Originally posted by kray28:
As great as J. Smith is, you aren't playing 10 vs. 11 if you lose him, RJF replaces at least some of this effectiveness. It's a team effort on D, so it's hard to say that the absence of one guy makes a huge difference.
Again, someone fails to acknowledge the job of a 3-4 DL. They are there to command blockers, which frees up Willis, Bowman, Aldon, Ahmad, and pretty much everyone else not on the line. When you lose a guy that the other team has to put 2 and sometimes 3 bodies on, you are losing a major part of your defense. RJF might be able to make some plays on his own tonight because he is unlikely to eat up that many blockers, which means they will put one guy on him, but that leaves another blocker free to get to our linebackers. If RJF can win his one-on-one battles, they may consider putting another body on him. Only then will the loss of Justin Smith not be so huge. If he can't win those one-on-one battles, our defense will suffer mightily.
I want RJF to become a dominant player, but losing Justin Smith cannot be thought of as a "no big deal, we have another guy who will fill in" situation.