PDA

View Full Version : The Great Debate: Merriman/Ware, Year 3


DMWSackMachine
10-16-2007, 11:53 AM
I thought this would be a good time to revisit the Shawne Merriman vs. DeMarcus Ware discussions that have been so prevalent on these boards in years past. Any NFLDCer worth his salt knows how the basic tenor of the arguments have gone. It's been about a 60-40 split in favor of Shawne in years past, mostly--at least imo--due to his superior numbers and the spectacle of his sacks.

Fast forward to 2007, and I feel like an interesting new wrinkle has been thrown in. Ware is being deployed much more creatively by Wade Phillips than he ever was by Bill Parcells, and the results are showing. After a slow start getting adjusted to the scheme, Ware has racked up 5 1/2 sacks in his last 4 games, with his most impressive game coming against the Patriots. Additionally, he continues to disrupt plays in coverage, as evidenced by his tipped pass-turned-INT vs. Buffalo that turned the game.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Merriman has looked--at least to my eye--significantly improved against the run, and has been staying in his rush lanes more consistently. While it is unclear whether or not this is due to a scheme change or just better discipline on his part, I feel like it has made him a better football player, even while his sack numbers are down. Of course, he always gets healthy against the Raiders, getting just half a sack less in that single game then he had in the entire season previous.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

Player.......Solos.....Assts....Sacks.......TFL... ...PD
Ware........25...........6..........5.5..........3 .........1
Merriman....22..........7..........5.5..........4. ........2

Remarkably similar, and both players best games came against the Patriots juggernaut (though Merriman had 2 sacks to DMW's 1).

Here is an evaluation recently done by ESPN called "Scheme Busters" in which they polled 2 GMs, 2 scouts, 2 coordinators, 2 position coaches, 2 QBs and 1 LB asking which players must be accounted for when putting together a gameplan. In other words, this is not simply John Clayton or Mort sitting down to the keyboard and looking at a highlight reel to formulate their opinions, this is real dyed-in-the-wool personnel guys.

Of course, this isn't necessarily done according to quality of player, because certain positions don't lend themselves to be schemed against (OL being the obvious one, but to a lesser degree RB and CB too).

The evaluation is broken down into teirs; the Unanimous or Cream of the Crop (or tier 1) group which were universally voted for by each member of the panel, the Split Decision (or tier 2), and the Feared But Not Quite The Same (or tier 3). After that there is the Past Their Prime tier featuring older HOF type players who have lost a few steps, and then finally the Over and Under Rated tiers with players who are better or worse than their perceived quality.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=sando_mike&id=3056630

The interesting thing here is that Ware is listed in the 2nd tier, while Merriman is listed in the 3rd tier. Needless to say, I was shocked, as most here would probably be, though maybe for a different reason. The prevailing sentiment almost league-wide that I have seen is that Merriman is at the elite-DPOY type level, but this doesn't seem to reflect that. Meanwhile, Ware has gotten very little press despite his dominant play thus far. Here are the excerpts pertaining to the two players:

Ware (tier 2):
"He's so big and strong. He's a young Charles Haley and that's good. He's really a defensive end that stands up and overpowers the blocker."

Merriman (tier 3):
"People talked about San Diego blitzing, but they were not. They were bringing four and getting matchups with Merriman against backs or guards who [had other responsibilities]. Pittsburgh did the same thing with Polamalu."

Additionally, this quote from the same article was given by an AFC Scout on www.theboysblog.com (a local Cowboy blog, have no idea how he got it) :

"Ware changes the game when he plays down, plays up. Guys who play that position in that defense must be able to rush the passer and then turn their hips to cover and drop. Ware can do it all."


All last year, people wondered what would happen if Ware was given the freedom to go after the QB like Shawne had in his first two years. We are seeing that on a play by play basis. He has been practically living in the opposing backfield, and while his sack total is nice so far, the true indication of his performance is the regularity with which he ALMOST gets there, too.

