Curtis Lofton manned one of the middle linebacker spots for the Saints in 2014 and led an awful defense in tackles, like he had done each previous year with the Saints. Following a disappointing season, the Saints front office decided big changes were needed; Lofton was a casualty of the proceeding mass roster exodus, being cut by the Saints after they couldn't find a trade partner. So far, Keenan Lewis and Junior Galette are the co-valedictorians of an awful 2014 defense having been given C+ grades, did Curtis Lofton do enough to take the top spot?
What We Like: He made a lot of tackles, that counts for something. He was a captain on defense and was looked to as a leader. He's tough, not only did he not miss a game in 2014, but he hasn't missed a regular season game his entire professional career.
What We Dislike: A lot of his tackles come 4-5 yards downfield, and seem to be more of a result of bad play around him, than his own good play. Yea he was a leader... but the defense wasn't being led in any direction, but down. He's a liability in the pass game, which is a problem when the other LB's also lack coverage skills.
Pro: makes lots of tackles, was a team leader type
Cons: makes those tackles after the ballcarrier’s gained four+ yards, being a team leader on a team with leadership problems isn’t something to brag about, misses too many tackles (he was probably tired by the second quarter seeing as he was the only guy doing ANY tackling on that defense,) and he can’t cover a blind paraplegic who’s three years dead.
Lofton…well, he was the primary run stopper on a team that couldn’t stop the run if lives depended on it in two of the last three years. Forget moneyball metrics, that fact right there should be all anyone needs to know.
Curtis Lofton put up impressive tackle numbers as a Saint, which is what's expected from an ILB... but he ultimately failed to inspire players around or ever be more than "pretty good," himself, which doesn't cut it for a defensive captain. Thanks for your stay and play in New Orleans, good luck in Oakland.
Prepare your body for two-a-days: Starting the next round of grading, we will be grading two players at a time at whichever position we are looking at.