The group features four proven veterans in starters Bryant McFadden and Stanford Samuels and reserves Rufus Brown and Leroy Smith. In fact, there's not much of a learning curve when Smart critiques the quartet.
"Those four guys, everyone of them can come up with every assignment. They know those backwards and forwards," Smart told TheTerritory Monday.
"So we are not getting any busted assignments. It's more who is making the plays because at the corner, you can coach them until you are blue in the face but if they don't make the play, there is nothing they can do. Our emphasis is on who makes the plays. We are looking at one-on-one (matchups) and who produces the most pass breakups, the most interceptions and the least big plays.
"That's the most important thing -- who is not giving up the big plays."
FSU's secondary struggled in that department last season, as opponents averaged 235.2 passing yards per game with 21 touchdowns.
Miami's Ken Dorsey threw for 362 yards, Virginia's Matt Schaub had three touchdown passes and Florida's Taylor Jacobs' had seven receptions -- all were opponent individual highs against the Seminoles.
Smart, who is in his second year as a graduate assistant at FSU, works with the cornerbacks under defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. Smart joined FSU from Valdosta State in 2002 after serving as the Blazers' defensive coordinator. Smart also was a four-year letterman and two-time all-SEC selection at Georgia, where he played defensive back.
Smart quickly offers the Seminoles' secondary should be improved from last season because of the unit's experience. That's why he was so anxious for the start of contact drills Monday. Smart also said a point of emphasis early will be watching the development of incoming freshmen Antonio Cromartie and Jhermaine McAroy.
"I was happy to have them in pads finally and get some real contact. It's so hard in shorts to see anything," Smart said.
"We have a lot of depth there. We have four guys there who know what to do. We are trying to get better at the little things with the older guys, and we are trying to teach Cro (Antonio Cromartie) and Jhermaine (McAroy) real fast, so they can either help or get red shirted. We have to find out quick if they are good enough to give them the reps. If they are not going to be good enough, we have to go ahead and give the reps to somebody else."
Thanks in large part to the Seminoles' talent and experience at the corners, FSU expects to play more press coverage this season. Smart, who picked off 11 passes in his final two seasons at Georgia and is a former team captain, says players have been working hard to improve their cover skills.
"Each one of them is trying hard at it," Smart said.
"It's tough on us because we are going against probably the best wideouts in the country every day in press. And we challenge them and make it them do it. At the same time, we're trying to get about 60 to 70 percent of our reps in press and the other 30, 40 percent in loose, which is about what we did last year.
"We probably played loose more last year and we are trying to play a little more press this year because of the experience those guys have at it. Now, if they are in trail position in press, then we have to get out of it and get in loose. We want to stay in front of the receiver. We don't want to be trailing them."