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Old 11-09-2008, 03:35 AM    (permalink
Dr. Gonzo
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Originally Posted by GB12 View Post
Last season he was top 2. Overall he's probably top 7.
Off the top of my head I would have rated Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, Brian Urlacher, D.J. Williams, London Fletcher, and Demeco Ryan ahead of Nick Barnett as far as MLB's go last year. Some of those may be debateble and and it late but while it may be another case of homer bias I think each of those guys out performed him and each were close to him statistically.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:51 AM    (permalink
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What's up with the Saints not talking with Jonathan Vilma about a contact?
He's going to be a Free Agent if they don't resign him.
Do you think they will try to franchise tag him?

I could see him going to the Broncos if they don't sign him.
To play along side two other Miami linebackers and One former teammate.
Dj William and Nate Webster, I think Webster is better on the outside.

Last edited by The Legend : 11-09-2008 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:27 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by The Legend View Post
What's up with the Saints not talking with Jonathan Vilma about a contact?
He's going to be a Free Agent if they don't resign him.
Do you think they will try to franchise tag him?

I could see him going to the Broncos if they don't sign him.
To play along side two other Miami linebackers and One former teammate.
Dj William and Nate Webster, I think Webster is better on the outside.
theyd lose a first rounder
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:26 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Rayray52 View Post
I know its a more limited role but how has Takeo Spikes looked this year? is he totally washed up or can he still make a play here or there
He looked old and slow for the first few weeks of the season but since around week 5 he has really picked it up. He has been playing almost as well as Willis
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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Ray Lewis is still the best MLB in the league, and to me, it isnt close. You may all call me a homer, but TBH, when you look at it, he brings far more to his team then just tackles. Imagine the Ravens defense without Ray Lewis. Sure, they have some other pieces, but it wouldliterallly FALL APART. The man is an extra coach out on the field, he is one of the most charismatic and energetic leaders of his generation of football, and he is playing like he is 25 again, flying over the field, making tackles, getting INTs, and overall just playing better football then any other LB in the game atm.

As far as the tackles stat is concerned, I think its WAY overrated. Tackles for Loss and other big plays are FAR more important in judging a LB i think. And the reason for this is, tackle numbers are quit frankly, very skewed. I mean, look at someone like Ernie Sims, and this relates back to the DJ Williams argument. Ernie Sims will consistently get more tackles then someone like, lets say, Julian Peterson. Does that make him a better LB then Peterson? Absolutely not. But Peterson has Tatupu and Leroy Hill in his LB core who are also going to get tackles, whereas Ernie Sims has...I think you get the point.

Also, lets take into consideration where tackles are made. A guy like Patrick Willis racked up ALOT of tackles last year, but when someone on here ran the stats, it turned out most of them came 3-5 yards down the field, where as in comparison, most of David Harris's tackles came much closer to the line of scrimmage. So Harris may not have had as many tackles overall, but who was making more of an impact? Ill take the guy making tackles closer to the line of scrimmage anyday.

Finally, scheme plays a huge role. Guys like Harris and Willis will get a put load of tackles in their respective 3-4's but Ruud wont get as many as either of them when he means just as much to his own defense as either of them.


I firmly believe that the best way to judge a LB is to ask yourself, what would happen to this defense if I took this LB away. Is it a scheme defense, like the steelers, where anyone can step in at OLB and get 10 sacks? Im sorry steelers fans, but your OLB's consistently put up great numbers no matter who is playing there, and that isnt coincidence, which is why neither James Harrison of Lamar Woodley would be in my top 10 OLB's. For proof, lets just see how Clark Haggans is doing in a different defensive system after beign a very servicable starter in Pitt. Or is it someone like Ray Lewis, where if you take him out of that defense it falls apart. If you take a guy out of his scheme, can someone else step in and do his job relatively well?

My Top 10 MLB/ILB:

1. Ray Lewis
2. Brian Urlacher
3. London Fletcher
4. Demeco Ryans
5. Bo Ruud
6. Karlos Dansby
7. Jon Beason
8. Lofa Tatupu
9. David Harris
10. Patrick Willis

Top 10 OLB:

1. Derrick Johnson
2. Shawn Merriman
3. Demarcus Ware
4. Derrick Brooks
5. Adalius Thomas
6. DJ Williams
7. Terrell Suggs
8. Michael Boley
9. Lance Briggs
10. Joey Porter
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:11 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
to add on to that, i know a lot of broncos fans tend to scrutinize DJ for his questionable ability to read and react... but here's a guy (not to sound like madden) who's played all 3 linebacker positions, and played quite well in all 3 places. name another linebacker that has that under his belt.
DJ Williams was awful at MLB.....

He's a good WLB who is also solid at SLB. That's not all that unique.

