JHoo’s Summer Reading 2011: Safeties

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Each year I have written the Summer Reading columns, the safeties have come last, which I suppose makes sense for the “last line of defense.” This year, however, I just am not willing to finish the series discussing a group that may causes readers some … what’s the right word … um … shall we say … angst.

The Starters

Corey Mosley reeled in two interceptions in the win over Miami in 2010.

For now, the depth chart lists Corey Mosley and Rodney McLeod as the starters. Will that stick? I am not sure, but for now, let’s go with it.

The certain starter is fourth year Rodney McLeod , whose play in 2010 who was maligned at times without what I feel was a full appreciation for how physically limited McLeod was for almost the entire year. The simple fact is that McLeod was a shell of himself, especially when it came to change-of-direction and acceleration, and he really did not improve noticeably in either respect over the course of the season. One can argue about whether McLeod should have rushed himself back onto the field but, being the team leader he is, McLeod saw the need for his presence on the field and got back out there as soon as he could. Still, McLeod was not himself and so I find it exceedingly hard to take a lot of what I saw on film in 2010 and extrapolate from that what one can expect to see from McLeod in 2011.

The funny thing, however, is that McLeod found a way to contribute in 2010 despite his physical limitations: he led the defensive backs with 54 tackles despite playing in only ten games (starting nine) and he chipped in with a pair of interceptions to boot. In terms of his tackling, the 5’10”, 180 lb McLeod remains a surprisingly aggressive player, occasionally getting caught taking too sharp an angle, but generally making the tackles he is supposed to make. In 2010, McLeod struggled to get downhill