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Mr. Laz
07-11-2005, 12:49 PM
Posted 7/6/2005 2:59 PM Updated 7/11/2005 9:53 AM
2005 PLAYER RATINGS

About this series

Sports Weekly uses the Sports Xchange scouting evaluations, which are based on an NFL personnel model. The goal is to achieve accurate overall ratings regardless of position, culminating with our Top 50 players.

2005 player ratings: Defensive backs
By Jim Corbett, Sports Weekly

The term "shutdown cornerback" took a beating last season as quarterbacks carved out a cumulative 82.8 passer rating, highest in league history. Things figure to get tougher for defensive backs, the third part of our 2005 NFL player ratings series, developed by The Sports Xchange for Sports Weekly. The Sports Xchange sorted players into seven categories: Elite, A Notch Below, Rock Solid, Under the Radar, On the Rise, On the Rebound and Setting Sun.

Despite a difficult transition to the NFL's new rules governing the passing game, Champ Bailey still rates as the best cornerback in the business.

By Tom DiPace, Sports Weekly

No wonder Champ Bailey wants in on the fun.

A record 732 touchdowns were thrown in 2004 punctuated by league MVP Peyton Manning setting the single-season benchmark with 49 passing touchdowns as NFL defensive backs struggled to adjust to the stricter enforcement of the 5-yard "chuck" rule.

Even Bailey, the $63 million gold standard for cornerbacks, suffered a down year.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that Bailey, a five-time Pro Bowler, is working as hard this offseason on his receiving skills as he is on making adjustments that will help him adapt to the rules that restricted defensive backs last year.

As Bill Belichick's Patriots showed once again, more of a premium has been placed on playing zone coverage and coaching fundamentals as receiver-turned-corner Troy Brown helped overcome the injury losses of starting cornerbacks Ty Law and Tyrone Poole en route to a third Super Bowl title in four years.

CORNERBACKS

Elite

Champ Bailey suffered a bad rap last season in this sense: He is isolated more than any other corner in Denver's man-to-man scheme. His arrival in the trade for running back Clinton Portis didn't prevent Denver's second straight first-round playoff exit against Peyton Manning and the Colts by another lopsided score. Bailey has elite coverage skills and makeup speed. Expect Bailey to be more comfortable and receive more deep safety help in his second season under defensive coordinator Larry Coyer. He'll need it considering Oakland's acquisition of Randy Moss.

Baltimore's Chris McAlister has ideal size, power and speed but is undone by inconsistent focus. At 6-1, 206-pounds, McAlister is big enough to play strong press coverage and quick enough to turn and run with top receivers. Like Bailey, he had a down season.

The addition of free agent Samari Rolle gives the Ravens what could be the game's best cover tandem.

A notch below

The trade of a second-round draft pick for two-time Pro Bowler Patrick Surtain gives Kansas City defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham ready-made corner-safety chemistry that should upgrade the left side of the league's 32nd-ranked pass defense. Surtain, an eighth-year corner, has exceptional ball skills as his 29 interceptions, including four last season, attest. He's paired with strong safety Sammy Knight, Surtain's teammate for two seasons in Miami.

Ronde Barber is Tampa Bay's do-it-all cornerback, particularly talented at blitzing out of the slot in Monte Kiffin's nickel defense. With 23 career interceptions and 18 sacks, Barber is a two-time Pro Bowler poised to become the first cornerback in league history with 20 interceptions and 20 sacks.

Nate Clements led Buffalo's second-ranked defense with six interceptions last season. The 6-0, 209-pounder is a rugged tackler and consistent playmaker on the defense that led the league with 39 takeaways.

Detroit's Dre' Bly is undersized at 5-9, but he makes up for it as a big-time playmaker with excellent instincts. The seventh-year pro has 10 interceptions in 27 games for the Lions, including four interceptions and 15 passes defended last season.

Rock solid

Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield give Minnesota a strong cover tandem. Smoot is a proven playmaker, but he gambles and is burned too often by good pump fakes. He is the opposite of Winfield in that he is a good interceptor, but a poor tackler in run support.

On the rise

After four interceptions his rookie year, Chicago's 6-1 Charles Tillman suffered a setback, missing eight games with a right knee injury. But he has the size and toughness to win most physical matchups and emerge as a play-making key to Lovie Smith's Cover 2 defense.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren loves Marcus Trufant's ability to blanket receivers and the third-year corner's potential to emerge as an elite cover corner. The addition of Andre Dyson will help offset the loss of Ken Lucas for a secondary that needs to cover well given Seattle's lack of a proven pass rush.

