By: Chad Wilson – All Eyes DB Camp
If you’ve played defensive back and especially cornerback for any amount of time you are familiar with the saying “you have to have a short memory”. I also know that this saying is often not taken seriously by many defensive backs who play the game so let’s take a deeper look at what that means.
In this era of PFF (Pro Football Focus) where every catch by a WR you may be covering is analyzed and those stats used to compare you to someone else, it is easy for defensive backs to get caught up with how each catch affects their stats. For lack of a better term, these defensive back grades were created by “geeks”. These are guys who are brilliant at one thing and that is analyzing data. They can not, for one second, put on the pads and do what you do so why concern yourself with their compilation of numbers?
I have witnessed defensive backs going in the tank because a WR they were covering caught one ball. One ball!! Wide receivers train too. They work hard too. They will catch footballs. The trick for you, the defensive back, is to not let that affect you. In fact, your mentality should be after a WR catches a ball is that means I will have another opportunity to make a big play because the quarterback will try me again.
A surefire way to self destruct as a DB is to get overly concerned with a completed pass or even giving up a touchdown. Some DBs don’t allow a WR to catch one single ball and as a result they rarely get balls thrown at them. They end their games smelling like soap because they didn’t get any work. There’s noting wrong with that. Other DBs allow balls to get caught occasionally, see a lot of action and as a result get more interceptions. There is room on a defense for both types.
I am not recommending that you go out and make it a habit of letting WRs catch footballs but I am saying don’t get bent out of shape when they do. Focus on the next play and not your opposing QBs passer rating when targeting you. Leave that stuff to the geeks. Keep the football and DB mentality to the guys on the field actually in battle.
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Chad Wilson is the owner of All Eyes DB Camp and author of "101 DB Tips". He played college football at the University of Miami and briefly in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. Over his 15 year high school football coaching career, he tutored over a dozen Division I defensive backs and as a trainer has worked with NFL All Pros, first round draft picks, college football All Americans and Top 10 ranked high school football prospects.