September 23, 2010

Numbers don't tell the story for tackles

Quarterbacks have touchdown passes. Receivers and running backs point to yards. Linebackers have tackles, defensive backs get passes defended and defensive ends look at sacks. But how does a defensive tackle measure his play?

"We call it warrior points. It's basically just getting behind the scenes work," said Missouri junior tackle Dominique Hamilton. "You know, knocking off pullers, doing what you can do to get penetration upfield. You do that, you're doing your job."

"Those are the points where you probably won't get them on our production chart, but our coaches tell us, 'Hey, you're doing a good job right here,'" added defensive end Jacquies Smith. "Those are the plays that most people aren't going to be able to see."

That is part of what makes defensive tackle perhaps the most difficult position for an outside observer to evaluate. Without the benefit of film, most people have little idea if an interior lineman played well.

"They kind of cause wrecks in there and weigh on the different blocking designs and just cause problems," Gary Pinkel said. "I think it's kind of hard to look at stats necessarily."

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