Jump to content

Falcons Cornerback Robert Alford Intent On Taking Game To New Level


Recommended Posts

The prideful side of Robert Alford wants to show everyone he can excel outside at cornerback. But Alford refuses to be selfish about his role in the Atlanta Falcons' revamped defense.

He knows the Falcons drafted a cornerback in Jalen Collins who is talented enough to make an immediate impact outside. He realizes the coaches could ask him to slide down into the slot and play the nickelback role, if Collins emerges upon his return from foot surgery. Potential Pro Bowler Desmond Trufant already has one side locked down.

"I'd love to play outside and nickel," Alford said. "I told the coaches I'd love to play both. Wherever they need me, I'm willing to play. As long as I'm on the field being able to compete and show my talent, I feel good."

Alford has impressed coach Dan Quinn with his play outside. Quinn said there was talk about moving Alford to free safety, but those discussions subsided after Quinn watched Alford compete at cornerback.

"I do like the intensity that Robert plays with," Quinn said. "I think every time you've got more of those, that's good."

Quinn is known for liking those tall, rangy cornerbacks in the mold of Richard Sherman for his defensive scheme. That's why the Falcons drafted the 6-foot-1, 203-pound Collins. That's the reason Quinn converted free safety Dezmen Southward (6-1, 210) to cornerback, although Southward's growth at the position will be stunted following knee surgery.

But Alford, at 5-10, doesn't subscribe to the theory that smaller cornerbacks will have issues in today's NFL world of supersized receivers.

"Something I've always gone off of is, I used to watch [Darrelle] Revis, and Revis is not 6 foot and he's not 6-3," Alford said. "He's 5-10, just like I am. It's not how tall you are. It's not how long you are. It's not how fast you are. It's whoever has the right fundamentals and whoever has that heart deep inside and wants to go out there and grind and compete.

"As far as grinding and competing, I feel like that's me. I just have to go out there and show the coaches that I deserve to be out there."

Alford is taking the necessary steps to elevate his game. First, he's worked diligently to improve his technique after drawing four pass-interference penalties, three defensive holds and one illegal-contact penalty last season. The rebuilding process started with offseason workouts alongside close friend and former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark.

"My focus is just to work on my technique," Alford said. "Last year, I had some penalties. I'm just coming in and getting my technique and fundamentals right. It's just about putting [your hands] in the right frame of the receiver. You can't get your hands outside of him because they'll call holding. When I went out there to work out with Ryan, that's something that we specialized on when doing drills."

Then Alford sat down with Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel and went over all 10 games he played last season before suffering a season-ending broken wrist.

"We looked at the games when I was in press technique, and he just coached me from there," Alford said of Manuel. "I was with him each and every day and we'd just watch a game at a time. He just told me what he thought I could improve. Every game, he had something to coach me on. That's just him as a coach. He's always going to find something. You're never going to have a 100 percent good game."

The goal for Alford, of course, is to have the positives outweigh the negatives. So far, he's off to a good start under the new staff.

"I know deep inside what I can do and what I can bring to the team," Alford said. "All I can do is go compete."

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/13632/falcons-cornerback-robert-alford-intent-on-taking-game-to-new-level

Edited by FentayeJones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are lots of folks on this board who already consider Alford a bust. Personally, I still think he's going to be a good corner.

I think his issue is mainly just focus. When he's in the game he loses focus on playing with proper technique, which leads to all of his penalties. As far as physical attributes go, he's definitely capable of being a solid starter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh man, just letting the videos PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL and this Terrence Moore (think that's his name) guy is a straight up Falcon hater. What a *****.

You don't remember Terance Moore from his AJC days? He LOVES bashing the Falcons and race baiting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are lots of folks on this board who already consider Alford a bust. Personally, I still think he's going to be a good corner.

I think his issue is mainly just focus. When he's in the game he loses focus on playing with proper technique, which leads to all of his penalties. As far as physical attributes go, he's definitely capable of being a solid starter.

You might be including me in this group because I have expressed concern about Alf. With that said, I don't think anybody should get a bust score before the end of the three year evaluation period. Well this will be his third year. He needs to show marked improvement. In the games he's started, he has gotten lit up. He's racked up penalties and allowed TDs at an alarming rate. If he doesn't improve those two areas he could fall in the vast wasteland of Dimi cornerbaks with the likes of Crisp Owens, Chevis Regal and Fair Catch Franks. If that happens Quinn will likely be looking for another long corner to replace him sooner than later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought we reached a bit for Alford in the second round a couple years ago. I honestly didn't even know much about him and I follow the draft (at least the first few rounds) very closely. When we drafted him I liked the idea of double dipping at corner since we were losing/lost Grimes and Robinson, but I wasn't thrilled with the pick because of my ignorance about him.

He really impressed me his rookie year and although he seemed to regress last year, most of that was due to his penalties. I think Mike Smith was grasping at straws last year and abandoned his "no penalty" style of play because the entire team had more penalties than I remember them having in the whole Mike Smith era. Maybe part of Alford's regression came from a flip flop in philosophy from the coaching staff.

All I know now is that I think he has the talent to be good and I'm nowhere close to where some of these posters are who have given up on him. I think him moving inside could really accentuate his talents and if Collins can be what we hope he can, we would have a shutdown guy on one side, a tall, fast, playmaker on the other side, and Alford on the inside taking care of these little fast slot receivers.

I think our CB position is doing just fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quinn seems to really have a lot of these guys scared they will lose their jobs if they don't step up. I really like the way he is fostering competition and making guys hungry. This is not unheard of when management changes but still he really is putting people on notice that if you want to play, you need to impress. NO SACRED COWS!!!

