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New York Giants Must Find a New Role for Corey Webster in 2013

January 13th, 2013 at 3:04 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Anti-Gravity' photo (c) 2010, AJ  Guel - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster just finished his eighth season with the team. He's been part of two Super Bowl championship squads and has established himself as a mainstay in Big Blue's secondary. However, after having perhaps the worst season of any starting cornerback in the NFL in 2012, the soon to be 31 year old Webster showed serious signs of decline. With that, general manager Jerry Reese is now tasked with finding a replacement for Webster at the No. 1 cornerback position

Obviously, the most logical answer to that dilemma is by handing those responsibilities off to Prince Amukamara. Despite a tumultuous rookie season, Prince rebounded to have a productive 2012 campaign. He was hampered by injuries in the latter stages of the year, but Amukamara's play was perhaps the most consistent aspect of a secondary that was a dumpster fire for most of the season. We can count on Prince to further improve next year. However, there's not much behind him on the cornerback depth chart.

Barring a bounce back season, Webster is a No. 3 corner at this point of his career. Terrell Thomas is coming off the third ACL tear of his career and second in as many seasons, while Jayron Hosley is undersized and has trouble playing outside of the slot. There's not much talent  lining the cornerback depth chart heading into the offseason, which begs the question: How is the Giants secondary supposed to improve in 2013?

Improvement is obviously a relative term. If the pass rush had played to its potential this season, then we would probably not even be having this conversation. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's 'bend but don't break" Tampa-Two defense is designed to give up some short passes, but it relies on a consistent pass rush in order to avoid big plays down the field.

When the pass rush was absent on 2012, the secondary was incapable of picking up the slack. However, with the departure of Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck getting another year older, the Giants' vaunted pass rush may be nothing more than average next season. The secondary is going to have to improve, but they will have to improve with less talent around them. That's a precarious situation for a team that will be feeling the pressure to redeem themselves for a tremendously disappointing 2012 campaign.

The team needs Webster to come back and rebound next season. He's clearly no longer the top-dog in the secondary, but he displayed the athleticism to play with some of the NFL's best receivers in 2012. He lacked the ball skills and football IQ to prevent many of the 988 yards he personally allowed through the air, but the Giants don't have any other options in the secondary. The salary cap situation will likely inhibit the team's ability to sign a free agent replacement, while drafting a rookie to replace Webster is a risky proposition.

It's likely that the team retains Corey Webster in 2013 not because he's an ideal player to have in the secondary, but because there is nobody else coming to the rescue. Obviously, it's possible that Terrell Thomas bounces back and Jayron Hosley proves he can start regardless of his size. Either of those options coming to fruition would allow the Giants secondary to stabilize in 2013. Until then, we are going to have to pin our hopes on Webster taking a pay cut and producing more than expected next year. If at 31 years old he really is a shell of his former self, the Giants' defense is going to struggle once again in 2013.

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Tags: Corey Webster, Football, free agent, Jayron Hosley, Jerry Reese, Justin Tuck, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Perry Fewell, Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas

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42 Responses to “New York Giants Must Find a New Role for Corey Webster in 2013”

  1.  Begiant says:

    I would like the Giants to draft Banks or Rhodes in the first round. Both have size and talent and could take over for Webster if he play poorly. If not then they would provide solid corner depth if one of Prince or Webster gets hurt. Prince has missed game in both of his first two seasons and Webster played like garbage last year. If last years draft was any indication Reese will draft need to plug holes if he likes what he sees.

  2.  GmenMania says:

    FF55 –

    Fair enough on Muasau. I too, was up in Albany for a little while, and didn’t think Muasau was that great. Sure, he made some plays, but I would be willing to wager that it doesn’t amount to anything. But I do see your point about our dearth of linebackers, and how Muasau could fit in there. I still hope they’ll draft someone (namely Alec Ogletree).

    And relating to Broha, the only impact he had was a couple of tackles and one sack against third-stringers. Nothing like Ojomo, who had a bunch of sacks. He didn’t flash much at all to me, and again, I’m pretty confident he won’t even make the 53 man roster.

    •  Begiant says:

      Broha had around four sacks last year. He really impressed me with his high motor and ability to find the QB. I liked Broha almost as much as Ojomo.

      •  GmenMania says:

        I don’t think it was that many. Plus, Broha is WAY undersized. He’s only 255 pounds, which likely isn’t enough to be successful against anything other than 3rd-string scrubs given that he’s not incredibly athletic. I still don’t think he even makes the 53-man roster, given that Ojomo, Tracy, JPP, Tuck, and maybe a draft pick are all ahead of him.

  3.  shmitty013 says:

    55 -

    Saw your comment about receivers becoming DBs. It maybe becoming a common trend. The player likely to be one of, if not the top CB in the 2014 draft is Bradley Roby. He came to Ohio State as a WR, but not a highly recruited one. They quickly switched him to CB and he’s been dominant since then.

  4.  Krow says:

    Falcons be chokin” … Guess it’s the playoffs.

