Going into the 2013 offseason the Chargers, and their fans, knew that they had to address the vacant starting cornerback positions. The decision had been made to allow both of the starting corners, Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer, to walk out of town without signing them to new contracts. The former Bolts landed in Arizona and Denver, respectively. Neither of the two will be missed much for their play on the field.
The team’s first attempt to address the need at corner was to sign free agent Derek Cox. The former Jacksonville Jaguar has proven to be more than capable when healthy. He is very solid against the run and has a good stat line versus the pass as well. As you’ll notice from the numbers below, the issue with Cox is his inability to stay healthy.
At 6’1″ 195 pounds with a 4.39 second 40 yard dash time out of William & Mary, Cox has the size and speed to man up on the opposing team’s number one wide receiver. He’s only 26 years old and entering the fifth year of his career. His best football is in front of him and it’s up to the coaching staff to put him in the best position to make plays. Look for Cox to play the left cornerback spot.
So what would the Chargers do to fill the void at the other spot opposite Cox? Who would they bring in? The answer is no one. The Bolts would find their answer in house.
Shareece Wright, a 5’11” 182 pound Colton, California product, is getting the reps at the right cornerback position and the sky is the limit for the former USC Trojan. Wright is also 26 years old and has shown solid promise during his first two years in the league.
Despite very limited regular season action – he has yet to start a game in the NFL – Wright has shown a tenacity and physicality that any team would love to have out at corner. Couple that with his speed and ball skills and you certainly have something to work with. Wright was off to a fantastic start while having a great 2012 preseason. He saw his season derailed on the opening kickoff of the regular season on a tackle versus the hated Oakland Raiders. Shareece came back and showed a lot of promise during the latter weeks of last year. In weeks 11-13 he notched a total of 12 tackles and a forced fumble. He has some footwork issues to clean up but shows a lot potential to be a difference maker if given a starting opportunity.
Both players are former third round picks and share the same age. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing at all. But what we can hope they share is success in 2013 and beyond. If the front seven of the Charger defense, with the help of some aggressive play calling from John Pagano, can get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks then I expect the duo to more than hold their own.
Only time will tell if either of the two are answers for the Chargers. The team could surely use an upgrade at both spots from previous years. I can’t recall a time where the Chargers truly did have solid corner play on both sides. Perhaps the time begins now.
Thanks a lot for reading.