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Corner and Safety: Mutually Exclusive Skillsets?

 
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blueswedeshoes


Joined: 08 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Corner and Safety: Mutually Exclusive Skillsets? Reply with quote

I know I have a rudimentary understanding of the different responsibilities of cornerbacks and safeties. I would like to have my friends here explain to me why defensive backs of similar size and combine numbers are rarely thought of as interchangeable in the two positions.

One six foot 200 pound player is a corner and the next one is a safety. NFL scouts seem to know by a player's senior year whether he projects to corner, safety, or the rare "both".

My question is...why? Why can't a big strong corner be a safety? Why can't a backup safety with excellent coverage skills move outside to corner if needed to fill in due to injury. What are these exclusionary and definitive factors that group defensive backs into one position or the other?
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justo


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on the traits. I don't even all corners have the same type of skill sets. It's why you see House line up as an outside corner with Hyde/Hayward in the slot, even when they've both out produced House. It depends on the system, too.

FS-think of this guy as a center fielder. Needs to have a fast read/react component.

SS-tends to cover TE/RB man to man more than the FS/CBs, bigger and more run orientated than any non-cover 2 corner.

Boundary CB-most of the time needs to have better man coverage. Speed is important here. Can't let someone catch deep passes because of lack of speed, because they'll just keep doing it.

Slot CB-can be quicker than fast, but speed never hurt anyone. typically not covering deep man, and if he is, there's a safety hovering over top, so elite speed here isn't absolutely needed.

Not sure if that's what you're looking for, but there's that.
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HyponGrey


Joined: 23 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to mention the looks are a bit different from each spot.
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vang_evo9


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know It took him a while, but what made Collins such a successful convert other than his blazing speed?
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Pugger


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great thread and I look forward to our more knowledgeable posters giving us insight here.
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AlexGreen#20


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vang_evo9 wrote:
I know It took him a while, but what made Collins such a successful convert other than his blazing speed?




For emphasis on how LULZ fast Nick Collins was, that's every DB from last year's class with their 10 measured against their 40. Look at how Collins ten yard split speed is actually pretty bad, but then look at the overall 40 time. When Nick Collins got going, that guy FLEW

I've got my own ideas on this topic, but I want to hear other people's first.
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Dunderhead


Joined: 13 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least someone asks a question instead of acting like an expert, that's respectable. Hopefully Palmy comes here, but if he doesn't he kinda answered this question a few months back, right before the draft.

The major difference, if I remember right, is that safeties have a different way of attacking plays with angles and their angles of sight as plays develop.

Now this probably explains the difference between corners that play man or press and their difference from safeties, but not so much with corners that mostly zone. But that's the best of what I remember of Palmy's answer. Again, hopefully he shows up and makes this explanation easy peasy.
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Dubyajay


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at BSS question about the difference between the 2 positions, I'd say you can start and end in their hips. A corner will be able to drop his hips, and stay low in his backpeddle and have a very smooth transition when he flips to run with a receiver. The safety- not so much. You will see this at the combine in the position drills, guys like Honey Badger look really smooth in that transition, whereas others tend to struggle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQm-ekA6cA0

Guys in college may play CB with strong speed and poor technique all b/c of their speed, but they can't make the transition to the NFL. Look for guys who bend at the waist instead of dropping their hips and 'sitting' in their peddle. Those guys- if they have a stout enough body and a good eye for the ball- may get converted to Safety.

Now you may look at a lanky guy like Al Harris where he relies on his upper body to jam and redirect guys off the line. A better player manned up on a receiver, who would really suffer in a zone or off. However, you couldn't just slap him into a safety role because he really didn't have a strong or stout enough body to stand up to the physicality of the position.

Just my untrained understanding and opinion.

If you check out this video, at about the 8 min mark you will see the transition and be able to understand why some guy just have trouble with making that break,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fRYcKPGK9o

Some guys just don't have that smooth transitions in the hips (not enough flection?).
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Mazrimiv


Joined: 01 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So based on all of this, does Hyde seem like a player who could play S?
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blueswedeshoes


Joined: 08 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justo wrote:
It depends on the traits. I don't even all corners have the same type of skill sets. It's why you see House line up as an outside corner with Hyde/Hayward in the slot, even when they've both out produced House. It depends on the system, too.

FS-think of this guy as a center fielder. Needs to have a fast read/react component.

SS-tends to cover TE/RB man to man more than the FS/CBs, bigger and more run orientated than any non-cover 2 corner.

Boundary CB-most of the time needs to have better man coverage. Speed is important here. Can't let someone catch deep passes because of lack of speed, because they'll just keep doing it.

Slot CB-can be quicker than fast, but speed never hurt anyone. typically not covering deep man, and if he is, there's a safety hovering over top, so elite speed here isn't absolutely needed.

Not sure if that's what you're looking for, but there's that.


Yes. That is a great start. It seems that the subtle differences that slot players into one kind of defensive back or another are physical differences that cannot be overcome by training or study. Sometimes you get freaks like the Woodsons--Rod and Charles--and the skills are dialed up to nine everywhere.
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blueswedeshoes


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunderhead wrote:


...The major difference, if I remember right, is that safeties have a different way of attacking plays with angles and their angles of sight as plays develop...



I've heard that said about safeties, that they play facing the ball. Safeties needing a talent for choosing angles makes a lot of sense. THAT skill seems like it could be learned over a year or two if a team had the patience to stay with a player in that transition.

(In Sharper's first couple of seasons he more than once missed his aim point by a foot, flew like an arrow into one of our cornerbacks, and knocked his teammate off of the receiver for a big gain. He wasn't afraid of contact, but he sometimes made contact on a guy with the same shirt color.)
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