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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