Jump to content

Giants Cornerback Corey Webster Hoping Mental Lapses Are Thing Of The Past

The P

Recommended Posts



ALBANY, N.Y. — For Corey Webster, it always seems like it’s one play that swings the momentum.


The deep ball to the Redskins’ Santana Moss that landed him on the bench early in 2007.


The interception returned for a touchdown against the Bills later that year that boosted his confidence.


The NFC Championship Game interception to set up the winning field goal in Green Bay that continued the Giants’ Super Bowl run and sparked an outstanding 2008 season for Webster.


And then, the play that pretty much summed up the Giants’ 2009 season and sent Webster into a tailspin.


On Nov. 1 in Philadelphia, Webster turned to safety C.C. Brown and pounded his fists together. It was a signal to audible to a Cover-2 defense, meaning Brown had the deep half of the field behind Webster. The only problem was Brown missed the call, leaving DeSean Jackson to run free for a 54-yard touchdown.


Webster’s confidence, so quickly rebuilt but so easily destroyed throughout his career, was once again shattered.


“Sometimes doing more can get somebody in trouble,” the Giants’ sixth-year cornerback said the other day during a break at training camp. “People say you don’t have to do too much, just do your job. But it’s habit. After you start seeing something happen, you start trying to overcompensate for this and now you may leave something out because you’re trying to help this.


“A lot of that happens when you’re not being successful as you once were on the field.”


Sounds like Webster, who signed a five-year, $43 million contract extension in December 2008, had better find that success quickly.


“He’s got to be the guy we paid,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said. “He’s got some play-making ability. He’s got to keep it between his ears, keep it right in his head.”


With all of the talk about whether Terrell Thomas or Aaron Ross will win the starting spot across from Webster, perhaps it’s been prematurely assumed that Webster will be a starter. For now, he doesn’t appear to be in any danger of getting benched and will surely be a starter come Week 1.


But Reese indicated the team is keeping a close eye on the former second-round pick and hoping the last half of last season wasn’t the start of another prolonged mental slump — like the one he endured under former defensive coordinator Tim Lewis.


“He’s got all the tools to be a really great corner,” Reese said. “But he’s got to get it in his head, ‘I’m a great corner and I can play against anybody.’ When he falls short sometimes, I think he has a mental lapse in his head about something.”


Reese knows Webster can be a top cornerback. He saw it in 2008 when Webster was credited with a stunning 24 passes defensed.


“You couldn’t throw a ball over there by him. He was all over the place,” said Reese, who believes Webster can play all of the multiple coverages in new coordinator Perry Fewell’s defense. “And then, something happened, a bad play happened.”


That play was the Jackson touchdown. Suddenly, with Kenny Phillips out with an arthritic knee condition, Webster could no longer trust Brown, Aaron Rouse or Michael Johnson to be in the right spot behind him. That day in Philly, Webster gave up his first touchdown since Week 9 of the previous season. The next game against the Chargers, he gave up two, including the game-winner to Vincent Jackson in the final minute.


“You don’t want to put the blame on certain people, but new people being in a complicated system, that’s hard,” Webster said, alluding to the safeties. “We struggled in that area communication-wise.”


The good news for Webster is Brown and Rouse are gone. Back deep behind Webster are Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant, two veteran free-agent additions who never seem to get corrected by the coaches during camp practices. Mental mistakes don’t appear to be in their repertoires.


And today, for the first time since undergoing microfracture surgery in September, Phillips will be back on the practice field.


“It’s never a one-man show,” Webster said. “If Kenny Phillips is going to be over the top, I know he’s going to be there. ’Trel, you know he’s going to be there. Having that confidence in each other goes a long way and it lets you have more confidence in what you’re doing.”


Reese doesn’t want to hear about confidence. He wants to see it, especially after one bad play.


“He’s old enough and mature enough to let it go,” Reese said. “He has to think, ‘I’m a great corner. Throw it at me again.’”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...