The advanced metrics are highly favorable. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles’ coaches have nothing but praise for him. His Arizona Wildcats teammates love and respect him.

Everyone feels great abut Flannigan-Fowles’ breakout season last year … except Flannigan-Fowles.

On the eve of UA training camp, which officially began Monday evening, Flannigan-Fowles was asked to assess his personal performance in 2016.

“I saw a lot of missed plays and a lot of missed tackles,” Flannigan-Fowles said. “That’s what I’m trying to improve on.”

Flannigan-Fowles, who played at Tucson High and graduated from Marana Mountain View, probably is being too hard on himself.

One of only two Arizona defenders to start every game last year, Flannigan-Fowles led the team in solo tackles (59) and ranked second in total stops (78). He placed second in pass breakups (six) and tied for first in interceptions (two).

But wait, there’s more.

Pro Football Focus ranks Flannigan-Fowles as the top returning playmaker among Pac-12 safeties, according to its “playmaker index.” The index is the percentage of passes defensed plus interceptions per times targeted. Flannigan-Fowles finished 2016 at 25 percent.

Flannigan-Fowles also had the second-lowest passer rating allowed (59.3) among returning Pac-12 safeties, per PFF, trailing only Utah’s Chase Hansen (48.5).

By any measure, Flannigan-Fowles provided hope in an otherwise hopeless season. But his self-evaluation isn’t inaccurate; the Star’s weekly in-season review of UA telecasts revealed a fair amount of missed tackles, especially in the second half of the year.

Additionally, Flannigan-Fowles’ approach is in line with what the coaching staff is seeking from every player. Coming off a 3-9 season, no Wildcat can afford to be content.

“He said that because he’s the hardest critic on himself,” cornerback Jace Whittaker said. “Everybody should be their hardest critic.”

UA coach Rich Rodriguez views Flannigan-Fowles as a role model for the younger Wildcats. He carved out a role as a freshman despite not being allowed to play football as a senior in high school because of an eligibility issue. He became a full-time starter as a sophomore. He has added 23 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-2 frame since fall 2015.

“He’s interested in becoming the best version of himself every day,” Rodriguez said. “How do you want your football players to approach their craft? Demetrius is a good one to follow.

“He’s got all the physical ability. Our defensive coaches, coach (Jahmile) Addae and coach (Marcel) Yates, will take him to another level. And he wants to get there.”

Flannigan-Fowles is seeking to become a better leader this season, as well as a better player. Arizona needs both. Its defense is devoid of proven difference-makers besides Flannigan-Fowles — an issue exacerbated by the absence of senior pass rusher DeAndre’ Miller, who’s expected to miss most of August after recently undergoing foot surgery.

“If I can turn those PBUs into picks … hopefully we can get some wins,” Flannigan-Fowles said. “I can be a lot better than what I was.”

Two-back attack

Rodriguez said during last week’s Pac-12 Media Days that he’d like to play tailbacks J.J. Taylor and Nick Wilson at the same time. That might be a bit presumptuous; neither was able to remain healthy last season.

But assuming both are fit and available, Wilson embraces the idea.

“J.J.’s a weapon. I consider myself a weapon,” Wilson said. “If we’re on the field at the same time, that’s more problems people have to deal with and plan for.”

Regardless of whether the two backs play together, Rodriguez would like to utilize both. He classifies both as “starters.” A rotation never materialized last year for a variety of reasons — mainly injuries — but seems like a logical plan for 2017. Wilson, for one, is on board.

“All power to it,” Wilson said. “If we switched off, that’d be very hard to stop.”

Elsewhere on the tailback front, Rodriguez said senior Zach Green is “in the best shape of his life.” Green rushed for a career-high 126 yards in the season-ending Territorial Cup last year. The starter at that point was converted receiver Samajie Grant.

“You can’t have too many tailbacks, as we’ve seen in the past,” Rodriguez said.

More: Wildcats looking for their swagger heading into 2017

More: Who will shine in 2017? Candidates for Wildcats MVP

Extra points

• Asked what stood out the most in the first practice, Rodriguez cited the defense’s active hands. He also was impressed with the size and athleticism of the new linebackers and safeties.

• Senior DE-LB Miller entered the field about 15 minutes into practice. He had crutches and a boot on his left foot. He’s expected to miss most of camp after recently undergoing foot surgery.

• Matt Aragon worked with the wide receivers during the open period. He’s listed on the roster as punter/receiver. He began taking receiver reps in spring.

• Receiver Cam Denson, on the mend from a foot injury suffered in spring, worked with the twos at the outset of practice.

• Freshman defensive lineman Kurtis Brown, who injured his knee during his senior year of high school, participated in practice.

• The players worked out in shorts and helmets. Besides stretching, there was no interaction between the offense and defense during the half-hour open to the media.

• Arizona has five robotic dummies that can be used for tackling and other drills.

• The quarterbacks practiced pooch-punting, and freshman K’Hari Lane concluded the drill with a beautiful ball that died near the goal line. Rodriguez shouted: “That’s how we kick it!”