For a lot of people, the arrogance and brashness of defensive backs is a turn off. I don’t generally like that kind of swagger in people, but I am willing to accept that it might be a necessary attribute for the job of NFL cornerback. It really makes you look stupid on days when you get torn up by a wide receiver. Then again, at least Eric Wright didn’t pull up lame with a “hamstring injury” as Anquan Boldin waltzed into the end zone, right? For all the brashness and arrogance talking about his “Pro Bowl Talent” Eric Wright knew that he had a bad game yesterday and he owned it. When he was talking to Mary Kay Cabot yesterday he was quite honest and frank. He admitted that he had a horrible day, he didn’t play up to his ability and that he let his team down.
There is no sense in harping on it (or tweeting pictures of his failures at him) at this point. Everyone knows what happened including Wright. Now, he must pay attention to that old adage about having a short memory. He needs to forget about it because Ochocinco and T.O. are coming next week. If he doesn’t the results could be disastrous like they have been for Brandon McDonald.
There was a time when Brandon McDonald was a great story. He was a 5th round pick in 2007 and he stepped up and became a starting corner for the Cleveland Browns opposite Eric Wright. He did this out of necessity after Leigh Bodden was traded to the Detroit Lions as a part of the Shaun Rogers deal. McDonald wasn’t a perfect player by any stretch, but he was a pleasant surprise. He was still young and it was assumed that he was getting better. Then he had a nightmare game to end all nightmares.
In Brady Quinn’s debut as a Cleveland Brown, McDonald got torched for a 93 yard TD to Eddie Royal. To make matters worse, he then gave up the game-winner to Brandon Marshall with just over a minute left in the game to allow Denver to go up 34-30. In his ninth game since being named a starting NFL cornerback, Brandon McDonald was exposed. The doubts started to creep into the fan base about his ability and potential.
Maybe Brandon McDonald never had the talent to back up that swagger. Maybe he was never going to be a front line starter in the NFL. He did have a few good games to his name even after that horrible one against Denver. Still, those are the games that could easily come to define a corner in the NFL if he allows it to define him. The great ones shake it off, work harder, come back and prove that it is just a negative anomaly.
It is in all our best interest that he does just that. Joe Haden is waiting in the wings for an opportunity, but he needs a starting corner opposite him in the future. Sheldon Brown has been a very positive acquisition, but at the age of 31, he is headed toward the twilight of his career at a speed position like corner. Here’s hoping Wright restores order and swagger to his name this week against Cincy. It won’t be easy, but he really doesn’t have any other options.