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Ranking the linebackers in the AFC West

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    June 16, 2009 1:00 PM

    Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

    1. Shawne Merriman, San Diego: The Chargers are counting the days until he returns from a knee injury that kept him out of all but one game last season. Merriman is an elite pass rusher, but he is also a complete player who makes San Diego's defense go.

    2. D.J. Williams, Denver: Williams is top player. The problem with him is he has moves positions nearly every year. Now, he is playing an inside linebacker position for Denver as it moves to the 3-4 defensive front.

    3. Kirk Morrison, Oakland: He is a tackle machine and one of Oakland's best players on defense. He's an underrated player.

    4. Thomas Howard, Oakland: Howard, too, is a top defensive player in this division. He always seems to come up with the big play.

    5. Shaun Phillips, San Diego: Phillips is an emotional leader on the defense, who has big-play capability. Merriman's return will help him.

    6. Larry English, San Diego: I expect an immediate impact made by the No. 16 overall pick in this year's draft. English has looked fantastic this spring. He is a pass rusher, whose presence will be helped by Merriman.

    7. Stephen Cooper, San Diego: Yet another playmaker on San Diego's linebacker roster. He is a smart player, who is always around the ball.

    8. Derrick Johnson, Kansas City: Johnson has been good in this league. He struggled last season. Perhaps the help Kansas City has given him at the position will revive him. He has good ability.

    9. Zach Thomas, Kansas City: Thomas is nearing the end, but he is a leader and he always finds ways to make tackles. He'll make his presence felt.

    10. Mike Vrabel, Kansas City: Like Thomas, Vrabel is nearing the end. But he is a gritty player, who'll make his share of plays.

    11. Boss Bailey, Denver: Bailey has been injury plagued and he will struggle to come back from a serious knee injury. If healthy, he is a solid player.

    12. Kevin Burnett, San Diego: Burnett was brought in as a free agent to help on passing downs. The Chargers have high hopes for him.
  2. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    This Charger defense will be a different animal this season. This will be especially true if Vaughn Matin catches on quickly to the Charger scheme and the speed of the NFL game. The other one I'm most interested in will be Kevin Ellison. I'm waiting to hear more about the Kassim experiment at safety.
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    I'm waiting to hear that Kassim is gone in order to open up a spot for another D-lineman. :yes:
  4. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    With the neck roll, shoudlnt Hart be considered a really bad LB? :lol:
  5. vegasboy

    vegasboy BoltTalker

    Sep 8, 2006
    Never underestimate the importance of special teams play. Like him or not Kassim is one of the best in the business.:bolt:

  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    I'm underestimating nothing. ST play is ALL that Osgood brings. We have bigger needs than carrying a player simply for ST unless they're a return man, kicker, or long snapper.

    Ask Hanik Milligan if being a special team whiz & offering nothing else will keep you on this team for long. You need to have another skill set as well.

    Osgood's days are numbered. He may stick through this year, but that will do it.
  7. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Thats exactly what this defense will be this year. An animal, which means we'll actually have some degree of ruthelessness. Good thing. VERY good thing. :yes:
  8. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Wow, English must have really made an impression on Williamson to be ranked sixth on the list.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    Yeah, that is impressive. Also the fact that Burnett ranked 12th. You got 5 of the top 12 LB's in the AFC West. You gotta like that! :yes:
  10. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    As much as I agree that our LB corps are stacked - in the AFCW it's not exactly hard to dominate on paper :lol:

    Can't wait to see what these guys do on the field!! I wanna see some heads rolling :icon_twisted:
  11. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Not that it matters but both Morrison and Howard are better than DJ Williams.
    • Like Like x 1

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