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Falcons' Rookie Corners Keep Impressing


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FALCONS' ROOKIE CORNERS KEEP IMPRESSING

Even though he missed much of OTAs while finishing up his degree at the University of Washington, Falcons first-round pick Desmond Trufant hasn't wasted much time getting on the field and competing. Along with second-round rookie corner Robert Alford, the two are impressing early on.

In the first day of minicamp, both corners broke up passes and did so defending Atlanta's top receivers. The coaching staff rotated players all over the roster, mixing starters with up-and-comers and potential starters throughout, but when the two cornerbacks had chances against the top WRs, they performed well. Roddy White and Julio Jones are two of the best in the league and Falcons head coach Mike Smith thinks practicing daily against those two will help Trufant and Alford more than nearly any other experience in their rookie seasons.

"They're going to be getting their training under fire because they're going to be playing against a group of wide receivers that I think are as good as any when you start talking about Julio Jones and Roddy White," Smith said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the offseason, Smith said both rookies have stood out to him when he's gotten to see them. Although Trufant was late joining the offseason activities, Alford has been with the team all along and both demonstrate the kind of cover corner capabilities that influenced the Falcons into drafting both of them with their top two picks.

"You see their skill set and their ability to play man coverage and that's one of the skillsets that we thought they had," Smith said earlier in June.

The head coach said both rookies would have every opportunity to play and early indications are a competition could be brewing between the two as they vie for a spot in the top three cornerback positions along withAsante Samuelicon-article-link.gif and Robert McClainhttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif. Smith likes the fire he's seeing out of both young players just a few months into the beginning of their NFL careers.

"I found out very quickly that those two young men are very competitive and when you've got that competitive drive I think it bodes well for you having success in the NFL," Smith said.

On Tuesday, while covering White on a deep pass, Trufant tracked the receiver into the air and broke up the completion. He fell to the ground and his excitement and that of his defensive teammates was evident. Later in the afternoon practice, Alford took his turn against White and came away with one of the few interceptions of the day. Defending White, Alford followed a pass that bounced off of White's hands and the rookie secured it.

It's still early in the process but the early returns on both of Atlanta's top picks looks positive. Jones thinks they're coming around and the experience of playing against so many strong players on Atlanta's offense will only help them. He jokingly said they were "trying", but then added what every competitor wants to hear: they come to play every single day.

"They don't give up," Jones said. "They give effort. They've got heart and that's one thing you can't teach."

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In you guy's honest opinion, would you rather have Alford playing the Nickel Back or McClain?

IMO: I like McClain and he played well last year. My only knock is that he's short (which was one of the complaints around here about Grimes). Think i'd wanna see Alford slowly put in the NB role, but I defiantly would rather it be Alford over McClain.

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In you guy's honest opinion, would you rather have Alford playing the Nickel Back or McClain?

IMO: I like McClain and he played well last year. My only knock is that he's short (which was one of the complaints around here about Grimes). Think i'd wanna see Alford slowly put in the NB role, but I defiantly would rather it be Alford over McClain.

McClain would be the nickel corner for me. He was outstanding there last year.

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Nice read. I am at total peace with Falcons CB situation for 2013 and beyond. Those guys will learn on the job, will make some mistakes, but I expect both to play well this year. If Falcons cancreate a passrush will be key to defense. and slowing the running game.

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1. Asante Samuel.

2. Desmond Trufant.

3. Robert McClain.

4. Robert Alford.

This is how I see the cornerbacks being situated on the depth chart. I really hope Trufant can be a shut down corner but I fear he may not be worth the first and third round picks.

wow please watch some UW highlights

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http://www.atlantafa...60-85037c267280

FALCONS' ROOKIE CORNERS KEEP IMPRESSING

Even though he missed much of OTAs while finishing up his degree at the University of Washington, Falcons first-round pick Desmond Trufant hasn't wasted much time getting on the field and competing. Along with second-round rookie corner Robert Alford, the two are impressing early on.

In the first day of minicamp, both corners broke up passes and did so defending Atlanta's top receivers. The coaching staff rotated players all over the roster, mixing starters with up-and-comers and potential starters throughout, but when the two cornerbacks had chances against the top WRs, they performed well. Roddy White and Julio Jones are two of the best in the league and Falcons head coach Mike Smith thinks practicing daily against those two will help Trufant and Alford more than nearly any other experience in their rookie seasons.

"They're going to be getting their training under fire because they're going to be playing against a group of wide receivers that I think are as good as any when you start talking about Julio Jones and Roddy White," Smith said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the offseason, Smith said both rookies have stood out to him when he's gotten to see them. Although Trufant was late joining the offseason activities, Alford has been with the team all along and both demonstrate the kind of cover corner capabilities that influenced the Falcons into drafting both of them with their top two picks.