Obviously, I am partial (though not as much as I've been accused) to one side of the argument. But it has definitely taken a turn.

It's time to weigh in.

Xenos
10-16-2007, 11:57 AM
My hope that Sunday's game against the Raiders are signs that the defense is gelling with Cottrell's scheme. This is particularly important for Merriman. Of course, Shaun Phillips is an even more underrated player than Ware IMO.

Number 10
10-16-2007, 11:58 AM
I said last time I am waiting until the end of the season...just doesn't seem right to have this debate now.

Very much like the QB debates.

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-16-2007, 12:03 PM
I definately prefer ware to merriman he's more versatile being great at everything he's been asked to do. Whereas merriman still has to prove that he's great against the run and the pass.

sodar21
10-16-2007, 12:14 PM
Shaun Phillips > both of them.

:D

JK17
10-16-2007, 12:18 PM
BBD touched on this in his observations, and I tend to agree with what he said. I prefer Merriman to Ware (Chalk a lot of that up to me being a Chargers fan), although there's no clearcut better guy. Both are best at their positions...both are great players....there's no real reason to choose either guy, its too close to call one of them "better". It does have to be mentioned though that the knock "Merriman just blitzes every play" doesn't apply anymore. He's been dropped into coverage almost as frequently as being rushed, and he's still getting pressure, and doing just fine in coverage. It may be a weird comparison, but I'd look at it as a Brady/Manning situation right now. Both are so good, how do you choose which one you'd rather have?

On a side note...how long until a steroid referecne is made....

bearsfan_51
10-16-2007, 12:18 PM
Steroids steroids Merriman eats puppies steroids.


There ya go.

JK17
10-16-2007, 12:22 PM
Steroids steroids Merriman eats puppies steroids.


There ya go.

Haha thank you....thank you. Although I guess techincally, I made the first reference myself.

DMWSackMachine
10-16-2007, 12:27 PM
While Merriman is being dropped a little bit more, let's not get carried away. He's still rushing about 80% of the time. I'd say roughly the same as DeMarcus. But that's not a bad thing. You should only drop players like these guys just enough to preserve the doubt in the defense's mind about who is coming, and thus creating the matchups that you are looking for when they do rush.

I haven't seen him do much to show me he's significantly improved in coverage--and, yes, I have watched most or all of every SD game--but I have seen improvement against the run (even though the overall defense has been worse, :?) and he isn't breaking contain nearly as regularly as he used to, which is going to lead to less sacks, but also prevents the type of big plays that come from a QB getting out of the pocket and improvising.

It's never to early to talk about it. And its never late enough to give a definitive ruling. This is the pre-eminent player vs. player debate in the league right now, outside of the Manning/Brady one. Why not talk about it?

CC.SD
10-16-2007, 12:40 PM
While Merriman is being dropped a little bit more, let's not get carried away. He's still rushing about 80% of the time. I'd say roughly the same as DeMarcus. But that's not a bad thing. You should only drop players like these guys just enough to preserve the doubt in the defense's mind about who is coming, and thus creating the matchups that you are looking for when they do rush.

I haven't seen him do much to show me he's significantly improved in coverage--and, yes, I have watched most or all of every SD game--but I have seen improvement against the run (even though the overall defense has been worse, :?) and he isn't breaking contain nearly as regularly as he used to, which is going to lead to less sacks, but also prevents the type of big plays that come from a QB getting out of the pocket and improvising.

It's never to early to talk about it. And its never late enough to give a definitive ruling. This is the pre-eminent player vs. player debate in the league right now, outside of the Manning/Brady one. Why not talk about it?


There's no way Merriman is being rushed 80 percent of the time. MAYBE the Raider game. But honestly, you should see some Charger message boards these last few weeks; Ted Cottrell has been hung in effigy more times than I can count because he literally has not been blitzing Merriman more than a token few times per game.

Shawne has also always been dominant against the run; he has locked down his side since his very first game.

