JALEN Mills, Ron Brooks, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas. Those are our top four CB’s on the roster. These four guys (plus one or two others) will make the team, and man the boundaries of our Defense. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that our Week One starting CB’s will be (barring injury), Mills and Douglas.
While that may come across as bravado or confidence, I assure you that it’s the opposite. Complete opposite. I’m worried ab— More accurately, I’m terrified of our CB situation. Did you know that between them, all four of those guys have a combined ZERO career interceptions?
Brooks has hung around for 5 NFL seasons, yet doesn’t have a single turnover (via interception, forced fumble, or fumble recovery) to his credit. Mills has a year under his belt, and may just have been a 7th round steal last year; but he only started 2 games, and played a lot of Nickel Corner. So as 16 game starters go, he’s still extremely raw. The other two CB’s are rookies. One of which will likely start the year on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list.
The most veteran CB/experienced starter on the roster, is Patrick Robinson.
Robinson is wearing his 4th different jersey in 4 years, so I have to wonder why teams keep signing him, starting him, and then not even keeping him around for depth, less than a year later. To me that comes across as a huge red flag. Some fans hope for him to be a mentor, but that seems unlikely.
A fellow fan told me this week, that he’d seen Robinson listed #1 on our depth chart. If so, then the likelihood that he’ll mentor a young guy who’ll impact his chance to start, is very thin. Besides, word around the campfire has it that he ain’t exactly a vocal locker room guy to begin with.
This isn’t to discount other players at the position. I liked what I saw in Aaron Gyrmes last preseason. I was irritated when he was cut, instead of a couple of DC Jim Schwartz‘s favoritism recipients. It would be smart to get a good look at former Jaguar, Dwayne Gratz since he’s a CB who likes to hit. Also Terrence Brooks, who snagged a pick and forced a fumble in our win over the giants last year, deserves to be here until at least final cut downs this year. That said, none of those three is someone you’d be enthusiastic about starting just yet.
So we have compromised health, no mentors, and no proven game-changer (at this level). That leaves us with the hope that Sidney Jones will rescue the position when he finally gets to see his first live action. Either that or we have to hope to be pleasantly surprised by whomever starts opposite Mills. Also we have to hope that the coaches didn’t see fool’s gold in Mills last year. That’s a lot of saying “hope”.
Our shakiest position from last season, comes a ton of change but zero certainties heading into this season. Instead of knowing that we have bedrock, we’re building a foundation on what we hope to be solid ground. So as I said, I’m terrified. More accurately, I’m scared shitless.
Well, here’s hoping that we’ll be pleasantly surprised.