Frauds Showing Themselves With Silence

May 22nd, 2013

Joe has zero issues with Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. But why do some hold him to a different standard than Ronde Barber?

Joe has gone on record that Ronde Barber will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday He probably won’t be a first-ballot Hall of Famer ,as it is extremely difficult for a defensive back not named “Ronnie Lott” to get in as a slam dunk.

Only a maximum of five “modern day” players can be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame annually. And Joe likes it like that.

It should be difficult for a player to get in the Hall because that truly means it is a club of the elite of the elites, unlike in baseball, which has devolved into the Hall of Pretty Good. Or worse, the basketball Hall of Fame, which pretty much lets anyone in the door.

One of the uneducated gripes about Ronde Barber has been that he is a system cornerback. Joe will get into that in a momen,t but for some reason, there are actually employed people who think a Cover-2 player is somewhat unworthy.

Joe wonders where those people are today? A truly great middle linebacker, Brian Urlacher, announced his retirement today. For the better part of his career, Urlacher played in a Cover-2 defense.

Still, Joe has yet to hear or read one person wave off Urlacher’s credentials as a “system player,” despite playing in the same system as Barber did his entire career.

Why the double-standard? If it’s good enough for Urlacher, why not Barber? If playing Cover-2 weakens Barber’s career numbers, then why isn’t Urlacher’s career likewise trivialized?

Yes, Urlacher will be in the Hall of Fame, too. Rather than some snob potentially mocking Urlacher as a “system player,” it would be much smarter for Urlacher’s detractors to point to a way-over-the-hill Jerome Bettis, who in his last home game freight trained Urlacher for a game-clinching touchdown in the snow and mud of Heinz Field.

17 Responses to “Frauds Showing Themselves With Silence”

  1. Andrew 1 Says:

    if your worried that Urlacher is viewed as being more worthy of the hall than Barber then heres something that tips the scale in Barbers favor – Barber has won a championship, Urlacher has not. that fact alone should get Barber in before Urlacher.

  2. Dan Says:

    because the cover 2 ‘system’ is widely thought to devalue and even not have a particular need for talent at corner. (not that i agree just saying i hear that argument alot) while the versatility of the linebackers in the cover 2 is lauded and ‘hard to find’ meanwhile the pundits seem to make an appeal that any ‘guy’ off the street could have filled in for Ronde in the kiffin system

  3. BigSombrero Says:

    I think this is an excellent point Joe but I think I know why this is happening. Ronde revolutionized the Nickel position in the Tampa 2 D. He’s so ingrained into that defense because of it. You think of Tampa 2 and you you think of Ronde and vice versa. So people just connect Ronde to it more so than Urlacher.

    Sad to say it but Ronde is looked at as a system guy because of the fact that he was a revolutionary in that scheme. It should be a huge positive for him but it has somehow turned into the opposite.

  4. Andrew 1 Says:

    correct me if Im wrong but isnt Urlacher a cover 2 linebacker? Love Smith ran that system for a long time in Chicago. granted they did NOT play ONLY a cover 2 like we did, but it was a big part of their defense. the only difference is Ronde perfected it and Urlacher was simply apart of it.

    to be honest I think this system BS is nonsense. a great player is a great player, regardless of what system he plays in.

  5. Brandon Says:

    I think Joe needs to realize that when people call a player a “system player”, what they are saying is that the player could only play in that system as opposed to Joe’s application that every player plays in some type of system.

    But Dan’s right. CBs are not valued highly in the T-2, while WLBs, UTs, RDEs, and SSs held the most value, while MLBs were next.

    And while Barber may have been a system CB… not just any CB could’ve thrived the way Barber did. How many CBs played the ball, played his zones, tackled, rushed the passer, in any system like Barber? Yes, he played a ton of zone…he may have been the best zone coverage CB ever. There have been plenty of man to man CBs that stink at zone and vice versa. So saying Ronde was a system player is fine. Joe Montana was definitely a system player. It is highly doubtful that Montana would have had ANY sustained success in the NFL in his day and age unless he were running a rhythm based offense like the WCO (the WCO was the first-now they are all rhythm offenses).

    This is the way I see it. Zone CBs are like OGs. In order to get either of these positions into the HOF, a player must be an all-time great at it. John Hannah was an all-time gread guard, so was Randall McDaniel… Ronde Barber is perhaps the all-time greatest zone CB. HOF? Absolutely. First try? Possibly, but he’ll get in eventually if not. He was an integral part of the top defense in the NFL for a 10 year period despite playing a position that wasn’t even supposed to be a focal point but due to his outstanding play, it became one.

