May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Jason Verrett (TCU) poses for a photo with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number twenty-five overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the San Diego Chargers at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers Going Against NFL Trends

No one can ever accuse the San Diego Chargers for daring to be different.  How has the franchise challenged the NFL trends for 2014?

Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers additions will challenge “big” corner myth

The bottom line throughout the NFL off-season for San Diego was simple.  They needed better corners.  So in the 1st round of the draft they selected TCU standout Jason Verrett, considered the most able corner in entire class.  Then they gained a stroke of good luck by landing discarded Pro Bowler Brandon Flowers in free agency.  On paper in looks like a boon for the Bolts defense, until one looks a little closer at the stats.  Not the production ones.  The physical ones.  Both Verrett and Flowers share something in common.  They are each 5’10 or under.  Considering the trend of the past decade on offense and defense is to get bigger on the outside, these two additions clearly go against the norm.  The Chargers are basically saying that if a cornerback is good enough talent-wise, their height should not matter as much.

Tim Jennings among top examples of trend beaters

A lot of experts would say what the San Diego Chargers have done is not a wise thing to do.  What will Flowers and Verrett do when they go up against the 6’3″ Demaryius Thomas in Denver or the 6’3″ Rod Streater in Oakland?  All a quarterback has to do is put the ball a little higher and it’s basically just pitch and catch at that point.  That isn’t necessarily the case.  Size is good and all but there have been multiple examples both recently and throughout NFL history to counteract the “big” corner argument.  A modern argument is Chicago Bears two-time Pro Bowler Tim Jennings.  At 5’8″ he would seem to have no business playing on the outside.  Yet in the past two seasons alone he has 13 interceptions.  Or perhaps one can look to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where Washington Redskins corner Darrell Green resides at just 5’8″.

The San Diego Chargers know times will come when big receivers win their matchups because of their size.  However, in the NFL it takes more than a few inches of height to win games.  Jason Verrett and Brandon Flower have top tier ability that can be put to great use if the team gives them that chance.

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Tags: Brandon Flowers Jason Verrett NFL San Diego Chargers Tim Jennings

  • powderBLUE801

    Size is nothing. We have clearly upgraded our CB from last year and we WILL go further into the playoffs this year.

    • Erik Lambert

      We shall see.

    • BlueBoltFan

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say size is nothing, but I do think size, and height specifically, are overrated. There have been plenty of CBs that are 5’10″ or less, including Brent Grimes, Alterraun Verner, Asante Samuel, Cortland Finnegan, and Antoine Winfield. The notion that smaller guys can’t play on the outside is overblown. Hopefully Flowers and Williams, and Verrett will continue to prove that.

      • powderBLUE801

        Really?? So who would you rather have on your team a 6″1 Derek cox or a 5″9 3/4 Brandon Flowers? My bet is your going with Flowers and yes I just proved my point!’

        • BlueBoltFan

          That’s not a fair comparison. It’s like asking who would you prefer between Brandon Flowers and Richard Sherman. Height isn’t the issue. They’re different caliber players

          Besides, I think scheme is the key factor. Tall, long-armed CBs tend to fit better in press-man coverage schemes, as we had with Jammer and Cro. Size helps push WRs around as well take away more of the catch area. But in Pag’s current off-man heavy scheme, quickness and agility are crucial. Smaller guys tend to be quicker and more agile.

          That’s why I said height is overrated, but I can’t say it’s irrelevant.

          • powderBLUE801

            I do agree with you. Size is irrelevant with pag’s scheme as we will have shorter faster CB’s that will fly all over the field. I see some serious turn overs this year. INT INT INT.

          • BlueBoltFan

            Man, I hope so! Can’t wait for the season to start!

          • powderBLUE801

            You and me both!! I feel it this year. I really have a good feeling that we will end up 11 and 5. BOLT UP my friend.

        • Tyreece Kaete Sr.


  • powderBLUE801

    Great article by the way E-rock.

  • Steve Diaz

    It would be interesting to go back and see how tall the CBs were when we had Vincent Jackson, M80, and Gates all on the field. We had the tallest receivers in the NFL back then. If all we had to do is just throw it up high in the end zone, then we should have had a lot more TDs, right? I believe size and ability go hand in hand. Most of these smaller CBs have a great vertical height leap. Scheme also has a lot to do with it. If Pagano can use our talent to fit their abilities (like Ron Rivera did), I believe we can have a top notch defense again…