As we wait for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to hire assistant coaches, get blocked from interviewing potential assistants or anything else of note to happen during a very quiet time in the NFC South, let’s look at some more playing-time figures from the 2011 season.
We showed you the numbers on linebackers earlier Tuesday and I’ve been trying to roll out one position group a day since last week. But we’re going to go ahead and go with two in a day. We’re going to show you the playing time for the NFC South cornerbacks.
Lots of people like to criticize Atlanta’s Dunta Robinson. That’s understandable to some degree because Robinson signed a huge free-agent contract prior to the 2010 season, but has produced only three interceptions since joining the Falcons.
But I haven’t seen Robinson giving up a lot of big plays. In fact, I think he’s done a nice job overall in coverage. Apparently, Atlanta’s coaching staff agrees.
Robinson was on the field for 967 of Atlanta’s 996 defensive plays (97.1 percent). That percentage ranked Robinson tops in the NFC South and No. 11 in the NFL. Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan was the NFL’s only cornerback to play 100 percent of his team’s defensive snaps.
New Orleans’ Jabari Greer, who I think is easily the division’s best cornerback, was next on the list. Greer was on the field for 93.3 percent of New Orleans’ defensive plays and ranked No. 19 in the NFL.
The other NFC South cornerback of note high on the list was Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber. His durability never has been a question. Even at age 36, Barber took part in 92.3 percent of Tampa Bay’s defensive snaps to rank No. 21 in the league.
Carolina’s Chris Gamble (89.3 percent) was the only other NFC South cornerback to play more than 80 percent of his team’s defensive snaps.
Here’s a look at how much playing time some other NFC South cornerbacks had in 2011: