Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Voices of the Hall: Marcus Allen, Pete Carroll, and Greg Cosell on Richard Dent
When the debates activate about the NFL's best best defense, two teams about wind up in some array of tie — the Pittsburgh Steelers' "Steel Curtain" defenses of the 1970s (the best adaptation may accept been on the 1976 team; that aggregation pitched 5 shutouts in a 14-game season) and the 46 aegis of the 1985 Chicago Bears. Buddy Ryan's schemes revolved about a alternation of confusing, confounding, and airless burden packages, and arresting end Richard Dent was at the epicenter of it all. 1985 was Dent's best year in a achievement faculty — his Bears exhausted the active daylights out of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX and he was called the game's MVP — but Dent had a cord of abundant years throughout his 15-year career with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, and San Francisco 49ers. He in fact topped 1985's 17-sack absolute with 17.5 in 1984, and racked up at atomic 10 sacks every year from 1984 through 1988. As you'll anon discover, he was aswell appealing absorbing in advantage for a man his admeasurement — in accession to his 137.5 career sacks, Dent aswell best off eight passes, including two in the Super Bowl division and three in 1990. Like all abundant arresting players, Dent's amount had to be apparent on band and advised by his opponents as abundant as it showed up in the carbon sheets. Best abundant active aback Marcus Allen told me that if he played adjoin Dent, it absolutely afflicted his role and his game. ?"Richard was the one guy who, if I played adjoin him and if our larboard accouterment wasn't arena well, I was relegated to a blocking back, acceptable him, so Richard wouldn't wreak calamity the absolute game," Allen said. "He basically took me out of the casual bold — you either had to accelerate to him or break in to advice the larboard tackle. He was so explosive, and he had the adeptness to stop the run. He was a abundant player." Seahawks drillmaster Pete Carroll, who spent 1985 through 1989 as the Minnesota Vikings' arresting backs coach, was relegated to amusement assignment while Dent and the blow of that Bears aegis burst Minnesota's quarterbacks alert a year in a alternation of bent NFC Central battles. "We played adjoin those guys if I was with the Vikings in their heyday and he was a astounding amateur on a astounding team," Carroll said. "Nobody just roared up the acreage like Richard did. He was acclaimed for it, just active appropriate about abhorrent tackles. He was a abundant player." Greg Cosell, who's formed at NFL Films back 1979 and served as the Executive Producer for ESPN's NFL Matchup appearance back 1984, saw what Dent did anatomy an analytic standpoint; he told me that there may not accept been a commensurable amateur to Richard Dent afore or since. "In speaking to quarterbacks and added abhorrent players of that era, about to a man, they would acknowledgment Richard Dent as the a lot of important amateur on the Bears' defense," Cosell said. "That was the accomplished point of the bargain Bear front. He was array of a wide-9 arresting end on the anemic side. And if he could not assault the passer and exhausted abhorrent tackles one-on-one, which the aegis was advised to do, the aegis wouldn't work. So, you could calmly accomplish the altercation that he was the a lot of important amateur on that defense. I've had quarterbacks acquaint me that the two best players on that aegis were Dent and Wilber Marshall. For those who didn't see him, is there a avant-garde equivalent? "Oh, boy … I'm not abiding there's a Richard Dent appropriate now. He was not a baby man. A lot of of the pass-rushers now, because the bold has changed, are absolutely amalgam arresting ends/linebackers. He was 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, and he consistently looked bigger than that. With the DeMarcus Ware-style canyon rushers … I just don't apperceive if there's anyone like that today. Pure arresting end canyon rushers; guys who never angle up [at the line]?? Maybe Julius Peppers would appear to mind. I anticipate that Dent's a abundant bigger amateur than a Jared Allen, admitting he ability be addition guy who somewhat comes to mind. " Could he stop the run? "Yeah, and the added affair he did a lot was to bark off and awning active backs, depending on their assault packages. He was a actual able-bodied guy." Athletic, atrociously effective, and the point man on?what may accept been?the NFL's greatest best defense. That's why Richard Dent is traveling into the Hall of Fame this weekend.