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Best LB corps in the NFL?

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07:19 AM ET 07.13 | The discussion may begin and end with Pittsburgh. With LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison, the Steelers have the best combination of accomplished pass rushers among 3-4 defenses in the NFL. In fact, it's not real close. The only team that could close the gap anytime soon is Dallas if Anthony Spencer improves. When you add in inside linebackers James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons (seven sacks last season), you have the best overall linebacking corps in the league by a pretty good margin. Dallas is really good, but the Steelers are special.

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James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Getty Images James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Getty Images
July 13, 2010  07:52 AM ET

Okay....

July 13, 2010  08:00 AM ET

We'll find out if they can play at high level 35 minutes a game, something they should expect to do while Ben sits out 4 to 6 games.

July 13, 2010  08:01 AM ET

Good thing, too. With all the crap facing their offense, Pittsburgh will need that defense to step up.

July 13, 2010  08:02 AM ET

You will get no argument from me with these guys.

And Stranger is right - they are going to get the chance to prove it!

July 13, 2010  08:19 AM ET

This is not exactly news to anyone is it?

July 13, 2010  08:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

This is not exactly news to anyone is it?

Only to the interns at FN, Mr Steeler.

July 13, 2010  10:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

This is not exactly news to anyone is it?

Nope. The argument is who is second best.

July 13, 2010  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Nope. The argument is who is second best.

And what are your thought on that?

July 13, 2010  10:41 AM ET

thoughts

July 13, 2010  10:45 AM ET

Comparing 3-4 LBs to 4-3 LBs is apples to oranges (OK, maybe tangerines to oranges). I like Seattle's group, Curry, Hill and Totupu.

July 13, 2010  10:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

And what are your thought on that?

I have no clue. But you have distinguish between 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. 3-4 LBs are always going to have bigger stats, everything is funneled to them. They get more sacks because they are really fluid DEs on pass plays.

July 13, 2010  10:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Comparing 3-4 LBs to 4-3 LBs is apples to oranges (OK, maybe tangerines to oranges). I like Seattle's group, Curry, Hill and Totupu.

sorry. beat me to it..

July 13, 2010  10:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

thoughts

I think in 3-4 it is a toss up between Cowboys and Packers. Matthews, Barnes, Hawk and Jones have to be considered.
Any group with Ware in has a head start and I know they are phasing Spencer out because they have some young guys they like better.

Comment #15 has been removed
July 13, 2010  11:19 AM ET

I would rather have DeMarcus Ware on my roster than both Harrison and Woodley.

July 13, 2010  11:35 AM ET

Sacks do not make a inside LB, stopping the run does...

July 13, 2010  11:36 AM ET

The guys on the edge in their 3-4 are great at getting after the QB no doubt. Inside sacks are more typically based on schemes and surprise

July 13, 2010  11:37 AM ET

Spencer had a fairly good year. It's going to be tough to push him out for a while, and while trying to keep Spencer and Ware contained it opened up the middle and gave Ratliff a pretty good year for a 3-4 NT, and It doesn't hurt to have Spears on the other side.
Brookings may be old but still has tread on the wheels, and James is pretty solid. If Lee can come in and contribute it doesn't suck to be Dallas. Wade Phillips is a good Defensive Coordinator. It's kinda scary that it's only a part time jobs for him.

July 13, 2010  11:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I think you were looking for Barnett not Barnes.And even though I'm a GB fan I wouldn't put their LB's among the NFL elite. Hawk hasn't been the playmaker you would expect from a #5 overall pick, Barnett is solid - but once again not an impact player, and Jones will need to make a huge leap this year if GB expects to get better. Matthews is the only pass rusher of the bunch, and he's going to see a lot of double teams this year - unless Jones can get better.They're a solid group, but not anywhere near the best.

Barnett is a great LB, he is as under-rated as the come... I agree with you on Hawk he isn't quite what ud expect

 
July 13, 2010  12:14 PM ET

I guess they're trying to lure steeler nation out of our summer slumber.....

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