Comparing Arizona Cardinals OLB Tackling Statistics From 2008-2010

After posting about the ineffectiveness from the outside linebacker position in 2010 in terms of tackling of Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, the question came up about how the position tackled in 2009 and perhaps there was a dropoff in tackling quality that led to defensive issues. I looked into it and even went back to 2008. While the Cardinals defense was not spectacular either season, its effectiveness was greater. 

As Jessesb noted in the comments, "if your OLBs play badly, your 3-4 defense plays badly." Take a look at the numbers after the jump.

Year

Player

Sacks/Tkl/Ass

Missed

Rate

2010

Joey Porter

5/33/7

6

8.50

2010

Clark Haggans

5/29/4

7

6.43

2009

Clark Haggans

6/51/4

8

7.63

2009

Chike Okeafor

4/32/3

4

9.75

2009

Bertrand Berry

6/2/2

0

Perfect

2008

Clark Haggans

2/14/1

2

8.50

2008

Travis LaBoy

4/21/4

2

14.5

2008

Chike Okeafor

4/45/4

8

6.63

2008

Bertrand Berry

4/12/5

0

Perfect

You will note Haggans' decrease in missed tackle rate. And while Okeafor was not that solid a tackler, Berry and LaBoy were good tacklers (of course, Berry was not much in tackling in numbers other than sacks). 

This decrease in tackling quality from the position each of the past two seasons can explain in part some of the defensive woes the Cards have had. And when they also lost talent on the inside in Karlos Dansby (although Paris Lenon's production was very similar to Dansby's), and you have yourself the perfect storm for terribleness. 

What can we hope in 2011? Well, hopefully the OLB position gets much better at tackling. Hopefully the young core of O'Brien Schofield, Will Davis and Sam Acho will step up to offset the decline in the older players in Porter and Haggans. If so, we can expect a level of competency that was not there a year ago. 

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