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Tackling Numbers Can Look a Little Rough

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 15, 2006

Tackles are not an official statistic in pro football, and the gap between statistics compiled by the NFL and those charted by teams, can be wide. Take the Washington Redskins.

According to the team, Sean Taylor is the leader with 101 tackles. The NFL lists Taylor with 86. Marcus Washington is second on the Redskins' tackle sheet with 100 tackles, 18 more than the NFL gives him. The greatest gap between league-compiled and team-tracked tackles is 28, belonging to weak-side linebacker Warrick Holdman. According to the Redskins, Holdman is fifth on the team in tackles with 86. The NFL, however, credits Holdman with 58.

The league compiles tackling statistics on game day, at real-time speed. The following day, defensive coaches review game film, with its starts, stops, slow-motion and super slow-motion reviews and reach the in-house figure.

In virtually every case, the Redskins credit their players with more tackles than the league, a natural tendency, since coaches traditionally give their players the benefit of the doubt.

The exception, however, is beleaguered safety Adam Archuleta, long in the doghouse. Archuleta is the only regular on the Redskins who is credited with more tackles by the league than by his own team. The NFL lists Archuleta with 57 tackles -- one less than Holdman even though Archuleta hasn't started a game since Oct. 22 and has not played regularly in the Redskins' base or passing packages since before Thanksgiving -- while the Redskins credit Archuleta with 50.

The difference is in the review, and, it would appear, how much in favor a player stands with coaches. Holdman has been attacked by opposing defenses weekly in the run game, pushed by rookie Rocky McIntosh for playing time, while Archuleta has fallen far in the eyes of his coaches. Before Archuleta lost his starting job Nov. 5 against Dallas, he had benefited like other players, credited by the league with 42 tackles, while the Redskins had listed Archuleta with 47.

Sidelined

Center Casey Rabach and right tackle Jon Jansen did not practice for the second straight day. Rabach has a broken left hand and Jansen is fighting a calf injury. Wide receiver Santana Moss did not practice after feeling ill.

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