This year, Merriman's been playing in coverage a lot, and he's been doing great; he basically shut down Gonzo against the Chiefs. When Merriman was out of the game, the Chiefs went back to Gonzalez, and he beat us.

I like Ware a lot, but if this last week is any indication that Cottrell might finally have his head out of his ass, Merriman might just be going back to being the more dominant rushbacker. Screw this 'complete linebacker' nonsense, Merriman is out there to get after the quarterback.



and yeah, SP95 is better than both of them right now. sigh.

bigbluedefense
10-16-2007, 12:42 PM
Who you want, Marino or Elway?

Its literally that close.

Ewing
10-16-2007, 12:50 PM
Who you want, Marino or Elway?


<John Madden>Brett Favre because he's a fearless gunslinger who holds the most records.</John Madden>

bored of education
10-16-2007, 12:52 PM
both are sick nice

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-16-2007, 12:56 PM
merriman just isn't on wares level against the run or in coverage. And while he's better at rushing the passer the difference isn't very significant.

CC.SD
10-16-2007, 12:58 PM
merriman just isn't on wares level against the run or in coverage. And while he's better at rushing the passer the difference isn't very significant.

I'll give you coverage, but against the run? Merriman is ridiculous at the point, I'd have a hard time imagining someone doing much better.

bigbluedefense
10-16-2007, 01:00 PM
Merriman and Ware are equal against the run. Both are dominant.

Ware is more sound at wrapping up and staying in his lane, but Merriman while sometimes (rarely is a better word) misses, he does stop more runs in the backfield by blowing the play up at the point of attack.

To me, theyre equals, and both very impressive run stuffers.

JK17
10-16-2007, 01:07 PM
merriman just isn't on wares level against the run or in coverage. And while he's better at rushing the passer the difference isn't very significant.

Yeah, like two others after me said, Merriman is great at stopping the run. He does miss, its probably the biggest flaw in his game, but he, for the most part, consistently stops the run to his side, most of the time at or behind the line of scrimmage.

The way I see it...

Pass Rushing Merriman has the edge.
Run stopping they are equivalent, and if there is a difference its to miniscule to notice.
Coverage Ware has the edge.

I know thats not a foolproof way to judge players, but I don't think there is any clearcut way to tell whose the "better" player. And no, while Merriman is not on Ware's level in coverage, he is certainly not a slouch there, hes looked just fine at it.

Moses
10-16-2007, 01:11 PM
I have to go with Merriman at this point. Elite pass rushers are the most rare and important thing for a great defence. Merriman is one of the best in the league at it and he also makes impact plays against the run. Ware is a great pass rusher as well but not quite the freak that Merriman is. I like what he does in coverage for the Cowboys but rushbackers are paid the big bucks to get after the quarterback first and foremost.

Jughead10
10-16-2007, 01:15 PM
Honestly I used to always think Ware was better, mainly because he was more of a complete player. Now I'm leaning the other way. Merriman is becoming more complete. I know this is not really the most analytical way to look at it, but I've seen Jeremy Shockey hold down and block Ware one on one when he was rushing the passer. Seen him take him right out of the play multiple times. I don't think Shockey could do the same to Merriman. Not even close to it.

Moses
10-16-2007, 01:17 PM
It should also be noted that Shawne Merriman is a good team guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAR_XHd_cZE). :D

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-16-2007, 01:32 PM
While Merriman has shown he's good at playing the run when penetrating he doesn't anchor against the run as well so is more suseptible to miss direction runs, whih is whu i consider ware the superior run player.

255979119
10-16-2007, 01:42 PM
Merriman is good coming off of the edge against favorable matchups and is a stellar athlete. I do however belive Ware is the more intelligent and versatile player though.

