Update: Cowboys have shown interest in Routt, read here.
Vann McElroy, Routt’s Houston-based agent, said Friday morning his client is scheduled to visit the Buffalo Bills on Saturday with another trip planned for next week to see the Tennessee Titans.
McElroy said no other visits have been scheduled. However, Minnesota, Kansas City and Dallas have reached out to the agent about Routt’s services.
Doubt the Cowboys bet into any kind of bidding war over Routt, but maybe he sees they are interested and wants to play for Ryan again.
A new name just popped up on the Free Agent Cornerback list and he’s very familiar with Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Back in 2005 the Raiders drafted Stanford Routt in the second round. Ryan was his defensive coordinator for the next four seasons until he went to the Browns in 2009.
The Raiders cutting Routt today was a surprise because they just gave him a huge contract last year, read here. That’s a lot of guaranteed money they still owe him, but now they can save money for future signings. This cut was all about the money. Routt was highly overpaid and they could not afford to keep him on that contract.
Yes, he’s better than Terence Newman. Way better. He’s not Revis and he’s coming off a bad year in 2011 but maybe hooking him back up with Ryan can get his game back on track.
He’s definitely a guy who plays the style Rob Ryan is looking for in a CB, read here.
SW: Back in college at Houston, you excelled in indoor track. You were named Conference USA’s Men’s Indoor Track Player of the Year and ran at the NCAA indoor championships in the 60 meter and 200 meter dashes. How does track help you on the field?
SR: It obviously makes you faster. When you have speed you can just start doing things you want to. It helps with the endurance. Specifically for my situation and my position, track is a sport that’s singular. Other than the relays, it is an individual sport [and] just based on you … your mentality, your performance, and how you’re going to do against your opponent. [That’s] very similar to corner, especially with the scheme we play in Oakland with a lot of man-to-man. You live on an island a whole lot and [are in] your own world. It’s a pretty good correlation and pretty good as far as how it transfers over.
SW: Sticking with the mentality as a member of the Oakland Raiders secondary, you guys have a certain style of play. Describe that and take me through the Oakland secondary mentality.
SR: [Laughs] I guess … commitment to excellence. The main thing is you’ve got to go out there and make plays. You realize you’re not going to have much help as far as double teaming. We don’t blitz as other teams do because we have such a strong front four in the pass rush. You’ve just got to go out there, do your job, [and] cover your man. The thing we live by is “no excuses” and “find a way to make it happen”. The scheme isn’t going to change and most of the time the play calling isn’t going to change, so it’s all on you. You’ve got to go out there and let your nuts hang. We always said that there’s no long distance on the island. You can’t call for help.
SW: When you look at the numbers and considering sitting on the island man-to-man, in 2010 you led the league in penalties against among corners with 12, while Asomugha and Chris Johnson each had eight. On top of that, you guys don’t really give up many catches. Is that part of the scheme that you’re going to play physical, you’re going to get up in the guy’s face and if that leads to a penalty, so be it?
SR: Yeah, obviously with the penalties in today’s game it depends on the referee and it’s in the eye of the beholder. Whatever he feels is a penalty he’ll call. We don’t get into all of that and we don’t worry about all of that. Even with you saying that I led the league in penalties, I didn’t even know that was to be true from what I was told from the NFL. If that’s what it is then it is what it is. We just go out there and play football. We don’t worry about the penalties. You can’t worry about that. If you play aggressive, that’s when stuff like that happens. If you go and play timid, that’s when a lot of catches [and] a lot of touchdowns and high-scoring offenses really get going.
SW: I know you have issues with the thrown at numbers/targets against from some of the your other interviews I’ve seen. [Explain PFF]. Interestingly enough, we came up with the same targets (99 targets) against for you that the NFL did. With mixed cover and when players are in the seam, we try to assign the target to the player as best we can. Obviously, if a corner and a linebacker are passing coverage responsibility the quarterback’s target may be between coverage. We assign the target as best as possible. Is that really the main issue you have – when players are being passed off or in the seam and a target is assigned to you?
SR: I’d probably say yes and no, but probably a little bit more no than yes. My seemingly displeasure or disapproval was never really anything that was strong. It was more of a comment that I made. You know what I mean?
I don’t live by what my catch to attempt ratio is. I just worry about wins and losses. For the sake of the point that you’re asking me, a few times last season, allegedly, I gave up five or six touchdowns which is far from the case. People look at the TV screen / video and because they don’t know the coverages that we’re in sometimes, they just see me chasing after somebody and automatically assume that was [my] guy. That may not even be the case. That’s one of the things I know comes with the business and the position, but I really don’t get into all of that.
Every once and a while, you have a homeboy that’s really a football fanatic and loves to read stuff on the internet and he’ll call me up and be like, “Hey, Stan. I see you got beat on six touchdowns last year.” I’ll be like, “No, I actually gave up three.” [He then says in response], “They said six on Pro Football Focus or ESPN.” It is what it is. That’s what they put out there.
Furthermore and I could be wrong, but I didn’t even think I had been thrown at 99 times. I thought it was somewhere in the 60s or 70s. One thing that someone pointed out to me is that the sites that keep these things charted [look at] how many times the ball was thrown into your coverage and not necessarily your man. [So,] if I’m in Cover-2 and I’m playing corner and jamming and even if they throw to the tight end or the running back in the flat, that’s still considered a pass and a reception. In football standards, you want them to throw that little 2-yard catch and that 2-yard flare route instead of a 15-20 yard corner route. In football standards, we consider that a win, but statistically and grading which corner has the best catch percentage that goes against and would look like a negative.
SW: Those targets actually, Stanford … your WR catch percentage against was 42.4%. When you compare that to other corners in the league that ranked you #2 behind only Darrelle Revis. How do you accomplish that?
SR: [Laughs] I don’t know if that’s a trick question or not. To be frank, you just go out there and play football. When you’re trying to win, go to the playoffs, be the best team in the AFC West, and be the #1 defense and secondary in the league, it’s not really that hard. You go out there and make plays. Whatever you do, you just try to separate your man from the football.
Furthermore, playing alongside Nnamdi [Asomugha] when you know you’re going to be thrown at because team’s stay away from him, it’s something you take as a pride factor. It’s something you take as pride and take a little bit as a disrespect and [you play] with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder. It’s motivation. What’s so weird and what I think people misconstrue or overlook is … I just finished my sixth year in the league, but in a lot of ways I just finished my second year. The only years I started were my third and my sixth. A lot of people were surprised by my catch rate and I feel like this year I really didn’t do anything special. I didn’t meditate before the games or do anything out of the ordinary. I just went out and played football.
I think what everybody was surprised about was how strong I finished within the rankings of burn rate and lack of touchdowns I got beat on. People fail to realize that I never really started other than my 3rd year in 2007. When people are surprised at how [I] did this year … what were they comparing it to? I went a whole two years without starting. That’s how it goes, though.
Great stuff from my buddies at Pro Football Focus. Always on top of the finer points of the game.
Now here are some of his highlights on film…
Last thing on Routt. He’s from Texas. Jerry loves bringing guys back to Texas to play football.