I'm sure he's a very nice guy
Good Coverage: 3
Blown Coverage: 16
Blown Assignments: 3
Broken Tackles: 3
*Includes all games minus Week 10, Divisional Round and the second half of Week 3 and the first half of week 1.
Hooray, Babs!: I don't get to write that too often, and the guy's still miserable in coverage, but I have to applaud him for steering Torrence into the ball. It was a little gutsy, maybe too gutsy, but it ended up netting the Hawks 33 yards of field position. As Krusty's accountant said: "Gambling's the finest thing a man can do, if he's good at it."
We end with some redemption for two of the Hawks most maligned players: Jordan Babineaux and Brian Russell. Yep, them.
8th play, deciding drive. The Rams run another X pattern with their two right receivers. Babs, playing in a short zone, slips the pick and is on Drew Bennett immediately. Two yards, but the score is prevented. Excellent, heads-up play by Babs.
How bad is Jordan Babineaux in coverage?: Awful. Clueless. Awful. In 9 plays, against the Browns in their final drive of the half, Babs blew coverage 3 times. I like Babineaux, he has a nose for the ball, but his coverage skills are atrocious. For Christ's sake, give your second round choice a chance to work the nickel! Why did you draft him, to have him watch Nate Burleson catch kickoffs each week?
What to do with Jordan Babineaux? He's a gamer, a team player and will forever be beloved for (s)tripping Tony Romo and sending Seattle to the divisional round in 2006. The problem is he couldn't cover water with oil. After Jennings and Grant converged for a synchronized swat on a deep pass intended for Berrian, Jennings limped off and Babineaux slid over to the #2 corner position. Two plays later Babs badly blew coverage against Muhsin Muhammad, a player so old the prophet was named after him. And really, this blown coverage had it all. He was beat off the line, couldn't recover and then fell to the ground when Muhammad hooked back. The whole thing played out like a French comedy. With Wilson healthy, the nickelback spot should be his to lose.
If someone asks you how Jerheme Urban recorded 6 receptions, 123 yards and a score against Seattle, the answer has but one name: Jordan Babineaux. Half of Urban's yards and receptions along with his touchdown came in the 3rd quarter. Those three receptions have a unifying phenomenon: blown coverage by Babs. Second play of the Cards first drive, Urban wide open, blown coverage Babs. Deon Grant chews him a new poo shoot after that one. Can't say it worked. Seventh play of the Cards second drive, 3rd and 18, Urban open for 38, blown coverage, Babs. Touchdown reception on the 16th play of the same drive, Urban does his best to screw it up by deflecting the ball up in the air, but luckily Babs is so badly beaten that Urban has little distraction whilst reeling the ball back in. That entire drive, FYI, was played with the Hawks in a Nickel defense. Thankfully, on the ensuing drive, after the Cards recovered their own onside kick, Seattle reverted back to a simple Base, Cover-2. Sheesh.
What more can be said about Jordan Babineaux. He's got it bad, his teammates know and fingers are starting to point. I hate to be so stark, but, right now, guy's playing his way off the 2008 roster. On the Panthers' 7th play of their 2nd drive, Babs had every chance to not only cover his assignment, but go for a pick. Panthers break with trips right. Hawks are in a Nickel defense. Presnap, the outside receiver of the bunch motions wide right. Snap. Hawks bring medium pressure, the pocket collapses and Matt Moore rolls right. He finds Drew Carter wide open, passes and Carter converts the first. Babs comes running for the clean up tackle, but the damage is done. Tats, who had the inside zone a step away from Carter, runs up with his arms widespread, staring down Babs in the body language equivalent of "WTF?" If you see this contest again, look at Babs, he knows he screwed up and the shame is splayed across his face. I'm pulling for the guy, but he's a cipher on a defense defined by its headiness and hard work. The capper, I counted, Moore stares down Carter for just under 3 seconds straight, even thrice patting the ball. If you can't cover a guy after all that, man, you're hurtin'.
Babineaux like Womack is valued for his versatility. Both are able to suck at multiple positions. With any luck, Babineaux will remain depth for the entirety of 2008.