Much like the team’s red-zone deficiencies, poor tackling has been a recurring theme for the past few seasons in Philadelphia.
Opposing teams continue to gash the Eagles up the middle, and missed tackles in the secondary have resulted in costly big plays.
Fortunately, the Eagles actively sought to rectify the problem this offseason. Along the defensive line, the team drafted Fletcher Cox, who has a huge frame and is capable of plugging inside running lanes. That is crucial, especially given how far apart the defensive ends play on the outside.
The team also brought in DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks at linebacker. Both are solid tacklers and are instant upgrades over last year’s starters.
Where the team fell short, however, is in the secondary. While notoriously poor tackler Asante Samuel is now gone, his replacement is not much better at tackling. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a good cover corner but tends to shy away from tackles at times. At safety, Nate Allen is now fully healthy and should improve from last year, but Kurt Coleman must work on better tackling, and Jaiquawn Jarrett does not seem ready yet to take over as a starter.
Still, there is reason to be optimistic that the defense can improve its tackling in 2012.