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Let the Debate Begin...

by Jerry Bader

Over who are the 10 greatest Packers of all time. My philosophy on these lists is always this; if I'm going to remove a name I need to put someone in its place. Let's start with a player Radcliffe mentions: Willie Davis. Davis probably gets hurt because QB sacks didn't become an official statistic until after he left the game. He was the anchor of the Packer's vaunted Lombardi defensive line. He's as responsible as anybody on the defensive side of the ball for the five championships earned by Lombardi's Packers. He MUST be on this list. So, who goes? 

This is really tough, but I'd say Aaron Rodgers, only because he's a "green banana" when it comes to these lists. Yes, he's done enough in his years as the Packers' starting QB to earn a spot on this list. But I would argue that being a key player on a team that won five championships (and could have easily won seven) in a single decade trumps that. And Davis is all of that. But I'm confident that before Rodgers throws his final pass for the Packers he'll have cemented an undeniable slot very, very high up on this list.

Radcliffe mentions Forrest Gregg, but not Jim Taylor. In addition to an outstanding defense, Lombardi built his dynasty on one of the most punishing ground games the NFL has ever seen. Gregg and Taylor were critical cogs in that running machine. Before I say which one I think belongs, we need to decide who on the list would have to go. This is very difficult, but I would say Sterling Sharpe. Here's why. The Packers had been on a steady climb to prominence from 1992 to 1995. When Sharpe was forced into retirement due to injury, most people believed the Packers march to the top would take a step backwards. In reality, the Packers offense was much better with Sharpe gone. That's not to say Sharpe isn't worthy of top ten consideration; he was a great receiver. But helping win championships has to be part of this discussion, even if Sharpe's ability to do so was unfairly shortened by injury. So, who gets his spot on my list; Gregg or Taylor?

I think this is so close I could flip a coin. But I won't; I'll try to make a logical case for Forrest Gregg. His career in Green Bay was longer and Lombardi called him the best player he ever coached. He might be the most consistent offensive line player the NFL will ever see. He's also likely a member of an elite group of Lombardi Packers who would have made it to the Hall of Fame even if they weren't coached by Lombardi and I don't think Taylor is on that list. Taylor was a punishing back and it's hard to imagine a list like this without his name on it. I toyed with replacing Driver of Lofton with Taylor. As I said, with so many great players you it's really close. I wouldn't argue if someone did. But, this is my list. How does it compare with yours?