Ask Athlon Sports: Jim Brown

<p> Is Jim Brown the NFL's best all-time running back?</p>

Q: Do you agree that Jim Brown is the greatest running back in history?

— Al Gabel, Rockford, Ill.

A: Al, I have to agree with you. Brown redefined greatness at his position with numbers that dwarfed any before him. When Brown arrived on the scene as the Browns’ first pick in 1957, there had been eight 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history, and no one player had produced more than two such seasons. Brown had seven 1,000-yard seasons in his nine years. His career average of 104.3 rushing yards per game is still an NFL standard, and he amassed 126 touchdowns rushing and receiving in 118 career games. But numbers on a page don’t do justice to Brown’s unique greatness. He possessed a combination of power, speed and durability that still serves as a benchmark for running backs. Despite taking a constant pounding, he never missed a game in his NFL career. The fact that he retired at the peak of his powers only adds to his mystique. They were doubtless thinking of Jim Brown when they coined the cliché: “They know what’s coming, but they just can’t stop it.”

Rob Doster, Senior Editor

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