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How Will New York Giants Handle Cornerback Corey Webster?

January 14th, 2013 at 10:45 AM
By Kyle Langan

For the better part of the 2011 season and nearly all of the 2012 season, the New York Giants showed a propensity for giving up big plays in the passing game. This, among a slew of other issues, contributed to a maddening inconsistency that led to the teams demise.

'Grunt' photo (c) 2010, AJ  Guel - license:

A major culprit in giving up so many big plays was veteran cornerback Corey Webster. Webster was victimized on all kinds of forgettable plays throughout the season.

His worst day came at the hands of Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco (who would later school Champ Bailey multiple times as well) and the Baltimore Ravens in week 16. Smith was other worldly, making one-handed catches and abusing Webster with his ability to catch back shoulder throws and track deep passes in the air.

Lump his 2012 season in with a base salary of $7 million in 2013 and one would think they were staring at a prime candidate to be cut. Though $7 million is a very hefty number, Giants fans should re-consider their assertion that he should be off the team in 2013.

General Manager Jerry Reese and the Giants organization will without a doubt ask Webster to re-structure his deal and take a pay-cut. At this point, such a request is warranted. But it's also likely they want to keep him on the team either way.

Webster played through a hamstring injury of unknown severity for the duration of the season and a broken hand since week three. He is a veteran presence in a secondary with a lot of unknowns heading into next season.

Prince Amukamara has yet to prove he can stay healthy for 16 games (despite very solid play when healthy). Jayron Hosley has shown some promise, but the team likely views him purely as a slot corner considering his lack of size. On top of that, he simply did not show enough in 2012 to offer the team the amount of confidence they need to move forward with him as a primary corner. On the back end of the defense, Kenny Phillips was again in and out of the lineup, making communication all the more difficult for an already inexperienced secondary.

While it would be painful to watch Corey Webster go through another season like 2012, he should absolutely be a part of the 2013 plans for the New York Giants.

There are simply too many unknowns behind Webster both in terms of experience and health to let him walk away in a league that places so much emphasis on the back seven of a defense.

This will likely come down to Webster's willingness to take a pay-cut and I think he will oblige. Teammate Domenik Hixon recently reflected on the fact that “the grass isn’t always greener” when you part ways with the Giants. Corey Webster is a valued presence in the locker room in New York, a place he has spent the entirety of his career. He should know where he is valued most, and not just monetarily speaking.


Tags: Corey Webster, Football, Jayron Hosley, Jerry Reese, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Prince Amukamara

17 Responses to “How Will New York Giants Handle Cornerback Corey Webster?”

  1.  Krow says:

    Management needs to determine 2 things … was his play affected by injury … and how many of the breakdowns were actually his fault and not the safety.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I cannot opine on the injury but most of the errors were Webster’s fault.

      He WAS left on an island plenty of times this season because the failure of the front four and linebackers to stop the run consistently meant that Rolle was frequently sent into the box or had to “play run” first and pass second. So they only had Brown back there (at least in Cover 2). Now, when Phillips was healthy he was able to both cover the deep middle and help out outside the yard-markers because he’s an elite, experienced, safety. Brown is neither despite his wonderful year. You cannot have expected him to make all the right reads. So Corey Webster had a lot of singled-up responsibility on wide receivers (so did Prince Amukamara).

      Webster failed on multiple levels. First, he “handed over” some receivers to safeties whom a veteran should have known were too inexperienced to take the hand-off smoothly. He also went for an awful lot of double moves over the past two seasons, perhaps the mark of a player who has lost quickness and closing speed so has to guess more on routes. But even worse, IMO, was when he DID get it right, got into position, and STILL DIDN’T MAKE A PLAY ON THE BALL or tie up the receiver’s arms so he couldn’t maintain possession. How much of that was because of the injury and a loss of lift and explosiveness, I don’t know. But it was a fright show out there all season that never got better. When he wasn’t a step behind he was failing to make plays anyway. He was beaten like a drum in either case.

      Webster was horrid. I’m guessing he will bounce back, but I would not count on that and that’s the reason my first pick in this draft would be a corner to pair with Amukamara for the long run, and possibly even this season. I’d also bring in a mid-priced veteran corner in free agency, EVEN if that meant dumping someone to get cap space. Hosley will be a good slot cover corner, in time. I think Prince will be a star. But they need much more than that at the corner. They need to draft at least one, possibly two, corners in this draft.

      •  JimStoll says:

        cut him
        &M+ for his level of play?
        2d or 3rd highest paid player on the team?
        no way he stays unless his salary is reduced to 4M-

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think even if webster bounces back we still will make an early pick at CB because right now Webster is a free agent after 2013. The way football is played todays 3rd CB is almost like a starter so we need top 3 CBs.

        I think Webster was bad but he was in position especially toward the end of the season to make plays that he didn’t. I think Torrey Smith embarrassing Champ Bailey made me see that what happen to Webster was more because Smith is a great WR than him being horrible. I think switching Prince to the #1 CB spot will help. I also think Webster should be consistently matched on speed WRs like Smith, Djax, Wallace, etc. I think those two factors should lead Webster to at least a decent year next year.

  2.  Hardcharger says:

    What I have been reading as of late is that there may be an OT available when we pick. So the question is, would you rather have a shut down corner or a hole busting tackle? To be honest I am torn between the two. But I may lean towards the OT just because I am so tired of seeing us fall short on 3rd & 1. Plus I think if we get back to our pass rush we may be able to get by. Could a shut down corner or an all world Tackle even be available at 19? Are there any high end corners in FA that we can afford?

