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Prince Amukamara Remains Only Sure-Fire Starter at Cornerback; Tom Coughlin Mulling His Options

August 23rd, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Kenneth DeJohn

The New York Giants will have to cut their roster down to 53 players in the not-so-distant future, but deciding who will make the roster — let alone start — at cornerback could be something that goes down to the wire.

'Grunt' photo (c) 2010, AJ  Guel - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tom Canavan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Prince Amukamara has claimed one of the two starter's spots, but the second one is up for grabs. Corey Webster, Jayron Hosley, Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are all looking to play alongside Amukamara.

Webster, a veteran who has been a staple of the team's secondary since 2005, may end up being the favorite. He has the most experience in a starting role and has played just as well as the other candidates during both training camp and the preseason.

Jayron Hosley, a second-year player from Virginia Tech, started six games last season and recorded just one interception. He also forced one fumble and deflected five passes. The potential is there for the young corner, but he may not be all that ready to take a full-time starter's job.

Thomas, coming off two ACL surgeries (three in total), has surprised so far. His health has been the focus of his performance, and it seems as if he's passed every test thrown at him. The thing with Thomas may just be how his football instincts are after not playing since 2010.

Ross has returned from his one-year hiatus in Jacksonville, and it appears as if he hasn't missed a beat. It will be interesting to see where he stands on the depth chart in a few weeks.

Plus, there are a plethora of free agent corners looking to make the roster. David Caldwell, Trumaine McBride, Terrence Frederick, Junior Mertile, Laron Scott, Charles James and Alonzo Tweedy have all played well enough to warrant consideration for the roster.

No matter who gets the starting nod, determining the overall depth chart will be difficult. If everyone remains healthy, the Giants will have starting-caliber corners at Nos. 4 and 5 on the depth chart. A trade or position change could be in order, but depth has never been a bad thing.

The secondary has been a problem for the past several seasons, and having several options means Tom Coughlin has the liberty of riding the hot hand. One would assume that the secondary would improve drastically from last season given this new scenario, but it will all depend on health.

Amukamara, Thomas and Ross have all missed time in the past. Substituting players in and out of games before fatigue sets in will help to keep their bodies fresh. This would likely represent the best way to optimize the production of the secondary.

Aside from the linebackers' unit, the No. 2 corner job is the biggest battle in training camp for the Giants. It will be resolved in a few weeks, but it should be a topic of debate for all of the upcoming season if inconsistencies set in. 

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Tags: Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, Football, Jayron Hosley, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Terrell Thomas, Tom Coughlin

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9 Responses to “Prince Amukamara Remains Only Sure-Fire Starter at Cornerback; Tom Coughlin Mulling His Options”

  1.  Krow says:

    Either this is politically correct “coach speak” … or there’s something really wrong with C-Web.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      What could be “wrong” with Webster is what’s “right” with Hosley or Thomas or Ross (who seems to be playing better than he was when he left….maybe it’s a maturity thing).

      When Thomas went down he was playing better than Webster. We all saw that. Could it be that they think he is truly healthy and able to do what he was doing before his ACL injury? We’ll start to see for ourselves tomorrow night.

      Hosley is probably the best overall athlete in the secondary. Can he overcome his height and some technique mistakes in this, his second, year and play outside instead of in the slot? It didn’t look like it last Sunday but perhaps they’re seeing a lot in practices. He appears to be playing great against the Giants’ excellent receivers.

      Ross has really surprised me. He looks terrific so far. Maybe he’s so happy to be back that he has become more focused and learned to avoid the mental errors that have plagued him for years (he was the biggest sucker for a stop-and-go route on the team) and is now ready to fully justify his draft position?

      So I’m not sure this is as much about Webster as it is about seeing some potentially better choices.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Maybe I’m in the minority but I never thought TT was better than Webster. I value being a cover corner than most. TT was a great tackler and made plays but wasn’t so great in coverage. I guess it’s a matter of preference.

        Thomas in no way is in the mix to be a starter. Health wise that just doesn’t make sense. Maybe after a few games so he can in real football shape. And only if he made a remarkable recovery.

        Ross I think looks better than I thought but not a player I would start over a healthy Webster. Giving they are both vets looking at their history I don’t ever recall Ross being better so I will side with Webster at least until the real games start.

        Hosley is the only one that I could see possibly just beating out Webster. But from what I have seen and heard so far he hasn’t built a body of work that supports a case for overtaking Webster before the season. Maybe at some point during the season.