Lito Sheppard was one of three players to earn Pro Bowl honors from Philadelphia's talented secondary. Defensive coordinator Jim Johnson can leave Sheppard and Sheldon Brown alone at corner in his blitzing scheme because they are sound cover men. Despite Sheppard's better athleticism, however, Brown is ahead on technique at this point in their young careers.

Jacksonville's Rashean Mathis quietly had as good a year, if not better, than Sheppard. Mathis needs to refine his technique and ball recognition skills, but the 6-1, 200-pounder is a rugged tackler who fights for balls in the air.

Playing behind arguably the league's best front four should help Ken Lucas' development in Carolina, especially playing opposite young playmaker Chris Gamble. Lucas, a fourth-year pro, had six interceptions last season for Seattle's 23rd-ranked pass defense.

Were it not for Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson might have earned 2004 NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year honors. Robinson had six interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 73 tackles.

On the rebound

Charles Woodson has talent, but he lacks discipline and should be more consistent. He is susceptible to giving up big plays.

This may be his last season in Oakland if the sides can't agree to a long-term deal for their $10.5 million franchise player. In any event, Woodson is playing for his future, wherever it is. But he's all the more valuable considering his ability to play corner and safety and the inexperience of the Raiders' young secondary.

Samari Rolle is a play-making upgrade over Ravens free-agent departure Gary Baxter. ing opposite McAlister, the Ravens give defensive coordinator Rex Ryan the dependable deep coverage he needs to send the house with the "46" defense he will aggressively employ this season. Rolle has been slowed by injuries the past two years and wants to show the Titans how much they'll miss him.

Setting sun

Miami's Sam Madison lost a step even before losing counterpart Patrick Surtain to Kansas City via free agency. With the injury to young talent Will Poole, Madison, 31, will be more exposed than ever and his sound technique won't be able to make up for the speed he's lost the past two years.

SAFETIES

Elite

Baltimore's Ed Reed came into his own last season, not only surpassing two-time league defensive MVP Ray Lewis as 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but emerging as arguably the best defensive player in the game.

The fourth-year safety out of Miami led the league with nine interceptions and his 358 return yards were 63 fewer than Travis Taylor's team-best 421 receiving yards.

Reed enhances excellent instincts for the football with hours of studying game video. He is one of the best in the game at reading a quarterback's eyes or tendencies.

Combined with Baltimore's cover corner tandem of McAlister and Rolle, nickel corner Dale Carter and dime back Deion Sanders, Reed and Will Demps give the Ravens' secondary a feared nest of ballhawks.

Philadelphia's Brian Dawkins keys Jim Johnson's blitz-oriented scheme. Dawkins can bring the hammer as an extra linebacker in the box, he can blitz or turn and run with a tight end or running back, allowing Johnson to send a blitzer off the edge.

Rodney Harrison has been a revelation the past two years in New England after San Diego deemed him to be finished. Harrison brought an unshakeable confidence to a young secondary able to survive injuries to veterans Ty Law and Tyrone Poole.

Whatever he has lost in terms of speed, Harrison makes up for in anticipation and physical intimidation.

A notch below

Dallas' Roy Williams is a player Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott enjoys watching. Williams brings the hammer the way Lott did for the 49ers. The fourth-year pro out of Oklahoma is the definition of today's box safety, whose hard-hitting style equates to an extra linebacker against the run. However, Williams' aggressiveness works against him and has put him out of position at times in coverage, allowing for costly big plays coach Bill Parcells wants eliminated this crucial season. The switch to a 3-4 defense should allow him to make a significant rebound and not be exposed in coverage.

Another box safety, Lawyer Milloy helped forge Buffalo's rise as the league's No. 2 defense in 2004. Together with converted corner Troy Vincent, the Bills have one of the most experienced and talented safety tandems.

Jacksonville's hard-hitting Donovin Darius was frustrated when he was tagged as the team's franchise player. But he earned the honor last season when he took his game to another level, a complete safety who was not a liability in coverage.

Rock solid

Minnesota's Corey Chavous is a converted cornerback with exceptional skills and anticipation. However, Chavous is coming off a down year when he had only one interception after picking off eight passes in 2003. The addition of Darren Sharper and cornerback Fred Smoot should allow Chavous to return to his 2003 form.

