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  1. #1
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    JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    While many others have noted this, it bears repeating that the play of James Laurinaitis continues to be one of the bigger bright spots of this otherwise dismal season.

    Here's how he matches up with some of the "big name" LBs from this year's draft (all but Rey Maualuga were drafted before JL).

    James Laurinaitis
    40 tackles
    31 solo tackles
    2 passes defended
    1 interception
    1 fumble recovery

    Brian Cushing
    39 tackles
    22 solo tackles
    .5 sacks
    1 safety

    Aaron Curry
    32 tackles
    29 solo tackles
    2 sacks
    2 forced fumbles

    Rey Maualuga
    22 tackles
    15 solo tackles
    2 sacks
    2 forced fumbles

    Brian Orakpo
    15 tackles
    11 solo tackles
    2.5 sacks

    Clay Matthews
    7 tackles
    4 solo tackles
    1 sack
    1 forced fumble
    1 fumble recovery
    1 TD


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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    That is impressive. He's holding his own with the LBs. Hey, how about Orakpo? He's having a good rookie year on the D line for Washington. I know technically he's listed on the depth chart at SLB but the times I have seen Washington he looks like he's playing on the D line.
    Last edited by txramsfan; -10-12-2009 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Considering the #2 DT in front of him has routinely been backup type material, his play has been extremely impressive.


    I'm jumping back on my CB horse. The Post gave our CBs something like a C grade but I thought our CBs had a very solid week again. On one of the plays they counted how long Favre had to stand in the pocket and they counted 7 seconds. How do you blame a CB for giving up a reception when the QB has that much time in the pocket? I think Fletcher, Wade and Bartell are going to be very good next season. In fact, their play has eliminated a focus point in the offseason talent signings. I don't think the Rams will need to sign anything more than a 4th type CB.
    Last edited by RebelYell; -10-12-2009 at 11:34 AM.

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Considering he is putting up these type of numbers with the lackluster supporting cast he has, imagine what kind of plays he could make if he had a forceful pair of DTs in front of him.

    Also, it was nice to see him try and make a play with the ball once he got it in his hands from the interception

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Wow he is definitely holding his own.

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    I am by no means a draftnik, but I do remember how much some people wanted Maualuga and just look at the production, almost double! Nice pick!

    James Laurinaitis
    40 tackles
    31 solo tackles
    2 passes defended
    1 interception
    1 fumble recovery

    Rey Maualuga
    22 tackles
    15 solo tackles
    2 sacks
    2 forced fumbles
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    You know the saddest thing about this? He has no chance to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Why? Because he plays for the Rams.

    It's easy to see that he's WAY better than Rey Maualuga at this point, but all I keep hearing in the media is how great Maualuga and Curry are. Why? Because The Bengals and Seahags are winning games.

    It's not fair, but that's the way the NFL works.

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Glad to see this. This is exactly why I went out of my way and made the sig for him. I knew he'd be an impact player, and he doesn't even have a really good D line infront of him.

    After we get a few more defensive line men, especially interior, he is going to take off!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Yeah, in college he really benefited from having a solid d-line in front of him. It was what allowed him to not have to sit back in coverage at all times, and allowed him to be aggressive. He snagged quite a few picks for a MLB and had a decent amount of sacks as well. He's only going to get better once the talent around him develops.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    One interesting thing to note when comparing them all is that I believe Laurinaitis is the only middle linebacker on that list. How that factors in to anyone's conclusion, you can decide on your own.

    But there's no question he's had a very impressive rookie season, and I think he's played at the kind of level that really makes you forget about the other linebackers this team could have had. He really looks like he's going to be a great addition to this defense for a long time to come.

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    He needs to rack up a few sacks indeed but he is doing great. I am excited for that defense, he might be there for a long time coming. The next brian urlacher? dont worry I knocked on wood after I wrote that ;-)

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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    Given that he is a MLB, you would not expect him to have too many sacks. That's not what ILBs/MLBs do. For example, Ray Lewis has averaged less than 3 sacks per year for his career. Brian Urlacher has averaged just over 4 per year.

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    Be careful of drinking the Kool-Aid

    Now I like JL, and think he was a solid pick and may be the best of this year's crop for the Rams BUT to anoint him as ROY is premature. He is solid and gets lots of tackles, but he doesn't seem to change the game the way Curry or even RM can. Now I know he plays MLB, but like others have said, he makes lots of tackles downfield. Not saying he's a bust. I think he's top 3 rookie LB, but I'd still take Curry over him, and I think for what they are asked to do he and RM are doing about the same job.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -10-13-2009 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Oops! Hit wrong button. Didn't change the content.

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    Re: Be careful of drinking the Kool-Aid

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard View Post
    Now I like JL, and think he was a solid pick and may be the best of this year's crop for the Rams BUT to anoint him as ROY is premature. He is solid and gets lots of tackles, but he doesn't seem to change the game the way Curry or even RM can. Now I know he plays MLB, but like others have said, he makes lots of tackles downfield. Not saying he's a bust. I think he's top 3 rookie LB, but I'd still take Curry over him, and I think for what they are asked to do he and RM are doing about the same job.
    Which Seattle and Cincinnati games have Curry and Mauluga respectively "changed" this season? I haven't had a chance to see much of either of them play this year.

    Also, here's a breakdown of the tackles-for-loss by all of the players Av has listed...

    James Laurinaitis: 2 TFL
    Brian Cushing: 4 TFL
    Aaron Curry: 2 TFL
    Rey Maualuga: 3 TFL
    Brian Orakpo: 0 TFL
    Clay Matthews: 2 TFL

    So it would seem that Laurinaitis is about on par with what others are doing in terms of tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: JL More Than Holding His Own Among Rookie LBs

    You know, everyone here has the right to an opinion, but... come on!

    Now I like JL, and think he was a solid pick and may be the best of this year's crop for the Rams BUT to anoint him as ROY is premature.


    Which is probably why nobody has annointed him (or anyone else) yet.

    He is solid and gets lots of tackles, but he doesn't seem to change the game the way Curry or even RM can.


    He DOESN'T do what Curry or Maualuga CAN do? What does that even mean? Compare what they DO, or compare what you think they CAN DO. Mixing the actual and the potention tells us nothing.

    Now I know he plays MLB, but like others have said, he makes lots of tackles downfield.


    I've seen no evidence of this claim. From my perspective, he's usually near the line of scrimmage.

    Not saying he's a bust.


    Um... yeah... he's about as far from a bust as you can get at this point.

    I think he's top 3 rookie LB


    Not bad, considering that 4 LBs (5 if you count Orakpo, who has been moved to OLB) were taken ahead of him.

    but I'd still take Curry over him


    If Curry was there in the second round, I would have too. So?

    , and I think for what they are asked to do he and RM are doing about the same job.


    I seriously doubt that Maualuga is being "asked to" make half as many tackles as JL.

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