Wrapping up

Posted by Darren Urban on June 8, 2011 – 9:57 am

As we continue to search for things to ponder football-wise while hoping the current labor talks evolve into an end of the lockout, another Football Outsiders breakdown brings us the subject of broken tackles on the defensive side for 2010. The Cards had a handful of players show up on the list.

FO makes it clear — and this almost goes without saying — that charting broken tackles is an inexact science at the very least. It’s like charting dropped passes in many ways; it’s always going to be a judgement call and even then, it is usually debatable. So keep that in mind. They are also working off TV video that doesn’t always provide the best angles. You have to take it for what it is worth. For instance, they have safety Adrian Wilson allowing a player to get away 16 times in 2010. That may or may not be totally exact, but they point out they only charted him with two such broken tackles in 2009, so it is the swing in statistics that is noteworthy.

Obviously, the Cards’ defense had it’s ups and downs in 2010. Realistically, given the talent level on all teams in the NFL, good and bad, it’s usually stuff like this — missed tackles, mental mistakes — that separate success and failure, moreso than a massive gap in talent (and why coach Ken Whisenhunt wanted to see his a handful or normally quality defenders be able to up their play in 2011 from 2010). Football Outsiders counted 28 defenders across the NFL with at least 10 broken tackles last season; four were Cards — Wilson, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (10), safety Kerry Rhodes (11) and linebacker Paris Lenon (14). If you have a shot to bring a guy down, you need to bring him down.

The other part of this study is how the percentages fall. FO bases their percentages on total tackles. I am not sure if they chart broken tackles via their own study or by NFL gamebook, but the totals are, not surprisingly, different than the coaches’ tallies that the Cardinals (and every team, for that matter) release.

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Posted in Blog | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Wrapping up”

  1. By ross on Jun 8, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for keeping us fans informed!

  2. By D on Jun 8, 2011 | Reply

    I think when the team upgrades the LB positions, clearly the secondary will have less chances to miss tackles. The Cards secondary probably had more opportunities than most teams since they couldn’t stop the run up front last year.

  3. By John the draft guy on Jun 8, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve never seen Wilson play like he did this year. I would say the numbers are pretty close. I saw Wilson not only miss tackles but be the guy to fill the hole, come up and wiff.
    Wilson is too good for that and if football is ever resumed, I see a bounce back year. He has too much pride and work ethic to allow another year like that.

  4. By Scott H on Jun 8, 2011 | Reply

    Need to get MUCH more pressure on the opposing QB’s from the D-line. That will make everyone else look better because, well…they will be better. When opposing QB’s are not being pressured, it’s too easy for them and too hard for the secondary. Heck, just look at what Warner did when he wasn’t pressured. He could shred any defense in the NFL ( as he did in the Super Bowl against the Steelers, against the Packers in the playoffs, etc ). The Cardinals have to be better up front to take the pressure off the secondary.

  5. By Jeff Gollin on Jun 9, 2011 | Reply

    On face value, the FO numbers point to the need for better tackling techniques by certain players along with accelerated conditioning programs to improve hand strength.

    Specific to CB – With Peterson on-board and Toler seemingly a more physical tackler, DRC would be well-advised to improve his game tackling-wise or else possibly have to switch from CB to slot-corner.

    Regarding A-Dub – I’m guessing the injury was a lot more limiting than he or the Cardinals let on, and would be inclined to give him a pass on last year’s drop-off in productivity.

  6. By hebrew on Jun 12, 2011 | Reply

    That has been a problem for years. Dansby was a poor open field tackler too.

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