Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback rotation still ‘ongoing discussion’

cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

The Falcons continue to play revolving cornerbacks through training camp and two exhibition games. Where they stop, nobody knows.

As listed on the depth chart, Brent Grimes is the first-unit left cornerback and Dunta Robinson is the right cornerback. When pressed into a nickel situation, Robinson has moved inside and Asante Samuel, the Pro Bowler acquired in the offseason, has played one of the cornerback positions. The Falcons have also rotated Grimes and Samuel between the left and right cornerback positions.

“That is something that, again, it’s an ongoing discussion,” coach Mike Smith said. “As we move closer to the start of the regular season, we’ll be making that decision. Again, I think it’s to our advantage to keep that in-house in terms of how we want to deploy our corners.”

Whether Samuel eventually takes over one of the starting cornerback positions also remains to be seen. Robinson has said he welcomes a move inside in nickel situations, a position he excelled in with the Texans.

In last week’s exhibition game against the Bengals, the Falcons introduced their starting defense during pre-game ceremonies which included all three corners being announced.

Samuel has stated since his arrival in the offseason that he prefers to play on the left side. He was beaten on that side on a 50-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green against the Bengals. He reiterated his stance this week, along with a willingness to move around.

“Of course, that is where I made my living,” Samuel said. “All my production came from the left. It’s going good. It’s a new thing for me, switching back and forth, trying to get my mojo right. All is good. The coaches are going to do what they think is best.”

Smith invoked this year’s key word of “multiplicity” when pointing out that Grimes and Samuel have moved inside at times during the preseason.

“We have three very good corners and we’ll play them in a number of positions,” Smith said.

The Falcons play their important third exhibition game Friday at the Dolphins when the starting units will play into the third quarter. The game will give further indications of what the regular-season cornerback rotation might look like.

- Chris Vivlamore

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54 comments Add your comment

Seen This B4

August 21st, 2012
10:44 am

Rick

August 21st, 2012
10:52 am

LOL. A Falcon fan first on the Falcon Blog! I love it! True colors. Great to have options Falcons! We will cause havoc with our secondary this year!

Trainwreck

August 21st, 2012
10:54 am

Good problem to have I think

Falconfanriseup

August 21st, 2012
11:05 am

This will be a good year for our DB’s

SimpleDawg

August 21st, 2012
11:08 am

Assante: “I want to play left corner.”

Mike Nolan: “I make out the depth chart. You”ll play where I put you.”

Assante: “But I got to get my mojo right.”

Mike Nolan: “Don’t worry, we will not put you up against AJ Green again…..or Megatron…or any other top-notch receiver. Your mojo has declined.”

Assante: “No it hasn’t……”

Andy Reid: “Yes it has.”

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
11:31 am

The no show New Orleans aints have signed LB Barrett Ruud, obviously desperate to shore up a depleted linebacker corp. Signed from Seattle for an undisclosed draft choice. Certainly had they waited the Seahawks would have waived him anyway.

Rick

August 21st, 2012
11:37 am

Anyone else notice how those Aint fans are staying away from the Falcon Blog now? Could it be that they have seen this b4 with that defense they have? ( HEHEHEHE! I took a shot at seen). Not to mention that it does not look like that OLine is the same? Could be me, me thinks those Aints might be in for a rocky year. Just saying……………

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
11:41 am

Grim Reaper
August 21st, 2012
11:17 am

@SEEN… you really are not welcome here. You are self-centered, narcissistic and you TRY to take credit for YOUR team when the Aints have a season or two worth mentioning. Without Breezy, they’d be under 500.

______________________________________________
Their is a good chance we are going to see the no show New Orleans aints under .500, just too great a chance Drew Wheeze is exposed to injury without Carl Nicks on that line.

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
11:42 am

Rick
August 21st, 2012
11:37 am

( HEHEHEHE! I took a shot at seen).
________________________________________________

Rick, we got it………..

Barry

August 21st, 2012
11:45 am

HEY Y’ALL:

HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THE SCHEDULE??? AS COMPARED TO OTHER TEAMS, OUR FALCONS DO NOT PLAY BACK TO. BACK HOME GAMES. EVERY GAME THE FALCONS PLAY THIS SEASON, THEY ARE ONE GAME HOME AND ONE GAME AWAY THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. I HOPE THIS DOES NOT PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON OUR TEAM WHEN THEY WANT TO STAY HOME ANDREST AND PREPARE FOR SOME GAMES AT HOME, CONSEQUETIVELY, TO REST AND PREPARE. THIS SCHEDULE HAS OUR FALCONS PREPARONG FOR TRAVEL EVERY OTHER WEEK. HOW EVER THE SCHEDULE MAKER IS FOR THE NFL, HE NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. WE HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM LAST YEAR WITH HAVIN CONSECUTIVE AWAY GAMES. BLANK NEEDS TO START RAISING HELL AND HAVE THE NFL DO A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF SCHEDULING WITH OTHER TEAMS. I REVIEWED. OTHER TEAM SCHEDULES AND SOME ARE PLAYING 3 BACK TO BACK GAMES AT HOME THIS SEASON. I AM MORE THAN CONFIDENT OUR FALCONS WILL OVERCOME THIS WHERIN AT SEASON END, THEY WILL BE DESERVEDLY CALLED “ROAD WARRIORS.” GET READY NFL. WE WILL BECOMING TO DESTROY YOU IN A CITY NEAR YOU. WE ARE COMING IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!”

