The Eagles signed a safety! I think we all thought the Eagles needed one more player at that position and the Eagles clearly agreed. Let’s get straight to it, this is a fun one as Tartt is an extremely physical player who I bet a lot of Eagles fans are going to really like. Tartt is number 3 in all clips.
All stats are from PFF are from last season only. He has years of stats available but I always think it’s better to focus on the past year. All figures only include safeties with 20% snaps played, which is 98 total players.
- 61 PFF grade, ranks 56th.
- 47 tackles, ranks 52nd.
- 12 missed, ranks 16th highest.
- 15% missed tackle rate, ranks 27th highest.
- 20 ‘stops’, ranks 23rd highest.
- Allowed 136 yards in coverage, ranks 82nd highest.
- Allowed 8 yards per reception, ranks 93rd highest (which is really good!)
- 0 interceptions, and only has 4 in 7 years.
+ Very versatile as a safety. Can play single high, split-safety or as a more ‘traditional’ strong safety in the box. Good at rotating late which is will be very important in this defense.
+ A smart player who recognises plays in front of him well, especially in zone coverage. Very instinctive, you can tell he’s played a lot of games.
Onto his coverage... He has pretty good instincts in zone and trusts his eyes. I like this play as DK Metcalf could score without Tartt stopping him and he reads the QBs eyes here and let's the deep crossing route go past him so he can get to DK Metcalf who is coming open. pic.twitter.com/ZT738lpHEA— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
+ Outstanding in run defense. Can play in the box very well and almost looks like could be a LB at times.
An early morning treat when you all wake up... Jaquiski Tartt film room! He's number 3 fyi. What a fun player to watch. Tartt is ultra physical and competitive and is excellent in the run game. He looks like he could play in the box as a linebacker at times pic.twitter.com/K7uOc8YTGV— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
He's actually caught out here presnap but he still comes flying down and makes the tackle. He is extremely quick in everything he does and is very quick to react as he trusts his instincts. You can tell he's a veteran who has played for a while. pic.twitter.com/SXXkJzchHC— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
Here again, one final example of him in the box. This is a great play and he reads this like a LB. He doesn't overcommit to a gap and keeps his eye on the RB and makes a good tackle for a short gain. I'm pretty sure he's only in the box as presnap he was on the TE too. pic.twitter.com/7EUuoIBPKF— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
+ Very good at coming downhill extremely quickly when playing as a deep safety or a split safety. This is extremely important for a defense like the Eagles who want to keep the game in front of them.
The physicality and speed he comes downhill is so important in a split safety defense, especially like the Eagles when they play some soft coverage. The whole idea is to give up the short catch and then rally quickly. Tartt is instinctive and gets downhill really, really quickly pic.twitter.com/iwHiRrjag0— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
This is a good example of him rotating late (important in this Eagles D) but then still coming downhill quickly from the deep safety position to make the tackle. pic.twitter.com/O31fb3Jl2z— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
+ Gets physical in man coverage and matches up well against bigger, physical tight ends who aren’t the quickest.
+ A really hard hitter. An old fashioned ‘punisher’ who will make receivers think twice about catching the ball over the middle.
His absolute best trait though is getting downhill fast from the safety position... He gets to players in a hurry and makes some seriously physical hits. He throws his body around and will hit you hard... This is on AJ Brown who is huge and he rocks him backwards pic.twitter.com/eaSBUDKAuy— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
If you want a fun game to watch his physicality, watch the Titans game. He was flying around and making hit after hit. He does a good job playing the flat here and then explodes forward to make a big hit. pic.twitter.com/wWBJmRPLdv— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
This is a smart play, he does a good job not biting on the wide zone PA, stays in his zone and then lays another huge hit. He will be the most physical Eagles safety since...? pic.twitter.com/C4JNRX622G— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
This is another serious hit, this time on Joe Mixon who is a big physical running back too. He's playing split safety on the left half of the field, does a good job in coverage then comes flying towards Mixon on the other side of the field. If you are playing zone you need this. pic.twitter.com/23w98OoxLz— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
One final big hit? Go on then. This time he's in zone coverage on the goal line but is aware enough to spot the QB run and ends up crushing poor old Matt Ryan who probably regretted this one instantly. pic.twitter.com/3hJm4SK4o5— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
- Sometimes a little reckless as a tackler. I disagree with PFF over his missed tackle rate based on what I saw but he will fly past players on occasions.