DMWSackMachine
10-16-2007, 01:46 PM
I don't agree that Merriman has been anywhere close against the run with Ware their first two years, but I think its fairly close now. Ware has had more tackles for loss in each of their first two years, including doubling him up in their rookie season. Now Merriman has one more than DMW early on this year. I just think he has made more noticeable plays where he blew someone up. DeMarcus doesn't usually do that. He has textbook form on his tackles, and is incredibly fundamentally sound for such a talented player. He just ends you, simple as that. He looks better in pursuit, too. I see him come from behind to get in on a play down field much more often than I see Shawne.

Smooth Criminal
10-16-2007, 01:53 PM
I prefer Ware. I think he is a better overall player and and more versatile. Merriman is a better physical speciman and that is what allowed him to dominate immediately but I think Ware will continue to develop into a better play. Dallas has been the national game several times and I have been very impressed with Ware thus far.

Addict
10-16-2007, 02:03 PM
I'd like Merriman on the left, Ware on the right please.

DMWSackMachine
10-16-2007, 02:30 PM
I'd like Merriman on the left, Ware on the right please.

:O .......................

Addict
10-16-2007, 02:34 PM
:O .......................

hey, there's nothing wrong with a compromise, right?

MaddHatter
10-16-2007, 02:34 PM
I'd like Merriman on the left, Ware on the right please.

Word - I wouldn't kick either off my team... that's for sure - who's better? Wait till their careers are over

Shiver
10-16-2007, 02:45 PM
They are too close to (definitively) call. However, if I had a choice I would take Ware personally.

Xenos
10-16-2007, 03:21 PM
Both Ware and Merriman are great players who are loved by their teammates. Merriman main flaw is he tries to hog the limelight too much with his sack dance. I personally don't mind it if he uses it to rally the crowd at home (home being the key word), but as long as it's not overdone, then it's not a problem. He's actually done a good job holding back for the most part this year.

Oh and I think Merriman is better on the right side, and Ware on the left side.

Xenos
10-16-2007, 03:22 PM
They are too close to (definitively) call. However, if I had a choice I would take Ware personally.

I actually haven't payed too much attention to Dallas this year. Is Wade using Ware like he did with Merriman? Or is it still different?

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
10-16-2007, 06:09 PM
I'd probably rather take Merriman, I've seen him kill my team multiple times. It's very close, however. And screw having them both on different sides, run a 46 Bear and have both of them play on the SAME side.

kmartin575
10-16-2007, 06:13 PM
There's no way Merriman is being rushed 80 percent of the time. MAYBE the Raider game. But honestly, you should see some Charger message boards these last few weeks; Ted Cottrell has been hung in effigy more times than I can count because he literally has not been blitzing Merriman more than a token few times per game.

Shawne has also always been dominant against the run; he has locked down his side since his very first game.

This year, Merriman's been playing in coverage a lot, and he's been doing great; he basically shut down Gonzo against the Chiefs. When Merriman was out of the game, the Chiefs went back to Gonzalez, and he beat us.

I like Ware a lot, but if this last week is any indication that Cottrell might finally have his head out of his ass, Merriman might just be going back to being the more dominant rushbacker. Screw this 'complete linebacker' nonsense, Merriman is out there to get after the quarterback.



and yeah, SP95 is better than both of them right now. sigh.

I didn't realize 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown counted as Merriman shutting down Gonzalez. Those are pretty good numbers for a tight end.

MaddHatter
10-16-2007, 06:18 PM
I actually haven't payed too much attention to Dallas this year. Is Wade using Ware like he did with Merriman? Or is it still different?

Very different - Ware gets more blitz opportunities, but still spends way more time in coverage then Merriman ever did when Wade was there

Xenos
10-16-2007, 06:31 PM
I didn't realize 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown counted as Merriman shutting down Gonzalez. Those are pretty good numbers for a tight end.

Except Merriman wasn't in the game during the TD catch. Nice try though.

What next? You going to post a player's base salary and use it as an example of how much he's actually receiving a year? Oh wait...

JeffSamardzijaIRISH
10-16-2007, 06:32 PM
DeMarcus Ware is more of a Tim Duncan, while Merriman is a Shaq or a KG. All those guys are good, but Merriman(like shaq and KG) just stands out more.

