Power Ranking the NFL's Worst Tacklers
The 2012 NFL season is set to kick off any minute now, and it's safe to say that plenty of players around the league need to fundamentally improve at the art of tackling during training camp.
Missed tackles lead to easy first downs and ultimately losses. Nobody likes getting burned, but some guys seem to be prone to it.
The NFL is a tough business where excuses for poor tackling habits are not accepted. Some of the players on this list are deemed as upper-echelon players, but the numbers don't necessarily agree.
Not wanting to embarrass themselves and their fanbases any longer, these players need to redeem themselves in 2012, because right now they're the worst tacklers in the NFL.
The Extra Point: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Were the Worst in 2011
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As a team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the forgettable distinction as the league's worst-tackling team in 2011.
Looking back at the situation, this fact had to play a deciding factor in the dismissal of former head coach Raheem Morris and hiring of Greg Schiano.
Poor fundamentals are not permissible in the NFL, and Schiano will have to remedy the poor tackling that the Bucs were plagued by in 2011.
As a whole, the team missed 106 tackles in 2011, which averages out to over six per games.
NFL offenses are relentless, so it's no surprise that the Bucs lost 12 games last season.
Look for the Bucs to drastically improve in the tacking department this season under the tutelage of Schiano.
Future HOF Players Barber, Woodson and Polamalu Are Showing Their Age
With all due respect to future Hall of Famers Ronde Barber, Charles Woodson and Troy Polamalu, their best days in the NFL are behind them.
Sure, they're still a joy to watch, but it's evident that their tackling skills have diminished and the numbers prove it.
Over the past three seasons, Barber leads the entire NFL with 50 missed tackles. With his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, entering a new era, look for Barber to become more of a coach on the field this season. The only franchise Barber has ever known will begin to phase him out.
Yes, Green Bay Packers football god Charles Woodson has led the league in interceptions two of the past three seasons, but that doesn't mean that he's missed plenty of tackles.
His 35 whiffs rank ninth in the league since 2009, and now that he's 35 years old, don't expect him to improve in this category. He's one of the all-time best and has a knack for the ball, but his tackling isn't necessarily reliable any more.
Nearly a decade of smash-mouth NFL football began to take its toll on Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu. He missed 11 tackles in 2011 and is someone to keep a lookout for in 2012.
In the past, it seems that he never missed a tackle. This isn't to say that his great career is over, but he began to show his age in 2011. The rugged style of play he's known for may shorten it in the end.
Darian Stewart Ranked Dead Last in the NFL in 2012 for St. Louis
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St. Louis Rams safety Darian Stewart's 2011 season was one full of blunders.
The absence of training camp last offseason clearly hurt his growth in the NFL as a second-year player, but then again, all young NFL players were at a disadvantage due to the lockout.
Stewart was good at looking bad as the opposition broke away from his attempted tackles a league-leading 19 times. He only compiled 67 solo tackles in 2011, which means he came up empty-handed on 22.6 percent of his attempts.
Look for this offseason to do him nothing but good. He's a definite candidate for most improved player for the Rams this season.
Stewart's Teammate in St. Louis, Quintin Mikell Has Been Historically Bad
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Quintin Mikell has been amongst the NFL's worst tacklers over the past three seasons.
He missed 12 tackles in 2011 and a total of 40 since 2009.
Mikell will turn 32 years old shortly after the 2012 season starts, and his strong safety position will be one that the Rams look to fill via the draft next season.
Ball-handlers in the NFC West have to start licking their chops when they see Mikell in the open field as they look to prey on him.
Michael Griffin Is Now Notorious for Missing Tackles
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Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin has missed 41 tackles in the past three years.
Although he's the best safety on his team, this means that teams will now target him, especially because Cortland Finnegan is now a member of the St. Louis Rams.
Don't be surprised when you see Griffin eat it this season.
Geno Hayes and Lance Briggs Are Susceptible in Chicago
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The Chicago Bears signed Geno Hayes this offseason with hopes of getting the best out of him.
Combined with fellow linebacker Lance Briggs, the Bears will have some tackling issues at this season.
Over the past three seasons, the duo are currently tied for 38 missed tackles.
Hayes will likely be a backup, but how can he be trusted when the game is on the goal line?
The Bears' offense will undoubtedly improve in 2012, but their defense will take a step back.
Nnamdi Asomugha Has to Have a Stellar Season Before He's Tagged as Overrated
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Nnamdi Asomugha has been the most hyped cornerback in recent NFL history, and all he did was disappoint in his first year as a Philadelphia Eagles.
In his time as an Oakland Raider, opposing teams never even dared throwing the ball his way. Last season in Philly, he was exposed.
Albeit a smaller sample size because of the respect he gets for his cover skills, Asomugha missed a tackle every 4.7 attempts since 2009.
Given, nothing went as planned in Philadelphia last season, but teams won't be afraid to target receivers covered by Asomugha this season.
If the Eagles are to be a true contender, they'll need him to redeem himself this season.
Tanard Jackson Should Be Ashamed Because He Is a Repeat Offender
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The Washington Redskins have a problem on their hands—newcomer Tanard Jackson can't tackle.
Not only did he miss 16 tackles in 2011, but he did so in just 10 games in Tampa Bay.
Jackson is coming off of shoulder surgery, which apparently has been a lingering injury. Maybe consistently being embarrassed pushed Jackson to the operating room.
Beware, Redskins fans: Jackson isn't the answer at free safety.
Asante Samuel Is a Big Name That Is Bad at Tackling
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Atlanta Falcons fans were thrilled when they traded for cornerback Asante Samuel this offseason, but he has more than his fair share of problems in the tackling department.
Since 2009, Samuel has missed a tackle every 3.7 attempts, which is unacceptable for a player of his stature.
He may be considered a shutdown corner, but with his track record, Falcons fans should hope he defends passes before he's the last thing in between a ball-handler and the end zone.