February 19, 2018

Former Tigers in the NFL – Final Preseason Stats – Cuts Loom (1 Tiger cut today)

Brandon Thompson’s contract with Browns was terminated today.

2010 Defensive Statistics

For obvious reasons I’ve focused on the offensive side of the ball this preseason. I’m a big defensive guy, but individual defensive statistics are sometimes tough to get your arms around.

Quandon Christian (orangeandwhite.com)

To that end, I’m not suggesting that the statistics below are the be all and end all, but rather a starting point. There are too many variables to use tackling statistics as a stand alone measure of a defensive player’s worth to a team. However, as with other statistics, it can give you a baseline upon which to judge performance.

For example, looking at Rennie Moore’s tackle ratio (T Rat) makes me wonder how good Moore really performed last year. Of course, there is more nuance to playing defensive tackle than making tackles, but let’s face it – it’s a huge part of the game.
Name  Pos Snaps Tkls T Rat Assist A Rat Tot Tot Rat
Brewer, X.  CB   649   40  6.16    14  2.16  54   8.33
Sensabaugh, C.  CB   352   21  5.97     7  1.99  28   7.97
Jenkins, M.  DB    62    8 12.90     1  1.61   9  14.72
Robinson, D.  CB    73    1  1.37     1  1.37   2   2.76
Goodman, M.  DE   343   22  6.41    10  2.92  32   9.35
Brown, K.  DE   212   11  5.19     6  2.83  17   8.04
Branch, A.  DE   651   36  5.53    19  2.92  55   8.46
Thompson, B.  DT   532   35  6.58    21  3.95  56  10.54
Shatley, T.  DT   127    7  5.51     4  3.15  11   8.70
Moore,R.  DT   315   13  4.13    13  4.13  26   8.27
Willard, J.  LB   160   19 11.88     8  5.00  27  16.95
Hawkins, C.  LB   758   53  6.99    18  2.37  71   9.38
Shuey, S.  LB    68    8 11.76     1  1.47   9  13.41
Christian, Q.  LB   378   22  5.82     2  0.53  24   6.36
Parker, J.  LB    57    4  7.02     5  8.77   9  15.91
Andrews, D.  LB    31    3  9.68     2  6.45   5  16.44
Meeks, J.   S   256   19  7.42     9  3.52  28  10.97
Hall, R.   S   621   44  7.09    21  3.38  65  10.48
Lewis, C.   S   115    3  2.61     2  1.74   5   4.37

These ratios are expressed as a percentage of tackles (T Rat), assists (A Rat) and total tackles (Tot Rat) per snaps played.  For example, Xavier Brewer was credited with a tackle on 6.16% and an assist on 2.16% of his snaps plays giving him a Tot Rat of 8.33%.  All numbers are rounded to second decimal point.

Perhaps the most obvious example is the low tackle ratios for Quandon Christian and Corico Hawkins and how that correlates to the need for improved play at linebacker in 2011.

At any rate, this is something we’ll keep track of during the season to compare and contrast the different ratios for different players and how (and if) that translates to better play on the field.

Position Outlook: Clemson Defensive Line

Malliciah Goodman and Kourtnei Brown comprise a very good tandem at defensive end.  Goodman may be poised for a breakout year which the Tigers could certainly use with the loss of Da’Quan Bowers.  Brown is an experienced and solid backup, but currently injured and expected to be at full strength this summer.  True freshman Joe Gore is listed as third team here and one has to wonder how much time Gore will see on the field assuming Brown is healthy in the fall.
At nose guard the solid Brandon Thompson is backed up by Tyler Shatley and Tra Thomas.  Shatley’s serviceable in short stints, but there will definitely be a drop off from Thompson.  Tra Thomas is listed as third team and as a redshirt freshman hasn’t seen the field yet and doesn’t possess the size of the Thompson or Shatley.
The defensive tackle spot is anchored by Rennie Moore who had a breakout year last year in a reserve role.  The senior is backed up by redshirt freshmen Tavaris Barnes and Josh Watkins.  What stands out here is depth and experience.  Moore is will be fine, but neither Barnes nor Watson have a snap under their belt.
At Bandit end the Tigers have Andre Branch and with true freshman (prep school) Corey Crawford.  Branch has been impressive in the past with his motor and athleticism and I look for him to have an outstanding year.  Crawford has drawn raves from the coaches, but alas we’ve heard this before during the spring, only to see it fizzle or not show up at all in the fall. 
Besides Crawford and Gore the Tigers signed 4 other players listed as defensive tackles in an effort to add some depth.  None were rated above 3 stars (and one was 2 two stars) and barring injury I see all four redshirting in 2011.  On the other hand, the defensive line is a position where you get hit, stepped on, kicked and mauled on every play.  Rotation is a must and I could possibly see one of these providing additional depth assuming the capability is shown in the fall.
The Tigers have a mix of depth and total inexperience on the defensive line.  Of the 11 players listed at the 4 positions 5 are freshman (2 true, 3 redshirt).  The first line will be formidable.  The question is will the lack of experience and depth hurt the Tigers a position that requires rotation and is likely to have injuries throughout the year.