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Old 11-10-2008, 03:21 PM    (permalink
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Finally, scheme plays a huge role. Guys like Harris and Willis will get a put load of tackles in their respective 3-4's but Ruud wont get as many as either of them when he means just as much to his own defense as either of them.
Is this saying you believe an ILB in a 3-4 should get more tackles than a 4-3?

I respect your LB ranks, although i disagree slightly.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:21 PM    (permalink
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Adalius Thomas was having a great season but he broke his forearm and is out for the season. Almost everything that could go wrong for the Pats has gone wrong this year.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:28 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by The Great Jonathan Vilma View Post
Is this saying you believe an ILB in a 3-4 should get more tackles than a 4-3?

I respect your LB ranks, although i disagree slightly.
Yea that assessment is incorrect. 34 ILB's usually take on a blocker or two. Seeing as how 43 has four defensive lineman to eat up blockers. And 34 has 3.

And APS, Clark Haggans always sucked.....he had one okay year but he never broke double digit sacks. Closest he got was 9 one year other than that he averaged like 4-5 sacks a year. Which is not good.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:31 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by A Perfect Score View Post
Ray Lewis is still the best MLB in the league, and to me, it isnt close. You may all call me a homer, but TBH, when you look at it, he brings far more to his team then just tackles. Imagine the Ravens defense without Ray Lewis. Sure, they have some other pieces, but it wouldliterallly FALL APART. The man is an extra coach out on the field, he is one of the most charismatic and energetic leaders of his generation of football, and he is playing like he is 25 again, flying over the field, making tackles, getting INTs, and overall just playing better football then any other LB in the game atm.

As far as the tackles stat is concerned, I think its WAY overrated. Tackles for Loss and other big plays are FAR more important in judging a LB i think. And the reason for this is, tackle numbers are quit frankly, very skewed. I mean, look at someone like Ernie Sims, and this relates back to the DJ Williams argument. Ernie Sims will consistently get more tackles then someone like, lets say, Julian Peterson. Does that make him a better LB then Peterson? Absolutely not. But Peterson has Tatupu and Leroy Hill in his LB core who are also going to get tackles, whereas Ernie Sims has...I think you get the point.

Also, lets take into consideration where tackles are made. A guy like Patrick Willis racked up ALOT of tackles last year, but when someone on here ran the stats, it turned out most of them came 3-5 yards down the field, where as in comparison, most of David Harris's tackles came much closer to the line of scrimmage. So Harris may not have had as many tackles overall, but who was making more of an impact? Ill take the guy making tackles closer to the line of scrimmage anyday.

Finally, scheme plays a huge role. Guys like Harris and Willis will get a put load of tackles in their respective 3-4's but Ruud wont get as many as either of them when he means just as much to his own defense as either of them.


I firmly believe that the best way to judge a LB is to ask yourself, what would happen to this defense if I took this LB away. Is it a scheme defense, like the steelers, where anyone can step in at OLB and get 10 sacks? Im sorry steelers fans, but your OLB's consistently put up great numbers no matter who is playing there, and that isnt coincidence, which is why neither James Harrison of Lamar Woodley would be in my top 10 OLB's. For proof, lets just see how Clark Haggans is doing in a different defensive system after beign a very servicable starter in Pitt. Or is it someone like Ray Lewis, where if you take him out of that defense it falls apart. If you take a guy out of his scheme, can someone else step in and do his job relatively well?

My Top 10 MLB/ILB:

1. Ray Lewis
2. Brian Urlacher
3. London Fletcher
4. Demeco Ryans
5. Bo Ruud
6. Karlos Dansby
7. Jon Beason
8. Lofa Tatupu
9. David Harris
10. Patrick Willis

Top 10 OLB:

1. Derrick Johnson
2. Shawn Merriman
3. Demarcus Ware
4. Derrick Brooks
5. Adalius Thomas
6. DJ Williams
7. Terrell Suggs
8. Michael Boley
9. Lance Briggs
10. Joey Porter

Great post I love Ray he is important for the team, I hope we hire him as a LB coach when he retires. I think he is elite as well, he is a coach on the field, he gives your defense a identity, plus he is versatile, he can play blitz,defend the run and he isn't a bad coverage man as well. I think he can be a pro bowler in any defense, whether its a traditional 4-3, a 3-4, or even a tampa 2.
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Old 11-10-2008, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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My Top 10 MLB/ILB:

1. Ray Lewis
2. Brian Urlacher
3. London Fletcher
4. Demeco Ryans
5. Bo Ruud
6. Karlos Dansby
7. Jon Beason
8. Lofa Tatupu
9. David Harris
10. Patrick Willis

Top 10 OLB:

1. Derrick Johnson
2. Shawn Merriman
3. Demarcus Ware
4. Derrick Brooks
5. Adalius Thomas
6. DJ Williams
7. Terrell Suggs
8. Michael Boley
9. Lance Briggs
10. Joey Porter
Kind of hard to say he is a ILB and he isn't playing MLB(thats Hayes who is very underrated) but he is most certainly a top 10 LB
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:34 PM    (permalink
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He might be top 10 but there's no way in hell he's playing better football than Beason this year.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:37 PM    (permalink
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I'm really surprised you have Derrick Johnson as your number one OLB. I mean, homer aside, I agree, but not many people see Chiefs games and just look at stats. Derrick Johnson is very underrated and our defense just isn't the same when he's out.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:40 PM    (permalink
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I wanna hear how Derrick Johnson and Shawne Merriman are better than DeMarcus Ware.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:46 PM    (permalink
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I wanna hear how Derrick Johnson and Shawne Merriman are better than DeMarcus Ware.
Well, personally, I think Derrick Johnson brings more to the table then Demarcus Ware. If you take Ware away from that Dallas defense, you have guys in Anthony Spencer and Greg Ellis who can make plays, and TBH, I have always been a believer that 3-4 OLB's are a bit easier to come by then a great 4-3 OLB. Derrick Johnson is a VERY complete backer with almost no weakness (he can be a bit wary to take on blockers, and will sometimes try to run around them instead of through them, but hes getting better). Dont get me wrong, i am a HUGE fan of Demarcus Ware and I appreciate that he can do more then most 3-4 OLBs, and it may seem like im faulting him for the Cowboys having depth, but Im not. Simply put, I think I value a fantastic 4-3 OLB over a 3-4 one. And to be frank, look at what happened with the Chargers defense without Shawn Merriman. It has literally fallen apart. Obviously there are other factors, but Merriman was the key piece to that defense.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:55 PM    (permalink
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I'm a Chiefs fan, but I think you're crazy is you put DJ over Ware. DJ is a good player, but he doesn't have nearly the same impact on the game as Ware.

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:31 PM    (permalink
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I may be biased, as I am a huge Beason fan, but i would say he's a top 5 MLB. Production aside, although it is impressive, he flies around the field, is smart, solid in coverage, is the emotional leader of that defense (after basically every play he runs over to the guy who made the play and gives them a 'good job' smack), can make tackles with impact, is solid against the run....i don't know, i just really like what he brings to the table. Just my opinion though, but i may be playing favorites.
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You can't be a good corner if no one throws your way. Thats my way of seeing it.
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:42 PM    (permalink
Gay Ork Wang
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Lance Briggs is certainly better than DJ Williams
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:29 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by The Great Jonathan Vilma View Post
I may be biased, as I am a huge Beason fan, but i would say he's a top 5 MLB. Production aside, although it is impressive, he flies around the field, is smart, solid in coverage, is the emotional leader of that defense (after basically every play he runs over to the guy who made the play and gives them a 'good job' smack), can make tackles with impact, is solid against the run....i don't know, i just really like what he brings to the table. Just my opinion though, but i may be playing favorites.
We're both beason homers, but you're right. The defense has gone from being talented yet leaderless (without Dan Morgan on the Field) to being Dominant and clearly fired up.

When the Panthers lost Morgan to injury is was clear a lot of missing from the D and then last season with Minter retiring the Morgan not being around, it was pretty darn clear to everyone that the defense was suffering, but it was clear when Beason was on the field things did go better.

This year with him and Harris there's not only been a notable change in chemistry, but also the determination and the brotherhood on the defense is impressive.

No one is talking about it, but Carolina is 2 overall in points allowed, behind Tennessee. Beason is a HUGE reason for that.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:33 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by A Perfect Score View Post
Well, personally, I think Derrick Johnson brings more to the table then Demarcus Ware. If you take Ware away from that Dallas defense, you have guys in Anthony Spencer and Greg Ellis who can make plays, and TBH, I have always been a believer that 3-4 OLB's are a bit easier to come by then a great 4-3 OLB. Derrick Johnson is a VERY complete backer with almost no weakness (he can be a bit wary to take on blockers, and will sometimes try to run around them instead of through them, but hes getting better). Dont get me wrong, i am a HUGE fan of Demarcus Ware and I appreciate that he can do more then most 3-4 OLBs, and it may seem like im faulting him for the Cowboys having depth, but Im not. Simply put, I think I value a fantastic 4-3 OLB over a 3-4 one. And to be frank, look at what happened with the Chargers defense without Shawn Merriman. It has literally fallen apart. Obviously there are other factors, but Merriman was the key piece to that defense.
So your rankings are mostly dependent on what team they play for? For example, if Demarcus Ware played for the Lions, he'd be #1?

Ware is a complete LB'er. He covers, rushes the passer as good as anyone, is as sure a tackler as anyone, and is great in the open field. Shawne Merriman is a good rusher. That's probably about it.