255979119
10-16-2007, 09:09 PM
DeMarcus Ware is more of a Tim Duncan, while Merriman is a Shaq or a KG. All those guys are good, but Merriman(like shaq and KG) just stands out more.

Merriman is a 7"5 tall beast?

Reiterate for those that hate basketball.

LonghornsLegend
10-16-2007, 11:41 PM
DeMarcus Ware is more of a Tim Duncan, while Merriman is a Shaq or a KG. All those guys are good, but Merriman(like shaq and KG) just stands out more.

I like that comparison, i actually get what your trying to say...

I think its choose your flavor with both players, cant go wrong with either...

neko4
10-17-2007, 12:01 AM
hey, there's nothing wrong with a compromise, right?
Definitly, im fine with either one

SenorGato
10-17-2007, 01:35 AM
They are too close to (definitively) call. However, if I had a choice I would take Ware personally.

+1

Ware is an absolute beast no matter what he's asked to do.

Shiver
10-17-2007, 02:00 AM
It's sad to say, but the steroid angle really is the tie-breaker for me.

BlindSite
10-17-2007, 03:21 AM
Its not even close to being a debate.

Merriman is a cheat, he used steroids and to me, he'll always be a drug cheat. Merrieman is clean and he plays just as well, with a lesser supporting cast.

no love
10-17-2007, 03:21 AM
I like Ware but it's so close. Merriman is the better "downhill" player imo because he is so explosive. But he doesn't seem as fluid as Ware. Ware came in as a rookie and he looked very very fluid for someone who had never played lb.

Merriman does have the benefit of having a much better d-line. Castillo and Williams are far and away better than anything the Cowboys have.

duckseason
10-17-2007, 04:51 AM
I think it's necessary that we consider these guys' supporting casts when attempting a comparison. It's just too great a factor to ignore. Imo, Jamal Williams has the biggest impact of any player on the Chargers defense, and is one of, if not the very best NT in the game. While the Cowboys have solid talent and nice depth in their front 7, it doesn't compare to that of the Chargers.

In addition to the monolithic Williams, Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo are beastly in their own right. Together they form one of the most dominant front lines in football. This makes things much easier on the guys who play behind and alongside them. Both Shaun Phillips and Merriman benefit greatly from this, and I'd say they also help each other as well. Just a very talented group down there in San Diego. In Dallas, the front 3 aren't quite as talented or effective. Even with Ferg, they really don't command the same type of respect from opposing teams. Greg Ellis is still solid when healthy, and Anthony Spencer is coming into his own and will likely be a very nice complement to Ware for years to come. But over the last few seasons, and still today, that front 7 doesn't compare to that of the Chargers. At all. In short, I think Merriman's path is a bit more smoothly paved than Ware's. At least it has been up to this point in their careers, imo. I think the quotes from NFL personnel that DMW posted in his initial post reflect that. If I could have one guy off the Chargers defense, (ignoring the age factor) I'd take Jamal Williams. He makes everybody around him produce at a much higher level than they likely would in his absence. If I could have one guy off the Cowboys front 7, it'd be Demarcus Ware.

In all things measurable such as individual production, I think these guys are pretty even at this point. But let's not forget to look beneath the surface and at least attempt a valuation of the immeasurable, such as the positive or negative impact a supporting cast may have on an individual player. Scheme has been discussed, but I think people sometimes forget just how good some of those other Chargers defenders are. There's no question they all have an impact on each other and feed off each other. Whether positively or negatively, or usually a combination of the two, this happens within every unit in football. Take away Steve Hutchinson, and the Seahawk running game is suddenly mediocre. Shaun Alexander was never a better individual running back than Thomas Jones, imo. But he's always had a much better supporting cast and subsequently far greater 'individual' production. Therefore his star shines much brighter.

