FanPost

DRC might just be what we need...

 Is this for real? or revisionist logic?

A while ago, a lot of people (myself included) were clammering over DRC's terrible tackling.  While our corners would absolutely be called on for run support if we run a Tampa/Cover 2 style base D, that wasn't our main weakness in our RCB's skill sets last year, and are probably relative confident that a fundamental such as tackling can be taught to any willing player.  Is the image of Ellis Hobbs/Dimitri Patterson getting burned over the top "burned" into anyone else's memory? Kenny Britt really exposed this. He blew by Hobbs, exposing our young safeties.  PFF had this to say about that game:

    When a receiver sets the record for most receiving yardage ever against your team, it’s not a good day (especially when he only played two and a half quarters). It started with Ellis Hobbs (Britt lined up against him most of the day) who was consistently getting beat off the line, was getting thrown off when he tried to jam, and was mostly flat-footed when the ball was snapped. The
Eagles play a lot of zone so since Britt was running deep most of the time once he released off Hobbs, it was now the safety’s job.

DRC is 6'2, and although only 185, is considerably strong for his beanpole-ness (he put up 17 reps at the all-scientific benchpress at the combine) that is useful in jamming at the line, and has the quickness to make up for a mis-step in bump and run coverage.   I think this will help our safeties read and react.  If this is the case, I think this will help prevent giving up the deep play so easily. 

    Below are DRC's avg yds given up stats.  AZ play a lot of zone due to their weird zone blitz 3/4-4/3 scheme, and while we won't be following the same scheme, he will be asked to do a lot of similar things in coverage, and they show that DRC is a significant improvement over what we have (let's just assume we still have Hobbs since he's in retirement limbo and we have the option of re-signing him if he doesn't retire)

 

DRC's avg yds given up per play where his assignment was passed to):
Year Team Pos Plays Stops Dfts Yd/Play
2010 ARI CB 54 23 8 9
2009 ARI CB 68 39 20 6.9
2008 ARI CB 52 25 16 7.2
AVG 58 29 14.66667 7.7

The same stats for Dimitri

Year Team Pos Plays Stops Dfts Yd/Play
2010 PHI CB 48 22 9 8
2009 PHI CB 12 4 2 7.8
2008 KC CB 7 2 1 9
AVG 22.3 9.3 4.0 8.3

And Ellis

Year Team Pos Plays Stops Dfts Yd/Play
2010 PHI CB 15 7 2 8.3
2009 PHI CB 9 3 0 8.6
2008 NE CB 44 18 10 9
AVG 22.7 9.3 4.0 8.6

Despite a down year last year, he has a pretty good career avg. yards/play he defended, at 7.7.  This includes a blip-off-the-curve last year of where he averaged 9 yds/play.  in 2009 he averaged 6.9 yards/play (while also being targeted 68 times, highest sample size of all his years in the league).  This is a definite improvement over Dimitri Patterson, who averages 8.3 yds/play over his past 3 years (caveat: 2008 and 2009 are very small sample sizes), and Ellis Hobbs, who averages 8.6 yds/play over the past 3 years (with 2009 and 2010 being small sample sizes).  If DRC is on average giving up less yards/per play than Hobbs or Patterson, a reasonable assumption is that the deep pass is less successful on him than Hobbs and Patterson.  I know stats don't tell the whole story here, but this gives me reason to believe DRC specifically can do what no RCB currently on our roster can do.

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