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    The reason why the Pats are more consistent is their coach and QB. While our pair is clutch and be great in the big stage, the NE pair had been much better on a game in game out basis. I think division and schdule factor in some but I think the real difference is their coach and QB. Our pair is very good and likely both HOFers. But their pair might be the GOAT.

    •  Krow says:

      Yes, but for sure the Division plays a role. 6 games … either the Skins, Dallas, and the Eagles … OR … Jets, Bills, and Fins. That’s got to be worth a game or two every year.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        The skins have suck just as bad as the Bills. Miami has been good some years. And the Jets have actually been pretty good the last decade. Not Pats, us or Philly but better than Dallas. So while I think the our division is tougher it’s not as much of an advantage some make it to be.

  4.  wlubake says:

    I have extremely low confidence in our corners. We could use a complete overhaul. Prince certainly doesn’t look like he can keep up with top receivers.

    Would love to see this team move aggressively on Miami’s two free agents: Jake Long and Sean Smith. I’d guess Smith will be tagged and Long allowed to walk, but Smith would be my preference of the two.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I disagree about Prince. Prince played very well and showed real #1 ability. Hosley was a rookie that unlike many rookies was really allowed to play a lot. He wasn’t quite ready but I think starting next year we will reap the rewards. Long is going to cost even more than Beatty when we are already cash strapped. Our issue isn’t LT it’s RT. We would be better off spending that extra money on Long for another OL position like RT. Smith could make some sense if we cut Webster but I think he could be too pricey for us.

      •  Levito says:

        Agree with Goat. I’d like to add another CB in the draft, but I think Webster, Prince and Hosley are good, assuming Webster reduces his pay a bit. If the Giants got better play out of the D line, the CBs would look a heck of a lot better as they wouldn’t have to cover for 7 seconds.

        •  wlubake says:

          I like Hosely, but see him staying in the slot. I didn’t see the solid play from Amukamara often enough this season to give me confidence. I hope he continues to develop, but won’t hold my breath for him to be an “on an island” type corner.

          I think there will be some substantial cuts and restructures. The Giants can put Jacobs on speed dial and call him up whenever a player feels like the Giant’s offer is too insulting to take.

  5.  Levito says:

    Webster played poorly this season, but it would be a bad idea to cut him. He’s still the 2nd best CB on the team, and unless Hosley improves a lot, that won’t likely change next season, unless the Giants acquire a better CB in free agency. As poorly as Webster played, it was just as much Fewell’s fault for leaving him alone to cover #1′s by himself.

    And Torrey Smith did burn Champ Bailey a few times on Saturday, but in fairness to Bailey Torrey Smith has been torching CBs all season, and to me it looked like it was Bailey’s fault on the TD up the middle. On Smith’s other catch, the safety bit on another route and left Bailey behind the route with no help above it. So apparently it isn’t only the Giants safeties who bite on routes and give up the deep ball.

  6.  Hardcharger says:

    According to our D-Line, teams were getting rid of the ball quickly. So what do we believe? Did our D-line take a step back or is our secondary really that terrible? I dont think the secondary was all that bad. Yes C-web gave up some big plays and that needs to improve. I know some are high on Prince and some not. But to me he sometimes looked a little awkward out there in coverage. He didn’t look all that smooth with his technique (I hope that was my imagination). But he is a sure tackler for a corner so that was nice to see. He is not afraid to mix it up. I do hope he turns out to be a lock down corner or at the least above average in coverage. If that happens we are in a good place for our secondary (assuming we sign Hill & Brown & restructure Web) and just need a piece or two back there. Now I really hope we concentrate on our LBs & DTs. If we can put some more stock in those areas I think our defense will improve exponentially next year. I really think our DTs were more an issue than our DEs. If there were more push up the middle there may have been a lot more sacks and thos famous Osi strips.

  7.  rlhjr says:

    I agree that Webster should be given a shot. Mainly because he cannot be as bad as he displayed this season. Nobody can, Jesus H Christ, Elvis Patterson was better than that.

    As for as Hosley getting better; I feel he will develop into a good player.
    But he will not be a dominant corner unless he grows three inches in height and wing span. Aint happening. Still I think Hosley will work out fine. He’s also yet another kick/punt return threat.

    As far as drafting is concerned, what position will have the most impact on this defense? I would have to believe DT, followed closely by LB and then a DB.
    I really cannot see any reason to further rehab Austin. I like Kuhn better.
    So a strong penetrating kid at DT would fill the order very well.

    I’d take the backer second provided I could not get him in the third round.
    The type and amount of talent required at MIKE for the Giants almost demands a day one pick. If that guy is not there, I’d look for the best OG/OT swing player on the board.

    I would then take the best corner on the board third. Picks four through 9?
    (I think) would consist of the usual project suspects. A big raw receiver would definitely be on the radar late in the draft as well as a running back and a kicker.

    If Reese can find kids who can play (DT/OL) out of training camp with his draft choices, then he can fill in the gaps with careful FA signings. Chances are he will only be able to afford two top tier FA’s. Of course this means getting rid of the current FA’s waiting for bump in pay. He’s already on record as saying the team will look different. I think he’s telling the absolute truth.

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