Bigger not better when covering wide receivers

It’s the ultimate question among defensive backs: Would you rather cover a fast guy or a physical guy? Is it easier to outrace a rocket or move a mountain?

Elite corners, like the Jets’ Darrelle Revis, have openly admitted they’d much rather be matched up against the bigger, bulkier target. They might be harder to jam at the line of scrimmage, but they are less likely to streak by you on a go-route.

Last year, before the AFC championship game, Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace called Revis out, saying, “I don’t fear Revis.” Wallace is considered the fastest receiver in the AFC.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is arguably the fastest cornerback in the NFL. Early in training camp, teammate Nnamdi Asomugha called his athleticism “eye-opening.”

“On defense I don’t think I’ve played with a faster guy than Cromartie,” Asomugha said.

In camp, Rodgers-Cromartie was one of the few Eagles corners — in a star-studded secondary — to keep tabs on DeSean Jackson. But covering a lightning bolt like Jackson is no easy chore, and Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t flinch when asked which type of receiver is harder to cover.

“Smaller, speedy guys,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Big physical receivers, all they want to do is try to muscle you. You can beat them with your feet. But the smaller guys, now you got to try and get your hands on them, work your feet — you got to do everything with them.”

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