Now don't put words in my mouth and act like I'm saying Shawne Merriman is mediocre at all. I think he is one of the very best OLB's in the game. I'm just trying to illustrate my point and provoke thought. I think the Chargers ended up with the best guy for their team, and the Cowboys ended up with the best guy for their team. I think both these guys would be excellent players for anybody, but I think Merriman's situation has been a bit of a better fit thus far, as far as providing an opportunity for his star to shine as bright as possible. In other words, his limiting factors have been nearly nonexistent, while aid for his early growth potential as a producer has been quite abundant.

I can't objectively or accurately determine who I think is the better overall player, but I know that as a Cowboys fan I would pick Ware if I were the GM back in '05, and if I were the GM of the Chargers and I had the 11th pick, I'd take Merriman. In my opinion, it's basically a wash although I obviously lean towards Ware because I've seen just about every play of every game he's played, and I feel Merriman has had a certain boost that Ware has yet to experience- as far as I know at least. This debate will be revisited for years to come. I believe (barring serious injury) that the only way one clearly pulls away from the other in the eyes of the majority, is if one suddenly finds himself with a garbage supporting cast- including coaches, for an extended period of time while the other is free to thrive in an ideal or at least adequate situation. Anybody can be taken out of a game if their opponent is free to focus on him exclusively.

The Legend
10-17-2007, 04:53 AM
i like Ware coverage abillty more

duckseason
10-17-2007, 04:58 AM
There should be a poll on this. I love public polls on this forum. Just to know at a glance where everybody stands.

Jakey
10-17-2007, 05:49 AM
I think Wares' the better overall player, but you cant deny that Merrimans passrush abillity is second to none. Wares coverage skills and help in run support are miles ahead of Merrimans, and the fact that Merriman used streroids putts me off aswell. Out of the two i'd take Ware.

Nitschke-Hawk
10-17-2007, 09:13 AM
In the Chargers games I've seen this year Merriman seems to be making more of an impact on the run than ever. I think Ware is the better all around player. He seems to play faster, he's more agile, and I like his coverage skills. When SD puts Merriman out in coverage it looks like he's just jogging around in a zone. The thing about Merriman is a lot of people consider him more exciting to watch like BBD said. I think Merriman has more potential for a better career than Ware does. There's a lot of pass rushers with similar physical abilities to Ware, but everyone puts Merriman and Peppers in a class of their own physically.

CC.SD
10-17-2007, 11:33 AM
I didn't realize 5 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown counted as Merriman shutting down Gonzalez. Those are pretty good numbers for a tight end.

So what happened here, is that you read the first part of my post (Merriman shut down Gonzalez) and immediately went into homer mode and started posting before reading the second part (Merriman wasn't even on the field for Gonzo's big plays)?

bigbluedefense
10-17-2007, 11:40 AM
Merriman is having a downyear and still has as many tackles and sacks as Ware, who is having a career year.

Don't take that the wrong way, Im just pointing out the irony in that.

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-17-2007, 12:00 PM
Merriman is having a downyear and still has as many tackles and sacks as Ware, who is having a career year.

Don't take that the wrong way, Im just pointing out the irony in that.

Merriman will always pit up better stats than ware just like a de or lb will always put up better numbers than an equally talented dt or cb will.

bigbluedefense
10-17-2007, 12:09 PM
Merriman will always pit up better stats than ware just like a de or lb will always put up better numbers than an equally talented dt or cb will.

Not anymore, thats not the case now. Ware is in the same scheme that Merriman was in. And ironically, Merriman is in a less agressive scheme now. So the tables have somewhat turned (although SD is still more agressive than Dallas was in previous years).

Scheme is no longer an issue, and can't be used as such.

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-17-2007, 12:15 PM
Not anymore, thats not the case now. Ware is in the same scheme that Merriman was in. And ironically, Merriman is in a less agressive scheme now. So the tables have somewhat turned (although SD is still more agressive than Dallas was in previous years).

Scheme is no longer an issue, and can't be used as such.



