We wrap up our look at the defense at a position where we have the most question marks: cornerback.
If you haven’t read Longhorn Scott’s post on Diaz’s defense, do it now. What we’re going to ask of our cornerbacks is slightly different from before and some of the characteristics that we used to almost singularly value (can we put this guy on an island with minimal responsibility and expectation of help?) will be blended with other considerations (understanding team coverage concepts, reliable tackling on underneath routes, pattern recognition). The Diaz defense is like a basketball defense where you have to trust that your teammates will switch and hedge correctly – it’s not about you vs. receiver so much as team coverage vs. their routes.
The good news is that we have nine guys vying for two jobs (or three, if you include the nickel) and most of them are talented athletes, several with NFL potential. The bad news is that we have almost no experience, youngsters in the secondary don’t mature in a predictable ways (remember when Michael Huff, Curtis Brown, Stanley Richard, and Cedric Griffin were fan whipping boys?) and they’re going to be playing in new schemes in a league where they’ll be facing the likes of Fuller, Broyles, Blackmon, Stills, and Moe. Not to mention an early baptism under fire against BYU.
Let’s break up the corners into depth chart knowns: (more…)