Yesterday, in NFL Network’s Total Access feature “Best in the Biz”, Niners Linebacker Patrick Willis was ranked 2nd best MLB in the league. This should come as no surprise to anybody since Willis has created havoc for his opponents in his three years in the league. If anything Willis should have been number one.
Solomon Wilcots who ranked the Linebackers said the players had to meet these criteria.
1) The Linebacker had to be the quarterback of their defense. They had to make sure that the other 10 guys on the field were lined up in their proper position before the snap.
2) The Linebacker had to be a tackling machine on blitz plays and run plays.
3) Most importantly, the Linebacker has to be an every down player. They have to be able to play the run and the pass defense.
Did Patrick Willis meet these criteria? Check. Check. Check.
The guys on the 49ers defense love playing alongside Willis. In three short years, he has become the heart and soul of that defense. Opposing offenses must keep an eye on him at all times because he will make you pay should you make a mistake.
The only player ahead of Patrick Willis is Ray Lewis. Should Willis put up another spectacular season and lead the team past the regular season, expect him to dethrone Lewis. Behind Willis were Panthers LB Jon Beason, Texans LB DeMeco Ryans, and Seahawks LB Lofa Tatupu.