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Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Hits and misses: Which CBs can't tackle?


The crew at ProFootballFocus.com continues to churn out fascinatingly offbeat stats to evaluate player performance.

Their latest research grades out the best and worst tacklers in the defensive backfield.

ProFootballFocus.com analyst Sam Monson tracked the game film, tallied up the missed tackles and applied them to a formula called "tackle inefficiency rating." The equation is pretty simple: missed tackles divided by attempted solo tackles multiplied by 100 to keep some numbers left of the decimal point for easier digestion.

Monson's first installment examined cornerbacks. While his story at ProFootballFocus.com doesn't break down all 88 cornerbacks he monitored, he was kind enough to let me scan his spreadsheet.

Reggie Corner of the Buffalo Bills rated highest in the AFC East. His TIR of 7.14 (52 solos, four misses) tied with Denver Broncos star Champ Bailey for ninth in the league.

But the other two Bills on the chart were way down. Terrence McGee was tied for 69th with a 14.89 TIR (40 solos, seven misses), while Drayton Florence was 63rd with a 13.46 TIR (45 solos, seven misses).

The Miami Dolphins had the division's worst tackling tandem. Sean Smith slotted 82nd with a TIR of 18.60 (35 solos, eight misses), while fellow rookie Vontae Davis was tied for 54th with a TIR of 11.76 (45 solos, six misses).

What makes their tackling troubles sting even more is that two months ago, we learned Davis and Smith ranked in the bottom 11 of all NFL cornerbacks in passing yards allowed, according to Stats Inc.

The New England Patriots had the division's most efficient group with three cornerbacks within the top 32. Shawn Springs tied for 12th with a 7.69 TIR (36 solos, three misses). Leigh Bodden tied for 44th with an 11.11 TIR (48 solos, six misses).

New York Jets standout Darrelle Revis tied for 28th with a 9.62 TIR (47 solos, five misses). The recently released Lito Sheppard was 61st with a 12.90 TIR (27 solos, four misses).

New acquisition Antonio Cromartie, who has a reputation for being a poor tackler, ranked 77th. He had a 16.22 TIR (31 solos, six misses).