Save for maybe the Ryan, Bryant, Bosher, Trufant and Julio. Even Roddy should be a little concerned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Penalties at corner happen when guys don't (or the scheme doesn't allow them to) anticipate routes and they have to grab because they are not in great position. Another scheme change could break Alford, or simplify his mind to let him shine. He has speed and athleticism, he's got to put it together - or h'll not play.

One thing I believe Quinn understands is playing guys with the most talent. They don't have to be perfect, they just have to get the job done, UDFA or 1st rounder nobody is a lock. Think if Wilson was kept on the bench by Carroll because he was a low rounder and they had the big money be for the Green Bay guy. But they let the play determine the starters. They would probably just be an average team with a great defense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ohhhh its that guy! Man he is terrible!

Total buttwad. He bashed the Falcons and their fans every chance he could. When I saw this video after the penalties announced, it ticked me off that he took another chance to suggest 'this makes the Falcons and the city of Atlanta look sillier'. He went off subject to take a shot and was the only person who seemed to hold that opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aggressive cornerbacks need to play with sound fundamentals or they're going to get burned or commit penalties. It's okay to be a ball hawk, but a good QB with an experienced WR will definitely make you pay for it. Here's hoping Marquand can get into Alf's head with CB101 so he can instinctively do what he needs to do. We don't want him thinking about it out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Alford could be a top-notch Nickel. Outside, I think he struggles with the top WRs, and that leads to desperation penalties. I think his skills and body type are a better fit inside. I also think it will give him better opportunities to make plays on the ball, which is a strength. This is not a knock- a NB is still basically a starter, and he provides great depth outside.

As for Roddy- love him. But I'd be ok with him making the transition to be strictly a possession receiver at this point. He's lost a lot of his burst and quickness, but still has the strength, savvy, and reliability to get the first downs. Outside on 2 WR sets, then move him inside on 3 or 4 WR sets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a little perspective.

According to the web site - The Football Database - Brandon Browner had 13 penalties. Buster Skrine had 12. Patrick Peterson had 10. Joe Haden had 9. Janoris Jenkins had 8. Byron Maxwell had 8. Tharold Simon had 8.

Trufant had 4 and Alford had 5 penalties. 5 isn't good but he is far from the worst DB as far as penalties.

Edited by FentayeJones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The theory is that Hankerson was brought into push Roddy and someday move into that spot. Of course that means Ryan moving on from his all time favorite target. Also it has been said that Roddy's laid back style of practice may not sit well with the new regime. Either way he is an all time Falcon great who has earned his place at 34 to do his thing, but times change, I suppose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a little perspective.

According to the web site - The Football Database - Brandon Browner had 13 penalties. Buster Skrine had 12. Patrick Peterson had 10. Joe Haden had 9. Janoris Jenkins had 8. Byron Maxwell had 8. Tharold Simon had 8.

Trufant had 4 and Alford had 5 penalties. 5 isn't good but he is far from the worst DB as far as penalties.

It just seems elevated for alf because the times his penalties were commited and because we were playing bad. If we were 13-3/12-4 last season nobody would even be talking about he commits a lot of penalties. Everything is in a microscope when the team is playing bad. That's why I keep saying line him up in man and have him follow his man around. He played well in man. Zone was where his problems lie mostly. Technique and footwork was his issue last season. Also overthinking. Quinn's system is simple and he can play fast. Cover 1 or cover 3. Nothing to think about.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a little perspective.

According to the web site - The Football Database - Brandon Browner had 13 penalties. Buster Skrine had 12. Patrick Peterson had 10. Joe Haden had 9. Janoris Jenkins had 8. Byron Maxwell had 8. Tharold Simon had 8.

Trufant had 4 and Alford had 5 penalties. 5 isn't good but he is far from the worst DB as far as penalties.

Actually Alf had eight penalties. Three were declined because the result was better. The part you're leaving out is he missed several games due to injury. If you calculate a penalty per target ratio he was pretty bad. In his defense, he had to deal with the new holding rule. Trufant didn't have a big issue with it though. Check out Alf's TDs allowed per target ratio. Just as alarming. His passer rating allowed was bad too. If you're not a stat guy, just watch the tapes.

Dude has the physical ability. He needs to improve his technique. In man and zone. He had issues in both. I'm pulling for him. We all need to pray to the football gods for divine intervention. The last thing we need is a second round CB bust. Not with Eddie Lacy still on the board. I'm sure GB jumped for joy when we took Alf. They snapped up Lacy with the very next pick. Many TATFers had Lacy high their wish list. I think I remember G-Dawg taking him in the first round in one of his early mocks. That might have been the year he had 34 mocks though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually Alf had eight penalties. Three were declined because the result was better. The part you're leaving out is he missed several games due to injury. If you calculate a penalty per target ratio he was pretty bad. In his defense, he had to deal with the new holding rule. True didn't have a big issue with it. Check out his TDs allowed to targets ratio. Just as alarming. His passer rating allowed was bad too. If you're not a stat guy, just watch the tapes.

Dude has the physical ability. He needs to improve his technique. In man and zone. He had issues in both. I'm pulling for him. We all need to pray to the football gods for divine intervention. The last thing we need is a second round CB bust. Not with Eddie Lacy still on the board. I'm sure GB jumped for joy when we took Alf. They snapped up Lacy with the very next pick. Many TATFers had Lacy high their wish list.

No doubt. There are definitely parts of Alford's game that he need to work on. I think a lot more was made of his penalties because number 1- they happened at bad times and number 2- they resulted in a whole lot of yards. I think the guy is talented and is going to be a very good corner once it all comes together for him. By all accounts, he's been working hard on his game this off season. Edited by FentayeJones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...