One of the most intriguing position battles in training camp for the San Francisco 49ers is the cornerback spot. The 49ers have seven corners that are capable of starting. It will be very interesting seeing how this all plays out. A season ending injury to Chris Culliver along with the signing of Eric Wright have added another twist to the cornerback position.
The starters at corner are pretty firmly entrenched on the outside. Tarell Brown will start at right corner and Carlos Rogers will start at left. The tricky part comes into play when the 49ers go into their nickel package. The NFL has evolved into a passing league, so the nickel corner can be considered a starter now.
Before Culliver was injured, he would come in as part of the nickel package. Rogers would bump inside and Culliver played left corner. Now, that job is in the hands of Tremaine Brock. This will not be the first time that Brock has that position. He played that role in 2011 but lost the spot when he injured his hand and Culliver took over.
Nnamdi Asomugha is a name that many think will challenge for a starting job. That may be the case, but Nnamdi plays primarily on the right side which is locked down by Brown. He does give the 49ers a very good match up option against bigger wide receivers. Hopefully, he will benefit from the better coaching that he alluded to in a recent press conference when he said, “The difference here is coaching staff that has whole mindset of staying positive to make positive things happen.”
Wright is a player that is capable of playing both left and right corner along with making a contribution in the nickel. He is able to cover slot receivers and could challenge Perish Cox for playing time. The 49ers feel that Wright can get back to being the player that he feels he can be. He will benefit from being on a defense that is more talented than any other that he has been a part of.
The under the radar player in the mix is Perrish Cox. He played very well in the preseason game against the Denver Broncos. Cox lined up both at right corner and over the slot. He started a good amount of games with the Broncos a few years ago.
The cornerback situation will continue to work itself out. It is definitely one to keep an eye on. Let’s see how it plays out in the next game against Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.