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Direckshun
05-24-2007, 09:14 PM
Where would you guys be without my late night bullshit football topics?

Sporting News ranks the LB corps in the AFC, via BoltHype.

AFC focus: All raves for Ravens linebackers
Posted: May 24, 2007

SN correspondents

Sporting News' AFC correspondents shift their focus to the top units of linebackers in the conference:

1. Ravens. Ray Lewis and Bart Scott communicate well on the inside. Terrell Suggs always has been a force as an outside pass rusher, but now he plays the run well, too. Jarret Johnson is strong against the run.

1. Chargers. It's difficult to imagine two better outside pass rushers on the same team than Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips. The inside is new, with Matt Wilhelm replacing Donnie Edwards and Stephen Cooper taking over for Randall Godfrey.

3. Dolphins. Joey Porter is a big addition on the outside, but the unit's strongest spot is the middle, where Zach Thomas continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. With Channing Crowder developing on the weak side, this group could be a huge difference-maker in the team's success.

4. Patriots. Adding Adalius Thomas to a mix that includes the cerebral Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel in the middle, as well as solid pass rusher Rosevelt Colvin, makes the starting four formidable. The expected return of Junior Seau will provide badly needed depth.

5. Chiefs. Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards and middle linebacker Napoleon Harris fit well in the cover 2. Kendrell Bell is the top backup and will have a role as a rusher in passing situations.

6. Broncos. D.J. Williams must prove he can be instinctive in the middle. Ian Gold may be the fastest outside linebacker in the league. Warrick Holdman, the other likely starter, isn't a star but always is around the ball.

7. Jaguars. Mike Peterson is one of the league's top five middle linebackers. Outside starters Clint Ingram and Daryl Smith are young but proven.

8. Titans. Keith Bulluck and David Thornton tackle well and can match up against running backs and tight ends in coverage. Stephen Tulloch is battling Ryan Fowler to start in the middle.

9. Texans. The team upgraded in the offseason by acquiring Danny Clark and Shawn Barber. They will compete with Shantee Orr on the outside. In the middle, DeMeco Ryans is the defense's unquestioned leader.

10. Raiders. Kirk Morrison anchors the middle. Thomas Howard made an immediate impact as a rookie. Injury-prone Sam Williams still is trying to settle into a comfort zone.

11. Steelers. Clark Haggans is solid on the left side, but James Harrison must fill Joey Porter's shoes on the right. On the inside, James Farrior is the team's best linebacker, and Larry Foote plays well when he has a good supporting cast.

12. Jets. They are set on the outside with Bryan Thomas and Victor Hobson. On the inside, undersized Jonathan Vilma has struggled in the 3-4, and Eric Barton will be challenged by second-round pick David Harris.

13. Browns. Kamerion Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson more than lived up to expectations as rookie starters. Willie McGinest is slipping, but he'll join Wimbley and Antwan Peek in a rotation on the outside. Andra Davis will start alongside Jackson in the middle.

14. Bengals. If newcomer Ed Hartwell can stay healthy, he will take on a leadership role for middleman Ahmad Brooks and Rashad Jeanty. This unit has talent but lacks experience playing together.

15. Colts. Gary Brackett returns as the inside starter, and Rob Morris likely will open camp as the strongside starter. The rest of the cast is unproven. Freddy Keiaho is the leading candidate to replace Cato June on the weak side.

16. Bills. Angelo Crowell, Keith Ellison and rookie Paul Posluszny fit well in the team's cover 2 because they run well and attack the line of scrimmage. Still, there is no star here.

luv
05-24-2007, 09:16 PM
Where would you guys be without my late night bullshit football topics?

I look forward them. Just nothing on Trent, please. I think everyone else has that covered.

Okay, enough niceties...


Another stinkin' lame football thread??? :rolleyes:

cdcox
05-24-2007, 09:19 PM
I'll be shocked if people think the Steelers have the 11th best LB corps in the AFC by the end of the season.

Direckshun
05-24-2007, 09:21 PM
I'll be shocked if people think the Steelers have the 11th best LB corps in the AFC by the end of the season.
Explain yourself.

noa
05-24-2007, 09:22 PM
At first, I thought the Patriots' LBs were totally overrated (Bruschi and Vrabel are old fogies), but then I looked at everyone else's LB corps and had a hard time coming up with a team that was better.

KCBOSS1
05-24-2007, 09:23 PM
That roll might fit Kendrell Bell well. Isn't that what he was good at at pitt?

Mecca
05-24-2007, 09:23 PM
Explain yourself.