"You see their skill set and their ability to play man coverage and that's one of the skillsets that we thought they had," Smith said earlier in June.

The head coach said both rookies would have every opportunity to play and early indications are a competition could be brewing between the two as they vie for a spot in the top three cornerback positions along withAsante Samuelicon-article-link.gif and Robert McClainhttp://www.atlantafalcons.com/assets/nflimg/icon-article-link.gif. Smith likes the fire he's seeing out of both young players just a few months into the beginning of their NFL careers.

"I found out very quickly that those two young men are very competitive and when you've got that competitive drive I think it bodes well for you having success in the NFL," Smith said.

On Tuesday, while covering White on a deep pass, Trufant tracked the receiver into the air and broke up the completion. He fell to the ground and his excitement and that of his defensive teammates was evident. Later in the afternoon practice, Alford took his turn against White and came away with one of the few interceptions of the day. Defending White, Alford followed a pass that bounced off of White's hands and the rookie secured it.

It's still early in the process but the early returns on both of Atlanta's top picks looks positive. Jones thinks they're coming around and the experience of playing against so many strong players on Atlanta's offense will only help them. He jokingly said they were "trying", but then added what every competitor wants to hear: they come to play every single day.

"They don't give up," Jones said. "They give effort. They've got heart and that's one thing you can't teach."

Alford made an interception on Roddy? And picked up a tipped/dropped pass? I know it's early but I really think Alford will be a big-time playmaker. Trufant will likely be more reliable, but Alford is gonna make lots of big turnover plays.

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Nice read. I am at total peace with Falcons CB situation for 2013 and beyond. Those guys will learn on the job, will make some mistakes, but I expect both to play well this year. If Falcons cancreate a passrush will be key to defense. and slowing the running game.

Agreed....can't wait to see them in action!!!
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Guest fibonacci

Regardless how great they are..... Eventually someone will get open when there is 10 seconds to throw the ball with zero pressure on the QB.

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Regardless how great they are..... Eventually someone will get open when there is 10 seconds to throw the ball with zero pressure on the QB.

agreed. this is my biggest fear. If Falcons pass rush is not significantly better than last year, Falcons defense is going to get torched again against the likes of Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Cam, etc.

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It makes me kinda of sad that either Alford or McLain will be the number 4 and not play as much but its a good problem to have I guess.

I think the 4th guy will play a lot more than you think. Considering how much Nolan keeps three CBs on the field, and assuming normal wear and tear on guys throughout the season, and rotation during the games, they will all get plenty of snaps.

If Asante or Trufant sit out any snaps, I would think you'll see Alford slide into their spot, while leaving McClain at the NB position. Alford's top-end speed makes hiim a better fit on the outside, in my opinion. Not to mention McClain did very well in the slot last year.

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Regardless how great they are..... Eventually someone will get open when there is 10 seconds to throw the ball with zero pressure on the QB.

10 seconds and no pressure? We got plenty of pressure last year it just didn't always turn into sacks. No qb we played just say in the pocket. We moved all of them off there spot. Especially the Mannings and the Breeses and straight pocket passers. Pressure and sack isn't the same thing. If these young guys are the truth the pressure will turn into sacks because that extra split second needed to get to the guy on the ground will be there.

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10 seconds and no pressure? We got plenty of pressure last year it just didn't always turn into sacks. No qb we played just say in the pocket. We moved all of them off there spot. Especially the Mannings and the Breeses and straight pocket passers. Pressure and sack isn't the same thing. If these young guys are the truth the pressure will turn into sacks because that extra split second needed to get to the guy on the ground will be there.

This. Plus hopefully with Peters being bigger and playing the 1, the pocket will start collapsing from the inside.

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Excited. Now only if we can hear something similar about our young DEs. I know they can't make contact, but still.

Yep I am not worried about our rookie corners as I really like them both, I am concerned about pass rush.

In you guy's honest opinion, would you rather have Alford playing the Nickel Back or McClain? IMO: I like McClain and he played well last year. My only knock is that he's short (which was one of the complaints around here about Grimes). Think i'd wanna see Alford slowly put in the NB role, but I defiantly would rather it be Alford over McClain.

I want McClain he did everything we need I don't think Alford can improve on what McClain did.

Alford will be a good rotation (And knowing Asante's injury history he will contribute a fair bit) and a return guy.

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I dont remember this much good pub coming out when Houston was coming out...but nobody really knows till the lights come on and the hitting really starts.

True. I think what will help is having to practice against our offense everyday. Houston didn't have to battle a Julio everyday at practice. Makes a difference when you battle a beast everyday.

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