Best cornerback ever? All aboard for the “Night Train”

Courtesy of Detroit Lions

Two years ago, then-Jets receiver Brandon Marshall called Darrelle Revis the best cornerback in the NFL. Head coach Todd Bowles disagreed, saying that … while he appreciated Revis and all that he brings to the table … the best cornerback ever was Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders.

OK, to each his own.

One year later, however, Washington’s Josh Norman joined the debate, listing himself among the six best cornerbacks of all time — and while he won’t gain much support for that nomination he will for this: He began his list with Dick “Night Train” Lane, not Deion or Revis, as numero uno.

Score one for history. Apparently, Norman studied it.

Lane not only holds the league record for most interceptions in a season (14) but did it when the NFL played 12-game seasons and did it as a rookie. A sure tackler and gambler who made spectacular plays, Lane is a Hall of Famer and member of the NFL’s 75th anniversary team.

But he is more than that. He is, according to T.J. Troup of Pro Football Journal, the best cornerback to play the position … and he makes a compelling case why in this case study:

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  1. bachslunch
    April 22, 2017

    FWIW, Dr. Z listed Lane and Willie Brown as the best bump-and-run corners he ever saw, and Jim Johnson and Deion Sanders as the best cover corners. Darrelle Revis may well be the best cover corner since Sanders.

    Let’s just say I’d be very surprised if Josh Norman is in the same league as these folks.

  2. Luke Enno
    April 25, 2017

    Yep, Lane has to be right near the top. He transformed the way the game is played at that position. He had an intense, head-hunter style which caused receivers to fear going over the middle. He could intercept passes with the very best. In many ways, he was the 5 tool player (to borrow a term from baseball). Whatever was needed, Lane could deliver.

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