QUOTE (D-MARV @ Aug 9 2010, 10:45 PM)
JD, Fullbacks in today's game are a lot different then the fullbacks that you listed in that era. There' primary focus was hard noise pound the football, I mean those guys ran for over 1,000 yards a season. I guess my point is that "fullbacks" have evolved over time. Darryl Johnston was hardly a running back. Johnston helped pave the way for this new era of fullbacks by his versatility. Johnston served as Smith's lead blocker, stay in to pass protect, short yardage runner, as well as a passing threat. His versatility is what makes him special. That's not knocking the guys you listed as they were great as well but they were different.
take a look at the Defensive End position. back in the day, you had some 300 pound monster that was physical, abusive, and down right dirty control the edge. Now you take some Defensive ends in today's game and a lot of them weigh 250lbs and aren't so much physical as they are finesse. These positions have just evolved over time and Johnston was one of the guys that started the new trend. But he's definitely not the only one, Lorenzo Neal comes to mind. I would actually rank Neal above Johnston.
I said that the position has changed, I agree with that...and different is fine, it's just that I do not see Moose as the special pioneer you do. He was a good player on a great team who couldn't do what those other fullbacks did because he was not as good all around as they were...they blocked too. Yes, they were used differently, but a lot of that is because they could be too. I just think that if Moose ends up in the Hall, Lorenzo Neal should be there too.
Looking at the DE side, today you have two flavors, one being the lighter speed rush guy, the other being the near 300 pound guy you speak of who eats up blocks and mauls people - but that really has to do with system. You have the 4-3 Dwight Freeney type, and the 3-4 Randy Starks type. It's a cycle, right now 4-3 is the more popular system in the NFL, but not long ago 3-4 was getting more popular; either way, they both still exist.