Cover 32: Why You Shouldn't Be Discouraged About Morris Claiborne

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by NeonDeion21, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. NeonDeion21

    NeonDeion21 Well-Known Member

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    It's easy to be disappointed in Dallas Cowboys' cornerback Morris Claiborne. And I get it. The Cowboys spent (essentially) a high first and second round pick on him and he has failed to live up to expectations. In two seasons, he has only two interceptions and has missed seven games due to multiple injuries. And when he has played, he hasn't looked like the 6th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. It's is easy for fans to call him a bust when they see what other players in the same draft have produced at the NFL level.

    But I re-watched Claiborne this week and I actually came away very encouraged. I saw a lot of progress from him. It seems that he was starting to "get it". Claiborne struggled with the transition from a 3-4 attacking defense under Rob Ryan to a Monte Kiffin 4-3. And the hardest thing for Morris Claiborne was hand technique in space. Below is a play from week one in which Claiborne played sloppy technique against Hakeem Nicks. I apologize for the far away camera view, but you can't get a true feel at how good or bad a corner is playing unless you watch the All-22 camera angle and see what his responsibilities are. Let's take a look:


    Claiborne was suppose to force Nicks to the middle by playing "outside" technique. This is something we saw often in 2013 under Kiffin. The linebackers and safeties are asked to fill the middle throwing lanes, while the corners protect the numbers.

    Read the rest at:

    Note: Very important to read the full article to see why he improved in 2013.
    casmith07 likes this.
  2. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    He wasn't even bad in 2012. When we actually had some semblance of a pass rush, he looked very good, especially for a rookie seeing his first NFL action.
    Wheeltax, mugsybows and StevenOtero like this.
  3. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    Hope it works out. They have a lot riding on him. He doesn't seem physically tough to me. Mentally he gets a pass because he's young & will hopefully learn.
  4. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    Also - a great article that doesn't get terribly in depth but absolutely is on the money about press man coverage. Ideally, I would want my CBs to press and ride the WR for 5 yards before bailing.

    Richard Sherman also doesn't display perfect technique on his punch and bail...turns his back to the QB...if Smith is running an out instead Sherman is beat for a big gainer, but it worked well. Gotta keep those hips square!

    He can get away with it though, because he's one of a kind when it comes to size and athleticism. That's what you get when you combine hard work with a position change in college.
  5. NeonDeion21

    NeonDeion21 Well-Known Member

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    Right. But he actually "won" with his punch. The disruption caused the whole play to fail. Mo can be extremely successful if he learns how to punch and bail.
  6. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    He is not going to shock a receiver off his route with his jam consistently and I do think he lacks the kind of short memory the really great corners have. There are times where you can just tell very early if he is going to have a good game or an average one, the confidence factor tends to waver. And that is what he has been mostly---average player. It is not his fault we gave up what we did to draft him, but he has yet to come close to what he was touted as.
  7. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    I edited to add that after I posted it, haha. His strength and athleticism can let him get away with turning the wrong way unlike a lot of more regular-sized CBs.

    DEMARC0MURRAY29 Active Member

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    he sucks and is a bust
  9. guag

    guag Get some rest, Pam. You look tired. Zone Supporter

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    Thank you for that well-thought-out response. :p
  10. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    That article is wrong. The defense is playing a Cover 3 in that play. I just re-watched it. Watch the safeties rotate after the snap. All 3 of the LBs bit on a play action, leaving the middle of the field wide open. There should have been a linebacker in that spot. Typically, a corner doesn't press in Cover 3. Sherman can get away with it, but it is pretty rare. I stopped reading the rest of the article after this. Also, Will Allen's play was terrible,
    Common Sense, Corso and Yakuza Rich like this.
  11. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Because the bar so so very low right now, he has as much or more upside than anyone on the roster.
    That's not necessarily a complement, btw.
  12. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    Typically, no corners play press in Cover 2 or Cover 3, so using Seattle is a bad example.
  13. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Why are some people acting like he's some big, physical corner? He's about exactly average size for an NFL corner. And he's shown he doesn't really like to tackle.

    He just hasn't been very good and he might never be very good because he's not an elite athlete like most of the best corners. He has very good ball skills and that's about it.
  14. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    In a Tampa 2, they absolutely have to press.
  15. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    I think his ceiling is above average, which he hasnt approached yet. Not an elite athlete and a poor tackler.
    CopenhagenCowboy likes this.
  16. speedkilz88

    speedkilz88 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the first one on Claiborne was the LBs fault for getting sucked in for the run and not covering the middle of the field. I would assume he was suppose to be playing off coverage there to make sure he didn't go deep.
  17. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    I think he's been very average. I agree.
  18. CyberB0b

    CyberB0b Village Idiot

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    I just read the rest of the article for grins. The author is using 2 plays to assert that Mo didn't play well as a Tampa 2 corner in week 1, but improved later against the Eagles.

    Play 1: Clearly Cover 3, as I stated earlier. The linebackers and Will Allen both did a terrible job. Mo played it correctly.
    Play 2: Clear man coverage, not Tampa 2.

    The author is full of it. Most of the season, we didn't even play a Tampa 2.
    Corso and Idgit like this.
  19. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    His big problem he missed 6 games on the season. Young players gain experiance playing not sitting on the injury list. Yet another player hit with hamstring issues.
  20. dboyz

    dboyz Active Member

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    I don't see where the author says he was playing Tampa 2.

    Edit: I see at the end he mentions it, but this seems to be a generic thing, like saying "Kiffin Defense."
    CowboyMike likes this.

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