San Francisco defensive coordinator Mike Singletary has two players to build around linebacker Julian Peterson and safety Tony Parrish, the definition of rock solid. A solid tackler in the box, Parrish leads San Francisco's young secondary.

On the rise

Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu had a Pro Bowl season that was blemished when he bit on a Tom Brady pump fake for a crucial touchdown in New England's AFC championship game win. The second-year playmaker can blitz, stuff the run or turn and run in coverage. He led the Steelers with five interceptions, including one for a touchdown.

Philadelphia's Michael Lewis should be an emerging force in his fourth season. He is a smart, physical hitter who has learned well playing alongside Dawkins.

Remember the name Adrian Wilson. You'll be hearing more about one of the most complete safeties few outside of the Arizona Cardinals know about. If the Cardinals rise up as a playoff contender, Wilson will be a key reason why. He's a punishing hitter who rang up 80 tackles, had three interceptions and cut down on the mental errors of the past under first-year defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

On the rebound

Key to a Rams' resurgence is the return to health of safety Adam Archuleta. He appears close to returning to full health after a herniated disc ended his 2004 season. But will his back hold up considering his physical style?

Chicago's Mike Brown is expected to make a full recovery from a torn Achilles' tendon that wiped out his 2004 season after two games. Brown is a tough playmaker who help set the tone as a guy always in the right place at the right time.

No safety has more to prove than Sean Taylor, who faces a minimum three-year prison sentence if convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm in a dispute with a man he suspected of stealing a pair of his all-terrain vehicles. Taylor was a big-time playmaker at the University of Miami. But he's been a migraine for Redskins coach Joe Gibbs since being drafted fifth overall in 2003.

Setting sun

Highly respected John Lynch won a Super Bowl ring in Tampa Bay and is trying to pull a safety's version of John Elway in Denver, winning a second ring before retiring. It seems unlikely given a team with more questions than answers. Lynch still brings the big hits, but Bailey wasn't getting help needed from the safety position.

Darren Sharper brings his insider knowledge of the Packers to the Vikings' defense, but he's lost a step. Still, he's an upgrade over Brian Russell.

Safeties
Rk. Player Team Ht Wt Age Spd Awar Agi Tkl Str Tgh Sta Imp Overall
1 Ed Reed Ravens 5-11 200 26 90 94 93 84 70 95 93 93 94.75
2 Brian Dawkins Eagles 6-00 210 31 91 90 92 83 69 95 85 89 91.15
3 Rodney Harrison Patriots 6-01 220 32 86 96 85 85 78 99 79 84 90.90
4 Sean Taylor Redskins 6-02 231 22 90 80 93 82 73 92 88 85 89.00
5 Roy Williams Cowboys 6-00 235 25 90 81 93 83 72 91 89 83 88.90
6 John Lynch Broncos 6-02 220 33 81 93 78 81 71 98 82 86 86.10
7 Troy Polamalu Steelers 5-10 212 24 90 82 86 83 68 88 88 83 86.00
8 Lawyer Milloy Bills 6-00 210 31 84 95 85 81 68 93 82 79 85.80
9 Michael Lewis Eagles 6-01 211 25 85 83 83 85 68 90 88 83 85.40
10 Donovin Darius Jaguars 6-01 225 30 88 85 90 81 69 88 85 77 85.10
11 Tony Parrish 49ers 5-11 210 29 88 90 88 79 65 90 89 73 85.05
12 Corey Chavous Vikings 6-01 206 29 91 90 91 78 65 80 90 75 84.60
13 Adrian Wilson Cardinals 6-03 223 25 86 82 82 83 72 88 87 79 84.20
14 Eugene Wilson Patriots 5-10 195 25 92 83 92 75 62 85 88 78 83.30
15 Michael Boulware hawks 6-02 223 23 86 77 88 79 65 88 87 81 83.00
16 Bryan Scott Falcons 6-01 219 24 85 80 85 82 67 87 88 76 82.90
17 Mike Minter Panthers 5-10 195 31 88 87 90 76 65 89 84 70 82.80
18 Adam Archuleta Rams 6-00 223 27 85 82 84 83 70 91 78 75 82.75
19 Gibril Wilson Giants 6-00 197 23 84 77 90 80 66 85 82 76 82.10
20 Mike Doss Colts 5-10 207 24 89 81 89 75 65 86 84 69 81.90
21 Marcus Coleman Texans 6-02 210 31 83 88 85 68 63 88 86 74 81.60
22 Erik Coleman Jets 5-10 200 23 85 78 87 83 59 84 87 70 81.40
23 Darren Sharper Vikings 6-02 210 29 85 80 83 70 68 88 85 72 81.20
24 Mike Brown Bears 5-10 212 27 84 83 75 75 68 93 75 73 80.50
25 Jay Bellamy Saints 5-11 200 33 82 86 78 81 60 84 82 69 80.25

