Friday, September 7, 2012
Morris Claiborne impresses in NFL debut
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas – One thing is clear after Morris Claiborne's NFL debut: The cornerback won’t be intimidated.
Claiborne played with no fear in a nationally televised road game against the defending Super Bowl champions. He held his own against the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, one of the NFL’s most physical receiver, limiting Nicks to four catches for 38 yards.
“He's played in a lot of big time games in his career and it didn’t look like he was in awe of the situation at all,” coach Jason Garrett said. “They have good receivers up there in New York, they throw the football well. We put him in some situations where he had to cover those guys by himself and I thought he did a good job. They caught some passes on him, but that's the nature of the NFL.
"The big thing when you're a corner is when they do have some success against you, what do you do the next play? And I thought he did a good job of coming back and competing in the game.”
The Giants went right at Claiborne on the first snap, throwing deep to Nicks down the left sideline. Barry Church, making his first start at strong safety, had help over the top and broke up the pass.
That was the only time the Giants tested the sixth overall pick downfield. The four catches by Nicks, who missed most of offseason workouts and training camp with a broken foot, were on short routes. Claiborne made sound tackles on each occasion, an especially important task on Nicks, who makes a lot of big plays by breaking tackles.
“He battled,” cornerback Brandon Carr said of Claiborne. “He’s a warrior, man. He knew they were going to come after him the whole game. He stood up like a man and played, kept the deep ball from going over his head and made the tackles. That’s all we need.”