New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster has taken a tremendous amount of criticism this season. He had about as bad of a seven-game stretch to start 2012 as any cornerback in the NFL. Webster has given up four touchdowns this season and quarterbacks have completed over 60 percent of passes thrown in his direction. Although Webster has played better as of late, he's deserved every bit of the criticism that has come his way so far this season. However, he was not responsible for Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver AJ Green's 56-yard touchdown.
Although it appeared that Webster allowed Green to run straight past him and into the end zone, Giants secondary coach Peter Guinta said Webster was not at fault on the play.
“Corey did what he was supposed to do," Guinta said.“Corey’s thing is he should have kind of realized what was going on, and being the veteran guy, trying to protect the other guys, he should have been a little more patient .”
Guinta would not reveal who blew the coverage, but the film indicates that Stevie Brown was responsible for the deep left half of the field in a cover two zone. Brown attempted to disguise the coverage by lining up as a single over the top safety before the ball was snapped. However, instead of dropping into his zone, Brown bit hard on play action. Corey Webster failed to realize that Brown was out of position, and allowed A.J. Green to run past him.
Stevie Brown has been an incredible story so far this season for the Giants. His five interceptions and two fumble recoveries have enabled Big Blue to stay in some games they otherwise would have lost. However, Brown is still painfully inexperienced in Perry Fewell's system. He's athleticism and overall talent are clearly NFL caliber, but Brown is not yet a fully functioning member of Big Blue's defense.
This play highlights the Giants need to get healthy over the bye week. Kenny Phillips is one of the best over the top safeties in the NFL. There is no way to know whether he would have been in the right position on this play, but he's more experienced and understands the Giants' defensive scheme in greater detail than Brown. If the Giants had a healthy Kenny Phillips in position on AJ Green's 56 yard touchdown, the entire game could have played out differently.
The Giants defense has been suspect as of late. It's imperative that the players use this bye week to get healthy and the coaches do some serious self scouting. A combination of both just might help this team maintain a stranglehold on the NFC East.
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