GO FALCONS!!!” THE “PROCESS”CONTINUES.

“FALCONS RISE UP!!!” FALCONS “RISE UP!” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!”.

SSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SEC
RET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!

……….. ……..”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!”……..

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
11:47 am

Seen This B4

August 21st, 2012
11:50 am

@Esquire: It could have been worse, we could have had to sign a 36 year old LB that nobody else wanted to sign, like Mike Petersen.

GEAUX SAINTS!!

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
11:59 am

@Seen, word is that your team wanted Petersen before we signed him. He’s faster than Ruud too.

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
12:00 pm

oh, and just one more thing

go bleaux yourself

Got it babs!! Good!

Ricky

August 21st, 2012
12:15 pm

Or you could have signed a Falcon retread like Lofton and he got hurt, and then you signed Rudd, after another LB got hurt! But that worst case scenario for you AINTS. Wait that happened! hehehehehehe.

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
12:17 pm

Desperation is setting in with the no show New Orleans aints. They have signed another WR just because Drew Wheeze worked out with them during his holdout. Greg Camarillo’s only claim to fame is he caught an OT touchdown pass that gave the Dolphins there only win in 2007! He was a punter @ Stanford…………………

Marques Clark, this dude has been out of football for 6 years. What do ya do with a premier QB like Drew Wheeze and sign wideouts like this. I would say not only are the aints gonna have a down year but so is Wheeze.

Ricky

August 21st, 2012
12:24 pm

Joe Horn is still out there for the Aints! How about a homecoming?

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
12:31 pm

“To be number one in pass defense,” Robinson said on Sunday. “I think that’s our goal and we’re not afraid to say that. We want to be the best group on the back end that there is in the NFL.”

Nolan, the new defensive coordinator, is looking to bring a more aggressive defensive look to the Falcons, a scheme predicated on getting to the pass rusher and stifling the NFL’s emerging high-powered passing games.

3 of the best cornerbacks in the NFC……………they loaded this year !

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
12:35 pm

Gimme sum dat Bayou 87 barbecue sauce!!! Joe already did his aint Swan Song.

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

August 21st, 2012
12:37 pm

The key hear is 2 keep Donti Roberson out of the linup cuz all he will do is delever cheep shot after cheep shot.

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
12:38 pm

Michael M.
August 21st, 2012
12:31 pm

Nolan, the new defensive coordinator, is looking to bring a more aggressive defensive look to the Falcons, a scheme predicated on getting to the pass rusher and stifling the NFL’s emerging high-powered passing games.
____________________________________________

That right there is called a “Gritz Blitz”…………..!!!!

……………………………………And it’s back in the Falcon Bird Nest!!

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
12:39 pm

Who was that guy had him a rib dinner last night in the football game ?

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
12:42 pm

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry
August 21st, 2012
12:37 pm

_____________________________________

So spelling isn’t your worst feature, then what is…….trollology?

Greg

August 21st, 2012
12:44 pm

Dunta was NOT a very good corner last year. He wasn’t good in coverage, especially man, and he wasn’t good tackling. There’s probably an hour’s worth of plays on tape to substantiate this. It is simply inconceivable to me that Asante will not start at corner. I expect Dunte to play better on the inside, covering the slot receiver, and sometimes the TE. I think he does too.

PMC

August 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

It’s just kind of funny to me that Grimes STILL fails to get noticed. He’s quiet, does his job exceptionally well where ever they put him and then get’s flak for not getting the contract he deserved 3 years ago.

Yeah he’s short, but he’s also the best and most athletic corner on the team right now.

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
12:52 pm

Suh: I love hitting Rodgers, Cutler; Peyton is next……………………Ndamukong Suh likes to punish quarterbacks.

This guy spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E…………………………………………….

Rick

August 21st, 2012
12:57 pm

@PMC
Thats what good corners do! Humble, head down, show it on the field and get paid off the field! He is a BEAST!

Seen This B4

August 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

@Esqueer: What’s a matter? Still mad you lost your backup LT Will Svitek for the season, at practice?!!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
1:07 pm

Atlanta Falcons
Sat, 12/22 at 8:30 PM EST
HOME:
Ford Field
TV: ESPN
Radio: 97.1 FM

We got to play those pesky Lions again this year…………..Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
1:14 pm

That just isn’t funny STB4……………………………….

warfalcon

August 21st, 2012
1:19 pm

19 DAYS BEFORE THE REAL SEASON BEGANS,NEVER WANTED DAYS TO GO BY SO FAST,EXCEPT WORK DAYS.

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
1:23 pm

Giants and Lions games are really the only two tough ones on Falcon Schedule and a couple of trap games…………………………didn’t include the Saints……………………say what STB4 ?

