In light of Monday’s report that Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson hasn’t been cleared to practice yet even after a week off during the team’s bye, I think the Falcons might have to make some adjustments at the cornerback position if he’s out another week.
I am a Chris Owens fan, and during the summer was high on his ability and potential to be a starter for this team this season. But against the Bengals he really struggled, and the truth is had one of the worst games of a Falcon corner in a long time. It made some of the usual weekly performances of Jason Webster, Chris Houston, and Allen Rossum look very good by contrast. And while I think this would be a good test for Owens this week to see how well he bounces back from such a performance which would be a great indicator of his future, at the same time it would at least have a backup plan in case he doesn’t bounce back.
So my suggestion is to perhaps move Brian Williams to the outside in nickel situations. Against the Bengals, Williams covered the slot and Owens the outside receiver in nickel situations, but I think that needs to be reversed. When Robinson was healthy, Owens played the slot in nickel situations. I think that is potentially a better matchup for us against the Bucs, with Owens going up against Sammie Stroughter in the slot, and Williams facing whoever is lined up outside for the Bucs (Arrelious Benn?).
Now this could all be moot if Robinson comes back to practice tomorrow and the next few days and is ready to go. But I think the Falcons should at least prepare this week for the possibility that if Owens gets off to a slow start versus the Bucs, it may be time to make a switcheroo at cornerback.