View Full Version : Farrior's resume is full of tackles

12-28-2006, 11:20 AM

Thursday, December 28, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No Steelers linebacker made the Pro Bowl this season for only the second time in the past seven years. Not that James Farrior did not try.

With one game left, Farrior's 145 tackles are the most by a Steelers player since Jack Lambert had 159 in 1983.

Tackles are an unofficial statistic in the NFL, and teams record them in different ways. Coach Bill Cowher's staff keeps track of them as they watch film, and that's what the Steelers use for their records.

A tackle is the combined number of solo and assisted tackles. Farrior's 97 solo tackles are the most since he had 106 in 2003. Earl Holmes was credited with the most solo tackles on the team in the past 25 seasons, including this one, with 109 in 1999.

"As a linebacker, you're supposed to be making tackles all the time. That's your main job," Farrior said.

Making tackles is good, of course, but too many of them can reflect the fact that the defense is on the field more often. Last season, for example, Larry Foote led the Steelers with 123 tackles, and Farrior led them the year before that when he had 119 in their 15-1 season.

The Steelers' defense has been on the field 76 seconds fewer than its offense this season. Last season, its defense was on the field 2 minutes, 32 seconds fewer and in 2004 it was eight minutes fewer.

Farrior finished second to Foote last season, when he missed two games with an injury and recorded 113. It stands as the only time in the past four years he has not finished as the Steelers' top tackler.

"We need to talk about that," Farrior said of his fellow inside linebacker. "We had a little bet going in the beginning of the season."

Lost in the midst of a bad overall season is the fact that Farrior has made a lot of big plays for us. The guy is getting older but he knows this defense and he's a big contributor and play maker when the game is on the line. I like having him back there, but we do need to get some more LB's in the draft or FA for depth and to push the starters.

12-28-2006, 12:10 PM
I agree Matt. We need to get some young blood in there at LB. Get some guys with speed we can let loose from time to time.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-28-2006, 12:48 PM
I agree Matt. We need to get some young blood in there at LB. Get some guys with speed we can let loose from time to time.

Exactly and the added youth and depth could keep the old guys like James Farrior more fresh throughout the season. I wouldn't mind the Steelers drafting 2-3 LB's in this upcoming draft.

12-28-2006, 12:56 PM
We should also keep Farrior around along with Porter to help train their successors.

12-28-2006, 02:27 PM
The Steelers know their defense is built around the LB's. They are the ones that make the most plays, tackles, and sacks, so don't look for wholesale changes here, but rather the influx of some fresh new faces to push the starters and get more of a rotation going to keep them fresh.