    There have been numerous outstanding T-2 CBs in Tampa: Donnie Abraham, Brian Kelly, Al Harris was actually cut by the Bucs after being drafted by the team, and Barber… all four of those players made at least one Pro Bowl…and Barber was by far the best of them all.

  6. buccanay Says:

    Wow. The reason a CB is not highly valued in a Cover 2 is they DONT play man 2 man. Truly elite cb’s are very good M2M like Revis. A MLB in a cover 2 actually has MORE responsibilty, as not only does he have to play the run very well, he has to sprint back a play the deep middle in zone coverage.

  7. Bucs4821 Says:

    I think it simply comes down to the Hall voters thinking that a corner who played a lot of man coverage ranks higher than a mostly zone corner because the ‘system’ protects that corner. Not that I agree with that. I think that’s what the voters think.

  8. Bucfever40 Says:

    People forget that not any defense can play an effective “cover 2” defense, in order for that defense to work and work well, you simply have to employ the right players, very special, highly athletic players with a high football IQ, Ronde not only fit that role, but took it to a new level. People who argue against Barber’s attributes simply don’t know enough about him and shouldn’t be in a position to vote for HOF inductees.

  9. BirdDoggers Says:

    Every player plays in a “system”. It all comes down to the player performing and Ronde performed for a long time at a high level. Regardless of the system, Ronde deserves to be in the hall, there’s no question about it.

  10. bucrightoff Says:

    Urlacher played in Chicago, Ronde played in Tampa. One is guaranteed to be extremely overrated because of where he plays and the other is guaranteed to be ignored because of where he plays. But only a moron would actually say Urlacher is better than Barber. Urlacher is overrated as can be,

  11. Christopher Says:

    1)Barber’s probably getting in…with all the pro bowls, all-pros, longevity, & a championship, he’ll be in eventually…
    2)But my god man, really? Barber couldn’t cover that well man to man, because he didn’t have the top end speed OR height. That’s why he’s a “system corner”. As other people have said, being a “system middle linebacker” in the cover 2 means the MLB covers almost as much area as the corner does. A derogatory “system linebacker” (although he’s first ballot no matter) is Ray Lewis, because he had the big bodies covering up his blockers in his system…

  12. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Good points Christopher… you get an A+ for that one.

  13. buccanay Says:

    Surprised by the ignorance of this “story”…actually…I’m not. The Pied Piper and his sheep.

  14. Dooleymite Says:

    Ronder Barber’s career is more comparable to Darrelle Green and the only way I see Urlacher getting in there before Barber is as the face of a history rich franchises’ defense and help from all the “good ole boys”, aside from that Urlacher’s resume isn’t as heavy as Rondes’ or Brooks.

    Still a crime Charles Haley isn’t in the hall, but I guess that’s what happened when your badass on/off the field, a fistful of SB rings and 100 sacks through his careerand no Canton? Sounds fishy to me.

  15. Christopher Says:

    With due respect, I like to play “the numbers game”…i.e., multiply the All-Pro appearances by 2 (since that’s a harder list to get on to), & add it to the Pro Bowl numbers…so Ronde’s number is 11, a very good tally…Brian Urlacher’s is 16…

    & then a decent parameter is, during the candidates list when the players are eligible, compare their All-Pro/Pro Bowl #…

  16. Killian Says:

    Screw the ‘system’ argument. Look at the stats. Compare him to Ronnie Lott. Sure Lott had 16 more INTs, but Barber had ~20 more sacks, more INT yards, more TDs, played longer and was the league’s Iron Man when he retired. If he doesn’t make it in first try something is wrong. Maybe it’s that Tampa isn’t a ‘sexy’ team. This is why I have a problem with the people elected to be HOF voters. Look at the stats, not the system. If the guy wasn’t good, he wouldn’t have been a starter for 16 years.

  17. bucsguy Says:

    Your missing your mark here Joe, the tampa 2 is defense where the mlb is a very crucial piece . Now ronde is a hof player but your comparison isn’t any good, but the fscts are that almost all very good players become system players either because they were put into the system because their skill set fit it or because the playcalling adapted to their strengths. Coaches have to put players in positions to excel in your typical tampa 2 the idea is not to bring any pressure other than your front 4 but because ronde blitzed so well monte added a wrinkle and brought ronde off the edge in the nickel pkg. Also because urlacher covered so well he got alot more freedom in his drop than most cover 2 mlbs who have to get deep enough in the middle of the field as to make the qb have to really put air under seem rts which allows them to be picked,