Barry Sanders was an elite running back for the Detroit Lions and one of the best players in NFL history, but that doesn’t change the fact that many wonder about what the runner would do in today’s game.
According to Sanders, he thinks he would be able to hold his own, and sees a perfect fit within the San Francisco 49ers offense if he were to play today. That’s due to the fact that the team is very run heavy and is in the Super Bowl according to Sanders, something which he likes in today’s game.
Joining the Dan Patrick Show, Sanders answered a variety of questions and talked about his favorite team growing up, as well as who he loves to watch play now.
“I think in the right situation, you put me in a Kyle Shanahan offense, maybe I could do some damage,” Sanders said. “A run centered offense, I love all the offenses and schemes. The wildcats and pistols and double tights and double fullbacks, just the creativity, that didn’t exist when I played.”
Sanders continued, and said if he had any choice, he’d like to play for a solid team in a run heavy offense.
“Since they’re in the Super Bowl, I’ll say the 49ers. If not the 49ers, then the Kansas City Chiefs,” he said. “Honestly, to answer your question, In Detroit’s division, (the) Minnesota Vikings. They run the ball. Teams like that would more suit me. Run oriented teams would be fun to play with.”
Obviously, none of this will take away the work he did with the Lions through the years, but it’s fun to ponder what Sanders in his prime would look like running the ball in 2020.
Barry Sanders Stats
To see Sanders run the ball for Lions fans through the years was to believe given what he was able to do with the team on the field. Sanders routinely had the quickness and deft ability to break plenty of ankles on the football field and remains one of the greatest highlights in the game fans love watching even years after his retirement. Athleticism is something that came naturally to Sanders, no matter whether he was on the grass or the hardwood, something that was revealed recently.
With the Lions, Sanders rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns. He was routinely thought of as the best running back in the league, and would have shattered plenty of NFL rushing records had he decided to keep playing. Sanders, however, walked away from the game in 1999 on the eve of training camp, which stunned the Lions and all of their fans. The parties then went through a frustrating split for multiple years, based mostly upon the fact that the franchise made him pay back part of his contract amid retirement. It is a situation not unlike what is happening with Calvin Johnson currently.
Barry Sanders a Lions Legend Forever
Since, time has healed all wounds and Sanders has patched things up with the Lions and has become engaged in their alumni group. He also makes several visits a year to games the team is playing in, and was recently named to Detroit’s All-Century team, which is a major feather in his cap given what he was able to do as a team leader and a dominating force in the franchise.
As a result of his early retirement, Sanders maintains his health and vitality and looks phenomenal. It’s not a stretch to say that he could possibly still grind out some tough yards in the league at this point in time.
If he was doing so, Sanders sees a perfect fit with some of the toughest and best teams of the day.
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