Breakout Player Recap: Cornerbacks and Safeties


As passing attacks continue to thrive all around the league, it is important to have a good secondary. Some of the guys I predicted to breakout last year have worked their way into the conversation of the elite at their position. Here is a breakdown of how they did.

Cornerback:

Eric Wright Browns:

What I said: Wright had a very good rookie year as he had 76 tackles and one interception. By the end of the year, he was playing like a Pro Bowl caliber corner as teams were avoiding his side of the field. Look for Wright to continue his progress this year and possibly make his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Now: Wright was very impressive in his second season recording 66 tackles and 3 interceptions. He also returned a interception on Monday Night Football 94 yards for a touchdown. Wright is getting better every year so it is only a matter of time before fans know who he is.

Hit or Miss: Push

Fred Bennett Texans:

What I said: With injuries in the secondary, Bennett came in and started as a rookie and showed that he has the potential to be one of the best corners in the league. Bennett only started 8 games but ended up with 62 tackles 2 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. Look for him to have an even bigger impact this season.

Now: Bennett only started 6 games in his second year but was effective with 43 tackles two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He still showed lots of potential so look for him to breakout when he gets the chance to start for a whole year.

Hit or Miss: Miss

Darrelle Revis Jets:

What I said: Out of all the corners on the list, Revis has the best chance to be a premier corner for years to come. He showed great coverage skills as a rookie and ended up with 87 tackles and 3 interceptions. With that kind of play, Revis has a great chance of making the Pro Bowl in his second season.

Now: Revis played very well in his second season and as the year went on, teams threw at him less and less. For the year he had 58 tackles and five interceptions. The Jets defense should be one of the best in the league this year so look for him to make his second trip to the Pro Bowl this year.

Hit or Miss: Hit

Johnathan Joseph Bengals:

What I said: In his second season, Joseph had 62 tackles and 4 interceptions. Joseph has the potential to be a very good corner as he has good size and excellent speed. As Leon Hall develops, look for Joseph to have an even bigger impact this year as he and Hall have the potential to be a great cornerback tandem in a couple years.

Now: Joseph only played eight games but would have set a career high in tackles as he had 42 in the games played. It’s hard to have a breakout season when your not playing so look for Joseph to play better this year.

Hit or Miss: Miss

Cortland Finnegan Titans:

What I said: Finnegan was very impressive in his second season as he had 95 tackles along with one interception. He was very impressive as he shut down many of the leagues top receivers last year. Look for him to develop into one of the leagues top corners this year.

Now: Finnegan broke out in a big way last year as he was one of the defensive stars for a Titans team that was the talk of the regular season. Finnegan made his first trip to the Pro Bowl last year and it certainly won’t be his last.

Hit or Miss: Hit

Safeties:

Antrel Rolle Cardinals:

What I said: Rolle may have had 5 interceptions last year, but lots of people around the league say he didn’t have the mechanics to play corner. So Rolle now moves to safety where he and Adrian Wilson are both rangy play makers who will strike fear into opposing offenses.

Now: Rolle was an impact player at safety notching 89 tackles and one interception. This was only his first year at the position so look for him to improve over time as the Cardinals defense emerges as one of the best in the NFC.

Hit or Miss: Push

LaRon Landry Redskins:

What I said: Landry had a very good rookie year as he had 95 tackles and showed that he can be one of the best safties in the game. Look for him to have an even better second season as he will have more opportunities with the Redskins improved pass rush.

Now: Landry was productive in his second year with 65 tackles two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He should continue to get better and considering that he is in a big market, could make his first Pro Bowl in a year or two.

Hit or Miss: Push

Chris Harris Panthers:

What I said: Everyone around the league knows who Harris is the only reason he is on the list is because, the majority of fans don’t. Harris last year had 95 tackles and forced an incredible 8 fumbles. He also had 1 interception. Look for him to have another great season this year and if he puts up those kind of numbers, he should be headed for the Pro Bowl.

Now: For some reason, Harris didn’t play as well as he did in 2007. He wasn’t terrible in 2008 recording 70 tackles along with two forced fumbles and an interception but I was expecting him to take the next step. It is hard to determine what Harris will do this season but it will most likely be something in between his 2007 and 2008 campaigns.
Hit or Miss: Miss

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