With all the gnashing of teeth over the coronation of Kevin Walter as the No. 2 WR in Houston, we've been remiss in discussing another No. 2 job. Namely, who starts opposite Dunta Robinson at the other corner spot? Speaking of Dunta, Matt (MDC here at BRB) has an incredible post on Dunta's career over at Da Good, Da Bad, and DeMeco in which KC Joyner argues that Robinson's performance has actually IMPROVED since his stellar rookie year. As Matt notes, this is completely counterintuitive when one looks at his stats. I believe that it's also completely counterintuitive for anyone who has actually watched Dunta play on Sundays for the last three (3) years, but I digress. Dunta Robinson is locked in at one CB spot. But who gets the nod at the other?
It's clearly Petey Faggins' gig to lose, but we hear and read all too often that Faggins would be best utilized as a nickel back. But the other candidates don't exactly inspire much confidence. Jamar Fletcher? Maybe--he's got the experience to do it, but you have to wonder whether he's the answer. After all, the guy is on his fourth team in six years. Von Hutchins and Dexter McCleon appear primed to be jacks-of-all-trades throughout the secondary and are taking reps at FS, so I can't see either of them laying claim to the No. 2 starting CB job. No offense to either gentleman, but Chris McKenzie and Jason Horton are more likely to be sharpening No. 2 pencils than starting at the No. 2 corner spot. So who's left?
Fred Bennett, that's who! While I cannot imagine that Bennett is starting opposite his fellow Gamecock come 09/09/07, I'm encouraged by reports that he's shadowing Dunta Robinson and could challenge for playing time at nickel back (where the coaches seem to have Jamar Fletcher penciled in at the moment) immediately. Bennett is big, quick, and fast, three things that have been in short supply in the Houston secondary throughout the franchise's existence. I'm guessing that the coaches have to be hoping that Fred Bennett earns enough playing time to make that No. 2 CB position his next season, if not at some point this year.