Do the Numbers Tell The Story With Morrison?

The Jacksonville Jaguars addressed a need at middle linebacker Saturday when they dealt their fourth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for Kirk Morrison and a fifth-round pick. The numbers say that Morrison is ultra-productive, but JagNation dug a little deeper to find out exactly what type of player the team is getting.

Kirk Morrison's stat-line looks fantastic on paper. He's started 79 of his 80 career games and has averaged better than 126 tackles per year for the struggling Raiders. With seven career interceptions and six career forced fumbles (three of which came a year ago) Morrison has showed an ability to make plays on defense, something that the Jaguars have struggled with over the past two seasons. Jaguars fans may even remember Morrison's last game in Jacksonville in 2007 when the Jags won 49-11. Although the Raiders were dreadful, Morrison intercepted quarterback David Garrard and returned it 36 yards.

You can get the stats on Morrison anywhere, but JagNation wanted to find out what kind of player he really is. We went to Silver and Black Illustrated publisher Michael Wagaman for his opinion on Morrison, as Wagaman has covered each of his games as a pro.

As a player, he's a decent middle linebacker but there's a little bit of unknown to him. Solid tackler (check his stats) but the problem is that too many of his tackles were made 5-6 yards down-field. It seemed he was going backward when making plays, whereas a guy like Patrick Willis of San Francisco is making things happen at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. Not a great cover guy at all but does his homework so he doesn't look all that terrible. Now with regards to his play against the run, which has been criticized, you have to wonder how much of that was him and how much of that was because Oakland's defensive interior line has also been mediocre to bad. That's the unknown part I was talking about.

When he came into the league I thought he had a chance to be a pretty solid player, and for the first 2-3 years he was. But the last couple of years he morphed into a pretty mediocre guy in my opinion. Again, how much of that is because of the terrible defensive line Oakland has?

It'll be interesting to see how he does in Jacksonville. Hopefully he won't wet the bed as quickly as Jerry Porter did.


The Morrison deal looks great on paper and even if he busts out the team really gave up virtually nothing for him. The only thing that's worrisome to me is the ease that the Jaguars were able to acquire him and how the Raiders reached on Rolando McClain which appeared to be a desperation move at the eighth-overall pick.

Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at charlie@jagnation.com or follow him on twitter @nflcharlie


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