A wrap-up of those who wrap up

March, 11, 2010
3/11/10
8:21
AM ET
Adalius Thomas missed more than the start of a meeting last year.

The New England Patriots outside linebacker was the NFL's worst tackler, according to ProFootballFocus.com research.

This week, I've been sharing tackle data compiled by ProFootballFocus.com analyst Sam Monson. He constructed a stat called "tackle inefficiency rating," which takes a player's number of missed tackles and solo tackles to come up with an evaluation.

We've already taken a look at how the cornerbacks and safeties fared. Now we'll wrap up the series by breaking down linebacker and defensive lineman grades.

Thomas failed miserably. Of the 436 defenders on the list, he finished dead last. ProFootballFocus.com tallied 18 solo tackles and eight misses for Thomas, giving him a 30.77 TIR.

No wonder he was on Bill Belichick's bad side.

But recently re-signed Patriots free agent Tully Banta-Cain wasn't much better. He ranked seventh from the bottom among all linebackers (ProFootballFocus.com didn't differentiate between inside and outside in its research) with a 17.78 TIR (37 solos, eight misses). At least Banta-Cain recorded sacks, leading the Patriots with 10.

Another outside linebacker who ran afoul of his head coach, Joey Porter, graded out quite well. In fact, his 3.70 TIR led all AFC East linebackers and was 10th among those with at least 20 solos. Monson credited him with 26 solo tackles and one miss for the Miami Dolphins.

One notch behind Porter was New York Jets outside linebacker Bryan Thomas with a 3.85 TIR (50 solos, two misses).

Patriots inside linebacker Jerod Mayo tied for 24th. Mayo had a 6.67 TIR (70 solos, five misses).

Mayo was part of an AFC East sandwich. One spot above him was new Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby with a 6.19 TIR (106 solos, seven misses). One spot behind Mayo was Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Paul Posluszny with a 6.82 TIR (82 solos, six misses).

Jets inside linebacker David Harris tied for sixth in number of total misses, but many of the leaders in that category are top tacklers because they're around the ball so much. ProFootballFocus.com tallied 13 missed tackles for Harris, but he had 97 solos for an 11.82 TIR.

Way down the list was Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace. He was seventh from the bottom with an 18.37 TIR (40 solos, nine misses).

The Dolphins inside linebackers also graded near the bottom, underscoring the importance of the Dansby signing. Channing Crowder was fourth from the bottom with an 18.87 TIR (43 solos, 10 misses), while the recently released Akin Ayodele was 12th with a 16.39 TIR (51 solos, 10 misses).

Defensive linemen have naturally lower TIRs because they don't work in open space as much as linebackers or defensive backs. So I'm going to mention the extremes.

Patriots defensive end Ty Warren was the only AFC East D-lineman ProFootballFocus.com didn't blame for a single missed tackle, while tallying 34 solo tackles, one behind Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley for most without a miss.

Dolphins end Kendall Langford, Bills end Chris Kelsay were the only AFC East D-linemen with one miss.

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork led all NFL D-linemen with seven misses. He made 45 solo tackles for a 13.46 TIR.

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