Originally Posted by Hands of Iron
Not really, and I'd probably recant that comment on Singletary in particular. My favorite players of all-time are primarily from the 1980s-90s. I just don't consider Lewis overrated. I'd compromise with you and say he hasn't been at that 'All-Time Great' level of play since 2006 (which is a pretty hefty one IMO) give or take a year here or there where he played lights out. Seven AP 1st Team selections in a 17-year career doesn't really reek of favortism or bias towards him. That's tough status to attain and I'd say he earned them. As far as 'help' is concerned, here's the average number of Pro Bowl defensive teammates these guys had per year (as looked at by the PFR blog):
5.00 - Jack Lambert
4.06 - Willie Lanier
3.38 - Ray Nitschke
3.38 - Joe Schmidt
2.75 - Mike Singletary
2.75 - Ray Lewis
2.25 - Zach Thomas
1.94 - Brian Urlacher
1.00 - Dick Butkus
Pro Bowls aren't the best way to do it. Hell, Nitschke himself only went to 1. Some guys get in due to rep and some I guess just aren't popular enough. I know some of the other guys played with talent around them, too, but do you ever really hear anyone talk about Lanier or Schmidt?
Rated him #3 for middle LBs
Ray Lewis is ranked in the 200s at pro football reference (that includes all players)
I know he was a great player, I just don't think he's at the top.