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Old 07-15-2013, 10:10 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
We see a similar situation happening in SF but not to the same extent. Navarro Bowman is better than Patrick Willis but no one is ready to come to terms with that yet bc of the perception.
I'd say in coverage Bowman has an edge. Maybe. That doesn't make him a better linebacker hands down though. Willis makes as much of an impact on the defense as Bowman. It's essentially a tie for me. Can't go wrong with either one.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:26 AM    (permalink
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I think it's just getting pretty hip to say Bowman is better than Willis because if you're saying a former 3rd-rounder is better than the 11th overall pick who's been 1st team All-Pro all but one year he's played, zomgz yu must no so murch aburt furtburrrrr. They're both really good. Bowman isn't better. They have different roles.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:38 AM    (permalink
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I'd say in coverage Bowman has an edge. Maybe. That doesn't make him a better linebacker hands down though. Willis makes as much of an impact on the defense as Bowman. It's essentially a tie for me. Can't go wrong with either one.
I look at it this way: Bowman can do everything Willis does, but Willis can't do everything Bowman can do. Both are incredible at slipping blocks, wrapping up and making tackles, both are good blitzers, both can take on fullbacks.

The edge is coverage. Bowman is just superior in coverage. And when teams go 4 wide, they take Willis out and keep Bowman in. Bowman plays every formation but Willis doesn't.

They're literally 1A and 1B in terms of best ILBs in the league, but I give the edge to Bowman.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:07 AM    (permalink
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I agree the WLB isnt asked to make sacks, but it was a simple stat to show impactfull plays, because as you mentioned in the Tampa 2 the WLB doesnt blitz...BUT look at Derrick Brooks and even in the Tampa 2 he was able to make impactfull plays... when you watch Lance Briggs you see a very good but not great player... Urlacher was a great player.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:12 AM    (permalink
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I think Bowman is the better coverage backer, but Willis is the better enforcing run stoper..

and neither are BAD at anything but they do have their stregnth...so trying to knock Willis for coming out in passing situations is dumb because it makes sense for a couple reasons Bowman is the better coverage guy it doesnt mean he is the better LB, it gives willis a rest and it allows the defence to run different packages.

But i guarantee that both Bowman and Willis benefit from each other and if you didnt have two studs right next to each other, one would shine and really standout but instead we are debating on who is better when both are great.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:15 AM    (permalink
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I think it depends on your perception. I saw Briggs make a lot more plays than Urlacher. It's hard to go off statistics with linebackers bc it doesn't take into account coverages and tackle numbers tend to be overstated.

Even if Urlacher is better and it's a close call, the fact that Urlacher is considered a HOFer and Briggs never gets a sniff of such mention is reason enough to believe that he's criminally underrated.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:16 AM    (permalink
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Bowman is every bit the run stuffer that Willis is. Arguably better. He slips blocks better than Willis. And while I did just state that tackle #s are overrated, Bowman does make more tackles than Willis fwiw.

There's nothing that Willis does better than Bowman.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:22 AM    (permalink
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Im not a Niners fan and dont watch enough of them games, but is Willis the "Ray Lewis" role where he is the heart and soul and gets his teammates fired up?
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:24 AM    (permalink
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Also just to play devil's advocate is the reason why Bowman appears to be just as good as Willis because teams are focusing on Willis allowing Bowman to get free and face single blocks?
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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Also just to play devil's advocate is the reason why Bowman appears to be just as good as Willis because teams are focusing on Willis allowing Bowman to get free and face single blocks?
Kind of. With the emergence of Bowman, Willis had a role change. Instead of having the HB when we play man, he now usually takes the TE.

HB's get more carries than TE's get catches, so 'bow inevitably gets more tackles.

I'm convinced if Willis went back to his old role he'd still be top notch. I remember one game he held AP to like 12 yards.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:27 PM    (permalink
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I wish Andre Wadsworth could have had a legit chance in the NFL without his injuries.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:27 PM    (permalink
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Bowman is every bit the run stuffer that Willis is. Arguably better. He slips blocks better than Willis. And while I did just state that tackle #s are overrated, Bowman does make more tackles than Willis fwiw.

There's nothing that Willis does better than Bowman.
But there is nothing that Bowman necessarily is hands down better at than Willis. Coverage? It is really splitting hairs here. I've seen Willis make just as many impactful plays in coverage. And he is still used in a lot of passing situations.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:35 PM    (permalink
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But there is nothing that Bowman necessarily is hands down better at than Willis. Coverage? It is really splitting hairs here. I've seen Willis make just as many impactful plays in coverage. And he is still used in a lot of passing situations.
That's why I think it's 1A and 1B like I said in the earlier post. It's very close, but I give the edge to Bowman bc at the end of the day, I think he's still slightly superior overall. Willis is good in coverage but he's not a stud coverage LB. Bowman is a stud in coverage.