I disagree completely with your analysis, because 4-3 OLB'ers have much less to worry about than any 3-4 'backer. And trust me, i love Derrick Johnson, but i don't think he's the best outside backer in the league.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:43 PM    (permalink
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I really don't think you can compare 4-3 OLBs and 3-4 rushbackers. They don't really play the same position. A mediocre rushbacker arguably deserves to be ranked higher than a pro-bowl 4-3 OLB because pass rushers simply have a larger impact on the game. I don't think you can really group the two together because one of them plays a far more important role for a defense.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:39 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by MetSox17 View Post
So your rankings are mostly dependent on what team they play for? For example, if Demarcus Ware played for the Lions, he'd be #1?

Ware is a complete LB'er. He covers, rushes the passer as good as anyone, is as sure a tackler as anyone, and is great in the open field. Shawne Merriman is a good rusher. That's probably about it.

I disagree completely with your analysis, because 4-3 OLB'ers have much less to worry about than any 3-4 'backer. And trust me, i love Derrick Johnson, but i don't think he's the best outside backer in the league.
how? Many pro bowl 3-4 OLBs are one trick ponies who only rush the passer and are incapable of anything else. In fact, many are converted DE's who simply dont have the size to play DE and the athleticism to play standard 4-3 OLB. Now, Demarcus Ware is an exception, but your argument is flawed in assuming that 3-4 OLB's have more qualities then 4-3 OLB's. And your right, Merriman is much less dynamic then Ware, but hes just SO GOOD at rushing the passer that its impossible to ignore his impact or take away from what he brings to that defense.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:10 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by terribletowel39
I'm pretty sure that has to go to Ray Lewis, London Fletcher, or Derrick Brooks. Not Keith Bulluck, although he is good.
Bulluck's past 5 seasons:

'03: 137 tot's, 3 sacks, 2 INT's, 1 DEF TD, 5 FF, 6 PD's
'04: 152 tot's, 5 sacks, 2 INT's, 1 DEF TD, 1 FF, 13 PD's
'05: 138 tot's, 5 sacks, 2 INT's, 0 DEF TD, 1 FF, 10 PD's
'06: 144 tot's, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT's, 1 DEF TD, 2 FF, 8 PD's
'07: 88 tot's, 0 sacks, 5 INT's, 0 DEF TD, 1 FF, 7 PD's

Bulluck AVG (SLB):
131.8 tot's, 3.1 sacks, 2.4 INT's, .6 DEF TD's, 2 FF's, 8.8 PD's.

Ray Lewis AVG (ILB):
116 tot's, 2.1 sacks, 2.2 INT's, .4 DEF TD's, 1.2 FF's, 8 PD's

Brooks AVG (WLB):
119 tot's, 1.4 sacks, 1.4 INT's, .4 DEF TD's, 1.6 FF's, 6.2 PD's.

Fletcher AVG (ILB):
142 tot's, 2.3 sacks, 1.6 INT's, .6 DEF TD's, .6 FF's, 7.2 PD's.

Bulluck beats both Lewis and Brooks in every statistical category. Fletcher is only better in total tackles and tied in DEF TD's. Bulluck wins in everything else. Think of other big name LB's, and compare them yourself.

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Originally Posted by Rayray52
Two or three years ago sure throw bulluck on there maybe even top 3 if its OLB only, however hes slowed down alot and other than that huge 3 int game last year against the colts hasnt been dominant in a while.
Bulluck hasn't slowed down - he's just no longer the only talented player on the DEF. The reason his tackles dropped last year is because no one could get past the DL. This season, Bulluck is on pace for 103 tot's, while David Thornton is on pace for 75 tot's.

Bulluck is vastly under-appreciated by Titans fans because he has been great for so long. He didn't have 3 INT's against the Colts last season - He had 3 INT's against the Saints on MNF, which only attributes to his playmaking abilities, and even if we outright exclude that game, he still has 2 INT's which is the same amount Ray Lewis had all that season. He had 9 solo tackles against Chicago this past week while playing with cracked ribs. The guy's an iron man at the LB position, and the ability to stay healthy is an attribute in it's own right.

Bulluck slowing down...ppl mek me lolz...
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Damn Ke$ha is sexy.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:16 AM    (permalink
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My Top 10 MLB/ILB:

1. Ray Lewis
2. Brian Urlacher
3. London Fletcher
4. Demeco Ryans
5. Bo Ruud
6. Karlos Dansby
7. Jon Beason
8. Lofa Tatupu
9. David Harris
10. Patrick Willis
NO love for P Willy?
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:27 AM    (permalink
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Unfortunately for us Green Bay fans we are about to find out just how good Nick Barnett is. He is on the down side of his career,and he may never be as good as he was but If this list had been madea couple of years he most definately been on it. Finally some lonon fletcher love. I dont know why people ignore how good of a player he is. FLETCHERS A BEAST
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People are expecting him to be some sort of alien defense-destroying robot QB and it's just not realistic.
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