Urlacher or Lewis?

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Supercowboy1986, May 22, 2013.

  1. Supercowboy1986

    Supercowboy1986 Well-Known Member

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    They were having a really good discussion on NFL live about who should get in the hall of fame first and I'm just curious as to what the conseus here is. Also give an explanation for your stance.
  2. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    Ray Lewis.

    Urlacher was much more injury prone. He also struggled when his DT play in front of him was not up to snuff. He was at his best when Ted Washington was in front of him. Then Washington went down in 2002 and teams could target him in the running game for a few years until Lovie Smith started to use him properly. There was one game in '02 (IIRC) where Chris Chambers, a WR, dominated Urlacher in the run game of all things.

    Lewis played in 4-3 Cover 2, 3-4 and other types. And he really set the tone for the Ravens defense over the years. They had different head coaches and D-Coordinators, yet it seemed like Lewis played a larger role in developing defensive players.

    Oh, and Lewis wasn't dumb enough to try and start a fight with Bas Rutten.


    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends completely on scheme between the two. Ray Lewis could not have done what Urlacher did in Chicago. You can argue the reverse as well.
  4. TheFinisher

    TheFinisher Well-Known Member

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    Lewis will get in first because of the media hype, SB Rings, etc and it's hard to argue against it. Although I will say Urlacher was asked to play a much more demanding role within his defense than Lewis was in his. Few LBs are athletic enough to succeed in the Tampa 2 as the Mike, and Urlacher dominated in that role for a decade. He's far and away the greatest Tampa 2 Mike of all time. His pass coverage responsibilities mirrored that of a deep middle safety, and usually that impacts how effective your Mike is against the running game because they're eager to bail out and carry those inside receivers vertical... but Urlacher was so athletic that he was able to play the run honestly and be a tackling machine while still being able to run with those slot WRs.

    I'm not sure if Lewis would have the same legacy had he been placed in that system.
  5. bigdnlaca

    bigdnlaca Well-Known Member

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    What you said is true but Lewis also struggled when he didn't have a big man playing infront of him also. Those years when he didn't have Goose and Ngata was pretty bad for him.
  6. JohnsKey19

    JohnsKey19 Well-Known Member

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    To me it's a no brainer. Ray Lewis.

    Urlacher has been a very good to great player over the course of his career. But Lewis has arguably been the greatest of all-time at that position. While he clearly fell off later in his career, he was still a good player in his final seasons.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No. Lewis is not even close to the greatest of all time IMO. Very, very good but not anywhere close to the greatest of all time for me.
  8. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    They weren't bad years at all. And he had Kelly Gregg who was better than Siragusa.

    I think this usually goes back to the game (I think it was MNF) where Lewis was getting manhandled by a great Chiefs O-Line and was complaining on the sidelines. People assumed that he couldn't take on blocks.

    He could. Urlacher had a real struggle with taking on blockers, regardless if they were O-Linemen, TE's or even WR's. That's why the move to the Tampa 2 worked perfectly for him. He was allowed to do what he did best...run. Briggs and Hillenmeyer got to handle the dirty work.

    That's not a complete knock on Urlacher because a guy that size to run that fast and to cover that much ground and had the ball skills he had made for an effective player.

    But Lewis was a much more complete linebacker.

  9. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    Neither should be in the HOF IMO.
  10. BAZ

    BAZ Drunken Mick

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    Who is it then?
  11. JohnsKey19

    JohnsKey19 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's up for debate. He's at least in the discussion. I'm not going to sit here and act like i can seriously critique players i never saw play a down of football, but i find it difficult to imagine that any were much better than Lewis - if at all.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, Lewis' strength was in the run game. He wasn't a great sack artist, he averaged roughly 2.5 a seasons. He wasn't a great cover LB, although, he did have better then average numbers with INTs. I think it's fair to say that Lewis' strength was in the running game. To me, it's more a question of how the game is played now. Teams are simply not as good at running the ball now as they were in other eras of football. The game is scaled towards the passing game and because of this, the running game suffers IMO. Lewis was a great LB and if not for his off filed issues, I would say that he would be a lock as a 1st ballot HOFer. But I don't believe that he is the greatest ever. I think that what you have here is a League that is filled, now more then ever, with LBers who are much better in the passing game and less stout in the running game then in years past. As a result, you have a guy like Lewis, who is a throw back of sorts, that stands out much more in todays game then he would have in years past. That's just my opinion.
  13. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    I think Lewis goes first. The two rings are going to put him over the top in the comparisons with Urlacher and their careers.
  14. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    If I had to guess, Ray Lewis will be a first ballot HOFer.
  15. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Different kind of LBs but that's not the issue. Lewis gets in first ballot unless they torpedo him like they did Irvin. I see him getting in year one.

    Plenty of better LBs. LT, Lambert, Bell and Lanier come to mind. Lewis is the equivalent of Butkus who I'd say was better. Jordan and esp Howley were better IMO and they aren't even in the Hall.
  16. respectdatstar

    respectdatstar Member

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    Being that they both retired during this same off-season, there is a chance that they both get in as soon as they are eligible. So, they could get in at the same time. I think it is very likely they do.
  17. bigdnlaca

    bigdnlaca Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to also mention that it is unfair to say Urlacher was more injury prone when they both missed some games.

    I can't continue on this because I'm going on memory now and I can't find sources, but Lewis once said that the Ravens needs to bring in a big man in the middle, so he can do what he does best. I'm assuming this was back in 07 when they struggled or the year before Ngata got drafted. This had nothing to do with the KC game.

    It don't matter to me, because I like them both as football players, and they both joined struggling organizations at the time. They are going to get in anyways.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I actually believe that Junior Seau, a contemporary of both players, was better then both. Also great against the run, probably better in the open field then Lewis, better against the Pass, better Pass Rusher then either Lewis or Urlacher. Much better against the run the Urlacher IMO and the physical skills to probably play in a Tampa2 at MLB. To me, he was overall better then either but that's just my opinion.
  19. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    Ray Lewis was a significantly better player than Urlacher.
  20. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    Ray Lewis is a 1st Ballot shoe in. There is some question about Urlacher... really depends on who else is competing that year.

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