Teams Are Going To Throw On Florence

Its something that should come as a surprise, but it is worth noting; teams will be throwing on Drayton Florence a lot this year. A couple of factors contribute to this, but with Quentin Jammer establishing himself as an excellent cover corner with superior tackling skills, and Antonio Cromartie versus the slot receiver almost always being a mismatch (favoring Cromartie, of course), opposing Quarterbacks are going to want to test Drayton Florence's side of the field.

Last week's preseason game against the St. Louis Ram was a recent example of this. In the first quarter, Marc Bulger attacked Drayton Florence and was able to complete 4 of 6 passes to Holt and draw 1 holding penalty against Florence (Clinton Hart intercepted one of those passes, however).

Later, Marc Bulger and Torry Holt were substituted out for Gus Frerotte and Marques Hagans. In Frerotte's first series, Florence was again flagged; this time for an offsides penalty.

Drayton Florence has been struggling with penalties since the end of last season. He continues to draw flags and this might be due to the fact that he is under increased pressure. Teams are throwing on him much more, and there is a player behind him on the depth chart that is challenging daily for a starting job. If Marty was still coaching this team, you have to wonder how much patience he would have with Florence's penalties.

But it is not all doom and gloom with Drayton. Watching him in practice, he is dazzling at times. He seems confident and loose, and is physically at his peak. He certainly has the talent to excel at Cornerback but needs to be more disciplined. With more balls coming his way, there is in turn more opportunities to make great plays. If he can continue to work on his discipline, much in the same way Jammer has worked to cut down on his flags, then Drayton Florence could be in for a career year.

But if he continues to hurt the team's ability to stop opposing offensive drives, then he may be benched in favor of Antonio Cromartie. It'll be interesting to watch, and I look forward to seeing the competition unfold. Personally, I am a fan of both players and want to see them both have individual success. But team success comes first, and the player who can most help the team win will earn the starting job.

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August 24, 2007

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