Friday, April 8, 2011

Is Shields for Real?

ESPN sure seems to think so.

And I have to agree. A lot of people had (for some reason) high expectations for Shields coming into the season, even as an undrafted rookie free-agent who'd only played one season at CB. Most of us were expecting Shields to contribute as a speedy return specialist. Well, he didn't pan out in that department, but what the Packers get out of him was much more important: a lock down slot defender.

We all knew that Shields has blazing speed, but what impressed me most this year was his fluidity in coverage and his sensational ball skills. He played WR before CB and it showed, as he was a natural at going after the rock, an ability that so many corners seem to lack. He got burned a few times, as most rookies do, but he was certainly a big part of the Packers' success defending the pass. One thing's for sure: Whenever Charles Woodson decides to hang it up, the Packers are looking pretty good with the likes of Tramon Williams and Shields on the edges.

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