Tuesday, May 25, 2021

1983 Boston Breakers Defensive Stats

 By John Turney 

As can be seen, the Breakers tackers are tallied from coaches film review and as per usual when that is done the assists are seemingly always high and no protocol is given as to what is or is not an assist so the total tackles are extremely high. This occurred in the NFL as well and we've spent time trying to use only gamebook totals where possible.

One of the giveaways is that there are 995 tackles credited and 994 assisted tackles credited a 1-to-1 ratio. Most times you see a 2-to-1 ratio for tackles and assists, so the assists are around double what would usually be found in a gamebook. 

In looking at this we'd think the total of 142 tackles is a reasonable total and maybe half or a third of the assists were ones where the player actually got his hands on the ball carriers. We'd suspect, based on experience, that many are when a player cut off a ball carrier, or forced a ball carrier into the arms of another—all legitimate and excellent football plays, but unless all teams released their coaches tackle totals then they cannot be used to compare team-to-team to whatever point that is valid anyway. 

So with all those caveats here are the tackles for the 1983 Breakers plus some other goodies—


  1. I am more inclined to go with a coaches film review numbers over the gamebooks as they have several advantages over those compiling the written play by play.
    Coaches have a much clearer and precise knowledge of what is and is not a tackle or an assist.
    They also have the advantage of being able to run the plays back and watch them multiple times, picking up things the gamebook chronicler can not.
    The people that write the gamebooks are also how many hundreds of feet away from the plays, usually at an angle making it difficult to be 100% accurate.

    Now, different teams and coaches are going to use different criteria regarding what is and is not a tackle or assist, but I think most would be very similar.
    I've been going thru many game films and doing my own tallies of the defensive statistics and find my numbers are more in line with those of the coaches.

    Also, I've been compiling the defensive statistics from the gamebooks and I've found them to be extremely incomplete and inconsistent.
    Some games are almost totally devoid of any tackle or assist notations.
    This severely takes away from the credibility of the gamebook numbers.
    It is almost ludicrous that a DT or LB would not have more assists on tackles as I've seen listed for some players.
    If a player is on the field for say, 500 plays, how is it they are not assisting in more tackles?
    I've found All-Pro players with less than 10 assists for a season.
    I find that giving gamebooks more credibility than a coaches film review unrealistic.

  2. while gamebooks pre-1976 are lik you ddescribe, sacks can be gleaned from gamebooks and other sources---film for example.

    Bit the problem you cannot conpare couses stats to gamebooks. While it is true coaches have the experience that statkeepers don't have, coaches almost always have totals that exceed the gamebooks

    we've posted about it


    so the other issue is that not al lteams use coaches totals, so unless all the teams release tackle totals they are useless. So the only work around is use gamebooks

    The Ravens coaches credited Raylewis with 2,643 tackles. The gamebook total is 2,050. Same for guys like London Fletcher, Willis, etc.

    But players like unior Seau never played for a team that releaded coaches tackles so his "team total" is 1946 and his gamebook tackle is 1846.

    And while I have done what you have, tried to score game films myself, and in in most cases I find more assists than the gamebooks, it means little if you cannot do it for all games for all teams.

    So, it is a matter of consistency. You cannot say that, say Zack Thomas has 2,031 tackles from coaches tallies and Seau has 1,846 tackles when Thomas' source is Coaches and Seau's is gamebooks when the gamebook total for Thomas is 1,727.

    The real answer is total tackles mean little, and are dubious to begin with. The ones that matter are the ones that are around the line of scrimmage, for all intents and purposes.

    But in the example above, when there are 995 tackles and 994 assists, there were only 1022 or so plays that could have a tackle...and sometimes someones goes out of bounds or whatever, but the numbers are out of whach when you have an assist for every tackle---you've got almost 2000 tackles for 1000 plays.

    And this is usually the case for coaches totals---

    So you are not wrong, no one is WRONG, it's ust the definitions for "assists" aere very different and that makes the sources too different to compare. And since al lthe teams don't release coaches totals it makes more sense to use the only source, flaws and all, that applies to all the teams.