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Better Defensive Player?

Better Defensive Player?

Does...not...compute...
Apples and oranges...
Marquez Pope
Justin Smith was never considered a bust
Originally posted by oldman9er:
If this question were to be answered prior to 2010? I'd have said Patrick Willis. While both have improved since, I think the answer.. still very close... but I'd say Justin Smith. When Justin first arrived back in 2008, I'll be honest... I wasn't so sure he'd fit right in as a 3-4 DE. Many of times, he would lack discipline in attacking the QB and give up his run assignments. He needed time to bulk up more to anchor the run game also. He sure did level out on all aspects of his game as the years progressed, and now, he's obviously just off-the-charts valuable to us.

Nothing against Sir Willis either. Both are incredible players... both belong in the top 10 of all defensive players.

He was just as good the day he got here. Seriously. Folks just don't pay as much attention to line play.
Originally posted by Leathaface:
Originally posted by dtcomposer:
I think Willis is the better player. We never heard about Smith being one of the top players in the game before last year because Aldon Smith wasn't wreaking havoc on the league yet. Smith has a great motor, but he is not a great athlete. Willis has a great Motor, and is the best tackler in the league. He is also the fastest LB in the league in game. He was used in coverage more last season, and bowman started playing really well too, so maybe some people thought he had an off year.

Smith is very very good, but Willis is going ot go down as one of the best ever assuming he continues his production.

This just shows you that some people don't understand defense. Aldon Smith wouldn't have half the sacks he had if it weren't for Justin Smith taking out two guys on the stunt they run. And Justin Smith has been dominating for the last 3 years now...but clearly you missed that.

Justin Smith is not a great athlete? Stop...now...please...

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...
[ Edited by dtcomposer on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM ]
Originally posted by dtcomposer:
I think Willis is the better player. We never heard about Smith being one of the top players in the game before last year because Aldon Smith wasn't wreaking havoc on the league yet. Smith has a great motor, but he is not a great athlete. Willis has a great Motor, and is the best tackler in the league. He is also the fastest LB in the league in game. He was used in coverage more last season, and bowman started playing really well too, so maybe some people thought he had an off year.

Smith is very very good, but Willis is going ot go down as one of the best ever assuming he continues his production.

Smith is an incredible athlete. He ran a low 4.6 coming out @ almost 280lbs. Justin just started playing this well? Did you just start watching the Niners this year?
[ Edited by Evilgenius on Jun 17, 2012 at 8:02 PM ]
LOL voting is actually 50/50. epicness.
Originally posted by Leathaface:
This just shows you that some people don't understand defense. Aldon Smith wouldn't have half the sacks he had if it weren't for Justin Smith taking out two guys on the stunt they run. And Justin Smith has been dominating for the last 3 years now...but clearly you missed that.

Justin Smith is not a great athlete? Stop...now...please...

*applaud*
Originally posted by strickac:
Willis, easily.

Justin was nearly considered a bust early in his career. Willis instantly was in the elite status when he entered the league. Willis is the consensus best MLB in the game. Justin, even in his prime, is among the best, but he doesn't dominate his competition (other DEs) like Willis does.

I'm a huge Justin fan, but I think he'd be easier to replace than Willis. We're just fortunate to have guys like Bowman and McDonald complimenting them.

Justin was never considered a bust. He was the best player on the Bengals most of the time he was there - and teams in the AFC North (and their fans) sure as hell knew who he was.

Once again, cursed by playing on a bad team with no media coverage. I'm pretty sure if ESPN had been hyping Justin like they should have for most of his career, you wouldn't make such a ridiculous statement (Willis is obviously better? Give me a break).
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.
  • Chief
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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 really don't understand the bold comment.
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!
Originally posted by Chief:
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 really don't understand the bold comment.

I tried to explain it above. Justin is a great athlete compared to me. He is a great athlete compared to Daniel Kilgore, but he isn't the best athlete at his position. At least it is debatable. Patrick Willis is a freak show. That is all I am saying.
Well, Justin Smith may be the best athlete at two positions, so not sure why anyone would consider him "not a great athlete." He is almost as fast as Willis, had incredible numbers at the combine (which is not super important to me) and has made plays I have never seen in over fifty years of being a fan. Plus he is one of the most tenacious guys you could ask for!