Eddie George compares Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount to Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack
By Neal Coolong on Apr 7 2014
How closely does LeBackfield resemble Cleveland's power and power duo from the late 80s?
Interesting point from the player who probably most closely resembles Steelers' long-limbed running back Le'Veon Bell.
George knows the Steelers well, having played for the Titans during the peak of the last good rivalry in the history of the AFC Central.
He dipped way back in time, back to the Tecmo Bowl days, in drawing the Byner and Mack comparison. Two big backs (Byner was 5-foot-10, 215 pounds and Mack was 6-foot-0, 212 pounds...that was big back then) who could run with grace as well as power, it may be a pretty fitting comparison.
If one can even be drawn. That era is remarkably different when compared to today's NFL. Mack and Byner rushed for a combined 1,172 yards and 13 touchdowns in 1987 for probably the last actually good Browns team to ever set foot on a field.
Of course, no comparison to Byner will ever go without mention of The Fumble, Byner's gaffe at Denver's 2-yard line with 1:11 remaining in the game. A touchdown would have tied the game, and instead, with Denver taking an intentional safety and the 38-33 win, Cleveland fell out of the Super Bowl once again.
Byner's multi-faceted talent, fumbling aside, is a realistic comparison to Bell. He had 432 yards on the ground that year, but 552 yards on 52 catches as well. Mack, a fullback, had 705 yards rushing on 201 carries and added 223 yards on 32 receptions.
Blount won't catch 32 passes in this offense, but he has a $100,000 bonus if he rushes for 850 yards, so maybe that's in his sights.
And if both of them hang onto the ball, this could be one of the best Steelers rushing tandems in quite a while. Hopefully when it's said and done, the comparison is less Byner/Mack and more Franco/The Rock.