Cornering the Market
By: Scott Moore 
Posted: 2004-03-21
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Redskins have signed three cornerbacks since the departure of Champ Bailey. Newly acquired, Shawn Springs will be the starter opposite Fred Smoot. Former-Giant, Ralph Brown and Former-Bear/Colt, Walt Harris have been signed to compete with Rashad Bauman for the nickle-corner spot. However, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, Greg Williams, has been known to use as many as four cornerbacks in a given situation. In certain situations, cornerbacks may be used as rovers or safeties.

While playing in Seattle, Springs gained a reputation as one of the leagues' best cover-men. He's an excellent athlete who doesn't shy away from tackles. Statistics are a bit misleading in the case of a good corner. Teams chose to target rookie- Marcus Trufant, rather than challenge Springs. While Springs isn't considered a true "shut-down" corner, he offers the Skins a very talented starter.

Harris has been nagged by tendinitis in his right knee in recent years. He's a proven veteran and has a unique connection to the Redskins' Defensive Assistant Coach Greg Blache. While in Chicago, Harris became an integral part of the Bear's defense. Harris will provide solid veteran depth and provides the Skins a capable backup. He has a slight edge to gain the Skins nickle-back spot.

The Redskins know Ralph Brown well. In 2002, Brown victimized the Redskins with an interception, a fumble recovery, two passes defended helping the Giants to a 27-21 victory. Coming out of Nebraska, Brown proved himself to be a good student of the game. Look for Brown to impress coaches with hustle, desire and tackling ability.

Springs, Harris and Brown add talent to the defensive backfield as a combined answer for the loss of Bailey. The Redskins are said to be eyeing Sean Taylor with their fifth overall pick to round-out a revamping of the defensive backfield.
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