Cornerbacks
Rk. Name Team Ht Wt Age Spd Awar Agi Acc Tkl Tgh Sta Imp Overall
1 Champ Bailey Broncos 6-00 192 27 95 94 98 96 80 89 96 96 93.70
2 Chris McAlister Ravens 6-01 206 28 95 93 98 90 80 93 89 93 92.30
3 Patrick Surtain Chiefs 5-11 192 28 91 89 93 93 78 92 88 90 89.30
4 Ronde Barber Buccaneers 5-10 184 30 90 88 93 91 75 88 91 90 89.25
5 Nate Clements Bills 6-00 209 25 94 90 93 94 72 87 88 86 89.10
6 Charles Woodson Raiders 6-01 200 28 93 88 94 89 70 85 85 89 88.50
7 Ty Law Free agent 5-11 200 31 87 93 89 88 80 95 85 00 88.30
8 Samari Rolle Ravens 6-00 175 29 90 90 93 89 71 92 84 82 88.25
9 Dre' Bly Lions 5-09 185 28 94 85 94 85 69 86 92 85 88.00
10 Antoine Winfield Vikings 5-09 180 28 92 84 94 85 81 84 84 85 87.80
11 Lito Sheppard Eagles 5-10 194 24 92 83 95 88 69 83 90 83 86.40
12 Sam Madison Dolphins 5-11 185 31 90 92 90 85 70 88 87 80 86.20
13 Fred Smoot Vikings 5-11 174 26 88 85 94 93 69 88 85 79 86.00
14 Charles Tillman Bears 6-01 196 24 89 80 93 92 77 84 84 79 84.90
15 Marcus Trufant Seahawks 5-11 199 24 93 79 94 95 70 83 88 75 84.60
16 Sheldon Brown Eagles 5-10 200 26 90 82 91 87 78 85 88 75 84.30
17 Gary Baxter Browns 6-02 215 26 88 85 89 88 77 85 85 78 84.25
18 Ken Lucas Panthers 6-00 205 26 91 78 92 87 73 87 87 79 83.90
19 Shawn Springs Redskins 6-00 204 30 90 87 93 91 68 77 87 80 83.10
20 Dunta Robinson Texans 5-11 176 23 95 74 92 88 69 83 87 83 82.70
21 Rashean Mathis Jaguars 6-01 200 25 90 75 90 90 71 81 86 81 81.60
22 Brian Kelly Buccaneers 5-11 193 29 88 85 88 87 74 82 85 73 81.30
23 Deshea Townsend Steelers 5-10 190 30 86 84 89 85 75 83 86 72 81.00
24 Asante Samuel Patriots 5-10 185 24 89 80 90 87 66 83 87 75 80.40
25 Terence Newman Cowboys 5-11 188 27 97 72 95 90 65 76 87 73 80.10

About these ratings

Methodology
The Sports Xchange, which pioneered NFL player evaluations used in top-selling video games, produced these ratings for Sports Weekly. They are based on a 100-point scale, incorporating more than 40 categories. Each week, categories are sequenced in order of importance for that position and only the categories most appropriate to each position are listed.
In addition to the listed categories, several other categories are considered, such as "injury avoidance." Categories (such as strength, speed, agility) are weighted differently at each position so the impact of the grade is appropriate to the position. These weighted grades are part of an underlying formula that determines the overall grade.

Listed ages are as of Sept. 8, date of this season's first game. The Sports Xchange's player ratings team includes Frank Cooney, Derek Harper, Howard Balzer and Brian Hitterman.

Category legend

Speed(Spd): This relates directly to a player's time in the 40-yard dash with consideration for "effective playing speed."

Strength(Str): Success while engaged with another player during blocking, running or tackling.

Awareness(Awar): Overall ability to recognize what is going on around him and react.

Agility(Agi): Combination of quickness and ability to change directions without losing speed.

