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Eric Smith leads the team in tackles


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Or maybe you have a lot more opportunities to tackle players when you're constantly blowing your coverage and giving up catches?

Could be. The stat just jumped out at me. Usually Harris is pacing the rest of the squad by now. And I have to say, the team has had decent coverage this year...somebody said we were like #1 against the pass or something? And he hits like a truck. I'm starting to think we've been too hard on Eric Smith.

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It's no secret that he's always been a very good tackler, with hard hitting ability, but that's not his problem. His problem has always been in coverage. Which is why I found it hilarious when scapegoat Jet fans were calling for the head of Kerry Rhodes, in replace of Eric Smith. Smith doesn't have the speed, quickness, ball hawking ability or range to make for an even above average safety. The NFL has became a pass first league, having Smith out there has been a liability. We need an upgrade over Smith during the offseason. Can't understand why we aren't seeing more of Pool during obvious passing situations? Thank god he's been protected by Revis, Cromartie and an emerging Wilson.

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I dont give a rats a$$. The dude is awful. Imagine how many he'd have if he didnt miss 3-4 tackles a game.

That said, the stat doesnt surprise me because he's been playing a lot of the extra LB'er type role. Especially since Thomas has been out. He's playing in the box more than ever.

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Or maybe you have a lot more opportunities to tackle players when you're constantly blowing your coverage and giving up catches?

Ask Kerry Rhodes ..... oh wait ....he didn't tackle them either. < 3...2....1 .... enter bitonti .....>

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I dont give a rats a$$. The dude is awful. Imagine how many he'd have if he didnt miss 3-4 tackles a game.

That said, the stat doesnt surprise me because he's been playing a lot of the extra LB'er type role. Especially since Thomas has been out. He's playing in the box more than ever.

I noticed that too, he is getting closer and closer to being at the same level as the LBs

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Defensive stats are a small part of the picture when evaluating defensive players. Kerry Rhodes never got the amount of picks, tackles or sacks that people believed his athleticism shouldm have achieved. What his athleticism allowed him to do was a great job at covering TEs. GOD, what I would give now for a jet safety who can cover TEs.

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Ahead of Harris, Scott, Leonard and NFL standouts Polamalu, Ray Lewis, Urlacher, Patrick Chung, Eric Weddle, A.J. Hawk....

Maybe he doesn't suck after all?

I'm sure there is a stat somewhere that shows he is the most targeted player in our secondary too... racking up tackles is not always a good thing, it usually means teams are isolating you and trying to make you beat them.

On the other side of it... it could be because too many plays are getting past the front-7. Pat Tillman used to be an IDP fantasy favorite of mine, becasue he racked up the tackles like it was nobodies business... but that was because the Arizona front-7 was awful. He was the last line of defense.

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I like Eric Smith. It doesn't help coverage ability when your run defense blows and the safety is forced to take more chances and stick his nose up front more than he'd like. I bet if you asked Rex (not in front of a camera) he'd honestly say he's satisfied with Smith's play. If he wasn't Pool would be starting. You guys are harsh, Eric Smith is not even close to being the top 3 things wrong with the defense.

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Leading the team isn't as bad as being among the league leaders. You don't want your defene to be on the field enough or have enough plays run against it to be a leader in that category. Of course Smith hasn't had the bye yet and it's a cumulative stat, so that's not as big a deal. Yet.

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It's no secret that he's always been a very good tackler, with hard hitting ability, but that's not his problem. His problem has always been in coverage. Which is why I found it hilarious when scapegoat Jet fans were calling for the head of Kerry Rhodes, in replace of Eric Smith. Smith doesn't have the speed, quickness, ball hawking ability or range to make for an even above average safety. The NFL has became a pass first league, having Smith out there has been a liability. We need an upgrade over Smith during the offseason. Can't understand why we aren't seeing more of Pool during obvious passing situations? Thank god he's been protected by Revis, Cromartie and an emerging Wilson.

Smith is actually pretty fast..had a good 40 time and is great in a straight line...his issue as you stated is change of direction quickness. He doesn't have it. As far as ball hawking he's around the ball quite a bit, enough to make him average. He certainly shows up more than Leonard has. I think his coverage issues are emphasized due to the fact that Harris and Scott are thumpers, not coverage LB's. Smith gets exposed when made to cover the better TE's beyond a few seconds. He is in there over Poole because he's one of the surest tacklers on the team and because he's actually very smart...supposedly knows the defense in and out and can get players into position when necessary. I think, ultimately, he's a linebacker in a safety's body and that's why he is either terrific (playoffs last year) or horrendous (see: any game versus upper tier TE's or receiving backs). We need to get a CB/Safety type guy in there. I liked Lowery for that reason but I guess he just didn't have the smarts. He certainly had the Ball-Hawking down.

