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Saints roster spotlight: Cornerbacks

10/22/2013

A look at the New Orleans Saints cornerbacks through the first six weeks of the 2013 season:

Looking back: Despite the lasting image of cornerback Jabari Greer letting a game-winning touchdown pass get behind him in the final seconds at New England last week, the Saints’ starting cornerback duo of Greer and Keenan Lewis has been excellent this year. Their play is one of the most underrated reasons why the Saints defense has been having so much success. They haven’t let many deep balls get over their heads, which is a problem that plagued the Saints last year. And neither has missed a tackle, according to Pro Football Focus.

PFF doesn’t have a very good grade on Greer (minus-3.7 for the year). But that’s a bit misleading since he played very well until allowing a couple big plays against Chicago in Week 5 and then the game winner in Week 6. He’s mostly been very dependable. Both veterans are clearly better suited for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s scheme – especially the physical, long-armed Lewis, who is good in man-to-man and press coverage. Backups Corey White and Chris Carr have both been solid in limited snaps since Patrick Robinson went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Looking forward: I’d expect more of the same from these veteran starters, both of whom have shown flashes of Pro Bowl-level ability during their careers. And they don’t have too many frightening matchups on the remaining schedule – other than the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant in Week 10 and several teams with mobile quarterbacks who can keep plays alive.

Snaps played (out of a possible 375): Greer 362, Lewis 331, Carr 72, White 62, Robinson 22.

ESPN scouting Insider Matt Williamson’s take: “Lewis is a great addition. I think he tackles well, he doesn’t allow big plays. He’s not gonna make a ton of big plays or shut anyone down, but that’s a heck of a lot better than what they were playing with last year. Greer might be slipping a little. I think his best years were probably two or three years ago. But he’s still a solid starter.”