New Orleans will likely keep only five corner’s on the final roster, making the battle for the third, fourth, and fifth spots one of the more exciting of training camp.
Johnny Patrick seems to have been penciled in as the nickel corner early in training camp, a designation he seemed destined to receive after becoming a third-round pick of the team last year.
Patrick has embraced the opportunity, and with modern NFL defense’s spending up to 70% percent of their time in sub-packages, he will be seeing the fileld often in 2012.
Marquis Johnson is nipping at his heels however, as he has the edge when it comes to learning the defense new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is installing.
Johnson spent several seasons with the Rams, where Spagnuolo was head coach, and is very familiar with the concepts of Spags defense.
Given his familiarity Johnson has looked good so far in camp, breaking on balls and snatching interceptions much to the delight of Spagnuolo and new secondary coach Ken Flajole.
Rookie Corey White, a fifth round pick in this years draft, has also played well — but is still behind the other corner’s — as he learns the defense and adjusts to the speed of the game at the NFL level.
For now though all will get their chance at getting more reps, more exposure, and more time to prove they belong.
Coaches meanwhile get to see just how good their depth in the secondary will be this season.
Early projection of the five corners to make the roster: Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, Johnny Patrick, Marquis Johnson, and Corey White.