How many QB's/RB's/WR's can you name in that period that were better?
There were not 5 better in that time period. You don't make all pro teams in consecutive years being the 6th best at your position. If you can, name them.
Edit: Also, no other RB made as many pro bowls in the 70's as Harris, he gained the most yards and was one of 2 RB's to make the 70's decade team. He was better than the 6th or 7th best back.
Though admittedly Swann probably fits in here somewhere
John Stallworth was 1st team all pro in 1979...granted there was a gap but he was 2nd team all pro in 1984.
And since I said from 1977-1979 in a previous post...that is the timeframe I'm going with as very, very few are all pro for an entire decade, there is no way that Fan Tarkenton (who threw 12 more INT's than TD's in that time frame), Bob Griese (2 of those years failed to throw more TD's than INT's), Bert Jones (had unfortunately been injured during that time frame) and Dan Fouts (just really started becoming Dan Fouts in the last year of that time frame), were better during that time period than Bradshaw.
As for Harris...he put up better numbers than all of those guys. Now you may be right about the time frame I specified, but he is the one guy who overall in that decade was the most productive.
Warfield and Alworth did the vast majority of their damage in the 60's and spent a total of one season in that time frame I noted. Largent did most of his damage in the 80's but I can see the argument for him and Joiner.
I'm dumbfounded by your seeming preference for Swann over Stallworth as well. Stallworth was clearly the better WR IMHO...Swann fits that criteria of the flashy postseason WR who had a really short shelf life with solid, but not great numbers during the regular season.
You don't have to be at that elite level for 7-8 years...Marshall Faulk for example. But if you can put 2-3 elite level years to go with a bunch of good/really good years, you are a good bet...especially if you win Super Bowls.
If the Ravens win 3 Superbowls in the next 5 years, they are both in. Flacco needs to consistantly start throwing over 4,000 yards and having 30 TD's. Given the way the game is today, i think you have to put up some level of statistics and with Brees consistantly flirting with 5000 yards, that fact that Joe has never thrown for 4000 is not good for him.
Rice needs to be consistant and continue to rack up stats and have a Curtis Martin type of career. One advantage that he has is that he can continue to differentiate himself from other RB's by catching a lot of passes. He needs to get it back up overe 700 yards receiving and 1200 to 1300 yards rushing for a few more years. Its a lot of ifs. If he had a 1000 yard receiving 1000 yard rushing season it would also help his case for greatness. One advantage Rice has is that he has a pretty decent highlight reel. He has a lot of specatcular runs that get on sport center and leave an impression in people's minds. Will he get there? I don't know but it is not as far fetched as some seem to think.