They always get rid of guys and put new guys in and do just as well.......

5th in the AFC translates to what 9th-12th overall something like that......the biggest problem the Chiefs will have is Nap Harris is extremely injury prone.

crazycoffey
05-24-2007, 09:25 PM
At first, I thought the Patriots' LBs were totally overrated (Bruschi and Vrabel are old fogies), but then I looked at everyone else's LB corps and had a hard time coming up with a team that was better.


us, duh

cdcox
05-24-2007, 09:29 PM
Explain yourself.

Pittsburgh ALWAYS has solid LBs. They'll be top five in the AFC, even with Joey Porter leaving. It is what they do.

Direckshun
05-24-2007, 09:30 PM
To be honest, we're simply freakin' loaded at LB. We've easily got a Top 5 unit in the AFC, and a top 10 unit in the NFL.

Starters:
Johnson
Harris
Edwards

Backups:
Bell
Fox

Reserves:
Kershaw
Nate Harris
Reid
Wusu
Hicks

Half-Man, Half-Deities:
Scanlon

noa
05-24-2007, 09:31 PM
us, duh

Yeah, the homer in me says this is true, but statistically speaking, the Patriots current LBs were better than our current LBs last season.

Mecca
05-24-2007, 09:43 PM
To be honest, we're simply freakin' loaded at LB. We've easily got a Top 5 unit in the AFC, and a top 10 unit in the NFL.

Starters:
Johnson
Harris
Edwards

Backups:
Bell
Fox

Reserves:
Kershaw
Nate Harris
Reid
Wusu
Hicks

Half-Man, Half-Deities:
Scanlon


What if I said............Harris is injury prone, Bell isn't fit to play LB in this scheme and the coaches think Fox sucks because they're trying to get younger and signed a LB to play his spot........

We also basically don't have a backup MLB if Harris does get hurt.

Direckshun
05-24-2007, 09:49 PM
What if I said............Harris is injury prone, Bell isn't fit to play LB in this scheme and the coaches think Fox sucks because they're trying to get younger and signed a LB to play his spot........

We also basically don't have a backup MLB if Harris does get hurt.
Oh, I'd probably say that's just you doing your thing.

Harris is proven. Bell's going to be situational. And Fox played pretty much like a backup the game or two that he filled in for DJ, which is really all we need for him to do.

We don't have a backup MLB, I agree, and that seems disconcerting. Lack of depth at LB is a regularity in the NFL (along with OL, DL...), so I'm not going to dock them for it any more I would any other team in the NFL.

BigChiefFan
05-24-2007, 09:54 PM
What if I said............Harris is injury prone, Bell isn't fit to play LB in this scheme and the coaches think Fox sucks because they're trying to get younger and signed a LB to play his spot........

We also basically don't have a backup MLB if Harris does get hurt.
I'd say move Edwards to MLB, then. Not everything is doom and gloom.

Mecca
05-24-2007, 10:11 PM
I'm just being realistic I don't think Harris has played a full season in 4 years.......it's something like that.

Miles
05-24-2007, 10:15 PM
I'm just being realistic I don't think Harris has played a full season in 4 years.......it's something like that.

He has missed 6 games in 5 years and has never played less than 14 in a season. It may show that he is not an iron man but missing a game or maybe two a season is hardly injury prone.

Claynus
05-24-2007, 10:27 PM
I think they're counting on Kershaw as backup MLB.

bdeg
05-24-2007, 10:29 PM
I'm optimistic about Harris, but it really would've been nice to resign Mitchell cheap. He would have been an excellent, versatile backup.

I think Miami's LB's are a bit overrated if they're at 3 on that list. We'll see how Porter plays in a 4-3. Kendrell Bell syndrome?

Direckshun
05-24-2007, 10:31 PM
He has missed 6 games in 5 years and has never played less than 14 in a season. It may show that he is not an iron man but missing a game or maybe two a season is hardly injury prone.
Money shot.

Direckshun
05-24-2007, 10:32 PM
I think they're counting on Kershaw as backup MLB.
Know anything about him?

Mecca
05-24-2007, 10:42 PM
It's 2005 I'm thinking of.........It may say Harris played 15 games but I remember him being hurt for basically the entire year......he had 25 tackles for the entire season.

Miles
05-24-2007, 10:55 PM
It's 2005 I'm thinking of.........It may say Harris played 15 games but I remember him being hurt for basically the entire year......he had 25 tackles for the entire season.

He lost his starting job at OLB to Keith Newman in 2005.