Final one... He's a very aggressive player which means he can be a little reckless and will miss some tackles like the one below. Overall I think he's a great tackler but PFF had him down for missing quite a lot last year. Also this reckless style has caused a lot of injuries. pic.twitter.com/keWuoWexfe— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
- Better with the game in front of him and can get caught on over the top at times.
He can also get caught out occasionally with balls over his head. He's much better coming downhill with the game in front of him and you don't really want him dealing with receivers running down the seam. To his credit he did recover here but mainly because of the throw. pic.twitter.com/ss7Zsf4EKL— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
- Injury problems have held him back over the years. The way he plays the game means contact injuries will be a problem.
- Doesn’t have the ability to play man coverage a great deal. Wasn’t asked to do it a lot last year at all, which was probably deliberate.
Onto some of his weaknesses which are linked to his coverage. He's not someone you want lined up in man coverage against good receiving tight ends or slot receivers. The 49ers didn't ask him to do it much and it's not surprising. pic.twitter.com/0yEUGXtEXP— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
- He can get beat in coverage and could do more to help out his cornerback at times when playing split safety coverage. He looks a little clunky in some of his movements when redirecting in coverage.
I also felt he could do more at times when playing split safety to help out his outside corner on deep ins/posts. Here he's a little slow to get across to AJ Brown and it results in a TD (to be fair it's a hell of a throw and catch...) pic.twitter.com/tK2cBHGhym— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
Another example here, I'd like him to be a little higher and provide more help to the corner especially when there's no other receiver out there. pic.twitter.com/kQLlXRtit9— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) June 26, 2022
Tartt is a great example of a player you need to watch and not just look at stats. When you look at the PFF stats above, you get the idea he is a bit of a loose tackler but excels in coverage. This simply isn’t true. The stats show this because he isn’t asked to do much in man coverage and it’s hard to assign blame to players in zone coverage as easily. I don’t really trust stats when it comes to safety play anyway.
Tartt is one of the most physical players I have watched in a while. He will instantly become the Eagles hardest hitter and will bring an attitude and physicality to the defense from the safety position that we haven’t seen for a long time. I love players like this (who doesn’t?) and I think every team could do with at least one player who plays the game like Tartt does. You can’t have too many players who put their bodies on the line like Tartt does but there is always space for a couple, even in the modern NFL. I didn’t see any silly hits that caused penalties, all the hits seemed tough but legal.
The injury problems have been a real concern throughout his career but if he stays healthy, I would assume he has a good chance to play a lot of snaps. Someone requested in the comments last week I break down Epps and Harris so I will do this the next 2 weeks but my gut feeling is that Tartt will start if healthy, possibly over Harris. I might change my mind after watching Epps and Harris in more depth but I think Epps and Tartt could be a good safety duo.
Something else I wanted to note that isn’t a strength or a weakness but he had a really good relationship with Jimmie Ward. You could literally see on the field how they celebrated plays with each other and spoke after a lot of plays. I really liked to see this as you could tell the two of them understood each other. Hopefully, if he does start next year, he can build a strong relationship with whoever starts opposite him as relationships and an understanding of how others play is a massive part of playing defence. Tartt and Ward are very different players but together, they formed a really good starting duo.
The Eagles needed a safety and they got a good safety in June which is all you can ask for really. I think without the injury issues he wouldn’t be available this late in the offseason but I think he is player who will be exciting to watch next year and will help this Eagles defense to improve overall.