The view is tremendous.
That was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s assessment of playing safety, something he did in a game for the first time in his 10-year NFL career in Monday’s preseason contest in Cleveland. He was there for two series, made one tackle (and a second that was statistically negated by a penalty), and seemed as if he might have found a new home for himself. Or at least a place where he can crash once in a while.
“It was different,” Rodgers-Cromartie said on Wednesday. “You can see that field much better. It just comes with a lot of responsibility back there.”
Being the last line of defense always does. Not to mention the other parts of the job description like making checks and getting everyone lined up properly.
DRC was intrigued by the position, and while he did not have many opportunities in his limited time on the field Monday, he could see where his speed and hands would make it fun to be a ball-hawking free safety.
“Especially if you get some of the younger quarterbacks that like to stare down their target a little bit,” he said. “Seeing it from back there, you can put that foot in the ground and go get it. Also, I know you’ve got to be disciplined back there, you don’t just abandon the middle field, so that would be kind of tough.”
Ben McAdoo said on Tuesday that Rodgers-Cromartie played the position to add versatility to the roster. DRC also knows that playing safety can add years to a cornerback’s longevity in the NFL.
“I’m not even thinking about that,” the 31-year-old said. “Not yet.”
And probably not for a while. The experiment was interesting, and probably even a success, but it likely will remain just that, an experiment.
“It was probably just a one-time thing,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “We’re just getting looks everywhere, seeing what kind of packages we could use, but I definitely don’t think I’d be back there like that [during the regular season].”