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Asante Samuel - King of the whiff


Saw this article over at ProFootballFocus.com:

Tacking Inefficiency Rating

Basically it examines every cornerbacks and has a nice little formula that compares how efficient they were at tackling by looking at missed tackles/solo tackles.  The formula is in the article but it isn't really that complicated. 

Guess who was number 1 in missed tackles? Asante Samuel and it wasn't even close.

Missing an astounding 32.76 percent of the solo tackles he attempted was ... Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel. Samuel has always been known as a coverage corner with outstanding ball skills and a penchant for jumping routes, but his level of tackling inefficiency is unacceptable and hurt the Eagles over the course of the season. To put things in perspective, Samuel missed 15 more than his partner Sheldon Brown, who finished just outside the top 15. For more perspective, consider that Samuel's TIR was almost 10 points higher than the next player.

Samuel made 39 solo tackles but missed an astounding 19 tackles.  The next closest CB was Ronde Barber in TB with 16 missed tackles.  Joselio Hanson all made the Top 10 list of CB whiffers by making 30 solo tackles and missing 7 tackles. 

Now it should be noted that the issue of small sample sizes is pretty apparent because even 1 missed tackle could easily drop someone out of the Top 10 (e.g., Joselio Hanson).  That doesn't really explain Samuel though who easily is the worst tackling CB in the league.  

It shouldn't be a surprise though about Samuel.  'Boys took advantage of this the last two weeks by running a fair amount of running plays to the left-side of the field. 

Couple of thoughts:

1. I would be curious to see how many of Samuel's missed tackles were on passing plays vs. running plays and how many more yards it resulted in.  I would bet it was a large amount.

2. If Samuel is picking off 8-9 passes a year, you generally can live with his mediocre tackling.  However, if he is only picking off 3-4 passes it becomes harder to tolerate with a guy who is the worst-tackling CB in the league.

3. I was kind of surprised in see Hanson in the Top 10 though but I guess I shouldn't be.  After he came back from the suspension, he was brutal and I really wonder if he can rebound this year to be a capable nickel/dime CB.  I tend to doubt it and I am wondering if the Eagles think Hobbs can rebound to reclaim the nickel CB spot.  Still wouldn't be surprised to see the Eagles either bring in a FA CB or use a fairly high draft pick on one either.

4. Brown is really the only CB on this team that can tackle.  Rest range from terrible (Samuel) to average including Patterson & Hobbs. 

5. It wouldn't surprise me if the Eagles' secondary was among the league leaders (if not the league leader) in missed tackles because Jones had his share of missed tackles this year too. 

6. Shoddy tackling was an issue that plagued this defense at several times this year and I don't know how much of that/if any had to do with McDermott taking over as the D-coordinator.  Bill Bergey made a comment if I recall during one postgame that he didn't remember an Eagles' defense in recent memory that struggled to tackle and made some many fundamental gaffes in tackling.  That really is on the players and not the coordinator.

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