Bo Jackson was a phenomenal talent running the football, averaging 5.4 yards a carry during his brief NFL career while playing for the Raiders part time and playing Major League Baseball full time. But Jackson may be overestimating how well he’d do in today’s game.
Jackson said on Deion Sanders’ podcast that he is not impressed with the way modern players tackle, and he thinks if he were playing in 2020, he’d be averaging 350 or 400 yards a game.
“Nobody wrap up and tackle no more,” Jackson said, via TheScore.com. “With me being a ball carrier, my coach taught us, number one, he said, ‘I know you can run, but I’m gonna teach you how to carry that football.’ He said, ‘that football is like your newborn baby, don’t ever put it on the ground. And keep it away from the enemy.’ It’s like this – and I watch technique – I don’t see nobody hitting or wrapping up. Everybody’s running into each other and trying to use their shoulder pads to knock the ball carrier down. And I’m like, if I played during this era, man, I’d be averaging 350-400 yards a game . . . because nobody wraps up anymore. They run into each other with their pads.”
Jackson was one of the best athletes ever to play the game, but he averaged 73.2 yards per game in his 38-game NFL career, so it’s probably safe to say he’s slightly exaggerating when he says he’d now average 350-400 yards.