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Ahead of Harris, Scott, Leonard and NFL standouts Polamalu, Ray Lewis, Urlacher, Patrick Chung, Eric Weddle, A.J. Hawk....

Maybe he doesn't suck after all?

Good point.

I read a few of the comments and I knew I would read the "yeah, when you blow coverage you must make the tackle" type responses. Bottomline is that outside of him making tackles in the secondary I've seen him on many occassions making plays on the runner.

Now not to make it seem like those guys are completely wrong. Smith has blown coverages here and there. But dude is a baller overall. He's not the best safety in the league but he'll not only make the tackle be it a WR or RB but he'll lay the wood if you're not prepared.

Smith is the least of our problems, though I must say that the O-line was pretty good Sunday.

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Good point.

I read a few of the comments and I knew I would read the "yeah, when you blow coverage you must make the tackle" type responses. Bottomline is that outside of him making tackles in the secondary I've seen him on many occassions making plays on the runner.

Now not to make it seem like those guys are completely wrong. Smith has blown coverages here and there. But dude is a baller overall. He's not the best safety in the league but he'll not only make the tackle be it a WR or RB but he'll lay the wood if you're not prepared.

Smith is the least of our problems, though I must say that the O-line was pretty good Sunday.

I think this makes the most sense. He's making more tackles versus the run than your average safety. Doesn't mean is a good coverage safety per se, but he's a banger that gets to the ball carrier, sometimes at the expense of sticking with his receiver. Personally, I like having an intimidator in the backfield. He smashed Boldin's face and has taken years off Welker's career. And he doesn't seem to be on the injured list very often, which tells me he's a tough dude. We could do worse than E. Smith. i think he's a Rex type of player. No way his tackles are all from missed pass defenses. He's got 54 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 1 int. He had ten tackles in the Chargers game...double the next highest player (Wilkerson) and seven more than Leonard. I think he's better than we give him credit for.

Edited by sirlancemehlot
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Smith is actually pretty fast..had a good 40 time and is great in a straight line...his issue as you stated is change of direction quickness. He doesn't have it. As far as ball hawking he's around the ball quite a bit, enough to make him average. He certainly shows up more than Leonard has. I think his coverage issues are emphasized due to the fact that Harris and Scott are thumpers, not coverage LB's. Smith gets exposed when made to cover the better TE's beyond a few seconds. He is in there over Poole because he's one of the surest tacklers on the team and because he's actually very smart...supposedly knows the defense in and out and can get players into position when necessary. I think, ultimately, he's a linebacker in a safety's body and that's why he is either terrific (playoffs last year) or horrendous (see: any game versus upper tier TE's or receiving backs). We need to get a CB/Safety type guy in there. I liked Lowery for that reason but I guess he just didn't have the smarts. He certainly had the Ball-Hawking down.

I think he had a crazy fast shuttle time at the combine which *should* indicate that he has a very fast change of direction. Doesn't seem that way in practice. He seems to trip too often. I think it's the difference between being a physical freak and athletic. He doesn't seem to have any wiggle. I felt the same way about Braylon Edwards. They are excellent athletes, but they just aren't smooth.

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When Safties lead the team in tackles that means the guys up front are not doing their jobs. RB's are constantly in the secondary. Has nothing to do with coverage. It might also have something to do with Rex's scheme on defense which brings the safties up in 2 WR sets and leaves the CB's in total one on one situations.

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Smith is actually pretty fast..had a good 40 time and is great in a straight line...his issue as you stated is change of direction quickness. He doesn't have it. As far as ball hawking he's around the ball quite a bit, enough to make him average. He certainly shows up more than Leonard has. I think his coverage issues are emphasized due to the fact that Harris and Scott are thumpers, not coverage LB's. Smith gets exposed when made to cover the better TE's beyond a few seconds. He is in there over Poole because he's one of the surest tacklers on the team and because he's actually very smart...supposedly knows the defense in and out and can get players into position when necessary. I think, ultimately, he's a linebacker in a safety's body and that's why he is either terrific (playoffs last year) or horrendous (see: any game versus upper tier TE's or receiving backs). We need to get a CB/Safety type guy in there. I liked Lowery for that reason but I guess he just didn't have the smarts. He certainly had the Ball-Hawking down.

