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Thread: James Laurinaitis Could Have Pro Bowl In His Future

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    James Laurinaitis Could Have Pro Bowl In His Future

    James Laurinaitis could have Pro Bowl in his future

    By Brian McIntyre
    Around the League writer
    NFL.com
    Published: July 8, 2012

    The Rams might not be playoff-bound, but James Laurinaitis could be playing football in January.

    St. Louis Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has amassed 376 tackles (leading the team in tackles in each season) with eight sacks and five interceptions over his first three seasons in the NFL. That's impressive production from a "Mike" linebacker playing with a revolving cast of characters at the other two 'backer spots, a group that has included Brady Poppinga, Chris Chamberlain, Ben Leber, David Vobora, Larry Grant, Na'il Diggs and Terry Tate. (Okay, that last one I made up.)

    Laurinaitis, whose official playing-time documents show has missed just three Rams' defensive snaps in his career (and none last season), will have new faces playing alongside of and in front of him this season.

    The Rams brought in Jo-Lonn Dunbar from the New Orleans Saints and added Rocky McIntosh to play on the weak side. Free-agent investments in defensive tackles Kendall Langford (four years, $22 million) and Trevor Laws (veteran minimum) were augmented by the selection of 6-foot-5, 322-pound LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers with the No.14 overall pick in the 2012 draft.

    The biggest aide to Laurinaitis' jump from above-average middle linebacker to Pro Bowl middle linebacker is new head coach Jeff Fisher's defensive system, which the 2009 second-round pick is deemed to be an ideal fit.

    "He's perfect. He's the perfect middle linebacker for this defense," assistant head coach Dave McGinnis said of Laurinaitis last month, according to ESPN's Mike Sando. "The ultimate linebacker for this defense when it started evolving was Mike Singletary. ... We could not have asked for a more perfect middle linebacker to install this system than James Laurinaitis. I remember watching him come out. I interviewed him at the combine when he came out and I loved him then and I love him even more now because he's exactly what you need."

    Singletary went to the Pro Bowl every season he was coached by McGinnis. Laurinaitis could start a similar streak in 2012.


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    Re: James Laurinaitis Could Have Pro Bowl In His Future

    Wait a minute! Did McGinnis just compare Laurinaitis to the Samurai?

    Hang on......I'm having deja vu. I feel like I've heard this somewhere before.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: James Laurinaitis Could Have Pro Bowl In His Future

    Put a halfway decent defense behind this guy and he's going to get serious consideration. Without a doubt, a star in the making.

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    Re: James Laurinaitis Could Have Pro Bowl In His Future

    Here's something worth smiling over!

    Patr Willis: 138.4 - 3.4 - 1.0 - 8.0 - 6.2
    Laurainitis: 125.3 - 2.6 - 1.6 - 5.6 - 6.6

    (Tackes - Sacks - Interceptions - Passed Defended - Stuffs at the line)

    These are average career stats for both Patrick Willis (the default #1 in the league), and our warrior at MLB. As you can see, stats are surprisingly close. The tackle difference comes down to less than 1 tackle a game, and JLau actually leads in both INT's and STF's. Now, I'm not going to say that Laurainitis is as good as Willis, because he's not... Yet. With an improved defense around him, I expect big things from the Little Animal.

    Oh... And one last encouraging stat.

    Patr Willis: 138.4 - 3.4 - 1.0 - 8.0 - 6.2 (Career)
    Laurainitis: 142.0 - 3.0 - 2.0 - 7.0 - 8.0 (Last year)
    Flippin' Ram likes this.

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