Acceleration(Acc): How long he needs to reach top speed.

Tackling(Tkl): Consistency in making sure tackles, with consideration of ability to make solo tackles.

Stamina(Sta): Ability to repeatedly make long runs or perform other demanding tasks at a top level.

Toughness(Tgh): A player's ability to come back from injury, plus overall physicality.

Importance(Imp): Overall importance to his team. Factors include the position itself and the player's impact or role within the team's system.




http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-07-06-sw-rankings-defensive-backs_x.htm

alpha_omega
07-11-2005, 01:15 PM
Nice read...thanks!

RedThat
07-11-2005, 01:16 PM
No consideration for Warfield being on the rise?

Spicy McHaggis
07-11-2005, 01:21 PM
Wow Lynch is over-rated. He might hit like a ton of bricks but thats about it.

Crush
07-11-2005, 01:25 PM
nice read

Coogs
07-11-2005, 01:30 PM
Surtain ranked 3rd and Law ranked 7th. Make a hell of a set of CB's. Spend the money Carl!

Mr. Laz
07-11-2005, 01:37 PM
Surtain ranked 3rd and Law ranked 7th. Make a hell of a set of CB's. Spend the money Carl!

Law got screwed ... they gave him 00 on importance to team because he is a free agent right now.

he would be ranked much higher

HemiEd
07-11-2005, 01:40 PM
Safeties
Rk. Player Team Ht Wt Age Spd Awar Agi Tkl Str Tgh Sta Imp Overall
1 Ed Reed Ravens 5-11 200 26 90 94 93 84 70 95 93 93 94.75
2 Brian Dawkins Eagles 6-00 210 31 91 90 92 83 69 95 85 89 91.15
3 Rodney Harrison Patriots 6-01 220 32 86 96 85 85 78 99 79 84 90.90
4 Sean Taylor Redskins 6-02 231 22 90 80 93 82 73 92 88 85 89.00
5 Roy Williams Cowboys 6-00 235 25 90 81 93 83 72 91 89 83 88.90
6 John Lynch Broncos 6-02 220 33 81 93 78 81 71 98 82 86 86.10
7 Troy Polamalu Steelers 5-10 212 24 90 82 86 83 68 88 88 83 86.00
8 Lawyer Milloy Bills 6-00 210 31 84 95 85 81 68 93 82 79 85.80
9 Michael Lewis Eagles 6-01 211 25 85 83 83 85 68 90 88 83 85.40
10 Donovin Darius Jaguars 6-01 225 30 88 85 90 81 69 88 85 77 85.10
11 Tony Parrish 49ers 5-11 210 29 88 90 88 79 65 90 89 73 85.05
12 Corey Chavous Vikings 6-01 206 29 91 90 91 78 65 80 90 75 84.60
13 Adrian Wilson Cardinals 6-03 223 25 86 82 82 83 72 88 87 79 84.20
14 Eugene Wilson Patriots 5-10 195 25 92 83 92 75 62 85 88 78 83.30
15 Michael Boulware hawks 6-02 223 23 86 77 88 79 65 88 87 81 83.00
16 Bryan Scott Falcons 6-01 219 24 85 80 85 82 67 87 88 76 82.90
17 Mike Minter Panthers 5-10 195 31 88 87 90 76 65 89 84 70 82.80
18 Adam Archuleta Rams 6-00 223 27 85 82 84 83 70 91 78 75 82.75
19 Gibril Wilson Giants 6-00 197 23 84 77 90 80 66 85 82 76 82.10
20 Mike Doss Colts 5-10 207 24 89 81 89 75 65 86 84 69 81.90
21 Marcus Coleman Texans 6-02 210 31 83 88 85 68 63 88 86 74 81.60
22 Erik Coleman Jets 5-10 200 23 85 78 87 83 59 84 87 70 81.40
23 Darren Sharper Vikings 6-02 210 29 85 80 83 70 68 88 85 72 81.20
24 Mike Brown Bears 5-10 212 27 84 83 75 75 68 93 75 73 80.50
25 Jay Bellamy Saints 5-11 200 33 82 86 78 81 60 84 82 69 80.25


#29 Sammy Knight? We have 84 safeties and non of them made the list? wtf?

whoman69
07-11-2005, 03:40 PM
The way our safeties played last year, did you expect them higher? They weren't even mentioned in the report so they are average at best. I think Wesley will be much better this year and Knight has to be an upgrade over Woods.