Originally Posted by Scooter
also the meat of our schedule while mario was in and he still had the numbers. i find the reed/barwin comparisons funny because how often does mario go completely unblocked? did mario get to rack up sacks against the david "fetal" carr type failure that is blaine gabbart (twice)? did he get to destroy tennessee or "i hope i dont get sacked 3 times in a row" tampa bay?
i've blasted mario plenty, and assumed that he'd fail spectacularly as a linebacker, but he proved me and everybody wrong against our toughest opponents. health is a concern to a very small degree (in the "what have you done for me lately" category), but if healthy he has 12+ sacks at this point and we're a more overwhelming defense.
At least two of Mario's sacks came against Dallas Clark in a one on one matchup. I specifically recall one of Connor Barwin's sacks coming against Jake Long. Meanwhile, I can not recall Mario beating one of the better tackles in football for a sack... ever! I'm sure he did back in 2007 and 2008. But, that's too far back to recall for me.
You are correct that IF
(that's a big "if") Mario stayed healthy, he would likely have as many, if not more, sacks that Barwin. However, that is because he is so limited. He can not play the position like Barwin can. He can not successfully drop in coverage. So, Wade was forced to put him in constant pass rush positions. How you can suggest that the defense would be better with him starting the past month, I'm not sure? From a depth stand point, certainly we are better with him than without him. However, barring further injuries, his loss has not hurt the defense at all, and I'd argue that it has helped the defense's growth and development.