This is my fourth year covering the Philadelphia Eagles for Philly Sports Network. During my time analyzing every game and trying to further my knowledge of the sport itself, I’ve developed a real secondary love and passion for the defensive back, more notably, cornerbacks. I can’t exactly explain where that love came from, but from running a series that analyzed tape of the Eagles corners on a weekly basis in 2016 certainly helped me understand what it takes to play the position successfully.
It’s the hardest position to play on defense. Trusted on an Island, it’s a position that will turn a player into a hero or a villain. A position that will see their play highlighted for years to come, or lost in the depths of an angry fanbase. Reputations as a lockdown corner or burned toast loom large over players willing to put themselves in a one-on-one against the NFL’s elite receivers and that’s what excites me.
When the Eagles signed Patrick Robinson and I turned on the tape for the first time, I was mesmerized. How a player can be so strong for the Colts yet so weak one season later puzzled me. His backpedal was the smoothest I had ever seen and his instincts were just remarkable. But what changed? Why was he struggling so much in Training Camp? I’d figured it out, realizing that his potential lay inside, where he played his best football of his career, as opposed to his weaknesses being exploited beyond the numbers. This was the first bold take I’d really made; that Robinson was the team’s most underrated signing. A prediction made in the midst of being absolutely drilled by writers and fans alike during Training Camp. But then came the Ronald Darby trade. A move that pushed Robinson inside by default. The rest, as they say, was history.
I wanted to really expand my knowledge. I talked to various DB coaches throughout the CFL and college ranks as well as a few NFL scouts and analysts. Keen to find out what makes a great corner, a ‘system corner’, a ‘breakfast corner’ a ‘dinner corner’, I became almost obsessed with seeing how these men could recover from embarrassing plays. Could they overcome adversity to make an impact just moments later? What’s the difference between a good and bad backpedal? Does length really matter?
After a year of asking so many questions and trying to learn as much about what is asked of corners in a variety of defenses, I turned to this year’s draft class and wanted to put something together. This guide isn’t written for anybody in particular, but I devoted so much time and effort into breaking down 3 games of every cornerback who was invited to the NFL Combine so that I could further understand the intricacies that make the position one of the most exciting to watch on any given Sunday.
I couldn’t have done this without the help of draftbreakdown.com. I don’t know who runs this website or how many dedicate
hours and hours into creating player-specific tape videos, but they really are changing the landscape as we know it. These videos are all over YouTube and of course on their website and I could not urge you to visit them enough. They do some
marvelous work and without them, this guide would simply not have been made and I would not have been able to sink so many hours into analyzing prospects over and over again.
I also wanted to thank my family, my friends and my fellow Philly Sports Network writers for being so patient. These last few months have been beyond challenging personally and to be working two jobs and find the time to put this together has been a real grind.
I’d like to think it’s shaped me into a better person and more importantly given this guide a sense of analysis you won’t find anywhere else. But without their support keeping me on track, motivated and hungry, it would never have been completed.
Finally, I wanted to thank you. For taking the time to download this. I’m a 23-year old writer based in England, to think that people actually want to read what I write is still a little bit staggering to me and I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over it. But it means the world to me and I really hope this guide gives you a different perspective on these players.
Blood, sweat and tears went into this. Literally. This is a free guide because I believe that everybody should have access to something like this and I would absolutely hate to make anyone feel they have to pay for subjective analysis. However, if you do feel that you want to donate a little something, my PayPal is email@example.com. Alternatively, if you wish to contact me with regards to anything in or about this guide or Philly Sports Network, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. My Twitter handle is @LiamJenkins21.
I feel incredibly proud of this guide. It’s something I’ve devoted near enough every ounce of free time to over the last two months and I really do hope you enjoy it. Thank you for believing in me and for taking time out of your busy schedules to download this. Enjoy!