I usually don’t watch much ESPN, choosing to much rather read articles or watch the videos from team sites. (yes, i’m a nerd)
This morning however, I was awaken early and chose to turn on the TV and flip channels. I vaguely remembered stumbling upon ESPN and the analysts ( I don’t remember as to who) saying that there haven’t been a linebacker duo/combo like Willis and Bowman since Urlacher and Briggs. You could only imagine how offended I was. Not only as a 49ers fan, but as a football fan. There is no way possible you can compare a MLB/OLB duo with 2 MLB’s. Not only does it not make any sense, but no disrespect to either Urlacher or Briggs but Willis and Bowman are a much better pair. They are also much faster and more versatile than the 2 Bears.
Take this year for instance: Briggs has 55 tackles, Urlacher has 41 tackles. Now lets look at the 49ers: Bowman with 76 tackles, Willis has 67 tackles. Please tell me how those numbers even REMOTELY resemble each other!!
Not only that, but why can’t they (ESPN) just acknowledge the job that Bowman/Willis are doing and go from there. It’s rare that a team gets 2 potentially great players at that position in a 3-4, it’s a huge piece of the 49ers defense. Both players can run with any RB or TE in the league, I’m not knocking the Briggs/Urlacher combo but we all know that BOTH of them aren’t capable of doing so. Urlacher is one of the game’s best MLB’s without question, Briggs is an OLB and cannot do the things that Urlacher can. Urlacher will be a Hall of Famer, can’t say the same for Briggs. Briggs complements Urlacher, he’s not from the same mold. He is limited athletically, that is where my point is. Bowman isn’t limited athletically to do the things that Willis can do. If you were to watch them play, it almost appears to be 2 #52’s on the field for the 49ers. They move so much alike, that you don’t know who made the play until they stand up after the play is over. I am not saying that Bowman is a sure-fire Hall of Famer like I believe Willis is, I’m simply saying his level of play isn’t that far behind a Hall of Fame player. Bowman gives the 49ers 2 players of the same mold at MLB, once again I’m not bashing the Bears LB combo….Just saying that this comparison wasn’t warranted and was far from accurate!!