Originally Posted by zulater
You see the thing is maybe if you put everything in a vacuum like that it would be. but my opinion is that the best of any generation would probably be the best of any other generation if you could transplant them into a different era. For example if Joe Greene had been born in 1980 intead of 1948 he would have had the advantages that todays athletes enjoy. He would have benifit of the same weight training, diet's and supplements, and even surgical procedures. So instead of being 270 pounds he'd probably be 300 or so.
Except you fail to factor in ever increasing popularity and talent pool size. The NFL and football in general gets more and more competitive as the years go by. There was a time when you could be a walk-on to a professional team, something that is not really possible today and is extremely hard to do and be a standout player for the better college teams.
Joe Greene was awesome for his time but we have to consider he was likely playing against a smaller talent pool and thus while he stood out in the 70s its likely he might be average or worse today, even with today's advantages, the coin flips both ways.
Fact of the matter is that we simply cannot accurately compare teams from different eras.
Originally Posted by steelerjim58
Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner. Everyone seems to think that these guys are bigger , faster and whatever else because of some great genetic makeup. Now days there are probably some high schools that have as good or better training facilities than some NFL teams had in the 60's and 70's. To me all there is to talk about is football playing ability. There is no comparison as far as pure talent between the patriots of 07 and the Steelers of the 70's.
You're right about the training, but as I just said earlier, that means the talent pool is much larger.
If I invent a new sport with my best friend and we're the only ones that have ever played it, I have a 50/50 chance of being the best player ever in that sport. The more people that learn how to play, the less chance I have at being an elite player.
Elite players from the 60s and 70s might be bumped to average or worse simply because in the 60s and 70s there were less people trying to play football.