The New York Giants are in need of reserve cornerbacks. As we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp, let's look at Chandler Fenner, a player who hopes to earn one of those spots.
2014 Season in Review
Fenner spent 2012 and 2013 on the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks. He landed on the practice squad with the Giants a year ago, and eventually found himself on the active roster, playing in the first 11 games of his NFL career. He played only six defensive snaps, while making five tackles and missing two in nine games on special teams. One of those six defensive plays was an emergency appearance against the Dallas Cowboys where he ended up lined up against star wide receiver Dez Bryant, and surrendered a 44-yard completion. The highlight of Fenner's season was recovering an onside kick on the first play of the second half that helped the Giants earn a 24-13 Week 15 victory over the Washington Redskins.
2015 Season Outlook
The Giants lost cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman in free agency, and really did not move aggressively in the draft or free agency to fill those spots. That means there are reserve cornerback jobs to be had behind Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Can the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Fenner earn one of them? He is in a group with players like Chykie Brown, Jayron Hosley and Josh Gordy hoping to earn a reserve spot.
"I definitely want to take this opportunity to improve. It's a time for me to capitalize on an opportunity. I want to have more of an impact than I did my first year here," Fenner said after Monday's OTA at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "I believe that the coaches are expecting a little bit more from me. I'm expecting more from myself than what I did last year. I don't want to just do the same.thing I did last year. I want to bring more to the team."
Fenner understands his situation.
"Everywhere you go it's an opportunity for you to present yourself and what you can contribute to the team. That's what coaches are looking for, they're looking for somebody to contribute," he said. "If I can contribute and add depth to the team I'll be here. If not, I won't."
Fenner is not part of the competition at the slot cornerback spot. Instead, he is being used strictly on the outside. In that role, Fenner said his preference is to press.
"I like to press. I can do everything, but I like to press. I like that one-on-one challenge to be down there and really challenge a guy," Fenner said. "That's what I like to do."
Will Fenner emerge with a roster spot? Will the Giants look to supplement the roster with a veteran discarded by another team? The reserve corners, including Fenner, bear watching during training camp. Fenner knows what he needs to do in order to stick around. Let's see if he can do it.