Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is not one to give unbridled compliments about players without also tempering it with expectations and a healthy dose of reality. However, recent comments about third-round draft pick, cornerback Jamell Fleming our of Oklahoma, seems to give us reason to believe that he sees something special in the young defensive back.
Said Whisenhunt after minicamp was over:
"He's been a productive player at a big-time program, one that has played in some big-time games against good talent, so you like that. But the thing that jumped off the film to me was his quickness. Even watching him out here and doing some of the stuff inside in the nickel, his change of direction is really, really outstanding. You like to see that. He's a competitive guy, he's big, he was physical off the tape, which is one of the things you like.
"But when you talk about a guy who can play inside or outside, those guys have to be physical. The bigger they are, makes it more difficult for the offenses. I'm interested to see how it's going to translate, if he can handle that position. The physical skill set is a good match for that."
Fleming was a surprise draft pick after Arizona selected Patrick Peterson in the first round a year ago and also because of the group of young cornerbacks already on the team. However, the team had him very highly rated, so much so that they said that, when he was on the board when their pick came around, they had to draft him, despite the fact that they had not yet addressed their offensive line.
Based on comments like these, you it seems like Fleming, although maybe not starting, will see a healthy dose of playing time this season, more than likely as the team's nickel corner.
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