Agree . Its also hard to judge as to what responsibility a safety has been given in a called defense. He gets blamed for a lot of crap by Fans yet hes still in the game . If our Defensive staff knows what they are doing (which the concenses here agrees too ) then we should trust their judgement. When safties go up aganist elite TE's (which there seems to be more of these days) its almost always a mismatch because most of those TE's are 6-5 + and much bigger and more physical than safties.

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Smith is actually pretty fast..had a good 40 time and is great in a straight line...his issue as you stated is change of direction quickness. He doesn't have it. As far as ball hawking he's around the ball quite a bit, enough to make him average. He certainly shows up more than Leonard has. I think his coverage issues are emphasized due to the fact that Harris and Scott are thumpers, not coverage LB's. Smith gets exposed when made to cover the better TE's beyond a few seconds. He is in there over Poole because he's one of the surest tacklers on the team and because he's actually very smart...supposedly knows the defense in and out and can get players into position when necessary. I think, ultimately, he's a linebacker in a safety's body and that's why he is either terrific (playoffs last year) or horrendous (see: any game versus upper tier TE's or receiving backs). We need to get a CB/Safety type guy in there. I liked Lowery for that reason but I guess he just didn't have the smarts. He certainly had the Ball-Hawking down.

Can someone tell me where this "sure tackler" myth started? I'm serious, because I just don't see it at all. He has some of the worst tackling technique on this entire team. 90% of his tackle attempts are him lowering his head and diving into the ball-carrier, which is why you are sure to see a few times per game him flying straight past an opposing player without even touching them. Of course, that's only when he's not tripping over himself and falling flat on his face for absolutely no determinable reason whatsoever. The guy is a hell of a special teamer and can certainly provide some value in a rotational role when only used in the proper situations, but he is without question one of the worst starting safeties in the league.

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Agree . Its also hard to judge as to what responsibility a safety has been given in a called defense. He gets blamed for a lot of crap by Fans yet hes still in the game . If our Defensive staff knows what they are doing (which the concenses here agrees too ) then we should trust their judgement. When safties go up aganist elite TE's (which there seems to be more of these days) its almost always a mismatch because most of those TE's are 6-5 + and much bigger and more physical than safties.

Meh, Smith still playing just means that the rest of our safeties suck too, which they do. While I agree you can't always know a player's assignment, it's not too difficult to figure out who's fault it is when he trips and falls flat on his face, completely loses his man the moment the guy makes a cut, or goes flying past the ball-carrier because he went for a diving spear rather than wrapping the guy up.

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Can someone tell me where this "sure tackler" myth started? I'm serious, because I just don't see it at all. He has some of the worst tackling technique on this entire team. 90% of his tackle attempts are him lowering his head and diving into the ball-carrier, which is why you are sure to see a few times per game him flying straight past an opposing player without even touching them. Of course, that's only when he's not tripping over himself and falling flat on his face for absolutely no determinable reason whatsoever. The guy is a hell of a special teamer and can certainly provide some value in a rotational role when only used in the proper situations, but he is without question one of the worst starting safeties in the league.

He's a big-hitting linebacker trapped in a safety's body. I am happy with him if he's on specials or on a limited capacity playing that hybrid linebacker-safety role, but my issues with him is when he's asked to cover anyone or if he's starting in any capacity. He's not fluid or agile and like you said, he also misses his share of tackles.

He's clearly the weak point in that secondary. You see it when teams all target the receiver he is supposed to be covering.

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Jim Leonard isn't exactly a lock down coverage guy. Both safeties are liabilities in coverage. Eric Smith is the Jets hardest hitter that's something.

Leonard and Smith are a bad combination. Both would be tremendously better teamed with a safety much better than they are. Leonard is bad, but Smith is awful. A better safety would allow either Leonard or Smith to play to their strengths, but now each exposes the other's weaknesses.

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Can someone tell me where this "sure tackler" myth started? I'm serious, because I just don't see it at all. He has some of the worst tackling technique on this entire team. 90% of his tackle attempts are him lowering his head and diving into the ball-carrier, which is why you are sure to see a few times per game him flying straight past an opposing player without even touching them. Of course, that's only when he's not tripping over himself and falling flat on his face for absolutely no determinable reason whatsoever. The guy is a hell of a special teamer and can certainly provide some value in a rotational role when only used in the proper situations, but he is without question one of the worst starting safeties in the league.

Smith wraps well when he tries the wrap. Otherwise it's a big hit or a big miss. Then there is the bonehead decisions, plus the crappy cleats.

It's not comforting when you're surprised Smith makes a good play.

Plus, I'm really tired of the announcers saying "there's confusion in the secondary" which simply means "Smith screwed up again."

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