Scheme has nothing to do with it. As a 3-4 olb you get stats by rushing the passer and attacking the line of scrimmage, which is by far merriman's greatest strength while it's ware's greatest not-strength.

DMWSackMachine
10-17-2007, 01:23 PM
To be fair, Merriman has been highly inconsistent. He has 4.5 of his 5.5 sacks in two games this year, 2.5 of which came against the Raiders, who can make even the most average pass rusher look like an All-Star. Ware, on the other hand, started slowly in the new scheme, getting just 5 total tackles and no sacks in the first two games. Since then he has had at least one sack in every game, been a tackling monster and has been consistently disruptive on a play-by-play basis. Merriman has disappeared for long stretches of games, and I haven't really noticed him getting consistent pressure during the course of games.

If I made this thread last week, we would be talking about how Ware had 1.5 more sacks and almost 10 more tackles than Merriman. Ware has the slight edge statistically right now, so we'll see how things develop.

Nitschke-Hawk
10-17-2007, 01:33 PM
I wonder what the Cowboys honest answer would be if we asked them why they chose Ware over Merriman.

DMWSackMachine
10-17-2007, 02:29 PM
Yeah, me too. If you could give Jerry and Bill some sort of truth-serum, it would be interesting.

The rumors have it that it was a combination of Merriman's character concerns, and Ware's late push with his great workouts, combine, and SB performances....and it probably didn't hurt that Bill was reminded vividly of one Lawrence Taylor when scouting him.

But the word for weeks leading up to the draft was that they were going to go Merriman, and that didn't change until a few days before the draft, when Ware suddenly went from a late first/early second pick to a hot commodity.

Shiver
10-17-2007, 02:43 PM
I wonder what the Cowboys honest answer would be if we asked them why they chose Ware over Merriman.


Everyone praises the Patriots' scouting and they would have taken Ware as well.

Average OT LB
10-17-2007, 02:45 PM
To be fair, Merriman has been highly inconsistent. He has 4.5 of his 5.5 sacks in two games this year, 2.5 of which came against the Raiders, who can make even the most average pass rusher look like an All-Star. Ware, on the other hand, started slowly in the new scheme, getting just 5 total tackles and no sacks in the first two games. Since then he has had at least one sack in every game, been a tackling monster and has been consistently disruptive on a play-by-play basis. Merriman has disappeared for long stretches of games, and I haven't really noticed him getting consistent pressure during the course of games.

If I made this thread last week, we would be talking about how Ware had 1.5 more sacks and almost 10 more tackles than Merriman. Ware has the slight edge statistically right now, so we'll see how things develop.

to be 'fair' is he highly inconsistnat or consistantly sporadic? Merriman gets sacks in bunches, always has. last year he had like 5 games with multiple sacks. Hes doin it again this year. To say hes not getting pressure i feel is just wrong. He was inexistant early on in the year, but like ware, has been pickin it up.

I thikn a better comparison is not between demarcus ware and merriman, but between shaun phillips and ware. I find them similar. Merriman is just a different player than ware. Hes the kinda guy that bullrushes RTs runs over fbs then like cliips the qb in the foot or something. Phillips is the more natural more fluid LB and compares very well to ware. merriman is just a DE in an LB spot.

CC.SD
10-17-2007, 02:52 PM
I thikn a better comparison is not between demarcus ware and merriman, but between shaun phillips and ware. I find them similar. Merriman is just a different player than ware. Hes the kinda guy that bullrushes RTs runs over fbs then like cliips the qb in the foot or something. Phillips is the more natural more fluid LB and compares very well to ware. merriman is just a DE in an LB spot.


I agree, and it's definitely not an insult to Ware to be compared with Phillips, who I believe is just as dangerous as either of them. However, good luck getting Phillips/Ware to be more debated. Merriman and Ware got taken right next to each other at the same position.