In the NFCCG the 49ers adjusted to Cruz in the 2nd half by running a lot of Cover 2 with Bowman on him underneath and Gholston on him up top. Bowman blanketed Cruz on those options underneath. Completely shut him down.

I just like Bowman's game more.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:00 PM    (permalink
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Kind of. With the emergence of Bowman, Willis had a role change. Instead of having the HB when we play man, he now usually takes the TE.

HB's get more carries than TE's get catches, so 'bow inevitably gets more tackles.

I'm convinced if Willis went back to his old role he'd still be top notch. I remember one game he held AP to like 12 yards.
I def. think Willis has had a role change because Bowman emerged, but if you think about it the impact that TEs have I think that Willis is given that responsibility shows the faith and ability he has. Think of the damage a Gronk, Graham or any other TE that can catch can do to a team and they are using Willis for that.. Not saying a HB isnt as dangerous in certain situations but I think if the Niners are putting the responsibility of covering TE on Willis' shoulders it speaks volumes about his ability.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:38 PM    (permalink
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Kind of pointless to mention sacks when discussing WLBs in the Tampa 2, since they never ever blitz the QB. In his 14 seasons with the Bucs Brooks only recorded 13.5 sacks.
Urlacher also had many more Ints, despite, apparently, always being sent in after the QB and Briggs always staying back in coverage.

Urlacher was truly great. Very underrated.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:04 PM    (permalink
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The interesting thing about the Bowman v Willis in terms of coverage is this...


In the few drives where Fangio used Dime coverage, Willis and Bowman rotated drives. If Bowman was in for a drive, Willis was in the next. It only happened a handful of times this season.

It made a stink because the very first occurrence, Bowman was left in. It's rarely mentioned that the next drive it occurred in that game, Willis was in and Bowman was out.

They're virtually the same guy, at this point, which is terrifying.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:13 PM    (permalink
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The interesting thing about the Bowman v Willis in terms of coverage is this...


In the few drives where Fangio used Dime coverage, Willis and Bowman rotated drives. If Bowman was in for a drive, Willis was in the next. It only happened a handful of times this season.

It made a stink because the very first occurrence, Bowman was left in. It's rarely mentioned that the next drive it occurred in that game, Willis was in and Bowman was out.

They're virtually the same guy, at this point, which is terrifying.
Terrifyingly awesome.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:45 PM    (permalink
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Urlacher also had many more Ints, despite, apparently, always being sent in after the QB and Briggs always staying back in coverage.

Urlacher was truly great. Very underrated.
Urlachers was blitzing more in his earlier years, when Dick Jauron was the Bears coach. 26.5 of his 41.5 career sacks came before Lovie Smith took over after the 2004 season. On the other hand 16 of his 22 career ints came after Lovie Smith switched the defensive scheme to Tampa 2, and Urlacher had the responsibility to cover the intermediate and deep zone in the middle of the field. He was great in both schemes, just different duties to fullfill.

I cant really see why one would consider Urlacher to be underrated. He is unanimously regarded as the leader of a great defensive unit, as well as the face of one of the NFLs most storied franchises for more than a decade. He has won every single award imaginable, and is considered by fellow players, coaches, media and fans a like to be one of the leagues greatest defensive players throughout since 2000. Ray Lewis might get in the way of Urlacher being a first ballot HoFer, but hell get in soon enough.
His last season with the Bears, and the brief moments of drama that followed during free agency this year will not have any long lasting effect on his resume imo.

None of that however, should take anything away from Lance Briggs being a total beast in his own right.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:56 AM    (permalink
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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...eers-cut-short

Goes along with what we've been talking about
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:57 AM    (permalink
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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...eers-cut-short

Goes along with what we've been talking about
That's a pretty good list.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:03 PM    (permalink
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I thought so as well. I've never really watched Greg Cook except a few highlights from time to time, but he looked fairly good and hearing how everyone talks about him is positive.

It's a shame how surgery was back then, they basically just cut you up, fixed what was wrong the best they could and left behind a ton of scar tissue and muscles that never went back together because they'd be cut in half.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:47 PM    (permalink
fatso
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I remember when I was a kid some rookie (I think) RB tore his ACL running in the sand at the rookie skills challenge during the pro bowl week. Ended his career.

Does anyone else remember this? I'm 25 and wanna say I was around 10 when it happened
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:10 PM    (permalink
mightytitan9
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Pretty sure that was Robert Edwards fatso.

They almost had to amputate his leg.

He actually put together a decent career in the NFL during his brief stint
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:17 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightytitan9 View Post
Pretty sure that was Robert Edwards fatso.

They almost had to amputate his leg.

He actually put together a decent career in the NFL during his brief stint
Thank you, that's him.

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:24 PM    (permalink
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He played a year with the Dolphins and 4 years in the CFL, eventually.
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