Ask the Seattle Seahawks. Ask the New England Patriots.
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While you’re at it, ask Chip Kelly and the Eagles how important it is to have a shutdown cornerback.
In Atlanta, Desmond Trufant has that responsibility. In his two years of NFL experience, he has met expectations, aggravated wide receivers and made quarterbacks look foolish for challenging his side.
In this column, I will go in depth on how new head coach Dan Quinn will put Trufant in position to take his skills to a higher level.
Coach Quinn’s 4-3 under scheme requires a lot of Cover 3 coverage. It’s critical for the corners to have the speed to cover the flats and curls but also stretch their zone and cover their deep third. Most Cover 3 schemes also have a tendency to field cornerbacks with size.
Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) intercepts a pass for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Why you ask?
Because the fact that short routes may become vulnerable, a big corner would be depended on making the necessary tackle to prevent yards after the catch.
Trufant brings good corner size at 6’0″ and 190 pounds. His instincts, along with the fluidity in his hips to make the turn and cover his portion, makes Trufant very useful in Quinn’s scheme.
Let me guess.
You’re questioning Trufant’s ball skills?
With five interceptions and 33 pass deflections over his first two seasons, it’s safe to say that Trufant can make a play on the ball. It’s just a matter of converting that effort into turnovers; this can be coached and definitely will be with new secondary coach Raheem Morris.
Quinn will help Trufant become an even better tackler which is an absolute must in Quinn’s scheme.
Trufant doesn’t fit the prototype measurables that Richard Sherman possesses as he is three inches shorter and a few pounds lighter. However, this does not take away from the impact he can have in year three. Falcons fans are confident those pass deflections will turn into interceptions.
Entering his third year, he has already become a concrete name in the debate of best cornerbacks in the league. With the knowledge of Quinn, Trufant will use year three as a chance to earn a comfortable seat in that debate.