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Trufant Believes He Is Elite


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Desmond Trufant is confident. No question about it.

His swagger is evident simply in his strut. His play on the football field screams, "Go ahead, try me again."

That being said, the third year Atlanta Falcons cornerback isn't one to run off at the mouth in the same fashion Antonio Cromartie did recently toward Richard Sherman. Trufant doesn't go around discrediting someone else's game to enhance his own.

However, Trufant is not ashamed to thrust himself into the conversation about the league's elite cornerbacks. Such was the topic of discussion this week when Trufant was told of ESPN analyst and former NFL executive Mark Dominik referring to him as "a good football player" but not a Top 5 cornerback. Dominik's assessment was on the heels of his 32-team free-agent list of players any team would want to have on its roster.

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Falcons Desmond Trufant believes he's among elite corners

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Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Desmond Trufant is confident. No question about it.

His swagger is evident simply in his strut. His play on the football field screams, "Go ahead, try me again."

That being said, the third year Atlanta Falcons cornerback isn't one to run off at the mouth in the same fashion Antonio Cromartie did recently toward Richard Sherman. Trufant doesn't go around discrediting someone else's game to enhance his own.

However, Trufant is not ashamed to thrust himself into the conversation about the league's elite cornerbacks. Such was the topic of discussion this week when Trufant was told of ESPN analyst and former NFL executive Mark Dominik referring to him as "a good football player" but not a Top 5 cornerback. Dominik's assessment was on the heels of his 32-team free-agent list of players any team would want to have on its rosterInsider.

"I definitely feel like I'm up there with the elite," Desmond Trufant said. "But I'm also getting better every day. I haven't reached my prime yet, but I'm close to it. So, it's coming. It's coming." (Chris Graythen/Getty Images

"I don't really look into all of what everybody is saying," Trufant said. "I feel like if they're not saying I'm the best, then it really doesn't matter. I know where my ceiling is. I know how far I can take this.

"I definitely feel like I'm up there with the elite. But I'm also getting better every day. I haven't reached my prime yet, but I'm close to it. So, it's coming. It's coming."

Trufant didn't hesitate when asked to name his list of elite cornerbacks.

"I'd say Sherm (Sherman), (Darrelle) Revis, (Joe) Haden," Trufant said. "I like Vontae Davis. But I feel like I'm right there with those guys. I know I definitely have more to prove, and I'm going to do that.

"It's all love. Like I said, my goal is to be the best. So that's what I'm working for every day."

Of the four cornerbacks he mentioned, there is one in particular Trufant tries to emulate more than the others.

"Just technically, I would say Revis," Trufant said. "His technique is off the charts. That's what makes him great. He's patient. He's strong at the line. ... And I watched Sherm for a long time. He played with my brother (Marcus), so I've seen him develop into what he is. I would say those two guys."

Trufant's relentless pursuit of perfection is reason to believe his ascent will continue. He was solid as a rookie in 2013 although he would be the first to admit he dropped a few interceptions. Then last year, Trufant was called upon to shadow top receivers such as Baltimore's Steve Smith, Cleveland's Josh Gordon, and Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin. He finished the season with 61 tackles, 16 passes defensed, three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Pro Football Focus had Trufant No. 6 in their final cornerback rankings.

So what is Trufant's primary focus under new coach Dan Quinn?

"Just patience," he said. "I know speed is one of my strengths, and sometimes I kind of play too fast. So I'm just trying to control my speed; be patient. I'm just trying to focus on the small details in my technique: footwork, hand placement, things like that. It's coming."

Assistant head coach Raheem Morris, the coordinator of the pass defense, would say Trufant has arrived, based on first impressions.

"I've got to be honest: I was pleasantly surprised by Trufant, and not because of his athletic ability," Morris said. "It's his in-the-classroom ability and his above-the-neck ability; how smart he is and what he brings to the game."

Quinn was asked about Trufant being a shut-down corner in this new defensive system, which will rely on a lot more press coverage.

"Yeah, we played a lot of three-deep in terms of a style and a scheme that we play, but really both Robert (Alford) and Tru and Jalen (Collins) and the (other) guys, it's a skill we play at corner," Quinn said. "The biggest thing for those guys is getting their hands on people where we can stay on top.

"The competitor in Robert and Tru is the thing probably that stands out the most to me. And I think with all top players, that's one of the common threads."

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/13823/atlanta-falcons-desmond-trufant-believes-hes-among-elite-corners

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He's right

I think it's funny how the top corners jaw so much between each other on who's the best, meanwhile there are 5+ legitimate guys at WR who could claim to be the best but none of em get into that sh*t

Glad Tru doesn't bother with it

yeah players at the same position bickering is silly to me. I prefer a CB vs wr or lb vs RB,guys who will actually get the chance to **** the other up
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Ok he's said it.. now go Prove it on the field this year.

I believe he is close but not quite there yet. Perhaps a better pass rush this season will help him out tremendously and he will even exceed his own expectations

imo, the pass rush wasn't holding him back. He held his own without a pass rush. He just can't hold on to balls that should be interceptions. He would be considered top 3 if he doesn't drop all those picks. Not counting the ones that his own teammate interfered on
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Revis is the guy he should emulate. He doesn't have the same physical characteristics as those other guys, but can be revis like.

If he can get his speed under control, like he mentions, and use that to turn his head better/be more in control of his body, he can do big things. Would love to see him turn a lot of those tight coverages into INTS.

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Ok he's said it.. now go Prove it on the field this year.

I believe he is close but not quite there yet. Perhaps a better pass rush this season will help him out tremendously and he will even exceed his own expectations

You nailed it. +1

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Looking forward to watching Trufant play this year. He may turn into the player we always hoped DeAngelo Hall would turn into.

Speaking of D-Hall, he is hated by Falcon fans, but that guy has had quite the career. He gets burned plenty, all CBs do, but turning QBs over is the rarest of talents. The guy is going to turn in a very impressive careers when its all said and done.

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imo, the pass rush wasn't holding him back. He held his own without a pass rush. He just can't hold on to balls that should be interceptions. He would be considered top 3 if he doesn't drop all those picks. Not counting the ones that his own teammate interfered on

Time for him to sart playing with Jugs - the machine that is!

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