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Interesting article on safety options

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Interesting article on safety options

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:39 pm

from http://trainathought.insidefootball.com/2009/10/ltte-special-analyzing-the-safety-situation.html

Thursday, October 22, 2009

LTTE Special: Analyzing the Safety Situation

Yesterday I received a letter to the editor from Charles C., a subscriber, and rather than print the letter, I gave a rather cryptic answer because I was in the process of gathering information on the very same topic Charles asked about.

Here is the letter Charles submitted…

What are the attributes that separate a safety from a CB? As you know which way this question is headed; do you think any of our CB's can play safety?

I consulted with Inside Football’s senior analyst Bob Folger. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Inside Football, we are a publication that’s been around since the mid 1970s and which is only available via subscription(in print and via online). Every week during the season, we break down the individual performances of the players, the game strategy (pre and post game) and the game itself.

Anyway, here’s a little snippet of what we typically try to bring to our readers every week in terms of our analysis…

The general consensus is that a player who has experience playing the nickel back role is probably the best candidate for consideration to move from corner to safety because in many ways, there is overlap between what the nickel back does and what a safety does.

As readers know, the nickel back lines up against the slot receiver, an alignment that brings him close to the tackle box and therefore the ball. Simply because of proximity of where he lines up in relationship to the ball, the nickel back has more run responsibilities than a corner that’s split wide, so one of the things he needs to do is to keep his head on a swivel.

By contrast, a pure outside corner’s primary responsibility is to be ready for the pass first, and serve as the last line of defense should a runner make it into the defensive backfield. So in terms of recognition, the safety and nickel corner, as it’s set in the Giants defense, need to be able to recognize what the offense is doing whereas an outside corner stays with his assigned man and can abandon the play one it’s been determined that it’s going to be a run.

So that brings up the question of who, amongst the Giants’ cornerbacks, might be a fit for the safety spot if the Giants were to make such a move?

For a clue, let’s look at a Q&A exchange between Tom Coughlin and the press during his Monday press conference, as follows:

Q: Have you thought about moving corners to the safety position?
A: I sure would like to get our whole roster back.

Q: Is that something that you might have to wait for until you get Aaron Ross back?
A: That is not for me to say just yet.

If Ross is indeed to answer to the Giants’ problems, it would make a world of sense from our perspective. Ross doesn’t shy away from contact and he’s very instinctive, which are two qualities you’d like to have in your safeties. And he has pro level experience as the team’s nickel back, having played that role earlier in his career.

As Folger opined, "What made Ross such a good nickel back in the past was his exceptional run instincts. His reactions against the run are unusually quick to the point where he always seems to beat his block. He also takes great angles which puts him in a good position to make a tackle.

“Half the battle of tackling is getting to the "point of attack" on time; if you get there late, you become vulnerable. When you get there early, you're beating the back to the punch, before he can make a move; hence you’re beating the play."

Folger further believes that Ross' tackling and run superb run instincts are exceptional for a cornerback. "His talents are almost wasted out on an island, as his tackling is pretty much neutralized out there -- though he's a great force corner on the edge, when given the chance, again primarily because he's so quick to diagnose a play."

An obvious question/concern about moving Ross to safety (until Kenny Phillips comes back next year) is size. Ross doesn’t possess the ideal size of a prototypical safety. However, Folger doesn’t see that as a problem.

“(Baltimore’s) Ed Reed is not much bigger than Ross if at all. You don't have to have this big physical build to be a good-tackling safety. Reed isn't a particularly great tackler himself, but his speed and instincts are off-the-charts.

“Getting Ross' speed on the field at safety would also give defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a weapon to mix and match against coverage and allow for more creative blitzing packages."
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Re: Interesting article on safety options

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:20 am

nice article

thanks
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Re: Interesting article on safety options

Post  Big_Pete on Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:14 pm

I actually like the idea of Ross at safety

I must admit that I was looking at shifting Thomas, but Ross makes sense.

Long Term I like the idea of pairing Ross at FS with Phillips at SS with Johnson as the #3 safety and getting time in sub packages with Rouse
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