By Adam Aniba
Former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot was recently on @theHOGSIDE Twitter spaces (9/27/22). He believes the overall defensive performance vs Philadelphia warrants a change in Kendall Fuller's role. Smoot has been outspoken in regards to Fuller not playing on the outside.
"If they want Fuller to have success it will be at nickel or free safety."
In fact, during his last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, Fuller carved out a role as an occasional slot corner and free safety. Fuller was active in 11 games during his last season in KC and was apart of the Super Bowl LIV championship team, recording 3 tackles in the game and led all DB's with 2 passes defended.
Although Tyrann Mathieu was utilized in a safety/slot hybrid role in Steve Spagnola's defense, Fuller also saw time at safety.
Second year cornerback Benjamin St-Juste started the season as the teams slot corner, but looked more effective on the outside vs Philadelphia with William Jackson III out. Jackson was a full participant this week, so keeping St-Juste on the outside and moving Fuller to slot/safety in subpackages, makes more sense.
On multiple occasions, Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith had his way when matched up with Fuller on the outside. Playing Fuller outside again would be a mistake. Starting free safety Bobby McCain's play has been uninspiring, so having Fuller lineup at FS in subpackages is worth a try.
Although Fuller has visibly regressed, many former corners have made the transition to safety late in their careers, even if just in a subpackage role. Depth could be an issue with little experience on the roster though.
McCain is a player, who could help at slot or as CB4 in dime formations as well. Rookie Percy Butler should also get an extended look at free safety as the season progresses with Darrick Forrest, also seeing time in Buffalo package situations.
Removing Fuller from 1-on-1 situations from time to time, would be a worthwhile project and something to watch as the season progresses.
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