Mister.Earl

August 21st, 2012
1:29 pm

Throw Them The Damn Ball

Matt Ryan has three outstanding receivers (White, Gonzales and Jones) and a third (Douglas) who is dependable.

There is no reason the Falcons passing game should be anything less than spectacular

With a suspect defense, scoring 31 points a game should be the norm

usually I just read but...

August 21st, 2012
1:30 pm

Asante Samuel the Pro Bowler ?
I guess, back in 2010. A little misleading don’t you think?.
very funny SimpleDawg@11:08 lol

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
1:43 pm

Those Teams up north are just good and plain out tough to beat………….you got the Giants, Packers, Lions and the Patriots all lined up across the Great White ( Snowy) North……………………….and any of those four listed will most likely win the Superbowl this year……………………………………………………………………..” Pick your Poison ! “

Yves

August 21st, 2012
2:15 pm

@Michael M.
Giants and Lions games are really the only two tough ones on Falcon Schedule and a couple of trap games…………………………didn’t include the Saints……

Lol… agree Giants and Lions are tough ones but games with Saints are already marked as losses. So why even bother counting. Right ? Moron

Sick & Tired From Being Sick & Tired

August 21st, 2012
2:20 pm

The only thing that will prevent the Falcons’ offense from being successful this season will be the suspect offensive line. So far during the preseason they haven’t done very much at creating holes for the running game and Ryan is still getting flushed out of the “short lived pocket”. Hopefully they have just been holding back……YEAH RIGHT!!!!!! THE OL IS THE WEAKEAST LINK!!!

JAYCOOL

August 21st, 2012
2:25 pm

I guess PMC missed Grimes getting burnt by A.J. Green, good thing Dalton overthrew him out of bounds. Not to mention Calvin Johnson and Sidney Rice burned him for touchdownslast year. In fact that might have been the only touchdown Rice scored. Steve Smith had him beat for a TD too but thanks to Decoud tipping the ball we weren’t penalized for that. BTW he got beat several times by Jordy Nelson. He is athletic but he gets burnt up really bad as well. When Robinson is in one on one opposed to soft cover two zones he plays better. That has been evident through the preseason. He is making plays all over the field.

Post-It

August 21st, 2012
2:43 pm

@Seen. You lost your “savior” LB (the one we didn’t want anymore) to an injury that will likely nag him all season and you’re laughing about one of our back-up tackles going down? Really?

Michael M.

August 21st, 2012
2:55 pm

To Saint Yves……………….Yah don’t bother me none………….laughin hard at that one sentence line…………………………

SirReal

August 21st, 2012
3:00 pm

I think we should go with Grimes on the right (bc he’s played there early on with us with a bit of success). Samuel should be on the left or simply shadow the No.1 all day (b/c he’s probably not gonna be as good on the right as the left. Robinson should play the nickel simply b/c he hasnt produced on the right or left as we expected and he does have a good physical presence at the line. He can jam that slot guy pretty easily.

Esquire- Barrett Ruud?!!!LMAO Seriously? That reeks of desperation. They’ll be so easy to run up the middle of this year. Their D line is already garbage Sans Will Smith and the LBs?…please.lol

LOL At The Aints

August 21st, 2012
5:22 pm

Larry

August 21st, 2012
5:52 pm

It doesn’t matter who starts at corner. With no offensive or interior defensive line strength and no linebackers inside, the corners don’t matter. The Falcons gave up the world to get Julio Jones and it’s going to cost them for years; Matt Ryan particularly.

Esquire

August 21st, 2012
9:52 pm

Trollology 101
Attempt to ignore that you’re wass has been reamed, pretend nothing has happened even though anti-troll has given you butt whuppin[’ of which you won’t recover without wince.

Seen This B4

August 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

@Esqueer: What’s a matter? Still mad you lost your backup LT Will Svitek for the season, at practice?!!

Seen……amateurish even for you……tisch tisch tisch limp glove slap to the face.

BLEAUX SAINTS!!!

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EB

August 22nd, 2012
6:31 pm

Smith seems to have no clue of what to do to fix his defense that STILL seems miles away from where they should be. I think most fans thought a defensive head coach would help fix our dreadful defense but Smith has done nothing of the sort so far! As many times as I have seen Grimes be beaten by a much bigger and faster WR, I can NOT believe he is considered a starter by the Falcons!! Samuels is a bit too old to be all that much better but I STILL would rather have him play across from Robinson and ONLY use Grimes as a nickel or dime back!! Grimes is just too small to play with the bigger and more athletic WR’s every opponent will surely throw at him each week! The preseason has already shown our secondary is still NOT where we need them to be!

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