Originally posted by oldninerdude:
Originally posted by NCommand:This might be the very BEST POST of yours that I've ever read!!
A star? Who is a star at the SAM position in the league? If andes14 (disguised Lawson-lover) is accurate that we overpaid him, he'll need to show some stats/contract numbers to make this claim.
I, like Brooks, thought he s/h/b starting two years ago but unfortunately we had incompetent coaches (as he also noted) who were unwilling to let a player develop ON the field and make a mistake here and there while they grew in the process under proper coaching (see also, McDonald, Brown, Culliver, Bowman, etc). But things happen for a reason.
Brooks was selected as an alternate pro-bowler who has produced every time he's been asked to be on the field and in every position (WILL/SAM/TED/DE/DT) and provides the two key responsibilities of a SAM...pass rush production (8 sacks and 3rd in hits/hurries with 43) en route to sealing the edge (#1 in TFL and 6th in tackles) and this year, he was even better in underneath and outside coverage (he could have used some help on inside and over-the-top coverage to boot). He's always been a great athlete and good in coverage...in fact, b/c so many think Lawson is tremendous in coverage, over their respective careers, Brooks has 1 INT (for a TD) and 9 PD while Lawson has 2 to 17. Now how many more snaps did Lawson get over his 6 year career compared to Brooks? Bingo!
Brooks also has 7 FF's for us including 5 in 2009 and another last year (sack/fumble). You are not going to find a more complete SAM in the 3-4 and esp. at this price (signing bonus)! But the thing I like most about Brooks is that he does all the little things (intangibles), the Justin-Smith like things that lead to huge plays for this defense via INT's, making a critical stop on 3rd down, ensuring an incomplete pass that would have gone for a TD and he does this all with character and class (no show-boating). He's just the blue-collar worker like Justin Smith who is finally starting to get the credit it took Justin Smith to get after all these years.
Equally important is that Brooks pressure comes from the strong side and in plain sight of the QB (not the blind side). 8 sacks from this position along with 43 pressures/hurries is remarkable esp. in his first year. The strong side is the side of the field the TE usually lines up on (to block or flair out) and the RB/FB is looking to pound or be an extra blocker. This means Brooks is often facing not only a RT but a TE and RB while pass rushes while always having to seal the edge and be mindful of the screen passes. And how did we do against the screen passes this year fellas, compared to last year? To me, this is equally as impressive as 14 sacks off the bench. But Brooks did this all with McDonald hurt or not healthy 100% of the time, while taking on the double teams (see playoffs too) and not over Justin Smith over on the weak side.
These plays lead to the secondary being able to take more risks, play tighter and be more physical and undercut routes b/c they know the pressure is not only getting there but is RIGHT IN THE FACE of the QB which leads to critical TO's. Baalke gets it...you take care of your front 7 b/c they will take care of your back end. We were carved up all year in yardage allowed but the front 7 shut down the run completely and was even more effective in the RZ which allowed the back end to clamp down even more and only give up FG's and garner 48 take-aways.
But the bottom line is, when you run a 3-4, your 4 LBers are critical and when you have a SAM/WILL who can produce between them, 24 sacks and close to 90 hits/pressures/hurries and who also contributed to a record-breaking run-defense while playing straight up for the entire year d/t the paired-down playbook and factor in their age and durability and upside, you do whatever it takes to keep them together and build off that chemistry. Period.
And Brooks signed a fair deal and had no intentions to be anything other than a Niner. Now quit your whining and enjoy the moment! Great work FO!
What a great read.
N is the s**t! Don't mess, right?
Always articulate and always on task. And FINALLY, we have a true SAM and a true WILL!!!
Feels good to have this OLB tandem for awhile.