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Roster analysis: Corners filled with questions

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Corey Webster
Let's continue our analysis of some of the more competitive spots on the Giants roster. Today, we will turn our attention to the defense -- specifically cornerback.

The Giants corner play has been abominable the past couple of seasons. Part of that might have been due to the soft coverage schemes preferred by former defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. New DC Steve Spagnuolo is likely to employ more man-to-man press coverage.

There is no denying, though, that Corey Webster and just about everyone else who has been out there has to bear some responsibility for simply not playing that well.

The Giants said goodbye to the erratic Frank Walker and used their No. 1 pick on Texas CB Aaron Ross in hopes of shoring up their pass coverage. Who emerges at the corners and how well they play will be a key for the Giants this season.

Let's look at the candidates for playing time.

• In the blue corner. Sam Madison. The 11-year veteran struggled at times last season, his first with the Giants. He isn't quite as quick as he used to be, but he should benefit from Spagnuolo's press scheme, which suits his style.

• In the red corner. R.W. McQuarters. The 10-year veteran is more of a nickel back, but played much more than anticipated last season due to Webster's injuries and inconsistencies.

• In the white corner. Aaron Ross. The first-round pick from Texas should contribute both at corner and as a punt returner.

• In the gray corner. Kevin Dockery. This second-year player did well in limited opportunities last season, showing a knack for making plays.

• Waiting the dressing room. Gerrick McPhearson, Michael Stone, E.J. Underwood.

MY VIEW: This is an incredibly difficult position to predict. McQuarters worked with the first unit in mini-camp, but I think it's just as likely he will get cut as it is that he could start. The Giants still have high hopes for Webster, a second-round pick in 2005. Ross may not start, but he will be on the field a lot. Watch out for Underwood as a dark horse candidate to make the team. He was impressive in training camp last season before getting hurt, and has a chance.

PREDICTION: Madison and Webster start, at least in the beginning of the season, with Ross as the nickel back. Dockery was impressive last season and I think he will be the fourth corner. I'm also going to go out on a limb and say that Underwood will play McQuarters -- who is adequate at best -- out of a job. If the Giants keep six corners, which seems like a lot, Stone is a seven-year veteran and could get that extra spot.

Your thoughts?