Cornerback Terrell Buckley played a long time in the NFL. He played 14 years, to be exact. Of course, he only played three years with the Green Bay Packers after being a first-round pick, who held out, when you could still do that.
Perhaps the Packers’ biggest mistake with Buckley wasn’t drafting him, but assuming he could play outside. Ron Wolf famously established the rule that we won’t draft a corner who is shorter than 5’11”, which Buckley was at 5’10”. However, the reason Buckley played so long is because everyone other than the Packers played him in the slot.
That’s where he had some success, especially with the Miami Dolphins.
Well, Jaire Alexander, the Packers’ first-round pick is 5’10”. He was also coached for two years at Louisville by none other than T-Buck. Buckley was the Cardinals’ cornerbacks coach before moving on to Mississippi State.
Probably not surprisingly, Alexander loves T-Buck.
“As far as swagger goes, I tell T-Buck all the time, ‘I got my swag from T-Buck,'” Alexander said. “So he knows that. He played with some swagger too, now, if you watched him.”
And yes, Alexander plays with swagger. Has to. He’s the short dude.
Also not surprisingly, T-Buck will defend Alexander (and in the process, his own) lack of stature.
“I’m going to use myself as an example,” Buckley said. “If you go back and look at tape, Herman Moore had one good game against me out of eight. And that one game turned into, ‘Oh my God, Herman Moore is so much bigger.’ And you’re like, ‘Bro, what about the other seven games and the picks?’ I tried to prepare Jaire for that. I explained that I set goals, and people will run with stuff. But the bottom line, obviously I got over all that and just played ball. And that’s the same thing that I tell the guys I coach. And Jaire is going to do that with the excitement he’s going to bring.”
So in theory, Jaire Alexander looks like Terrell Buckley, was coached by Terrell Buckley, may become Terrell Buckley.
Unless… we’ve always thought the Packers were going to put Alexander in the slot to begin with. It’s a role in which Buckley thrived — just not with the Packers, who didn’t use him there.
Alexander can play the ball. The Packers don’t need him covering Herman Moore, or in this case, let’s say, Adam Thielen. Like T-Buck, his success is likely to be in the slot.
So think about the cornerback lineup as this. Alexander in the slot, Kevin King outside and either Tramon Williams or Josh Jackson in the opposite outside role. I’ll take that.