- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Look, this is one instance where I don’t think the starting designation really matters. All three of the top cornerbacks will get plenty of playing time. The Falcons went out and traded for cornerback Asante Samuel to go with last year’s starters, Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson. The Samuel trade was made because new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is a firm believer that you need three starting-caliber cornerbacks.
You can’t really dispute that point when you’re in a division in which you have to face the passing games of New Orleans and Carolina.
“We have three very good corners and we’ll play the in a number of positions,’’ coach Mike Smith said.
I think you might see some variety in how the Falcons use their cornerbacks throughout the season. But I think it’s safe to say the general plan is to start Grimes at one spot. After that, I’d look for Robinson to start at the other spot most of the time, but he won’t stay there. In nickel situations, the most logical thing is to let Samuel play on the outside and slide Robinson inside to the nickel spot.
Samuel’s spent most of his career on the outside. Robinson played inside a lot in his days in Houston and said he wants to do it again. Samuel is at a point in his career where he doesn’t need to be on the field every down. Robinson is not there yet, even if it means continually flipping positions throughout a game.
It’s real obvious what the Falcons should do here. They should play to the strengths of their cornerbacks.