If Eagles rookie CB Brandon Boykin is looking for a few tips on how to play slot corner in the Philadelphia defense, Joselio Hanson won’t be the guy to ask.
Paul Domowitch at Philly.com reported that Hanson, Boykin and Brandon Hughes will all be engaged in an open competition for the job as nickel corner. During an interview, Hanson was asked about possibly being a mentor to Boykin, here was his response:
“I was told I was competing [for the job],” he said. “If they said we weren’t competing, then maybe I would mentor [him]. But when it’s competition, hey, it’s every man for himself.”
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I can’t blame Hanson for responding this way. The man’s livelihood is on the line and he’ll have to play very well to keep his job. In an open competition, it really is “every man for himself.”
And may the best man win.
The more interesting nugget here is that Hanson actually confirmed what we all pretty much thought…the nickel cornerback job is very much up for grabs.
With fourth-round rookie Brandon Boykin coming in as a highly-touted slot corner and return man from Georgia, some folks may have penciled him in as the third corner immediately after the draft.
My bet is that’s exactly what the case will be.
Hanson has been the slot corner in Philly for the past six seasons, and for the most part, has done a decent job. However, his play has declined the past two seasons after a 2009 suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
Whether that is just a coincidence or not, it’s hard to say. But, it did lead to him being released briefly last year during the final cuts. For the Eagles to release him, they must have either been willing to be without him or pretty confident he’d clear waivers.
Either way, the writing appears to be on the wall for him.
Brandon Boykin will be given every opportunity to win the nickel job, followed by Brandon Hughes. I actually feel that Hanson is the “3rd favorite” of the three players competing.
The real battle might actually be for the fourth and fifth roster spots at cornerback. The Eagles usually keep five CBs and with Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Boykin all assured spots, it leaves Hanson, Marsh and Hughes battling for two spots.
If Hughes and Marsh perform well during training camp and preseason, Hanson could be declaring “every man for himself” while competing for a spot in the unemployment line come September.