SAN DIEGO -- First-round pick Morris Claiborne made his NFL debut Saturday night against the Chargers and finished with two tackles, both in open field.
"He did alright," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "It wasn't too big for him. He challenged the receivers the way we wanted him to. He tackled well."
Claiborne missed the first preseason game at Oakland while recovering from a sprained knee, but was cleared to play against the Chargers after nearly a week's worth of practices.
Secondary coach Jerome Henderson wants his corners to play all three spots -- left, right and slot -- but Claiborne lined up mainly as the right cornerback. At some point Claiborne will play all three corner spots, but for now Orlando Scandrick is the slot corner with Brandon Carr manning the right side. If and when Mike Jenkins returns, he can play both corner spots, but he hasn't spent much time in the slot.
It would appear, at least for now, that Claiborne is playing just the outside corner spots until he gets a feel for defensive scheme.
In practices Monday, Claiborne got beat on an underneath route by Robert Meachem and later received a lesson in coverage from Henderson.
These things will happen from time to time until Claiborne becomes more comfortable with the defense. He knows the playbook but said he's got to stop thinking and become more reactionary on the field.
Henderson said he hopes defending receivers such as Meachem and Malcom Floyd will help Claiborne get more comfortable.