There has been a certain trend at the cornerback position and it is all due to the Los Angeles Chargers' defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. When he was the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks he changed up the game by starting 6-foot, 4-inch Brandon Browner and 6-foot, 3-inch Richard Sherman at cornerback.
At the time, it was crazy to see tall cornerbacks play, but a couple of years later and the trend has turned into a norm. For the Chargers, one player hoping to make the best 53 man roster is 6-foot, 2-inch cornerback Brandon Facyson.
The Virginia Tech product was not drafted, but he said he didn’t question it because he knew God had a plan for him. So he took a deep breath and analyzed which team would be the best situation for him. Facyson decided to join the Chargers because he knew Bradley loved tall and lengthy cornerbacks.
“He (Bradley) is teaching me how to use my length the best way possible,” explained Facyson. “He teaches us things we can not only use in football, but in life as well, which I am very appreciative of.”
Last weekend was his first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. In the third quarter, a ball was deflected and Facyson dug deep into the ground and fished it out for his first interception.
“Brandon has done an excellent job,” explained head coach Anthony Lynn. “He’s getting better and better every day. He’s a prototypical type corner that Gus [Bradley] likes in his system. I thought he played very well last week.”
According to ProFootballFocus, Facyson had a 90.3 cornerback rating, which was the fifth best for the first weekend of the preseason.
“He’s one of those guys where his length is showing up,” explained Bradley. “I thought he had a pretty good game against Arizona. I think that length on the edge and now he’s learning technique. Out there you have to play with a certain sense of poise and we’re starting to see that more in practice. He’s developing so we will see where that turns out.”
It was the first time that rookies got to feel what it is like to play in the NFL. There are no “throw away” games like in college football.
“It is certainly different,” explained Facyson. “Feeling comfortable was my main focus. When you get to the NFL it’s the best of the best and you want to compete no matter what.”
The competition at cornerback is wide open because of injuries to Jason Verrett, who suffered a torn Achilles during a conditioning drill, and Trevor Williams, who injured his leg the first week of training camp.
Thanks to that, Facyson has seen more action against quarterback Philip Rivers and receiver Keenan Allen, who the rookie cornerback says can only help him get better.
“Those guys are some of the best in the league. Lining up against Keenan (Allen) I know he is crafty so he shifts his body one way, but goes another. It’s truly has been a learning experience.”
Facyson says he is only focused on what he can control, which is going out there and playing his tail off. He just wants to be another player added to the Chargers long list of greats that went undrafted and made a difference.
NUTS and BOLTS
The kicking battle continued on Wednesday between Caleb Sturgis and Roberto Aguayo. The competition ranged from 33 to 52 yards. Sturgis went a perfect 7/7 on the day, while Aguayo struggled missing from 40, 50 and 52 yards. His 50-yarder had the leg, but it hit the right side of the crossbar. Anthony Lynn said he really hasn’t seen much separation from either kicker and said this weekend’s game against the Seattle Seahawks could be very telling.