Originally posted by Evilgenius:
Originally posted by dtcomposer:
Justin Smith is not a great athlete like Willis. He is strong, but he is not a freak as far as explosiveness, speed etc. I understand all about Smith occupying linemen to free up the LB's to make tackles, and allowing Aldon and others to have favorable matchups. that is a pretty basic tenet of defense that I learned when I was 12 or 13. Football is't rocket science, and doesn't take a ton of intelligence to understand.
It is definitely a symbiotic relationship, but the Niners didn't have some great sack artist before last year if I remember. In fact, I remember pass rush being one of the main weaknesses of this team before last season (why Aldon was drafted) Justin Smith has been very good for the last few years, but in my opinion Patrick Willis frees up the D to be great. He is the biggest reason people can't run on the team, and once they can't run they become one dimensional (leading to turnovers). No need to question my football knowledge because I think the best LB in the league is better than the best DL in the league...
Yeah, that's why he ran down Maclin from behind there... not a great athlete. Only can run all day long, has incredible explosiveness and strength and also is fast (while being big). But yeah, not a great athlete.
I think he has above average early explosiveness, and I already mentioned that his motor is one of the best in the game (e.g. pursuit). His best attribute is his physical strength, and push. Have you seen how he makes plays? When he isn't just holding ground or setting the edge his best move is the bull rush. That is 100% power. I am just saying that while that one element is maybe one of the best in the game, there are faster ends, and more agile, better pursuing D-lineman. He is extremely effective, and is a great player.
I'll backtrack a little bit I guess on using the words "not a great" , but only to say that my original point was to say that while Smith is a great player, Willis is a once in a generation good player. While Smith's athleticism is very impressive (especially strength) Willis possesses more skills, and is better at his position IMO. Willis is probably the best at every LB skill that I can think of except for possibly pass-rushing (which isn't a huge deal for his position) I think he will excel at that too given a little more time.
Again, I am not saying Justin isn't great player (as I stated in my first post), but Patrick is clearly better. I think Justin rode some of the hype from last season's wins, even though he was still a great player before, and is now receiving a bunch of deserved accolades. I think that at the same time the pendulum has swung just a little bit too far for some, and calling him the best defensive player in the game is a stretch, when he isn't the best on his own team.
You seem to be taking this thing really personally, lol are you related to Justin? Tell him I say hi!