Myth Busters: Taller cornerbacks vs. Smaller cornerbacks
A new age is in our midst. Defenses are equipping themselves with new weapons. But are these weapons better than the last model? Or do they get the same job done? Or are these new weapons completely useless?
In case you are still in the dark, we are talking about the myth of the success of tall CBs. Nowadays; tall CBs are looked at as being more physically fit for the CB position because they match up well, height-wise, with these tall and lethal WRs. But how much truth is there to this?
Well there is some obvious truth to the idea. A CB that is 6’3 will definitely match up well, physically, with a WR that is 6’5. A lot more so than a CB that was 5’9. What a lot of taller CBs lose is tight footwork and a sturdy base. The CB that is 5’9 has a much lower center of gravity, which is essential to the success of a CB. The difference between getting beat on a single play or not getting beat can very well be in one step in the wrong or right direction. Or the ability to flip your hips upon recognition of the Go route. Or the ability to chop your feet with small precise steps and coming down hill on a button hook. These are a few examples of techniques that any CB who wants to be successful needs to be able to perform fast, correct, and without hesitation. A taller CB struggles much with some of these techniques because of the higher base. When a taller CB chops his feet, the distance between each chop is much greater, covering too much area, and stopping him from coming downhill as fast as he needs to. The longer legs of a tall CB make it far more difficult to execute precise footwork techniques neatly.
It’s also noticed that many tall CBs get too high in their stance in the beginning of a play. It’s just natural for taller CBs. But that actually plays against them when facing a good WR. Elite WRs nowadays know what mistakes to look for in CBs and how to capitalize on them. Getting too high in your stance is one of these many mistakes that can be made. It lessens your center of gravity and makes you more movable to the WR. It’s difficult to throw a proper jam while standing with a tall base. Getting low, sturdy, and powerful is key to a good jam. This is just too much to ask for out of many of the taller CB. And in press, getting beat at the line of scrimmage is the last thing you ever want to happen. Trust me… I know.
But this article is not to say that CBs who are 6’0 and taller are completely useless. When in the right position, a taller CB can make many athletic plays that a shorter CB would not be able to make. With decent technique, they are invaluable against the Goal Line Fade. Taller CBs are just more required to rely on their athleticism to make plays because it is just physically too difficult for them to use perfect technique all throughout the play. Like sayyyy…. Darrelle Revis? (My opinion)
So are taller CBs better than shorter CBs? No. They each have their strengths. I guess it’s a matter of preference. I prefer to not to get beat for the majority of plays and I’ll take my chance against the jump ball. But hey, that’s just me lol.