With week two of organized team activities upon us, it’s time to look into the next position battle to keep an eye on:
Last year, undrafted rookie Nickell Robey was one of the season’s best surprises. As an undrafted defensive back in what seemed like a loaded position last season, Robey made a name for himself as the nickel corner. However, it was clear during last week’s OTAs that Robey will once again need to separate himself from the competition.
In the first week of OTAs, free agent acquisition Corey Graham came in and took some of the first reps in the rotation at nickel. At first, many thought that the move was because Coach Marrone knew Robey’s abilities and wanted to see what the veteran corner could do in Jim Schwartz system. However, as OTAs have continued it seems clear that Robey is once again in the midst of a position battle for the starting nickel job.
Nickell Robey in 2014
While many players would be threatened by competition, Robey welcomes the competition from the veteran Graham and is using it to his advantage.
“Just learning from him. He’s been in the league going on eight years,” Robey told Buffalobills.com. “Basically I’m just taking in what he says and his experience from other places and learning the offense as well as he can. He knows how the offense operates, so trying to learn from him and take in the knowledge and experience he has as far as the wisdom part of it. That relationship is great. Having him here it definitely makes things a lot better for us nickels because he knows what he’s talking about.”
Graham may be taking the first reps for now, but it’ll be very interesting to see who goes first in August during training camp. August is when the real competition will heat up.