This week, Dhani Jones, that pretty good lookin’, fairly good linebacker put together a really ugly list of what he thought are the top linebackers in the NFL … a list where he placed himself seventh.
Well, he’s been a pretty decent player for the Giants, Eagles and Bengals for the past decade or so, but the top 10?
What’s even more astonishing is that Chicago Bears’ longtime linebacker, Brian Urlacher, isn’t even mentioned in the top 10!
That’s pretty amazing.
San Francisco’s Patrick Willis tops Jones’ list, followed by the Steelers’ James Harrison, Cowboy Demarcus Ware, Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Ray Lewis of Baltimore, who rounds up the top five.
Jones’ number six through 10 are as follows:
6. Jerod Mayo, New England;
7. Dhani Jones, Cincinnati;
8 Lance Briggs, Chicago;
9. London Fletcher, Washington; and
10. Jon Beason, Carolina:
We could argue all day about the numerical placement of each of Jones’s pick, but we won’t.
What we will argue is the fact that Jones thinks so highly of himself that he left Urlacher off the list.
If Urlacher continues to play at the high level for which we’ve become accustomed for another three to five years, Urlacher is a sure bet for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
As a Packers fan who has angrily watched Urlacher consistently stop drives and come up with the big tackle for a loss, fumble recovery or interception, I know what the guy can do. He’s been a team leader who leads by example and stands by his teammates through good times and bad.
You can’t help respect him for that.
I don’t think you can say any of that about Jones.
But let’s take a look at the numbers to prove Jones wrong.
In 10 years, Jones has played in 157 games and started 131 for three different teams, while Urlacher has played 154 games, starting 152 of them – all for the Bears. Urlacher has played 11 seasons.
In his 10 years, Jones has posted 9.5 sacks and a measly 5 interceptions, Urlacher has recorded 41.5 sacks and 18 interceptions (doesn’t Jones remember Urlacher’s interception of Aaron Rodgers at the five yard line in last year’s NFC championship game – a play that stopped the Packers from taking complete control of that game?).
Need we go further? Probably not, but we will.
Jones has a career 616 tackles, 255 assisted.
Urlacher has 913 tackles and 277 assisted.
These numbers are pretty clear. Maybe Jones could be in the top 20, but not the top 10.
on the flip side, leaving Urlacher off the list is a travesty. To place himself on the list is simple arrogance.
Urlacher’s probably giggling about Jones’ list. No doubt, he will go out again this season and show the rest of the league his value. That’s a good thing for him … A nightmare for league offenses.