Evidence continues to pile up demonstrating that St. Louis Rams CB Bradley Fletcher is becoming a bona fide stud at the position. Today's exhibit comes via Football Outsiders and their game charting data which reveals that Fletcher is one of the surest tacklers among the league's defensive backs.
When Fletcher is in a position to make a tackle, he makes it. FO's game charting data shows that the Rams' 2009 third-round pick allowed just one broken tackle last year and just one the year before, his rookie season. And how does FO define broken tackles?
We defined a "broken tackle" as one of two events: either the ballcarrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ballcarrier jukes him out of his shoes.
Rams fans have known since watching Fletcher work as a rookie that he was a very sound tackler, but it's nice to have statistical confirmation, validation of the fans' innate knowledge of a team's players. Now, Fletcher may very well have allowed more had he played a full season in 2009, but it still speaks well of his ability.
Being a good tackler means he's not allowing devastating big plays or even much in the way of yards after the catch.
Many, including TST, are expecting big things from Fletcher in 2011, a breakout season as he hits the field fully recovered and very comfortable following his 2009 injury.