The communication between cornerbacks and safeties is critical to the success of any secondary, and the New York Giants have seen far too many breakdowns in that communication in recent seasons. With Antrel Rolle gone, and possibly Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps as well, cornerback Prince Amukamara admits he has some nervousness about who will be playing behind him this season.
Asked during a recent press conference whether he had concerns about the Giants' safety position, Amukamara hesitated for a loooooong time before answering.
"Yes and no," the fifth-year cornerback finally said. "Only because I haven't played with those guys behind me. I have some flashes of those guys in practice. I have full confidence that they can get the job done, but we just have to get on the field and work that chemistry together."
Amukamara said he was "comfortable" with Brown and Rolle, but did offer up the fact that "we weren't always on the same page."
The leading candidates currently for starting jobs are both fifth-round picks, Nat Berhe (2014) and Cooper Taylor (2013). Amukamara says Berhe is "very fast. He can go from hash-to-hash, similar to what Stevie's strength is." He said the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Taylor is "just a big, strong, physical guy so he can come down in the box and fill in that hole and take somebody's head off."
Amuakamara, the Giants' first-round pick in 2011, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. "It's "kinda tough to not think about it. Every year I try to put my best foot forward and every year i try to treat as a contract year. This year it is my contract year. The more people talk about it the more I remember it," Amukamara said.
"I don't think it affects how I play. It doesn't make me want to go that much harder or go that much extra. I feel like I've already been doing that."
Amukamara was having his best season in 2014 before missing the final eight games with a torn biceps. He said he is "coming along great" and hasn't been limited in the weight room.
"My expectations never change. It's always to be the No. 1 cornerback on this team, and then hopefully become the No. 1 cornerback in this league," Amukamara said.