The Bills were busy today, they signed free agent linebacker Zach Brown and cornerback Corey White. Corey White is a player that has appeared in 51 career games. In 2015, he spent time in Arizona, Dallas and New Orleans. He is a player that Rob Ryan is very familiar with.
White is 5’11”, 205 pounds and played over 30 games in Rob Ryan’s defense while he was in New Orleans. He started 19 of those games while in the Big Easy. He was released by New Orleans and picked up by Dallas and ended the season with the Cardinals.
During his two full seasons in New Orleans with Rob, he did struggle at times in coverage. Take a look at his coverage snaps per Pro Football Focus (PFF) in 2013 and 2014. In thirty four games in those two years (including playoffs), White started the game as a starting corner. In ten games over the course of those two years he started in the slot. There is no doubt that the Bills are bringing him in to play the slot, but then depending on opponent putting him outside. For example, if the Pats put Edelman in the slot and the Bills want to match-up Darby with him then Gilmore and White could play outside. He offers some versatility because of his knowledge of the scheme and his physical makeup.
His best game of 2015, was in week five when the Cowboys played the Patriots. In that game he was in the slot a lot.
He followed Danny Amendola all over the field. He was targeted five times but only allowed three catches for 13 yards. His pass targets broke down like this: Danny Amendola targeted twice (2 catches for 6 yards), Dion Lewis once (1 catch for 7 yards), Matt Slater once and Julian Edelman once (1 pass defensed).
I want to focus on just this game because we all know teams draft and sign players to win their division. Corey White is a player that has played in the scheme and showed that he could play well versus the Pats.
White is #23 in the following clips:
This is where I think White makes his money. Press, man coverage. He is good up in the wide receivers face.White is to the bottom of the screen and Amendola (10 catches 146 yards in 2015 vs. Bills) tries shaking free. White handles the change of direction easily.
White did a really good job recognizing the route combos the Pats were throwing at him. He didn’t let the motion or window dressing fool him. Here he is in the slot and stays true to his assignment.
White did a phenomenal job against Amendola in this match-up. He has really quick feet able to match their wide receivers.
Brady tests White deep at the top of the screen. Look at how smoothly he opens his hips and gets into the receivers pocket.
White didn’t show the tackling mentality of Gilmore. On this play he is lined up over Amendola in the slot to the top of the screen. Gronk catches the pass and White wants no piece of Gronk.
He tends to lunge when he tackles, and Lewis makes him look silly because of it. Coming into the league he was seen as a good tackler. But in this game he was quite terrible.
He has the ability to blitz off the edge. He almost picks off this screen to Edelman.
White deflects another pass off the edge. He is lined up in the slot to the bottom of the screen and gets a piece of the ball.
I think that Corey White will be competing against Nickell Robey for the nickel corner position. Robey struggled in 2015 from the slot. He allowed the 6th most receptions and the 4th most yards from the slot position. The signing of Corey White, brings some competition to camp and also gives the Bills a corner who can start if in a pinch. He has played in the system, he has knowledge of the myriad of checks and coverages and he has played against the AFC East. I think this is a great addition to bolster the depth of this team, and opens up many options going into the NFL draft.
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