Commentary

Tale of the Tape: Defensive tackles

Originally Published: January 29, 2009
By Jeremy Green and Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Darnell Dockett/Casey HamptonGetty Images
Scouts Inc.'s Jeremy Green and Gary Horton have reviewed all the film and broken down the defensive tackles for Super Bowl XLIII. They have compared these two playmakers, the Cardinals' Darnell Dockett and the Steelers' Casey Hampton, in seven categories and determined who has the edge for each attribute. Some of the results might surprise you.

Pittsburgh

Strength and power

Hampton is the ultimate power player and the anchor of the Steelers' 3-4 defense versus the run. He has a lot of girth and is tough to move out of the hole because he has great lower-body strength and a low center of gravity. He is the ultimate two-gap inside player, and when he commands double-teams, it frees up his inside linebackers to make plays.

Dockett has good strength, but he is not a power player. Unlike Hampton, who is a block-gobbler inside, Dockett relies more on his quickness and athletic ability to play on the edges and be disruptive.
Edge: Hampton

Pittsburgh Arizona

Run defense

Although we think of Hampton primarily as a box player, he has more success versus the outside run than you might think. He creates a pile versus the inside run, stays on his feet and gets off blocks well. He plays almost exclusively two-gap techniques, where his job is to read, react and slide along the line of scrimmage to make the play.


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Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.