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    Question about Laurinaitis

    I live in Illinois and do not get to watch as many Rams games as I would like. I have been seeing, and quite infrequently, discussion about how some do not think James Laurinaitis is that good of a MLB. His career stats show that he can rack up tackles, but that does not tell the story of what kind of player he truly is.

    To those of you who watch more games than I, what are some of the knocks on Laurinaitis' play? From what I have seen, he is not the greatest in coverage or on gap assignments. Anything else I am missing? Are the criticisms that I have read that he is not that great of a MLB warranted or a bit overstated?


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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Are the criticisms that I have read that [J. Laurinaitis] is not that great of a MLB warranted or a bit overstated?
    -- RBTYM
    Yes, there have been a few remarks here against JL (sure, we all would want to see him become the next Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, or other monster MLB) but IMO, those views are overstated.

    I think Laurinaitis will keep getting better as a player and as a leader.
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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    James has regressed as a player the past few years. The difference between this defense and a team like SF, SEA, and ARI is their ILB's vs ours. All 3 of those teams have superstar MLB's (NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis - Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington - Bobby Wagner). Those guys unfortunately for JL are all better than him. I love James and he's the heart of this defense, but he is so slow and rarely makes splash plays. That being said, he is still a good player, he's just not elite.


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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    He's a very solid ILB, he's not the fastest guy or the best tackler in the NFL but a lot of teams would like to have him starting for their teams. He probably gets paid more than he should but this team was so lacking in talent for a long time I don't think the Rams could afford not to pay him the extension he got.

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    JL has not regressed. In fact, he had a very good year anchoring a run defense that went from allowing 4.3 ypc in 2012, to 3.7 in 2013.

    The funny part is how the same fans who criticize Ogltree for being undisciplined or a freelancer fail to give credit to JL for being one of the most disciplined LBs in the league.

    As for the comparisons to 3-4 ILBs, it's apples and oranges. They're not playing the same position.

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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    JL has not regressed. In fact, he had a very good year anchoring a run defense that went from allowing 4.3 ypc in 2012, to 3.7 in 2013.

    The funny part is how the same fans who criticize Ogltree for being undisciplined or a freelancer fail to give credit to JL for being one of the most disciplined LBs in the league.

    As for the comparisons to 3-4 ILBs, it's apples and oranges. They're not playing the same position.
    Yes they are. Their assignments are still the same. You plug your gap and make a play. The difference is that Bowman, Willis, and Washington have world class athletic traits (speed, power) whereas JL solely relies on his football intelligence.

    Plus, the YPC argument is "meh". Robert Quinn is the reason our run defense was superb, not James Laurinaitis. Now I'm not saying he had nothing to do with it, but our team is a "fraud" when it comes to stopping the run. Majority of the time when we stop the run it's because we leave our CB's 10 yards off the WR's and have both safeties come down into the box. Of course you're going to win when its 9 vs 7. I want to see a consistent run stop D when it's 6 vs 7 or a man on a man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post

    Yes they are. Their assignments are still the same. You plug your gap and make a play. The difference is that Bowman, Willis, and Washington have world class athletic traits (speed, power) whereas JL solely relies on his football intelligence.
    You're just plain wrong. Not going to go back and forth with you on this. The Rams' FO and coaches agree with me on JL. You are welcome to continue disagreeing with us.
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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    You're just plain wrong. Not going to go back and forth with you on this. The Rams' FO and coaches agree with me on JL. You are welcome to continue disagreeing with us.
    To me, looking at one simple number "YPC" is not a good indication as to one players success at all. That's like saying Tavon Austin only averages 10.5 YPC therefore he is not explosive..


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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    IMO JL in not spectacular and most likely will not ever make pro bowl/all pro status but he is a GOOD player and provides a steady dose of consistent football play. With Alec and hopefully another above pay grade player, Rams can have a formidable corps of LB's.......I do believe this is an area whereby our nemesis in the NFC West have the upper hand......
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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    I will admit JLau has not become the player I envisioned, but I envisioned another Brian Urlacher, which was probably aiming too high. That said, I'm happy with where he is, and I think with a few more pieces around him, he can still reach Pro Bowl status.

    As far as stats, yes his total tackles were down in 2013, but I see that as a result of the emergence of Ogletree. And if you look at his other numbers, he showed improvement, not regression. He had a career high 3.5 sacks, a career high 2 fumble recoveries, a career high 9 passes defended (a telling stat IMO), tied his career high with 2 interceptions, and had 6 tackles for loss (second career best).

    Bottom line for me, he's effective, a great leader, never misses a game, and makes plenty of plays.