JK17
10-17-2007, 02:55 PM
I agree, and it's definitely not an insult to Ware to be compared with Phillips, who I believe is just as dangerous as either of them. However, good luck getting Phillips/Ware to be more debated. Merriman and Ware got taken right next to each other at the same position.

I see what you mean in the comparison between Phillips and Ware and agree the styles are somewhat more comparable....
But the overall impact on the game is why the comparison is Merriman/Ware and not with Phillips.

Modano
10-17-2007, 02:58 PM
I hope we'll be able to start a "Spencer vs Phillips" debate as soon as next season :)

osi+ap=allshallperish
10-17-2007, 04:06 PM
i kinda wish we played a 3-4 cause kiwi would be a complete beast

DMWSackMachine
10-17-2007, 04:47 PM
I hope we'll be able to start a "Spencer vs Phillips" debate as soon as next season :)


What's funny is that Spencer is more in the Merriman mold, too. So that would be pretty sweet if the two teams developed mirror images of one another.

Also, there is no shame in Phillips, he is a very nice player, an excellent young guy, but he's not in the same conversation with Merriman or Ware.

Spencer vs Phillips could become interesting pretty quick here. I think we're a few games away from seeing a major breakout from Anthony, he's primed.

bigbluedefense
10-17-2007, 05:37 PM
I like what i see out of Spencer. He's a very good run stuffer, and a very solid pass rusher too. At this point in his career, he's ahead of schedule in my opinion.

defensiveback23
10-17-2007, 10:01 PM
Not to mention Phillips and Spencer played at the same school...

CC.SD
10-17-2007, 11:19 PM
What's funny is that Spencer is more in the Merriman mold, too. So that would be pretty sweet if the two teams developed mirror images of one another.

Also, there is no shame in Phillips, he is a very nice player, an excellent young guy, but he's not in the same conversation with Merriman or Ware.

Spencer vs Phillips could become interesting pretty quick here. I think we're a few games away from seeing a major breakout from Anthony, he's primed.

That's pretty funny, it definitely would be a mirror image situation.

I guess I agree that Merriman and Ware impact the game more than Phillips, but Shaun is just ridiculously, ridiculously clutch. His sacks and forced fumbles always come with perfect timing.

He's been more than we could ever ask from a 4th round pick. The 2004 Charger draft just keeps looking better and better.

Modano
10-18-2007, 02:18 AM
I like what i see out of Spencer. He's a very good run stuffer, and a very solid pass rusher too. At this point in his career, he's ahead of schedule in my opinion.

Yes, Spencer is making a great impact, considering he only played 6 games in his new position. We all thought that he would have struggled in stopping the run, but he's been great in this aspect of his game so far.
He has only one sack for the season, but he's rushing the passer with success. And the stats says 1, but he kinda have 3. He had a sack on a two point conversion, and the sack made by Ware and Ratliff against Buffalo, was all on Spencer. Spencer was the first one to hit Edwards aftr beating his man, but Ware and Ratliff came down to finish the play.

Jakey
10-18-2007, 05:40 AM
Yes, Spencer is making a great impact, considering he only played 6 games in his new position. We all thought that he would have struggled in stopping the run, but he's been great in this aspect of his game so far.
He has only one sack for the season, but he's rushing the passer with success. And the stats says 1, but he kinda have 3. He had a sack on a two point conversion, and the sack made by Ware and Ratliff against Buffalo, was all on Spencer. Spencer was the first one to hit Edwards aftr beating his man, but Ware and Ratliff came down to finish the play.

If your gonna bring up the rooks', im gonna have to mention Lamarr Woodley. IMHO i think Woodley was a steel in round 2, in hardly any playing time he has gots 2 sacks, tonns of pressure, stuffed the run, made plays in space and learnt the steelers complex defence. He was an absolute beast at College, He dropped in the draft because ppl said he was not big enough (6'2" 266) and he ran 4.6-4.7 with an injured hamstring... i'd say that was plenty good enough. The dudes gonna be a beast! :D

p.s I just realised this balatantly shows my man crush for Woodley. ;)