In his latest mailbag, ESPN.com’s John Clayton begins by examining the prolific turnover at the cornerback position this offseason. Teams are seemingly following the Seahawks’ model in the secondary, searching for taller defensive backs who can shut down the league’s No. 1 receivers, who themselves are growing eve- larger in stature. Clayton points to the Chiefs, Patriots, and Broncos as teams who have prioritized length at corner by releasing the 5’10” Brandon Flowers, signing Brandon Browner, and adding Aqib Talib, respectively.
More assorted notes from the NFL:
- John Greco, who signed a four-year extension with the Browns last summer, is slated to be Cleveland’s starting right guard, but he knows that competition is inevitable, writes George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal. “There’s always someone at your footsteps banging on the door so you know at any time you can be easily replaced if there’s a mistake,” said Greco. “It just makes you that much more focused to work harder to keep your spot.” The 29-year-old’s contract makes it easy for the Browns release him if he does falter, as it contains no more guaranteed money.
- We learned earlier today that Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has been medically cleared, but as Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, Jolly must now play the waiting game, hoping that a team will show interest in him. Green Bay, specifically, already re-signed B.J. Raji, and are counting on pass-rush help from Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, and third-rounder Khyri Thorton, so they might not need any help up front.
- The Chargers’ defense was among the league’s worst units in 2013; they ranked dead last in terms of defensive DVOA (per Football Outsiders). As such, San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano is only penciling in three definite starters — Eric Weddle, Donald Butler, and Corey Liuget, while the rest of the spots are up for grabs, writes Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. Sean Lissemore will be the nominal starter at nose tackle, adds Pagano, but the Chargers will only be in their base defense 30-35% of snaps.
- Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com profiles Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson, a fifth-round pick in 2012 who performed very well last season in his first real opportunity at playing time.