You cannot compare Fred Smoot's hands to Carlos Rogers' hands

If nothing else, that's what one should take away from Dan Steinberg's investigative piece into the state of Carlos Rogers' hands, per the mouths of Coach Zorn, Fred Smoot, and Rogers (as himself):

Smoot: "I've got better hands. My hands actually didn't get suspect until about the last two years. I used to have great hands. And I'm working on them getting back to great right now, but no, you can never compare my hands to Carlos's. His hands are terrible."

But don't trust me, as this video evidence of Carlos Rogers, and his hands, should be enough to convince even the most skeptical reader that he does, indeed, suck at catching the football:

They look like good strong hands, don't they?

Well let's just see. I wish there was a more scientific way of looking back on a cornerback's (in)ability to catch passes than this, but all I've got are interceptions to passes defensed ratio, which at least tells how often a player is somewhere in the vicinity to catch a pass but fails to do so. Although I don't claim that this is the best metric on which to judge a cornerback -- does anyone have straight up drop statistics or video evidence of every Carlos Rogers' drop? -- it's the one I've got.

Carlos is:

4 interceptions on 29 passes defensed or an interception every 7.25 passes defensed


Fred Smoot is:

21 interceptions on 73 passes defensed or an interception every 3.47 passes defensed (and his suggestion that his hands haven't been so good is fair, given that he's had one interception a season the past three years; he's been intercepting fewer passes per year since 2001, career high of five picks).

Shawn Springs is:

31 interceptions on 127 passes defensed or an interception every 4.09 passes defensed

Couple issues here, I seem to recall having looked up the stat of passes defensed a number of times from a number of different sites that it isn't even consistent depending on who you ask. I have neither the time nor inclination to prove that point, but I'm fairly certain that at some point CNNSI.com has said differently than NFL.com has said differently than ESPN.com etc.

But, everything about these numbers seems consistent with the conventional wisdom that Carlos Rogers' inability to catch the ball and now combines with the explicit statements to that fact by at least one teammate and his head coach. It's hardly a controversial statement to claim that Rogers isn't the greatest glue-hands in the biz, so I am comfortable relying in large part on the above ratios in judging, generally speaking of course, his lack of catching talent.

Rogers catches about half as many of his passes defensed than the two of his teammates. The difference equates to something like a missed interception every 3.4 passes defensed, if you count Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs as one mutant Fred Springs with 200 passes defensed and 52 picks. On a great year, when he's not injured, Rogers is good for about 1 pass defensed a game. Supposing he's ~ 15 passes defensed in 2008, certainly not crazy if he remains healthy, that means he would normally get around 2 picks, but were he as good as Springs and Smoot, he'd get about 4. May not seem like much, but would've been enough to improve our entire team from 23rd in the league in 2007 to 17th in the league in interceptions (although Rogers was out for most of last year, so it would have really had no impact).

I guess my point is, yea, Carlos Rogers can't catch. Or, as Smoot puts it:

Smoot: "You know what, like Marcus said, either you can catch or you cain't. Either they soft or they not. I'm gonna give him till the end of this year to show me what his hands are really about. But I think he can catch the ball. I think he lose concentration sometimes."

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