View Full Version : Looks like Carl got to Dan Pompei...

02-02-2005, 11:26 AM
...and is laying the groundwork for not trying to improve this offseason.

Off-season advice: Pass on the corners
Dan Pompei

After passers torched secondaries and record books this season, the anticipated reaction this offseason is a cornerback grab. Teams will treat corners like Valentine's dates, sparing no expense to win their hearts. They will draft them, fight over them, trade for them and pay them as if they were rock stars.

What teams should do, however, is give cornerbacks the cold shoulder. Never have cornerbacks been less valuable than they are today.

Don't agree? Take a look at the New England Patriots on Sunday. They'll be lining up with an undrafted rookie who wasn't good enough to start in college, Randall Gay. On nickel defenses they'll bring in a veteran wide receiver who was moved to cornerback out of desperation, Troy Brown.

Still don't agree? A number of coaches and personnel men I spoke with didn't agree with my theory, either.

But listen to Dallas coach Bill Parcells. Has the cornerback position been devalued, Bill? "Absolutely. I think a lot of people share that sentiment. Unless they alter the rulebook, I'm not sure corners can make the difference they once did."

With the way the NFL is enforcing pass interference rules, the cornerback with elite skills doesn't have much of an advantage over the cornerback with ordinary skills. Not one NFL cornerback had a dominant season in 2004. Show me a corner in the league who can shut down an elite receiver by himself. Chris McAlister of the Ravens couldn't prevent Terrell Owens from catching eight balls for 101 yards. Champ Bailey wasn't bad in his first season in Denver, but he helped make Chad Johnson of the Bengals a Pro Bowler, and Jerry Porter of the Raiders will be a rich man in part because of how he lit up Bailey. The Redskins lost Bailey, considered the premier cover man in football, and improved from the 20th-ranked pass defense to the seventh. Ty Law has proved so irreplaceable that the Patriots have gone 10-1 without him.

The NFL's message to cornerbacks this season was clear: Hands off!
A corner such as Bailey who switches teams can't come close to making the kind of impact that a receiver such as Randy Moss might make if he is traded.

"Receivers are in control of what they do," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says. "A cornerback is dependent on the opponent and the focus of the offense. Nobody can come in and do what Terrell Owens did."

The way to contain elite receivers is with zone coverage and the kind of team defense the Patriots play. That doesn't require cornerbacks of high pedigree.

"There are a lot of guys who can play cover 2 corner," Houston general manager Charley Casserly says. "It seems to me you're playing in a box area, so speed and pure athletic ability to cover aren't going to be at the top of the list. You get some cover 2 corners in space and they can't cover, but in the box they are effective."

Big corners who like to play physically, such as Oakland's Charles Woodson, have less value because they can't grab and push as much as they used to. Teams in search of corners who can play man-to-man should take a closer look at the more athletic prospects in the draft such as West Virginia's Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, who could be the first corner taken. Other first-round possibilities are Antrel Rolle of Miami, Justin Miller of Clemson, Carlos Rogers of Auburn and Eric Green of Virginia Tech.

None of the corners at the Senior Bowl last week appeared capable of shutting down a top NFL receiver. Jones, Rolle and Miller weren't in the game. "It was a pretty average group," one personnel man says.

General managers who think they're going to find a cornerback to solve all their problems are going to be disappointed. My advice to general managers is the same as it is to quarterbacks: Pass on the corners.

Source (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/3365258)

02-02-2005, 11:29 AM
The last thing we need is Carl using logic to decide who to go after in free agency!

02-02-2005, 11:29 AM
He's right.

We would be stupid to blow our wad on corners.

02-02-2005, 11:31 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Pompei here.

We do need to upgrade talent in the secondary, but if the choice is between LB or CB, I'm taking LB.

02-02-2005, 11:32 AM
We need one corner, and LB in FA.

02-02-2005, 11:36 AM
We need one corner, and LB in FA.

And a LB and DE in the draft.

This is a scenario I would be very happy with.

Ultra Peanut
02-02-2005, 11:38 AM
What's so amusing about ass-clenching terror?

The Bad Guy
02-02-2005, 11:39 AM
John Clayton said a second rounder would get Patrick Surtan away from Miami.

I would do this yesterday - Surtain is a stud.

Even if you pass on them, you still need good coaches to coach them how to play the position. We don't have that so we have to go out and get one that can play.

02-02-2005, 11:40 AM
No way. A second rounder for Surtan. Teams would have already made that deal.

02-02-2005, 12:29 PM
John Clayton said a second rounder would get Patrick Surtan away from Miami.

I would do this yesterday - Surtain is a stud.

Even if you pass on them, you still need good coaches to coach them how to play the position. We don't have that so we have to go out and get one that can play.

Funny that even though a lot of stud CB's got used this year the mindset is that an excellent CB isn't necessry...


That's what makes a CB even MORE necessary. Our 2nd and 3rd CB's shouldn't even be able to make the team.

And DE is an afterthought. Hicks WILL start next year, don't kid youself. Allen will start. WTF is this other DE going to play?

We seriously need to upgrade at OLB or MLB. I think Caver is OK as a starter, but in a perfect world he'd stay a back up. If we have to snag a stud at one or the other I'd go with the stud at MLB...

1)Stud CB
2)Stud MLB
3)Stud OLB

02-02-2005, 12:32 PM
Pompei didn't have Bartee on his team!