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papz 08-02-2013 08:22 AM

New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
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When Saints fans think of a nickel cornerback, typically, they think of an actual cornerback playing the position.

Ex-Saints player Randall Gay comes to mind as a player used primarily as a third defensive back to defend the slot wide receiver. Players in recent history who also saw time as the third cornerback in nickel packages were Tracy Porter, Corey White and Elbert Mack. All were true cornerbacks.

But that's not the pattern new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff are following. They're experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Kenny Vaccaro as primary nickel cornerbacks.

Cornerbacks who lack the quickness and technique are the ones typically converted into safeties. McGriff said Jenkins and Vaccaro can make the transition to nickel corner. Jenkins and Vaccaro have received the majority of the snaps the past few training camp practices at the nickel with the first-team defense.

"When you look at Malcolm Jenkins, when you look Kenny Vaccaro, what you see is safeties that have feet similar to a corner and have the ability to go in the slot and cover the guy as well as not hinder us in being able to stop the run," McGriff said. "It's a blessing to have safeties like those guys that can roll down and play slot corner and be efficient and effective in covering, but at the same time you don't lose any force in the run game because those guys can play the run as well.

"They are built to play both."

Jenkins isn't a stranger to playing cornerback. He was a consensus All-American at the position during his senior season at Ohio State in 2008 and was the top-rated cornerback entering the draft in 2009. The Saints made him the first cornerback selected in that draft class, and Jenkins played his first NFL season at cornerback.

"In my mind, I still feel like I can play corner," Jenkins said. "So I've still got good feet and good technique and (that is) something I still work on pretty often.

"I'm definitely still comfortable in that position. I just look at it as a challenge and it's something that I want to do."

Read more: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback | NOLA.com

Crusader 08-02-2013 08:33 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
I like this. the more flexibility you have on teh roster the better.

jnormand 08-02-2013 08:44 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
I don't understand this. What is the benefit of putting a safety there instead of a cornerback? Am I taking this the wrong way or is the coaching staff saying our second string corners suck juevos?

lee909 08-02-2013 09:02 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
Seens the best way to get the best plsyers in the field. Should give Vaccaro plenty of snaps until he takes over fron Harper full time.
Cant wait to see some of the youngsters start playing next week.

papz 08-02-2013 09:16 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jnormand (Post 514583)
I don't understand this. What is the benefit of putting a safety there instead of a cornerback? Am I taking this the wrong way or is the coaching staff saying our second string corners suck juevos?

Jenkins best season as a Saint was when he was doing exactly this. Being a nickel safety hybrid. He plays better closer to the line rather than patrolling a deep centerfield. Vaccaro has the same type of ability. I remember someone trying to ridicule me after the draft when I made the Jenkins/Vaccaro comparison. Apparently I'm pretty clueless.

jnormand 08-02-2013 12:20 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by papz (Post 514585)
Jenkins best season as a Saint was when he was doing exactly this. Being a nickel safety hybrid. He plays better closer to the line rather than patrolling a deep centerfield. Vaccaro has the same type of ability. I remember someone trying to ridicule me after the draft when I made the Jenkins/Vaccaro comparison. Apparently I'm pretty clueless.

Well I hope it works. I'm still hoping Corey White makes a bigger impact this year.

TheOak 08-02-2013 12:23 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
experimenting -
1. Preform a procedure to determine something.
2. Try new concepts or ways of doing things.


Its preseason, this is the time to experiment.

halloween 65 08-02-2013 12:39 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
Jenkins has no instinct at FS whatsoever, maybe the coaches see this and are trying to find a spot he could possibly help at instead of getting rid of a high 1st round draft pick. The guy has the tools but don't get it. Maybe they tell him" see that guy there, run with him and do not let him catch the ball". Someone has to replace him at FS this year or next !! We need a centerfielder bad.

FinSaint 08-02-2013 03:54 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
Quote:

Players in recent history who also saw time as the third cornerback in nickel packages were Tracy Porter, Corey White and Elbert Mack. All were true cornerbacks.

Really?!

A rookie safety converted into a corner is a true cornerback?

TheOak 08-02-2013 04:00 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints experimenting with safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro at nickel cornerback
 
What is a "true cornerback"? Is it defined by size/speed, skill/ability, what they played in college?


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