had in the past and that 1986 he was back to his usual self. And Madden quoted Taylor who said 1985 was not a typical Taylor season.

      Taylor admitted that in 1985 he was heavier into cocaine than in the past, it affected his ability to play as well. more mistakes, blown coverages, not studying game plans.

      The success he had was just based ability. He wasn't playing smart.

      Sometimes you have to see the guy play nad how he does the other things, that the stats don't tell all the numbers. The voters for the All-Pro teams just didn't look closely, they looked at numbers as do on.

      Tippett, was dominant, he was ranked #1 by Proscout Inc. Taylor, who was usually 1 or 2 was 13th in 1985. Taylor was just doing the bare minumum in 1985. In most of his other years he was doing it all.

      So, I don't think LT should have been All-Pro in 1985---maybe you could say he was a Pro Bowler-level, but not ALl-Pro level, not "blue"