Originally posted by DonnieDarko:
Bowman > Willis
tough to say, but true
I don't really think one is better than the other. Contrary to popular perception, I don't think they are clones, either.
They both have different styles. Bowman is better in coverage and is a more "finesse" player than Willis. Bowman reminds me of a running back at times with his field vision and they way he uses his speed and agility to get past blockers without being touched. Willis is better at taking on blockers.... He'll just plow downhill and put an offensive guard on their ass before blowing up the running back for little to no gain. Willis is also one of the most technically sound tacklers I have ever seen. It's even more impressive that he can hit as hard as he does without sacrificing his ability to tackle.
I think Bowman is just more fluid and agile, while Willis is a bit more stiff and stout.
People seem to have already forgotten what Willis was like before Bowman and Fangio. The guy had 15 sacks in his first four years. He's had 2.5 since 2011. He's just being used differently now. He has more passes defensed the last couple years than he was averaging before.
This season so far I guess I'd agree that Bowman has played better, but I don't know how much of that is due to Willis' injuries.
In any case, they are the best inside linebackers in the league. Both incredibly versatile and productive... and they both do it while being considered undersized for the position.