Yahoo Sports has a list of players whose production slipped from 2010 to 2011 and who are looking for a rebound in 2012. Alabama’s Robert Lester makes the list:
Alabama FS Robert Lester
The key stats: 52 tackles, 8 interceptions, 4 pass breakups in 2010; 39 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups in 2011
Buzz: Lester is one of the best free safeties in the nation, but he wasn’t nearly as productive last season as he was in 2010, which was his first season as the starter. He will be the lone returning starter in the secondary this fall, and it would help the Tide’s cause if he can increase his production to the 2010 level. He had five games with at least five tackles in ’10 but just one last season, when he was overshadowed in the secondary by … well, by every other starter.
Personally, I don’t buy this. The first sentence alone tells you the author doesn’t either: “…one of the best free safeties in the nation, but he wasn’t nearly as productive last season…” If he’s one of the best safeties in the country, aren’t his stats relative?
Yes, his interceptions dropped in 2011, but interceptions – and number of tackles – don’t really tell the whole story concerning Lester. If Lester picks off an overthrown ball at the end of a game, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he had a good game. In fact, he could log no statistics to speak of (tackles, interceptions, deflected passes, etc.) and still have a really fine game.