        •  Andiamo P says:

          This is Thomas’s career in a nut shell.

          Rookie season (’08) – Played sparringly, showed good promise, good tackler, decent cover guy. Sidenote: PFF called Webster the best Cover CB in the NFL that season.

          2nd Season (’09) – Wally Pipp’d Ross. Probably the only Giants player who got Bill Sheridan’s Defense. IMO he had a better season than Webster that year. Probably the Defensive MVP that season.

          3rd Season (’10) – Got tons of hype from the fan base, made a gang of tackles, and was basically giving up catches left and right, up and down the field. Could not hold Websters jock strap that season.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    re-posting because I mentioned the corners and I think it’s relevant:

    fanfor55years says:
    August 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Tuck happens to be saying the right thing, for two reasons. First, he seems re-energized (those of you who think he isn’t far better mentally and physically than he has been in two years aren’t paying attention, and those who thought he didn’t play well against the Colts must have watched a different game than the one I attended because I thought he looked VERY good) and prepared to lead, and leaders set high goals. And second, if a few things break their way they COULD become the top defense in the league.

    Of course the latter is a long shot, but I am convinced that this could be the best defensive front in the NFL if JPP comes back fully healthy. I also really like the way the defensive backfield is looking and think most fans don’t recognize what a huge difference it could make having Prince step into a starring role and ‘Trel able to do some roaming around after balls. If the pass rush comes, and it should when we have JPP, Kiwi, Tuck, Moore and Jenkins up front, then this defensive backfield is capable of turning the ball over, frequently.

    If two things occur then Tuck’s pronouncement starts to look pretty darned realistic. The first is if Terrell Thomas looks anything like his old self (we’ll soon know a lot more about that). The second is if ANY of the linebackers show the ability to stuff the run. In Williams, Paysinger and Rivers we have the cover linebacker skills that should be the envy of plenty of teams. We all moan and groan about the weaknesses of our linebackers, but it’s really only the ability against the run that we’re bemoaning. I don’t know if any of our guys can step up in that regard, but Connor seems a good candidate and there’s even the possibility that we’ll have one of Bosworth, Tracy, Herzlich, Muasau or Curry trying to do it as well and at least partially succeeding.

    Do I think they will be a #1 defense? No. Do I think they will be one of the top 5? No. Do I think they could be one of the top 10, and that combined with our offense more than good enough to compete for a title? Yup. And I see nothing but good in the defensive captain setting a high goal for that group, particularly because he appears ready to try to meet that standard himself.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    i don’t really but this story because no beat writer has mentioned it being a question. The only way Webster doesn’t start is if he’s not healthy. Now if Webster can’t go I think Hosley has a chance to surpass Ross as the next man up. I think both him and Ross should split first team snaps against the Jets.

  4.  Rosedale Is Back says:

    I think Webster is washed up and we should have cut ties with him last year which would allowed Hosley or Ross time in the minicamps time on the outside and not so much in the slot. When a player production goes dips the way Websters did last year it probably means his career is coming to an end. Its like that in the NFL one year your a Probowl Caliber player and the next your a bum. Jerry Reese must have a soft spot for a lot of these guys you can tell; Because Deihl and Webster are washed and should have been dropped off the squad. Dropping Webster would have saved us cap and instead they allowed him to grab another 4 Mill from us. We could have dropped him and got him back for the League minimum; After that crap season he put together nobody would have picked him up especially not for 4 Mill.

  5.  Andiamo P says:

    Maybe I am misunderstanding this….but Webster IMO is the starter, but b/c he is hurt right now they are mulling who will start should Webster not be a go.

    But he is the starter.

    I also think it should be said…do we really even know what is wrong with him? It was a groin than it was soreness and than we find out he had an MCL Strain.

  6.  CT GIANT says:

    Maybe because he is the “quiet type” it seems both the fans, and media forget #94 Kiwi, who almost never played again after suffering that neck injury, and was brought back with little money.

    Since he was drafted this guy has played, done, and done more to help this team then anyone I could recall.
    He is all about giving total effort, something Tuck who seems to talk more then play. I was at the colts game, and only at times did Tuck look fast yet, he is far from being the Capatain I would choose on defensive.
    Like it or not, when Rolle talks, he backs it up, that is my kind of Captain.
    CT GIANT
    Look for an outstnding year from Kiwi!

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