Its no doubt that the issue of tackling has come up pretty consistently with Broncos teams since around 2006-7.
Although every year is different, the end result is similar, bad tackling usually equates to big plays. Here I'm going to try to reveal the tackling abilities of our defensive players.
Before I get started, I know as a team we need to improve our tackling and one thing Ive seen change from early on is gang-tackling. I great example is that highlight of Gronkowski running over and carrying redskins players. If you watch that play, it should have stopped much earlier but Hall stopped pursuit because he believed the DB (who was hanging on Gronkowski) was gonna bring him down since he had him wrapped up. This is such a terrible mindset as a defensive player. The guys have to WANT to bring him down and inflict punishment. That attitude will improve team tackling immensely. Pursuit should never be given up even if the guy has 3 players on him all our guys have to want a piece of the action.I dont think it should surprise you that our tackling problem lies with mostly our DB's. Here is the tackling skill of some of our defensive players:
*Note: The Linebackers and D-lineman especially can all tackle obviously and at their size technique is not as big an issue.
D.J. Williams (WLB and MLB)
Has always been able to tackle. Can lay the wood on occasion (one against Calvin Johnson was great). Wraps sometimes and gets gives the ball carrier a few more yards than he should given his size. Grade: B+
Von Miller (SLB)
Excellent. Especially considering his size. Has great technique in the open field and takes good angles, never ceases pursuit. Grade: A
(People really underestimated his strength coming out, elite for his size just like his speed)
Joe Mays (MLB)
Hardest hitting Bronco. Elite talent in goal-line short yardage situations. Doesn't have great form all the time. Takes bad angles and is only good in pursuit between the hashes. Has excellent vision but decision making and speed are not always there. Grade: B-, (A in short yardage and C- in open field)
Wesley Woodyard (WLB)
Great form tackler especially considering his size. Gets dragged at times because he is undersized.
Champ Bailey CB
This would have been an A+ a few years ago but Champ is not as aggressive as he once was. It might be that he doesn't want to risk injury but at one point this was the best tackling corner in the league bar none. He is still good but he has missed tackles this season. Grade: B
Our worst tackler. A grabby guy who rarely makes form tackles. Its important to note that he is excellent in coverage.
Rahim Moore FS
Also grabby although at times makes good tackles taking the legs out from under the runner. Takes bad angles.
Chris Harris CB
Our best tackler. He stops the runner at the point of attack. Takes their legs out from under them and allows very few if any yards after contact. I love his tackling ability. Grade: A+
Can lay the wood at times but takes bad angles and doesn't wrap up. He made some pretty key tackles a few weeks ago. Grade: C+
David Bruton SS
Bruton can make a hit on a guy. His issue is with getting out of his breaks. He is very fast in a straight line but when he breaks down he isnt quick enough out of the hole and gets juked. He also took some bad angles last season.
IMO Kyle was the best tackling DB in college football one of his years in Notre Dame. If he got a hand on a guy they were going down. He was really that good. I dont know why it hasn't translated as well. Grade: B-