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  • 02/17/2009, 04:32PM ET

LODT TOURNEY I :ROUND 1 NFL: Top 2 LBs as of right now?

Agrippa: (120-61-23) vs jbfpack (73-26-7)
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My picks are DeMarcus Ware and James Harrison.

Ware's numbers = 84 total tackles / 69 solo / 20 SACKS = This beast led the NFL in sacks from the LB position,one of two LB's in the last 13 years to do so

The only other player with more sacks in a season is of course, DE Strahan.

Ware is a excellent pass rusher and can stop the run alone. If you want to get your run game online you have to account for this player. Ware tied the NFL record for getting a sack in ten straight games. CONSISTENCY!

Ware just finished his 4th NFL season and has gotten vastly better each year. This 3x Pro Bowler at age 26 is widely considered one of the best young players in the league at any position.
---
Harrison was named AP Defensive Player of the Year was the main force on the best defense this year.

101 total tackles, 67 being solo he was a one man wrecking machine. He had 16 sacks and 1 int.

A lot of hype is made about game breakers but James proved to be one on the largest stage possible.

He set a Super Bowl record with the 100-yard TD return off a Warner pick to break open the biggest game of the year.

These two have to be considered top 2.


I will keep James Harrison as the best LB in the NFL, but I will change DeMarcus Ware with Patrick Willis as the second best LB in the NFL.

Willis may not be a sack machine like Ware is, but Willis is one of the best if not the best LBs in the game today. A great LB is a guy who is the leader of his team's defense and should lead his team in tackles. Plus, isn't the reason there is a DL, to get to the QB and pile up the sacks?

Willis is one of the best run defenders in the league and he shows that with his stats. Willis had 141 total tackles (109 solo and 32 assisted) last year and 174 total tackles (139 solo and 39 assisted) in 2007. He also is a well above average pass-defender at his position. Willis had 10 defended-passes last year along with an 86-yrd int return TD.

Ware's tackle stats are where I expect them to be, with him playing OLB, but that 20 sacks really catch my eye. I say this because leading the league in sacks means that you are rushing the QB almost every time he drops back to pass. His 6 FF tell me that he is usually coming from the QB's blindside making it easier for him with the QB not seeing him coming.

So who is the better LB?
I say Willis


Willis is a good LB but does not offer the BALANCE Ware does.

Willis has done little too put pressure on the QB in his young career.

LB's are a liability in coverage. Pressuring the QB would be a more valuable skill set for a LB.

He is no Lance Briggs or Ray Lewis when it comes to defending the pass, both had more pass defenses and picks than Willis.

If stopping the run and tackles is what you are looking for then why not go with D'Qwell Jackson? He had 13 more tackles, 1 more sack and 2 more interceptions than Willis?

So there is no aspect of Willis' game that he is the best at in the league.

Willis had only 1 sack this year.

If Im starting a team I want a multifaceted LB like Ware who not only stops the run but can put pressure on the QB when your line isnt getting it done.

"His 6 FF tell me that he is usually coming from the QB's blindside " A sack is a sack. This should tell you he is a game breaker and forces lose balls for possible turnovers.

Willis' FF in 08, 1

You compare Willis' numbers from last year to this year, his production is down 33 overall tackles and 26 solo.

Ware has only gotten better each year he has been in the league


The job of the LB is to be like the QB of the defense and be the leader of his team. Patrick Willis is just that and more. DeMarcus Ware does not have the necessary leadership skills to be a leader on his team.

Willis offers more balance than what Ware offers as whole. Willis is a much better overall defender than what Ware is. Willis is a much better tackler and is better in pass coverage than Ware.

Ware would be more suited to play DE than a LB. Looking at his style of play.

"He is no Lance Briggs or Ray Lewis"

Why are you bringing Lance Briggs and Ray Lewis into this argument of Willis and Ware?

Willis may not be the best at any specific category, but overall he has all the intangibles and is better overall. Ware is only good at one thing and that is rushing the QB.

The reason I didn???t go with D'Qwell Jackson was because Jackson doesn???t have as much impact on his team than Willis does.

If I'm starting a team I want a leader in the middle who can QB the team, not someone who will be rushing the QB almost every other play.

I would take Patrick Willis over DeMarcus Ware anyday.


"DeMarcus Ware does not have the necessary leadership skills to be a leader on his team." - With all dude respect JB , how do you know this? I don't recollect seeing you on Sunday in a Cowboys uni lined up beside him. Any sources or facts to back that statement up?

Wade who coached in Buffalo has said he considers Ware in the mold of another guy he coached: career sack leader Bruce Smith. ""He is a force on the field." say Phillips.

What makes a leader? I would say a fierce play maker that consistently makes plays to motivate his teammates,which is exactly what he is.

"Ware would be more suited to play DE than a LB. Looking at his style of play." He is one of the best at his position and most successful. Why would you put him on the line?

"Why are you bringing Lance Briggs and Ray Lewis into this argument of Willis and Ware?" Because they are both better at the intangible that you claim makes Willis more of an asset to his team. Very relevant.

The clear fact is that he is one of the best linebacker the NFL has seen in some time.

You claim that all he does is rush the QB is a false one. He makes plays all over the field.

Ware is definitely top 2


"of another guy he coached: career sack leader Bruce Smith."

Now Phillips is comparing Ware to a great DE in Bruce Smith? Guess even Ware's own coach thinks that Ware is more suited to play DE than LB. Plus, Ware does line up in the three-point stance on the line-of-scrimmage a lot compared to most other players who play his position.

"they are both better at the intangible that you..."

Lance Briggs and Ray Lewis used to be what Willis is now; A great young LB who is an outstanding leader on and off the field and a player who can produce great numbers as well.

Willis has produced more and contributed more to his team than Ware has throughout the 08/09 NFL season.

Before I finish this TD, here is a highlight reel of the NFL's 2nd best LB.

(Crank up the sound)


Patrick Willis is an all around better player than DeMarcus Ware.

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