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Patrick Willis: Over hyped or Under appreciated

Originally posted by Furlow:
I appreciate the honest question and unlike everyone else, I will try to give an honest FOOTBALL answer. Willis is highly regarded because of his ability to do a variety of things very well. You're right, when we ran the 4-3 he was a beast on the stat sheet. That is how a 4-3 is designed. With Fangio's 3-4 scheme, the ILB's have to share the "glory." Willis probably will not ever lead the league in tackles, at least not while we run the 3-4. Couple that with the outstanding play of Bowman, and his stat sheet production has gone down even more. He's also not an amazing pass rusher, so his sack totals suffer, and he's only a marginal "ball hawk," so he doesn't get many INT's.

I know it may sound like I'm down on Willis, but I'm not. He is the most complete ILB ever. EVER. By far the most sure tackler in the league today, and maybe of all time. When do you ever see anyone break free from him? I can't think of one time. He takes on lead blocks and stuffs them immediately, creating space for Bowman to make a play. That aspect of his play cannot be understated... How many players can you think of that would have their role changed from being the featured player on defense (the MLB in a 4-3) to just a "piece" of a team defense?

The most underrated aspect of Willis' play though, is his pass coverage ability. In Fangio's scheme, he's asked to do this A LOT. And he's not asked to cover FB's or even RB's. No, he's covering TE's. And we all know that most TE's today are just WR's with a "TE" next to their name. His pass coverage is excellent. And when he's 30 yards down field, he's not going to get as many opportunities to make tackles and be on the stat sheet. TEAM PLAYER.

Obviously he is physically gifted, and his ability to go sideline to sideline is well documented. But his willingness to sacrifice his own personal glory for the good of the team, and his ability to excel at every aspect of what he's asked to do - is why he is so highly regarded.

Thanks, bro. You get it....
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
What a bunch of fluff responses......less than a handful of you were even able to articulate why he is good.....LOL. I know he's good, or I should say great, but its like looking at fine art, if you dont understand what your looking at its hard to appreciate. I was just hoping to get a better understanding of "what actually makes him so great?" My guess is that he has elite physical ability, mixed with text book fundementals. Relative to other LBs he doesn't have a weakness. Can he cover like a elite CB, no. However what LB can? The only thing I'd like to see more of are big moment plays. Yet I'm afraid we'll see less and less of them as he's always in some coverage assignment.. The truly great game changers are allowed to roam. One stat I was suprised to see was how many fumbles he's caused. Again, with the exception of a few, thanks for the weak responses.

Ask a fluff question and thats what happens.

He is great in all aspects of the game. Covering, tackling, rushing the passer, speed, toughness, hard worker, etc...

No weaknesses. This is what makes him great.
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
What a bunch of fluff responses......less than a handful of you were even able to articulate why he is good.....LOL. I know he's good, or I should say great, but its like looking at fine art, if you dont understand what your looking at its hard to appreciate. I was just hoping to get a better understanding of "what actually makes him so great?" My guess is that he has elite physical ability, mixed with text book fundementals. Relative to other LBs he doesn't have a weakness. Can he cover like a elite CB, no. However what LB can? The only thing I'd like to see more of are big moment plays. Yet I'm afraid we'll see less and less of them as he's always in some coverage assignment.. The truly great game changers are allowed to roam. One stat I was suprised to see was how many fumbles he's caused. Again, with the exception of a few, thanks for the weak responses.

so you're saying this thread was a test...............................
Originally posted by 49erfeeeever808:
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
What a bunch of fluff responses......less than a handful of you were even able to articulate why he is good.....LOL. I know he's good, or I should say great, but its like looking at fine art, if you dont understand what your looking at its hard to appreciate. I was just hoping to get a better understanding of "what actually makes him so great?" My guess is that he has elite physical ability, mixed with text book fundementals. Relative to other LBs he doesn't have a weakness. Can he cover like a elite CB, no. However what LB can? The only thing I'd like to see more of are big moment plays. Yet I'm afraid we'll see less and less of them as he's always in some coverage assignment.. The truly great game changers are allowed to roam. One stat I was suprised to see was how many fumbles he's caused. Again, with the exception of a few, thanks for the weak responses.

so you're saying this thread was a test...............................

No, I know he's elite, but its hard for me to see his greatness. Its not like Aldon or J.Smith where its get the QB and you've done good. My guess its the fundementals that make him great, not the "flash."

I was hoping one of the stat guru's would come through with compelling arguments, like they do for A.Smith... I feel a lot of people on this board take that he's great for granted, but like me, not totally sure how to quantify it.
[ Edited by Oakland-Niner on Sep 6, 2012 at 5:44 PM ]
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
No player in the NFL makes 5 straight pro-bowls in as many years playing, consistently voted to the all-pro team by AP and holds a DROY to boot, if they are not a great player.

However, in Fangio's new scheme I'm having a really difficult time appreciating P.Willy's value. For the last year I've just chalked it up to my lack of understanding, but I'm tired of that excuse. So I'm hoping someone can break it down for me what it is Willis does that sets him apart (aside for character). Is he really a game changer and if so how? Is anyone willing to help?
The first thing I thought of was this, OP would ask: Breasts, fun to look at and play with or just oversized sweat glands? Jeez

Originally posted by ruthless49er:
Neither.
He needs a DPOY award now! NAO
Originally posted by niners94:
Neither. Everybody knows he's the best in the business.

This
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Originally posted by 49erfeeeever808:
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
What a bunch of fluff responses......less than a handful of you were even able to articulate why he is good.....LOL. I know he's good, or I should say great, but its like looking at fine art, if you dont understand what your looking at its hard to appreciate. I was just hoping to get a better understanding of "what actually makes him so great?" My guess is that he has elite physical ability, mixed with text book fundementals. Relative to other LBs he doesn't have a weakness. Can he cover like a elite CB, no. However what LB can? The only thing I'd like to see more of are big moment plays. Yet I'm afraid we'll see less and less of them as he's always in some coverage assignment.. The truly great game changers are allowed to roam. One stat I was suprised to see was how many fumbles he's caused. Again, with the exception of a few, thanks for the weak responses.

so you're saying this thread was a test...............................

No, I know he's elite, but its hard for me to see his greatness. Its not like Aldon or J.Smith where its get the QB and you've done good. My guess its the fundementals that make him great, not the "flash."

I was hoping one of the stat guru's would come through with compelling arguments, like they do for A.Smith... I feel a lot of people on this board take that he's great for granted, but like me, not totally sure how to quantify it.

Willis's #'s dropping in 2011 have more to do with everyone else around him improving than anything else.

stats can be overrated for defense anyways. Justin Smith had only 6 (?) sacks last season. but yet considered all-pro. the "sexy" stats like INT's and sacks aren't Willis strengths (though not weak at)
Originally posted by Furlow:


That was a lot of work... and appreciated. Very good stuff that I agree with.
What Ray Lewis does and has done for the Ravens, Patrick Willis does for us. Bear in mind Willis is more physically gifted IMO, giving him an even higher ceiling than Ray. That in itself is saying something.
Originally posted by GuessWhosOn3rd:
He is no where near Over-hyped.

If anything, hes under-hyped, no media exposure and humble.
This thread

Patrick Willis is going to be the best ILB ever barring injury.


Saying he doesn't cover well is crazy. Who does cover well from the LB position? Who is better than him?
No rushing touchdowns allowed in any game he appeared in in 2011