Hey guys. As you all know, I love LT as a player and as a sportsman. I think that he is the consummate professional, and is deserving of his 35 TD season or whatever he finishes with. I believe in my all-time RB rankings, I put him 3rd behind Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. I think that he should be #2 on the list right now, as I have came to realize that Barry was completely one-dimensional, even though it pains me to accept that. Barry's career-high catches was a measly 48 back in 1995. Wow, I can't believe its been that long. Anyway, LT has caught an average of 70 catches per year in his six year tenure (adjusted for 16 games in 2006). Not to mention he's never failed to run for under 1230 yards in a season or score less than 10 TDs. He is clearly the ideal running back with a perfect balance of speed, power, agility, and IQ. I give the nod to Jim Brown only because he was such a brute, and in my opinion, there's no way anyone can re-create that kind of power in this current NFL. LJ comes fairly close to the skillset, but LJ is not going to keep up his production for more than five years. Lets all enjoy it while it lasts.
The real purpose of this blog is to determine the real MVP in the NFL. The arguement is there that it comes down to Drew Brees or LT. The question is who is the most valuable player? The truth is that the Saints, despite their talent, including Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Joe Horn, and Deuce, there is no way that they would be 9-4 and leading the NFC South by 3 games. Without Drew Brees, they are no more than the Falcons. In comparison, the Chargers are a very talented and deep team. Without LT, the Chargers wouldn't be 11-2. However, they would definatley still be one of the best teams in the AFC West.
Think about it. Phillip Rivers is a fearless leader who's enthusiasm builds on everyone on that team. Antonio Gates is the ultimate weapon at TE, and the wide receivers are very underused, yet effective nonetheless. Shawne Merriman might be the best pure outside linebacker since Derrick Thomas or even the original LT. The defense is underrated, but they are young too. Wait til they grow a little bit and gel together, and this team could be a top 5 defense next year. Scary considering how good their offense is. Also remember, that Michael Turner is the backup running back for this team. Now I haven't seen too much of this guy, but his carry yards per carry is 5.9. You have to think that with a full time role, this guy would flourish. He's a big guy too with huge speed. Certainly is going to get big money from something this offseason, perhaps from the Panthers or the Giants.
The fact of the matter is that the Saints needed Drew Brees more than the Chargers need LT. Not by much, but strictly from an observer's perspective, there is no question that Brees is more valuable in terms of team success. Then again, LT has been disrespected his entire career, getting snubbed for the Heisman trophy, missing the Pro Bowl after his best season prior to this one (2003, 1645 yards, 100 receptions, 17TDs), and was looked at as the #3 fantasy back this year. LT is the best back in football and one of the best ever, barring future injury. I love LT and if anyone deserves the MVP it should be LT.
That being said, it would be a disservice if Brees didn't win it. So I propose the following: Why not give out a Co-MVP trophy to both of them this year? McNair and Manning shared one a few years ago, before that, Barry Sanders shared one with Brett Favre, there's no reason why they can't do it again. I also think that these two former teammates are one of the few situations where they don't mind sharing the MVP trophy. Both want each other to succeed, so it only makes sense. It would be totally appreciated by fans of each player, so lets see that Co-MVP!