  5.  TroyThorne says:

    Seattle must have called up Fewell to ask for suggestions on how to play defense those last 30 seconds. Some nice soft, prevent zones to allow Atlanta to march down field.

    I don’t understand icing the kicker, especially when you wait long enough to give them a free warmup.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      They have coached the defensive closeout of a game the wrong way for 40 years in this league. Nobody ever learns. It’s gotten to the point where I think the defensive players now relax their coverage because they’re genetically programmed to do it. It’s a gene mutation from years of inherited conditioning.

      •  TroyThorne says:

        I mean, I get it if they needed to just prevent the TD but all Atlanta needed was a FG. Just strange.

  6.  shmitty013 says:

    And Carroll fails to kick the FG twice in the 1st half. Reminds me of Coughlin not taking the points in what game was that? Oh right, against the Falcons too. What’s with opposing coaches screwing up against that team?

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    Excellent articles here over the past several days. Maybe the best I have seen as a group in my time here. Basically, this offseason will see change is the bottom line. It’s clear there will be some restructures, some vets cut and not re-signed. But I think one of the keys for the future will be to be smart with our restructures. We can’t restructure that we need to cut in 2014 because that will create dead money like with Diehl this year. So players like Snee, Tuck, Webster, Canty, etc. will have to be smart bets by JR or 2014 could really see cap hell.

    I think given our recent history we are probably not drafting a rookie to start opening day. We are drafting contributors who will start by mid-season or in future years. So the questions, at CB, DT, LB, RT, G, etc. will likely be filled internally or via free agent. So let’s more closely at players like Brewer, Paysinger, Herzlich, Mosley, Austin, etc. are likely to be more important than draft picks for our 2013 success.

    If we do decide to let go of Webster and/or Canty I believe they need to be replaced with vet free agent. These are positions we need another starting level player from day without either player. Players at those 2 positions are usually not ready to be starters from day one. I think you want to target young free agents like we did with Boley, Canty and Rolle. But I think we would be looking at the Boley level free agents and not the big money guys that Canty and Rolle were.

    •  Begiant says:

      You need more than starters to win championships. Last year we drafted an explosive backup RB and KR. (replacing production of Ware, and Jacobs)

      We needed a 3rd receiver to help Eli and Randle was “pro read”

      We needed insurance at slot corner because T2 was coming off surgury and Ross left. We took an athletic corner in the 3rd round.

      We lost two TE to longterm injuries and we needed depth at TE…we drafted Andrian Robinson

      We may not draft instant starters but if we have a need we will look for players in the draft to try to fill holes.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I agree. My point was just that our draft thinking has been about building quality depth and future starters. Thus the position needs we have as starters will likely not be filled by our draft. So if we do cut some starters replacements will come from elsewhere, at least as of opening day.

  8.  Barbarossa says:

    Repost

    Krow says:
    January 13, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    What we’re seeing now … with all these successful running QBs and option offenses … is something that’s not going away any time soon. I have my reservations. Look no further than RG3 to see why. But on the other hand Seattle and SF are gang busters. We can expect more teams to copy them.

    So we had better figure out how to stop them … or we’re in much deeper trouble than we thought.

    The downside is that Fewell’s expertise is in coverage schemes. Limited number of pass rushers … small, fast linebackers … few blitzes. That’s the perfect defense to run the option against … the perfect scheme for a QB like Kaepernick or Wilson to scramble against.

    ——————————————————-

    Couldn’t agree more, our defense is designed to fight a high power passing offense like GB or the Pats, not the option. I am predicting that the Redskins become our new Eagles the next few seasons, a team that is probably inferior overall talent-wise but we do not match up with well and has our number twice a year. They are already off to a good start the past two seasons. Ugh depressing thought.

    •  shmitty013 says:

      The Redskins may give us trouble, but everyone seems to be underestimating the significance of RG3′s injury. Everyone keeps comparing his injury to Adrian Peterson’s and is saying, look at what Peterson did a year removed from a torn ACL. Everyone seems to forget that RG3 tore the same ACL he tore in college. This is the 2nd time and that’s extremely significant. Look at what happened with T2. He tried to come back after his 2nd tear and immediately injured it again. I’m not going to say RG3 is done, but his career is in serious jeopardy from that injury. He’s certainly not gonna be the same athlete he was before the injury.

      •  Eric S says:

        He also tore his LCL and needed to repair his medial meniscus. Additionally they had to take a graft from his left patellar tendon which is supposed to be very painful and will require rehab as well.

  9.  kujo says:

    Are we really going to see the Harbaugh bowl? Blech

  10.  nynate says:

    There is only one thing that I want next year and that is more of the feeling that I got when I saw Eli fake the end around to Cruz before throwing that screen pass to Bradshaw for that massive gain against Green Bay. I’m not really sure what that feeling was because that was the first time I have felt it since Gilbride has been around but I think it is similar to when someone falls in love for the first time. If we can start calling some plays like that next year with Wilson on the end of it then it won’t matter how bad our defence is!

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