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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    I just took a look at Patrick Willis numbers. He played two less game and had 12 less tackles then JL Had half sack less then JL. He had two FF and JL had 2 FR,,, JL had 2 INTs and Wills had none, Not sure I see JL is not making the so called splash plays like you seem to report.

    Over the last three year Willis has 321 tackles and JL has 400! Wills has seven INTs JL has 9. Where Willis had out played JL is FF not even close. Maybe that is the splash plays you are talking about, But JL has played well and not on a defense with as many good players around him until the last two years. looking forward to JL focusing on big plays now that he does not have to do it alone.
    Last edited by Rambos; -01-26-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I just took a look at Patrick Willis numbers. He played two less game and had 12 less tackles then JL Had half sack less then JL. He had two FF and JL had 2 FR,,, JL had 2 INTs and Wills had none, Not sure I see JL is not making the so called splash plays like you seem to report.

    Over the last three year Willis has 321 tackles and JL has 400! Wills has seven INTs JL has 9. Where Willis had out played JL is FF not even close. Maybe that is the splash plays you are talking about, But JL has played well and not on a defense with as many good players around him until the last two years. looking forward to JL focusing on big plays now that he does not have to do it alone.
    This is what both players average over their careers:

    Willis: 15.1 games, 130.8 tackles, 2.9 sacks, 7.1 PDF, 1 INT, 2.3 FF
    JLau: 16 games, 126.8 tackles, 2.4 sacks, 6.2 PDF, 1.8 INT, 0.2 FF

    Willis is clearly a better player, and that's with just basic statistics. Willis is arguably the best player in the league. And just like Mike said James' stats took a hit because Ogletree came in and played spectacular, Willis' stats took a massive hit too considering the fact that he plays next to the best ILB in the league. Yes, the two best LB's in the league play next to each other, not to mention another one of the best players in the league (Aldon Smith) is right next to them... There are only so many stats to go around.


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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    This is what both players average over their careers:

    Willis: 15.1 games, 130.8 tackles, 2.9 sacks, 7.1 PDF, 1 INT, 2.3 FF
    JLau: 16 games, 126.8 tackles, 2.4 sacks, 6.2 PDF, 1.8 INT, 0.2 FF

    Willis is clearly a better player, and that's with just basic statistics. Willis is arguably the best player in the league. And just like Mike said James' stats took a hit because Ogletree came in and played spectacular, Willis' stats took a massive hit too considering the fact that he plays next to the best ILB in the league. Yes, the two best LB's in the league play next to each other, not to mention another one of the best players in the league (Aldon Smith) is right next to them... There are only so many stats to go around.
    I think we all know Willis is the better player but you stated the JL is regressing. I just don't see that. In fact I think that was his best year yet. Willis had a monster rookie year and has slowly dropped in production. Willis has had three years where he's missed games JL had not missed a game in fave years. JL has played in what three systems as the QB of the D that takes it's toll. Lets see of he can get even better, I think he can. Will he ever be that big hitter, I don't think so, but he is solid in the run and the passing game and is a leader on the team. He's a keeper glad we have him.
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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    I have no idea why we're comparing JL to Willis, there is no comparison.

    Willis is clearly among the best to ever play the position and is the anchor of a defense that has been the best overall defense in the league over the last three years.

    Sometimes I just think the rose colored glasses are worn around here a bit too much.

    JL is a good player, Willis is an elite player. I don't see the comparison.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -01-26-2014 at 02:16 PM.

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    Re: Question about Laurinaitis

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    I think we all know Willis is the better player but you stated the JL is regressing. I just don't see that. In fact I think that was his best year yet. Willis had a monster rookie year and has slowly dropped in production. Willis has had three years where he's missed games JL had not missed a game in fave years. JL has played in what three systems as the QB of the D that takes it's toll. Lets see of he can get even better, I think he can. Will he ever be that big hitter, I don't think so, but he is solid in the run and the passing game and is a leader on the team. He's a keeper glad we have him.
    I believe he has regressed for whatever reasons. Now I'm not saying he isn't good anymore, he was simply better when he was younger. He made more stand-out plays and was continuously around the ball. It seems Ogletree is ready to overtake him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I have no idea why we're comparing JL to Willis, there is no comparison.

    Willis is clearly among the best to ever play the position and is the anchor of a defense that has been the best overall defense in the league over the last three years.

    Sometimes I just think the rose colored glasses are worn around here a bit too much.

    JL is a good player, Willis is an elite player. I don't see the comparison.
    There is no comparison. At this pace, Willis is headed for the Hall of Fame. James has yet to make a pro bowl...


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