Originally posted by BillWalsh:
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
There is no way for me prove my statement as it's just a hypothetical, but let me ask you this. If Lewis spent all his time chasing down TEs and running 20 yards down the field, do you really think he would be as effective as he is and has been? I'd venture to say, no. Most great players are great, not because they follow the script, but because they use their instincts and talents to ad lib. Thats hard to do when your assigned to a man on passing plays and the QB rarely throws your way...
P.S: Even Matt Millen the Niner homer said Fangio runs a completly vanilla D. He's just getting really good execution from a stacked deck. I shutter to think what a guy like Rex could do with a talent pool like this.
How many points a game did we allow last year? 14.3? How fewer points would Rex Ryan have allowed? Vic Fangio has essentially the same players plus Carlos Rogers and Aldon Smith as Nolan and Singletary's defenses that were middle of the pack. Also, Willis has had tons of 14 tackle games. and Ray Lewis gets asked to cover Tight Ends, just not as much as he is 37, and although still a very instictive player, probably no where near as fast as Bowman and Willis are now. Also, I'm pretty sure we are first in stopping the run in the NFL the last few years, which is indicative of having strong inside linebackers. You can be last in the NFL in run defense (Which I know the ravens are not) and have an inside linebacker have 14 tackle games. In fact, Willis has had less and less tackles as the defense around him got better. He broke the record for tackles in a season his rookie year but the defense wasn't better funnelling all the plays to him.
Well I'm not trying to argue that Sing and Nolan are better than Fangio. However, dont underestimate the impact of an elite passrusher like Aldon Smith. We've always had a very stout run D. Not being able to run on us is nothing new. However, our pass D without a real passrusher (plus slow Clements) allowed teams to throw the ball downfield.And even though this team had a lot of the same names as a few years back, most of the guys starting now were just learning the game and were back ups (Goldson, T.Brown, RayMac, Bowman and even Brooks to some extent). Personally, I dont think Manusky was a bad DC, he just had Harlason and Lawson coming off the edge...
Anyway, back to Willis. Just because he performs well, doesn't mean he couldn't preform better if given the chance. Again, I'm not saying they should change his role, because clearly its working. But personally, I dont see him reaching an individual best because how they use him.