West Virginia Assistant Blue Adams Evaluates Cornerback Play, Improvement Path

West Virginia cornerbacks coach Danny "Blue" Adams has a lot of "firsts" to work through in West Virginia's 26-11 win over Missouri. Included in that were the ways in which he evaluated his players during the game.

"The coaching box is a very sterile environment," Adams said of his vantage point for the contest. He's one of the Mountaineer assistants upstairs,which offers a different vantage point and experience than being on the field.The contrast there is an age old one -- a coach can see more of the overall view very quickly from on high, but lacks some of the direct one-to-one communication with his players. The latter can be partially overcome with phones and headsets, but there's something to be said for having face-to-face interaction. Adams mentioned that when discussing his evaluation of the cornerbacks on video, where he relies on reading body language and other cues.

"I thought we competed. I thought that was the biggest challenge," he said of his post game looks. "Technically we weren't as sharp or sound as I would have liked. We left some plays out there on the grass, which we can't do when we start playing better teams."

Adams saw both good and bad in his three starting cornerbacks -- although just two of them can be out there on the first snap, Antonio CrawfordMaurice Fleming and Rasul Douglas are all considered to be starters, and all play a number of snaps by game's end. At times, all three were on the field when WVU went to defensive back-heavy sets.

"All of them did some good things, but some bad things too. I am looking forward to them getting a  lot better."

Although Missouri's high tempo was unexpected, Adams did not think that was an issue for his corners. That was a bit surprising, given that WVU scrambled to get lined up and had a handful of instances where the defense was clearly not set when the ball was snapped. The secondary is a bit more used to adjusting and being on the move at snaps in reaction to motion or alignment adjustments by the offense, so perhaps it was less of a problem than for the front six on the defense, but the potential for confusion would still seem to remain high.That won't be an issue this week against slower-paced Youngstown State, but it will be a factor in future games.

In the video above, Adams discusses his evaluation of the corners.


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