Many Kansas City Chiefs fans have pounded the table for the team to address the cornerback position in free agency or the draft for the past several years. On Thursday’s Zoom press conference, cornerback coach Sam Madison revealed that he too wanted some additions to the room.
“Last year I was like ‘[Brett] Veach! You didn’t get me no corners!’ and he was like, ‘Sam, relax. There’s gonna be some more.’”
Truly, Madison is one of us.
However, Madison sounded downright giddy about the additions to the Chiefs defensive back room this offseason. General manager Brett Veach added Antonio Hamilton in free agency and drafted L’Jarius Sneed in the fourth round before trading back into the seventh for BoPete Keyes. When asked about the adjustment both were making, Madison was quick to praise their ability to pick up things in the meeting room quickly.
“They’re very good with the questions we ask on a consistent basis. The things that coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) asks of them, they’re doing their best right now. If they’re going to do this and continue to do it throughout the course of their career, that means [the scouting department] did a great job with their backgrounds. Me and Coach Merritt are enjoying them every day.”
Madison singled out Sneed, in particular, when discussing what he liked about the new additions and what he added to the group on the boundary.
“[Veach] drafted Sneed, a big corner — a physical guy — that knows how to attack the ball at the highest point. Those are the things for each and every last one of our guys that we need to get better at: the percentage of 50/50 balls thrown down the football field.”
Naturally, Madison was asked about the cornerback options behind the perceived starters in Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland, particularly with Breeland appealing a four-game suspension at the beginning of the year. Our own Pete Sweeney asked Madison who could be the next man up as a boundary cornerback.
“Hamilton, we brought him to come out and compete. You’re gonna have three wide receivers on the field, so you need to find that third corner...Sneed, Keyes, Hamilton. We brought in those guys to help solidify ourselves.”
It’s interesting that Hamilton was the first name out of Madison’s mouth, as most tabbed him to be more of a depth piece and special teams ace. Madison mentioned that he needed to work on his “playmaking ability” to really contribute for Steve Spagnuolo, but praised his work ethic and integration in the offseason program.
Even with the new additions this year, Madison isn’t looking past last year’s sixth-round pick at that boundary cornerback position. Rashad Fenton got a little bit of time for Spagnuolo, but didn’t get significant reps on the boundary. That didn’t matter to Madison, who seemed very excited for Fenton’s sophomore campaign.
“One guy I’m excited about is Rashad Fenton. You look at him later on in the season and even in the Super Bowl: the kid, he made plays. He had to see those concepts and understand them. Tyrann [Mathieu] was able to help him and work through them and we were able to put together a pretty good run with these guys. When Breeland went down a couple of series, he went out there and held his own.”
Veach and the Chiefs staff went out of their way to target some bigger, faster cornerbacks this offseason to bolster their depth. With Breeland’s start of the season uncertain, that depth may be tested immediately. That doesn’t seem to worry Sam Madison, and if Thursday’s conference call is any indication, he believes the Chiefs have a strong group to develop in 2020 and beyond.
Who is the "next man up" behind Ward and Breeland on the outside?
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