Press corners are in the mold of Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain.
Barry Jackson wrote:
Xavien Howard’s play during the final six games last season, including back-to-back two-interception games against Denver and New England, represented the best cornerback play served up by the Dolphin since Brent Grimes was locking down receivers in 2014.
Howard had a simple explanation for why he played well late in the year: Coaches started to permit him to play press most of the time.
“I was pressing more towards the end of the season,” he said. “I was going to get my hands on the guys and stuff like that. Nothing [with] film. I stayed watching film. So really nothing [big], just changing my technique really. Coaches said they wanted us to put our hands on receivers.”
That delighted Howard, because “I did that in college. My strength is pressing.”
What also helped, Howard said, was film study that helped him get a feel for the opposing quarterbacks’ tendencies.
Howard said he hasn’t watched a tape of his exceptional Monday night game against New England. Instead, he watched the games where he didn’t play as well.
“It’s a new year; I need to achieve more than that,” Howard said of the Patriots game. “I’ve got to look back and see things I wasn’t doing well… watch what other players are doing. Knowing what I put on film… looking at my weaknesses."
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